My Amazing Life-Chapter 7, The Royal Chulan Hotel Review

As one enters the Royal Chulan Hotel in Kuala Lampur Malaysia, you are reminded that it is a 5-Star accommodation, as the various views overload you with affluence. The winding staircase, the sitting area and this magnificent atrium of tropical plants all bombard you with opulence. You are temporarily memorized and seduced by its charm.

 

Entry Way

Entry Way Atrium

 

As I entered my room the first thing I noticed was that even though it was 90 plus degrees Fahrenheit outside, the air conditioner was not turned on. I gasped at the heat. I immediately turned it on and waited to no avail. I called downstairs and they stated they would be sending someone up to repair the A/C. The room accommodations, including this King Size bed were very nice and as expected high end.

 

King Size Bed

King Size Bed

 

Traveling through Thailand and Malaysia one thing that struck me was the amount of space and luxury they devoted to the bathrooms. This one was no different and had a glassed in large shower, glassed in toilet and this wonderful spacious sink.

 

Shower and Sink Area

Shower and Sink Area

 

This bathroom, as in one other hotel bathroom, had a view from the tub area to the bedroom. I would venture it made it easier to roll out of bed and climb directly into a warm bath. Sorry I am not going where you are surely thinking right now!

 

Bath With View from Bedroom

Bath With View from Bedroom

 

We had a hotel tour scheduled and I left the room to partake in the tour. We saw several rooms that were similar in nature to mine, but the other side of the hotel had a spectacular view of the pool and spa entrance area. Definitely request a fourth floor or higher room to secure this view and your private balcony.

 

Pool Area from Balcony of Fourth Floor

Pool Area from Balcony of Fourth Floor

 

The walkway beside the pool at ground level was filled with fountains, plants and various flowering bushes and trees. It was simply stated, gorgeous!

 

Walkway Beside Pool with Fountains

Walkway Beside Pool with Fountains

 

We walked around the pools, as there are three. The large swimming pool, a children’s pool and a massive Jacuzzi. As we turned the final corner we faced the Telaga Bunga Spa entrance and I found the spa very enchanting. and unique in some ways.

 

Telaga Bunga Spa

Telaga Bunga Spa

 

The spa has your normal massage areas and pedicure/manicure stations along with facial applications. The most unique experience we were shown was the couples massage area. It was equipped with dual tables, a tub sink and just about anything you could think of for using after a massage. It was huge and I was blown away. I want to do this!

 

Couples Massage Room

Couples Massage Room

 

The couples massage room included this huge shower. I am sure it could have held our entire group. Just to be clear we did not all walk into the shower to validate this. It was just an observation by yours truly.

 

Huge Shower in Private Spa Room for Couples

Huge Shower in Private Spa Room for Couples 

 

We then went to the restaurant for dinner. I was starving and did not take photos of all the elaborate stations. They had Italian, Japanese, American, French and many more types of food in their buffet. I had sushi that was out of this world and a few other various items. Of course as always, I had to try their desserts. Funny how I remembered to photograph this area.

 

Dessert Box

Dessert Box

 

Tired and full I retreated to my room and was very surprised. My air conditioner had not been repaired and the technician had left a mess in my room. I was still perspiring profusely. Luckily they have a hose system that is like a bidet and they have men come by to validate the toilet area is clean every night.

 

When he knocked on my door and saw my issue with the air conditioner he immediately had me transferred to another room and waited to see if the A/C worked in my new room, along with securing me another adapter for my laptop. The service this young man gave was outstanding and indicative of what I visualize the hotel’s desire to please is.

 

The hotel is superior and it is unfortunate that I had the air conditioning issue, but I would certainly go back and would recommend the Royal Chulan to all tourists and businessmen spending time in Kuala Lampur. Next time I will take my wife and we can let you know how the Couples Massage is!

 

 

 

 

*** My trip to Thailand and Malaysia was sponsored by Thai Airways, the Tourism Authority of Thailand and Tourism Malaysia USA. All opinions are solely mine and as always generated without any influence.

