Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia

City of contrasts and diversity.

I do not remember exactly why we chose this city, but as I recall this city was a dream city to relocate for my Hungarian neighbours in Las Palmas.

Kuala Lumpur does not have many cultural / sightseeing spots and boast only by good malls and condominiums. Indeed I liked the condominiums there

Positive Negative
Business and education vibeHeat and humidity
City amenities at great priceTraffic
Great destinations within 6 hour flightsnon pedestrian friendly

Our latest condominium had more than 100 10year trees on top of 7th floor (6floors bellow is parking), 3 pools, one of them on 52 floor, sauna, gym, 24h security and a great lounge to wait for Grab.

Schools

We went to Safari Kid in Bangsar, international school with branches in Dubai, Hong Kong and London. The level of education is best what I have experienced. First i though it was a joke written in curriculum that 4 year olds can write few paragraphs on given topic, but faced it as a reality. The Chinese, who dictate the fashion and necessity of learning are very demanding from young age. The school cost about 500€ for 3-5 year old.

Pool in school. Children have swimming classes

Bangsar

My advice when choosing where to live in Kuala Lumpur is simple – choose the location where you have most of your business. We chose it because of kids school and it was only 5-20 minute drive with a Grab, which costed 1-3€ per drive. Other places that would consider for long stay are Mont Kiara and Desa park city. Desa park city has the best quality, but it has the worst location in relation to city center. If you come for 2 weeks – choose KLCC or Bukit Bintang.

Restaurants

The food in KL is amazing. And the price is ridiculously cheap.

My top places that I strongly recommend:

Table & Apron – used to have daily lunch there. Still remember the taste of cauliflower. And chocolate desert that is one of the best in the world. Close to Code Academy, where my wife took Ruby on Rails classes.

Din Tai Fung – Taiwanese/Chinese chain restaurant that even has restaurants in London and US-West Coast. Amazing dumplings and salad. Lunch ~8€ per person.

Breakfast Thieves – this is probably the only place where we used to take a walk from our condominium. Great vibe cafe for breakfast – same area as one of coworking space Uppercase

KomPassion – great Thai/Asian food

Vietnamese salad

Weekend getaways

Ipoh – the least interesting city we visited. After fine breakfast at Bangsar Breakfast Thieves

Johor Bahru – We went there only for Legoland and it totally worth it. First day we visited the park, spent the night in the LegoHotel and had dinner there, which I recommend. The second day we chose to go to Legoland aqua park. The best age to visit both parks is from 5 years as this age/height child can almost go to all slides and parks.

Langkawi. An island for 3 day visit. Do not recommend this island for longer stay. 

Westin Langkawi

Lombok. Indonesia

Livigno. Hotel Spol.

It was my third time in Livigno. Honeymoon with wife and no kids. Livigno is a valley with two mountains: Carousello on the left bank of the river and Motolino on the right side. The pedestrian zone with all the apres-ski bars are on the the left side and mainly near ski lift Tagliede.

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Karokoi Istanbul

This was my second visit to Istanbul after 10 years. First time we came to Istanbul for a weekend, visited museums and mosques and stayed in old town. The goal of this visit was friends wedding, which was at Cubuklu 29. My turkish friends recommended to stay in Taksim or Karokoy. Karokoy is in the crossroad between old town and Asia. What i liked the best about Karokoy that it feels like western Europe: nice people, good cafes and restaurants. After doing some research where to stay we have chosen Georges Galata hotel. Although we didnt stay in Georges Galata, due to changed travel plans and made last minute booking to 10 Karokoy. This 5* hotel we booked only for 64 euros excluding the breakfast, which we were later very happy about, because 3 minute walk was the best turkish breakfast experience and somewhere for the half of hotel price (20euros for two). (pictures bellow)

 

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Where to stay in Singapore?

Where to stay in Singapore?

I have been to Singapore 5 times and try to stay at a different hotel each time. I usually stay in Airbnbs but Singapore does not have centrally located flats for rent.

My recommendations:

Do not stay in mid range hotels. Better capsule (The Pod) than the mid range. My future bucket lists hotels in Singapore: Lloids hotel, Raffles and ParkRoyal.

Fullerton hotel – Iconic hotel with a view to Marina Bay Sands just in front of Merlion fountain.

Aerotel – the hotel at the airport terminal (do not have to go out) with a pool. Great before long flights or if you have layover

Shangri La Singapore – great hotel with nice pool and amenities for kids. Many Singaporeans choose this hotel as staycation. (we chose this hotel because one week before our stay, Donald Trump was staying here for Trump – Kim summit)

The Pod – boutique capsule hotel/hostel. The stay cost including breakfast is cheaper than regular breakfast in city. Was staying solo and highly recommend this place. Great for socializing and in my surprise interesting people are staying here and you can have great conversations during breakfast where you share 2 tables only. The socialization point here is much better than in 5* hotel. I didn’t here any noise at night and shared bathrooms was not a problem at all.

Marina Bay Sands. One of the best hotels i have ever been to. Impressive business machine with huge load of people

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Hiring a babysitter in south east asia

Even though the countries in comparison to western European countries are poor, it is really difficult finding a good nanny/babysitter.

The best way so far to find one was going to massage salons and asking if anybody wants extra job or their friends do. If it doesn’t work out, the trick is to ask for 4 hours per day – I usually started from 8AM till 12PM.

The Rates i have paid:

Chiang Mai 4 hours – 500 THB. (13 euros) (English speaking with University degree.

Live in Babysitter from Chiang Mai – 6 days a week, 10 hours a day with a lunch break when children sleep – 20.000 THB (513 Euros)

Hua Hin – 300 THB for 4 hours (No english at all. Good at cleaning)

Penang (Batu Feringhi)  babysitter from Filipines –  4 hours – 40 MYR (9 Euros)

Bali there are few local babysitter conpanies, run by australian people, and they are good if you come for week or two and you need incall for few hours a day, but if you want to hire for a month or live in the cost goes to 800-1200 usd.

We have personally used kiidu service, and paid 100 for service and 400 usd for nanny

Indonesian (bali) people compared to malaysian and thai are eager to work and harworking. Even though i had babysitter hired, i have been offered 3 times in period of a week for babysitter services, so i could say that finding babysitter in Bali is really easy

Chiang Mai

The first impression about Chiang Mai was negative. Traffic, pollution, no parks in walking distance, non pedestrian zones, especially bad pavements for baby strollers.

And after one week, my opinion has changed drastically. It has all the cities amenities as well you feel as in village, where you know your neighbours and meet same people in town . Recommended videos for Chiang Mai:

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Alhambra del Mar Marbella review

Main places to find a rental is Fotocasa.es, but particular apartment was found in finn.no.

I could recommend Norwegian realtor and another real Estate agency in Puerto Banus

We have spent 7 winter months in Marbella. Renting a 140 square meter, 2 bedroom, 2.5 bath apartment for 1750 euro at Alhambra del Mar condominium.

The best thing about this condominium is – location. It is in the middle of the old town and Puerto Banus. Both walking distance. Many cafes and restaurants are close and my favorite Cuppuccino cafe just 50 meters from my apartment. Only 10% of apartments have people living during winter months.

Negative things about this condominium: no heated pool. (november is already cold to swim)

No decent tennis court nearby. (Grand Melia hotel which is 5 minutes walk has both tennis and padel courts, but tennis courts are very poor)
view from balcony

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