Malaysia Airlines - Know Malaysia, Love Malaysia FAM trip
From 24th April 2018 to 1st May 2018, Malaysia Airlines FAM trip took place and Claire Gould, our Senior Groups Sales Executive, was lucky enough to be apart of it. Here is a quick run down of what they got up to and what Claire had to say about the trip...
Day 1 – We had an early start as we were meeting at the Malaysia Airlines ticket desk for 7:45am that morning. Richard De Villa was our host for the week and so introduced himself when each person arrived and gave us a Malaysia goody bag – this had the Porsche design amenity kits with an eye-shade, socks, a dental kit, mouthwash, Acca Kappa moisturiser, lip balm, and a fold-out comb. We were also given some pyjamas and a power bank to take with us on our days out whilst we were there. We had our own check in and managed to get through security pretty quickly too! This gave us plenty of time to enjoy the food and cocktails in the golden lounge before boarding for the MH3.
We had a tour of the aircraft before boarding was open for the rest of the passengers – this is where we got to see First Class, Business Class, the galleys and the crew rest area - one the crew even locked myself and 2 others in their rest area as a joke but we managed to find our way out. All of the crew were very welcoming and had a laugh with us, despite them doing their routine security checks before the rest of the passengers boarded. Once we had taken off we had lunch about 1 ½ hours in to the flight. You either have the choice of a traditional Malaysian option which was curry on that day, or the other option being seafood pasta. A lot of people went for the curry which was delicious. We then had a sandwich brought round about 7 hours in, and then breakfast served 2 hours before landing, which again was a choice of the Malaysian breakfast option or an omelette.
Day 2 – We got our transfer to Traders hotel in Kuala Lumpur. We arrived at the hotel and checked in before going to our rooms. Each room had a fantastic view of the Petronas towers. The room was lovely, clean, spacious and had everything you needed. Once we had all had a freshen up we met for lunch in the restaurant before walking over to the tourist centre for our first day of sight-seeing. We were going on a bike ride around Kuala Lumpur to see all of the main attractions. We had to choose our own Harley Davidson and then that was the one we had for the day. All of the riders were absolutely lovely – some even buying us bottles of water when we stopped off as it was such a hot sunny day! We visited; Independence square, the king’s palace and the National Monument. We then had dinner that evening at the Tamarind Springs which was set in the rainforest - it was absolutely beautiful!
Day 3 – We were travelling to Terengganu to spend a couple of nights at the Tangong Jara Resort. We arrived at the airport pretty early as our flight wasn’t until the afternoon. We departed on time and arrived at the resort around 3:30pm. We were welcomed with a refreshing drink and a cold towel before being shown to our rooms. These were beautiful and very spacious! There was a king size bed on one side of the room, a day bed on the other, a large bathroom with double sinks, a large bath and a shower room. We were then shown some of the more superior rooms which were also immaculate and known as Anjung Seafront rooms – some with a Jacuzzi bath outside, under a terrace, but completely private.
Later, we went for cocktails followed by a meal at the Nelayan restaurant. Nelayan means Fisherman in the Malay language - as it was a seafood themed restaurant and the food was exquisite.
Day 4 – The group were being split in to two based on what they wanted to do – the choices being a bike ride or Batik paintings. I had chosen the bike ride, but unfortunately this got postponed due to the rain. Instead we were taken out in a mini bus on the exact trail we would have done on the bikes. We visited a cave along the beach, then we went to the local town and met with some of the locals and enjoyed a traditional breakfast with them. This included Teh Tarik which is considered as the country’s national drink and ate Roti Prata. We then had lunch before having a traditional Malaysian massage. We then met up for tea again before an earlier night.
Day 5 – We were up at 5am to watch the sunrise on the beach - this was beautiful. We then had breakfast before we checked out.
We then headed to a little town where we enjoyed a Gamelan Cultural performance with traditional music and dancing, followed by lunch. Followed by a trip to the traditional markets for a quick look around and to get a feel for the atmosphere.
We checked in to our next hotel Premira and then headed straight out to go on a short river cruise where we had our tea. As soon as this was finished we headed back to the hotel.
Day 6 – We flew back to Kuala Lumpur on an early flight to be able to go and visit the Batu Caves. We arrived in Kuala Lumpur and headed to the Majestic Hotel. Once we checked in we had a quick hotel inspection and saw all of the rooms available - the best room being the Premier Suite which we were told Prince Charles had stayed in. We were staying in the Deluxe Room which was absolutely beautiful and by far the best hotel we stayed in all week. Once we had dropped our things off to our room, we got on our transfer to the Batu Caves. Once we got there the statue of the Hindu God is all you can see – it’s outstanding! We then decided to walk the 272 steps (hard work in the heat) up to see the temple and shrine inside – not forgetting the monkeys! Once this was over and we’d managed to get ourselves down the quite steep steps, we headed to see the Crystal Mosque and then back to the hotel to get ready for the evening.
We were taken to the Stripes Hotel where we met up with the another FAM group for dinner followed by a cultural show and the closing programme for both groups. This is where we learnt what the other group had been up to and the photo competition was announced - I even managed to bag myself a runners up prize with a photo of the sunrise! We then headed out for a few drinks with the other group.
Day 7 – Our final day. We went to Melaka on this day and unfortunately the weather was very up and down which stopped us doing most of the tour, but we still walked up to see the ruins of St. Pauls church. We then got ourselves in to pairs and had a very interesting Disney themed cycling tour.
We stopped off at the only Chinese temple in Malaysia where people were practising Taoism. After this we had lunch at the Hard Rock Café and some free time to have a look around all of the shops on Jonker Street. We then had another river cruise before the transfer to the Renaissance Hotel where we stayed for our final night.
Day 8 – Early checkout and off to the airport for our flight back to London Heathrow. Once we had checked in and got through brief security we went to the Plaza Premium lounge so that we were able to have a look around. The lounge is very spacious with plenty of food and drinks available, along with shower facilities to be able to freshen up if needed. We managed to get a quick look around the shops before boarding too. We arrived back in to London, collected our luggage nice and quickly and said our goodbyes.
Richard from Malaysia Airlines was an absolutely brilliant host for the week! He was very laid back and enjoyed everything just as much as us. We were also joined by Terrance from the Malaysia Tourist board who was full of knowledge and a lovely gentleman! It was a lovely group to travel with and by the end of the week everybody knew each other so well. Amazing week! Amazing FAM!