Black Like Me

When I was younger, oh so much younger, a book by John Howard Griffin entitled “Black Like Me” was published in 1961. I read the book around the age of 13 and became dramatically impacted by the issues Mr. Griffin brought to light. I grew up in Texas and had no idea that racism existed, as I always went to school with many Hispanic children. I knew no difference until I started high school and became a part of the first racially integrated class at Arlington High School, as ASID desegregated in 1965. I bring this up as it was discussed yesterday in my interview with Minority Nomad also known as Erick Prince-Heaggans.

 

Nomadic Texan with the Minority Nomad. It was a Pleasure Senor!
Nomadic Texan with the Minority Nomad. It was a Pleasure Senor!

 

Erick and I met online, as we are both residents of Austin when we are not traveling and came across each other on Twitter. We decided to meet at Madam Mam’s on Anderson Lane and I soon discovered why. For reasons I will not go into (old age) I was approximately 45 minutes late and Erick thought it was funny. I was totally embarrassed. We ordered our lunch and I got down to the interview as agreed upon earlier.

 

 

Question #1 What made you start traveling?

I have a project that is near to my heart and I needed to find a way to fund it. I want to inspire young Afro American Blacks, Latinos, LGBT community and other Diverse groups to travel and to let them know the world is a diverse and wonderful place. We as a country have about a 36% passport ratio, which lags substantially behind the rest of the world. I want to move this needle to at least 50% by the time I pass. I want us to shed the “Cul de Sac” mentality. I loved that quote and completely understand it”.

 

 

Question #2 Which country that you have visited did you like the most overall?

Without a doubt its Thailand. It has such an acceptable approach to diversity and tourism. I was treated like a “Rock Star”!”

 

 

Question #3 What type of food, in a country you have visited, did you favor the most.

Thai food is my favorite (okay now I know why we are at Madam Mam’s).”

 

 

Question #4 What country’s people that you have met, did you like the most?

Swedish, Finnish and other Scandinavian populations if you want an educated discussion. If you are talking friendliest, that has to be the Balinese. They smile all the time and are genuinely happy to see you, do things for you and ensure you stay is a wonderful thing. If you are talking fun to be around (Code for Party Animals), the Brazilians are a blast and I could hang with them for a long time! If you are talking people you meet on the road it has to be the Canadians and Germans. They are frequent travelers and I constantly run into them on the road. Plus they are fun to be with. Rounding out the discussion he stated the Eastern European people of Poland, Budapest and Hungary are the most genuine and you always know where they stand even if you don’t agree with them.”

 

 

Question #5 What culture have you liked the most in a country you have visited?

Thai for sure. They appreciate family, faith, diversity and most agendas I believe in.”

 

 

Question #6 If you were to do long term volunteer work which country would you go to? 

“If it was for educational purposes, it would have to be central Africa. They do not have the “Oil” or “Tourism” industries to support their needs and are struggling more than other African countries. If it was more to help the people, I would have to say Liberia, as we have made this country a mess. Even though it is probably the most dangerous and yes I would be scared to go. It needs our help more than any other country at this time.”

 

 

Question #7 What is the funniest thing that has happened to you on the road?

Well (stutter, as he wasn’t sure if he should share it) two of the gentlemen that went with us were crazy Aussi’s. VERY over the top and already three sheets to the wind. A quarter ways through the show three beautiful Thai women brought put a massage mat and asked for volunteers. The Aussi’s started goading me into volunteering and making fun of Americans. Being the person I am, I agreed. How bad could a massage be. Well once I got on stage the three women stripped me naked, stripe naked themselves, and proceeded to give me a naked massage in front of 150 people.”

 

 

Question #8 What is the worst thing that has happened to you on the road?

