Saturday, December 26, 2015

Best of 2015 - Top 5 articles of the year

This year, we say goodbye to:
1) LRT monthly pass
2) My samsung tab 7.7
3) Extra money for anything

This year, I have been much less active on blogging. It's partly due to a heavy travelling schedule for commercial production and almost largely due to the JUMP in the cost of living in KL which happens just this year alone - the adjustment to this cost of living is NOT EASY. There's no more monthly pass travel for the train LRT - so a lot of people are having to fork out extra money, lessen our money to spend. I'm no exception and also falls victim to the low wages but high living cost scenario. As the year is coming to an end, I am only thankful for my ONE achievement - the Incredible India commercial I did with Aamir Khan.

Of course, I should be thankful for my health too, having fallen ill recently to fever and sore throat. But writing this in my miserable hotel room facing the beautiful Danga Bay, taking in the seaview as I try to recuperate, I was able to contemplate the past a little. Mind you, I've closed this blog from the public for at least 3 months due to some unforeseen circumstances to adjusting to the harsh living costs in KL. So for this year, it's not the Top Ten, but only Top Five.

Surprisingly, this type of article ALWAYS managed to secure the highest readership as proven in my last year's  Best of 2014 which garnered over 2K of shares in Google+. I'm still puzzled over this, for there are certain articles I would never expect to have such a number of hits and BOOM - the numbers of readerhip was staggering. Maybe it was because of the picture of me, because I seldom post pictures of myself here or in Twitter or Instagram. I'm not a selfie-type. I cherished my image too much to waste it on social media. So aren't you curious to know which articles make it to the Top Five?

1) The Humiliation Culture that targets Chinese Male

Yikes, it's a social issue alright. I think social consciousness has taken flight really high this year. I've always been an advocate for equal rights for everyone regardless of who they are. But when certain people targets on me and my type of profile - man, I just have to write about it! For this article, there's over 1k shares over Google+.


2) Retrospective of 10 years as Artiste

This year also marks my 10th year being an Artiste. It's no easy job, my friend. It's true you cannot find a living being an Actor in Malaysia. No support from the media. No support from the local film industry. But hey, I still made it. So in my opinion, it's worth a mention. And for all the haters out there, eat your heart out.

3) Quila-i-Mubarak

This article is one of my travel series. It was my first time visiting India, and the Red Fort was beautiful. The mystery, the royalty, the richness and beauty of the pavillions, the ghosts.....


4) Chowdhi Chonk

Chandi Chowk is one of the oldest street in Old Delhi, one full of special memories for me! The burst of people, colour, sounds and sights! I missed the dog with one ear, I hope he will get a good life and a good master. I missed the ice-cream, Khoyakulfi! Oh, so DELICIOUS! If I have the money, I will surely go back to that street again.


5) First Destination in India

And finally, to round up the Top Five articles most read of the year. Yes, it's my first article on my first time to India! I think my readers are taken by my adventure and that's why the readership was staggering! It's all written from my heart, my point of view as a virgin traveller to this exotic land.




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Thursday, December 24, 2015

Tune Hotel, Danga Bay Review - Stingy in All Areas

I consider myself to be a reasonable and moderate hotel guest.

I'm not demanding or picky over tiny little details. But it doesn't mean I'm totally stupid. For this Christmas and New Year holiday, I managed to book the Tune Hotel at Danga Bay. I thought it would be nice to try somewhere new and get away from the god-awful KL city. It was the lowest rate that I could find at Agoda.com for within that area. I actually prefer to spend the holidays by the sea and also the area is quite new to me. My holiday spirits was high until I got into the hotel.

Unfortunately, this hotel pales in comparison to the hotel I stayed at Georgetown for last year for my Christmas holidays  - Glow. Both of these hotels fall under the same price category, so I have to compare both to justify the costs. And what a vast difference in terms of quality.

