Time and money management while on vacation

Too many people go on vacation with credit cars and even loans, then spend years trying to pay it off.  I once heard T Harv Eker say “You are borrowing from your future to pay for your past!”  Since we left Canada, we have only owned pre-paid Mastercards.  I feel these are a much more sane way to use a credit card as the only amount available on the is what you put there.  This makes you much more aware of your finances as you generally don’t want too tie up large sums of cash just sitting around in MCs account and letting them collect the interest.  So you usually only have a couple of hundred there for casual use and “pay” your credit card when you know more will be needed.  The only downside it’s that it can take a few days for the money to transfer.  This is done on purpose by the banks because it’s not a technical lack that the transfer is so slow. This slowness allows the money to sit in some bank account, collecting interest from it’s use I’m sure, by the banks and/or credit companies.  How do I know this?  Because in South Korea, bank transfers are the norm.  Handing out bank accounts is perfectly acceptable and common practice to move money and it’s instantaneous.

Now, back to vacations.

So, we came to Malaysia with some money on the card and the rest in cash.  No, we don’t walk around with it all in our pockets.  We do make use of the safe provided in the rooms we book.  Mitigating any potential problems due to loss of money.

Unless you are in an all-inclusive resort, you really don’t know how much you will need.  You can book rooms ahead of course, search online for other peoples experiences but it’s really only clear once you are in the place you are going. We have come to the point where we really have to manage our money carefully. The “holiday honeymoon” phase is over. That’s the state where your are in a new pace, want to experience new things, so you spend. With 8 days left, we can’t afford to just spend as we please now. We haves booked all the places we need to stay now but we are just not going to do any frivolous trips. While that one day trip was nice, it also was pretty expensive, relatively speaking.

Luckily the only things we have top spend money on is food, and food is pretty cheap here. We have averaged less than $20/meal for the both of us and we have eaten pretty good! So we will have a roof over our heads without worry. Extra stuff to do? Not sure, but we won’t be lacking of things to see and stories to tell regardless :)

Like this funky coloured Red Bull can.

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I had to try it out. Tastes just fine and a cute little can too.

Back home if you wanted milk in your coffee our tea, you would say “coffee with milk” our “tea with milk”. Not so much in the east. Both Korea and other Asian countries we have been to call them “milk coffee” or “milk tea”. Annoyingly, at those “instant” machines in Korea, you can get “milk coffee, milk tea, sugar coffee, sweet tea[same thing]” but you can not get “coffee with milk and sugar”! Really annoying. So I get one of both and just mix :/ Here in Malaysia you also see “white coffee”

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This is actually sweet, which leads me to reaffirm the belief they use condensed milk. This tasted just fine and cost 2.60 Ringgits, or about $0.83.

So right now we are just killing some time before getting on a bus to Penang at 4pm. Lunch is at The Chicken Rice Shop.

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We got the 2 Combo Chicken deal. One chicken is Honey BBQ and the other is Crispy Roast. Total cost, 17.20 Ringgits, or about $5.50.

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For the cost, this was a decent meal.

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Just a casual day today

Mostly we jusy planned and bought tickets for a coupe off trips.  One to Penang and the other to Singapore :)

We revisited the Central Market to spend some real time there browsing all the shops but today I was also extremely tired.  Not sure if it was just the heat or the walking we did so far on the trip but by 8pm, I was ready to collapse.

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The market place is huge and you can easily get your fill of trinkets both cheap and gaudy.  There is no end to the amount of local batik clothing and a decent food court as well.

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If you have never tried Durian fruit, you are missing out.  I’ve really only had it once and it was good.  This sign was in our elevator.  The reason it is there if because the fruit shell stinks like hell warmed over.  One of those “defense mechanisms” I suppose.  Yet the taste it totally surprising.  Still, it is popular here and they don’t want it stinking up the hotel.  I recall when Toronto passed a law banning the fruit on public transportation because of the smell.  If toy get a chance, try it out!

Today was a big one!

I’ll have to do a separate post for each of the bigger sites we hit because the mobile app only lets me upload one pic at a time and I can’t do pic albums.  So, for now, you’ll get teaser pics till I am near a PC.  Might not be till I get back though ;)

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This is the King’s palace museum.  The King is really just a diplomat here.  No real power at all.  He greets heads of states and such but the Prime Minister runs the show in this country.  The king used to live here but they built a new place for this position, which changes Kings every 5 years.  We weren’t allowed to take any pics inside (kinda goofy not to allow it really…) So this its all you get.

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Here we have a traditional village house that you might find a couple of hundred kilometers outside of the main cities.

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I can’t really resist animals. Especially when they smile with me.

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I have a strong fascination with medieval weapons. This Dragon Canon from the national museum looked pretty awesome.

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I was glad we got to see the national Islamic museum. I am just floored by the artwork in these old Quoran books.

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Me and this guy became great friends! And I have the video to prove it! You’ll have to wait for it :) The KL Bird Park is quite large!

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This is one big statute at the Batu caves. See this steps behind the statue….keep reading the blog and you’ll see the entertainment on the way up those 272 steps and what’s at the top.

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And of course, more butter chicken from a different Indian restaurant for supper! Mango Lassie included ;)

160km/hr! (100mph for you US readers)

That’s what the brochure said for the train that runs between the airport (kinda) and the downtown city of Kuala Lumpur.

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First we had to take a shuttle bus to get to the train but that was included in the price and was only 20mins.  Over all, it was an hour to get to KL Sentral station.  It cost 12.50 Ringgits, which is about $4.  There was a direct bus from the airport cost 8 Ringgits (about $2.50) but I felt the train would be easier with luggage and space.  It was a good call and I did clock the speed at 140km/h at one point.

What was kinda neat is that to get off the train, the doors didn’t open till you pressed/touched a button on them.  Smart way to save some AC costs by not having to open the doors all the time.

Morning and breakfast in KL

We woke up early to get breakfast and plan our day.

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Old Town coffee seems to be a chain here.  White Coffee is milk-coffee.  I asked for extra sugar but I think they used condensed milk as the coffee isn’t bitter at all.  It is ok to drink as is.

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And a good western-style breakfast.  Since Malaysia and another country dominated by muslims, the sausage is chicken-based.  No ketchup but I got a aside dish of chilli sauce.

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First night in Kuala Lumpur

Having arrived here late in the afternoon, we obviously could not do much.  So we went to our hotel.  Little did we realize that our hotel was in “Little India” of KL.  This was awesome as i love Butter Chicken.  So tonight, was a good night.

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And I couldn’t resist this pic.

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Yes, that’s a baby shaving….

A slight addition to the blog focus.

Given the name and meaning of the blog name, I’m going to continue with it. (In case you haven’t tread the About Me page, might want to do that.)

We made it to Kuala Lumpur just fine.  Got me s 3G sim ago I can still update the blog with pics and such.

Hers a random one of three airport.

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Nothing terribly unique really.  Just a typical “small” international airport.  The type where you go down a set of stairs that has been rolled up to the parked pane on the tarmac.

O was attitudes at the price of things at first because I thought their currency was close too par but quite wrong.  It is nearly a 3 for 1 exchange.  So, we just spent 14 ringets fort lunch, which included a hotdog, Coke and a chicken burger.  After exchange, its just over $4.  Eating here will be so cheap. :)

Incheon Airport

I love this airport, especially their free internet Cafe.  Here you can use their laptops or wifi, as well you can plug in your own device and surf away.

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Although, not really “free” when you are paying over $1000 to fly somewhere for two people.  Still, its a super nice convenience to make sure your device(s) are topped up before a 6.5hr flight to Malaysia :)