Well it has to be getting arrested in Buenos Aires. I went to a bar with people I met where I was staying (2 Italians, 3 Brazilians and me). I only had one beer and paid for it when I arrived. The Italians drank heavily and walked their tab. The server brought me the tab and I said it was their bill not mine and he should have collected from them before he kicked them out for fighting with local Argentineans. The server then called the police. The police officer  asked for my passport and I said I left it at the place I was staying, in a secure place. The officer told me I could be arrested and deported since I wasn’t carrying the passport as required. I told him that was not really a law. The officer said I was in deep trouble for trying to skip the bill and not having my passport. I had to spend the night in jail. The next morning the Captain, who spoke excellent English, listened to my story about the Italians and my passport. He laughed and told me I was lucky and he gave me a small fine and sent me on my way. Left a very bad taste in my mouth for Buenos Aires.”

 

 

Question #9 What is your least favorite country?

No question it is Russia. I was denied entrance twice (my military history) and resorted to a dock entry at a port and got in serious trouble. They questioned me hard for about an hour and a half. Funny, I will tell you later, why I now have Russia on a good list also. By the way since my incident in Buenos Aires, Argentina is near the bottom also.”

 

 

Question #10 What is your least favorite food?

Italian food in Buenos Aires. The cheeses have the consistency of gum!”

 

 

Question #11 How long will you travel?

That’s easy. I will never stop!”

 

 

Question #12 What is the one item you cannot do without on the road?

Have you read Douglas Adam’s “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”? As he states, a “Towel” is the most important item you can have. It has a myriad of uses. If you are talking electronics, its my camera. I love photography and try to shoot about half raw and half with minor editing. I am not a fan of “over-editing”.”

 

 

Question #13 Where has prejudice been the largest issue and how did you handle it?

St. Petersburg Russia and Buenos Aires Argentina (endured for 30 days) are the two worst countries over and above any other.”

 

 

Question #14 What advice would you give minority or diverse travelers, if they are traveling?

I would tell them to do their research and make sure it is the latest information available. Do you know that 76 countries have laws against gay couple associations and it is very illegal in them? In five countries (Mauritania, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Iran) you can receive the death penalty.”

 

 

Question #15 What has been your favorite “Tour”?

A walking tour in Warsaw, narrated by a fellow that worked at the hostel I was at. He was the event and social planner and knew the city literally backwards and forwards. Best of all it was free! I also took a tour on the Baltic Sea on a ferry from the St. Petersline over five days, that left a lifelong impression. It circled the Baltic sea, hitting all the Scandinavian countries, Russia and Poland. The ferries they use are frequented by dock workers and you find many workers in cabins on the boat. I had a couple of Russians, one on each side of my cabin and a Hungarian guy across from me. Over the next five days my impressions of the Russians grew worse each day.

 

 

One night the guy on the right of me starts pounding on my door at about 2:00 AM. He was very drunk and looking for his friend. He then kept apologizing, when he discovered his mistake. The next night his friend Igor starts knocking on my door late at night and had been drinking also. He gets apologetic also when I open the door, but he carries it a little farther. He starts touching my and his hearts and saying “America/Russia”! “America/Russia”! “Governments don’t like each other not us”! He gave me a huge hug that must have lasted two minutes or so. I almost was brought to tears by this and really then knew that all the people around the world are the same down deep!”

 

 

Question #16 What is your next “30-Day” adventure (He polls his subscribers with about 10 choices of what adventure to fulfill next)?

I am learning to Ski in Chile (August), Muay Thai fighting in Thailand (October), Brazilian Jui Jistsu in Brazil (December), Crab Fishing in Alaska (January). That’s what my subscribers voted for.  (Me-Are you crazy that’s absolutely the worst month to go?)”

 

 

Question #17 What is the country you would settle down in if you decide to stop traveling?

Thailand (what a surprise!), as I love its culture, its people and its food. Now if I was on an unlimited budget, it would definitely be Japan. I can’t tell you how much I love Japan. (Really, I can tell you, as its probably my favorite also, just can’t afford it these days!).”

 

 

I learned that Erick is a very compassionate and intelligent man. He has his life’s agenda set. His desire to help the underprivileged and center city kids struck me very deeply, especially after my recent visit to Mexico and how I was impacted by the Homes of Hope project. I was so energized by Erick and his agendas and told him of my travel desires and my wish to help young children in Ecuador or wherever I may be. I must say this young man has his head on straight and I think he will serve the world very well, in his capacity as a mentor, for the impoverished of the world. I can’t begin to realize or understand the issues he has faced, as a Black American growing up in the projects of Cleveland Ohio. Safe Travels mi amigo and I hope you get to that 50% ratio soon!