1) Front Reception - Misinformation
First impression of the hotel is fantastic. But nobody becomes the hotel patron for its first impression, right? So the reception officers have to be good at their work. There wasn't a long queue because I checked in quite late - around 9pm. The lady didn't greet her guest with pleasantries like "Good evening" or introduce her name. As I've mentioned earlier, I consider myself to be reasonable - so I let this slip.  Upon checking in, I was given a bag that contains remote controls for the air-cond and TV, 2 towels, soaps and shampoo. I felt this to be quite strange - perhaps the management had cases where the guests steal the remotes? Later I came down to the reception and enquired about the wi-fi connection and problems with the air-cond. They were quite stone-cold and robotic in their explantion. For example, I asked the reception about the air-cond not turning on properly and she told me if I saw the display at the door (?) where the top-up would appear. I wondered what "top-up"? She further explained in her condescending tone that I will see the top-up, but that wasn't my question. I only want the air-cond to work and she still doesn't get it. Besides this, you have to take the information given by the reception with a grain of salt. I asked them about any bus that goes to JB Sentral (a transportation hub) and they told me none by stating the only way to get there is to call a taxicab through them. It's not true! There are MANY buses that goes there - you just need to cross over the main road. I suspect the taxicab syndicate made a deal with the reception. You may wonder why I have to come down from my room to the reception to enquire. Herein, lies the second problem.

2) No telephone in the room 
The telephone in which to call the reception is not present in my room. There's only 1 telephone to call the operator for each floor and it's located right next to the lifts - more than 100 metres from my room. This means hotel guests have to come out from their rooms in their bathrobes, sleeping pyjamas or maybe even in the nude whenever they faced any service problems all the way to the lift area in order to call the reception. For the hotel of the same price range at Glow, Penang - this never happened.

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3) Right-in-your-Face Advertising
We all know Tune Hotels to be affiliated with AirAsia already. But do we really need a huge glass door with the name Tune Hotel, right inside the room as well? This glass door advertising is right in front of you when you enter the bathroom. When that glass door is left open, the entryway is completely blocked because of how narrow it is. So the guest have to open and close that damn door everytime they enter the bathroom. This is the marketers' perceived "clever" marketing tactic to shove the hotel's brand name into the guests' throat and mind. But come on, we want to rest in our rooms without the unnecessary advertising. It only enhanced our dread of ever being a patron in your blady hotel in the first place. Also mind the glass door in the shower area because you need to fully close the door if you want to bath without having to knock your elbows onto it. The room space is really confined.

4) One wifi connection per device
Remember I told you about me having to come down to the reception to enquire about the air-cond? Well, that's not the only thing I needed explanation on how to work. I needed help in the wifi connection as well. The password and codes are printed on a small piece of receipt paper. The first time I keyed in, it did not register so that's why I have to come down to the reception. As it turns out, the wifi-connection only works for one device. When I applied the same passwords and code  to my other device, no connection registers at all. Worst still, I need to go to the reception again the next day to ask for new password and codes because the reception people couldn't bother to inform me about the daily changes in the first place. It's really not worth the trouble, because the wifi connection is very too slow and too complicated to connect.

5) One electric socket per room
If you carry multiple electronic devices that need charging, you better bring along an extra electric socket. This is because in this hotel, I could not find a second electric socket to plug into! There's only one situated right above the security safe. So you need to wait until you finished charging one device then unplug and charge the second time on the same one electric socket. Are they trying to save electric cost? This is so untenable.

In conclusion, I will never go back to that hotel again. Tune Hotel, Danga Bay faces too many insufficiencies that any first-time travellers would face with many frustrations. Communication is one HUGE area the hotel reception is lacking - don't take the glamorous surface for any of its perceived "value", it's simply not worth it. This hotel is too limited and stingy in all areas to make the travellers feel valued and comfortable. But there is ONE saving grace for the hotel at that location and it is the food shop - Hainan Coffee. They served really money-for-value breakfast. Just come out from the hotel and walk along the shophouses. It's not easy to miss. At least I got my tummy satisfied after all the frustrations. Imagine if I don't eat.....




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CREDENTIALS:
* BMW Film Awards Best Actor
* Jury Duty
Worldwide Photo Exhibit
Endorsement Value
World Cup KFC commercial
Controversial but Most-Watched Episode
The Golden Shorts Fame