 

All I Want to Do is Go Home and Get Some Sleep

The young man appeared gaunt and his eyes wore deep dark shadows. He was obviously very tired and stretched to the limit. I felt sorry for him to be in this disarray at such a young age. His recent odyssey with Adecco has obviously pushed Turner Barr to the limits of human ability. He is worn to a frazzle and completely fatigued in my humble opinion. His smart-phone went off incessantly. First a reporter from German called. Then a reporter from Australia called. All the while Turner was trying to balance the social media and information flow. I am not sure I could have handled the amount of pressure he was carrying or the expected interaction from his supporters, journalists and news personnel.

 

Nomadic Texan with Turner Barr aroundtheworldin80jobs.com

Nomadic Texan & Turner Barr aroundtheworldin80jobs.com Photo credit: Stephen Oddo

 

“When this is all over I just want to go home and get some sleep”! “I am so tired”. I really don’t think that any of us can appreciate what Turner has been though. This battle has been going on for six weeks, beginning with phone calls back and forth when he was in Laos and Thailand. He interrupted his trip to come home and battle this issue.

 

I asked him what he wanted to say to his supporters. He welled up a bit and said “I want them to know that I am humbled and honored that they stood tall behind me,  stood up for me and I would not have been able to go this route without them”. I am learning this young man is indeed a very humble and gentle soul and is so appreciative of the groundswell from the weekend, he has a hard time expressing his feelings.

 

I took the interview in another direction.

 

What was your favorite job?

Definitely it was being the Krampus in Austria. I mean where else can you dress up like a monster and drive through the Alps in a 4-wheel vehicle looking at all the beautiful snow scenes?

 

Who was your favorite character in the travels around the world? 

No question it was Lek, the Elephant Whisperer. When she had the elephant stand over her with its paw in her face and grabbed its trunk to sing a lullaby I was overcome. She could have been dead in an instant, but she completely trusted this elephant and he trusted her. It was amazing.

 

What was the most difficult job you performed?

Probably I would have to say it was the Agave harvesting job. It was outside all day in the sun. The work is eight straight hours of hard manual labor and you work with a “coa” a sharp blade on the end of a stick that the individual swings back and forth. After about three hours you start losing your concentration and if you are not careful you could hack your toes or feet off. Its that sharp!

The second hardest was Rice Harvesting job in Thailand. It was so hot!

 

What was your favorite country overall?

I would have to say Colombia or Mexico. “They have the best looking women”.

 

What was your favorite food?

1) Thai…it was consistent everywhere and was excellent. 2) Italian I could eat forever. 3) Mexican is always great.

 

As our interview progressed Turner got up and answered as many calls as he received and maintained his composure. He really  is a very laid back guy and is so appreciative and humbled by all the support that I think he is a little overwhelmed. Who wouldn’t be? After all he has worked for two straight years to build his brand and in an instant it was tainted!

 

Turner it kills me that some are changing their stance and not speaking up still as a result of your being quiet. I have seen first hand the amount of pressure you are under and I would not wish it on my worst enemy. I am also having a hard time biting my tongue, since I am aware (overheard your conversation my friend) that there may be a resolution very quickly that you cannot talk about. I hope that you get what you are asking for and it was my pleasure to interview you and have lunch with you in Austin. Safe Travels mi amigo!

 

Epilogue: The interview was conducted the day prior to Turner settling with Adecco. His requests were met by Adecco and the company stepped up and made it right. I think in large it was a result of the massive response from the blogging community and Turner’s friends campaign over the weekend. The Internet was overwhelmed with push back on many social media platforms and Adecco learned this community of bloggers is a vibrant, zealous and compassionate group, willing to fight for what is right!

 

 

 

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Amateur Traveler Episode 471 - Travel to Austin, Texas



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