Firstly, as usual, sorry for my bad English, and also bad quality of the photos as I took all of them by my cellphone.
Here are parts of the journey: July 17th, 2018: Jakarta (CGK) to Kuala Lumpur (KUL) by KLM Boeing 777-300ER (click here) July 18th, 2018: Kuala Lumpur (KUL) to Kuching (KCH) by Malaysia Airlines Boeing 737-800 (you are here) July 19th, 2018: Kuching to Pontianak overland July 20th, 2018: Pontianak (PNK) to Jakarta (CGK) by Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737-800 (click here)
After buying the ticket of KLM from Jakarta to Kuala Lumpur, I still searched the best place to continue my journey, because I didn't want to be stuck in KL.
Then I chose to go to Sarawak, a region in the northern side of Borneo Island. I had read many stories or travelogues about the region, and I guessed it would be interesting to go there. I was also very curious about the land border of Indonesia and Malaysia in this part of Borneo, so I arranged to cross the land border by express bus from Kuching (the capital of Sarawak) to Pontianak (the capital of West Kalimantan Province, Indonesia).
Airlines operating Kuala Lumpur - Kuching flights are Malaysia Airlines, Malindo Air, and AirAsia. When I checked the price, Malaysia Airlines offered the best deal for only about USD 35.00, while AirAsia was slightly cheaper (USD 32.00). So I quickly picked Malaysia Airlines to fly on this route. A bit higher price, but including 30 kg baggage allowance and meals.
Enough for the introduction, and the report begins.
JULY 18th, 2018
After spending a night in klia2, the LCC terminal of Kuala Lumpur International Aiport (KLIA), I returned by free shuttle bus to KLIA Main Terminal where I would board the flight to Kuching.
It was still early morning, 6.00 a.m. (GMT+8), but there had been so many passengers on the departure area.
I checked the self-check-in computer, but it was trouble so I couldn't use it.
The only way to check in was through the check-in counters. Luckily the queue was not so long.
My pass for the flight.
Then I proceeded to the airside, and it was very long walk to our gate, which was located in the eastern tip of main terminal building.
There were free-to-use PCs with USB slots available in the waiting room.
The plane, with registration code 9M-MLE, had been operating for 10 years. Before handed to Malaysia Airlines in 2010, it was operated by Hong Kong Airlines.
We were called for boarding at 7.30 a.m.
Entering the plane. Business class were in the initial rows as usual.
The plane didn't provide IFE screens, so the safety guide was shown through small LCDs like this.
Some snapshots before reaching the runway.
Then we left the airport at 8.15 a.m.
Oil palm trees, one of Malaysia's important commodities, were dominating the scenery.
The seat-belt lamp was turned off, and I checked the lavatory.
Only 5 minutes after that, cabin crews started the meal service. I got a Malaysian "Nasi Lemak" (coconut rice) with spicy beef rendang and boiled egg, an oat biscuit, mineral water, and of course the legendary "Kacang Masin" (salted peanuts). The "Nasi Lemak" was delicious but not too special. Very suitable for breakfast.
Then I checked all items inside the seat pocket.
"Going Places" magazine. With no IFE provided, this would be your entertainment during the flight.
The routes served by Malaysia Airlines and its codeshare partners. In early 2000s Malaysia Airlines flew to 6 continents (including KUL-JNB-EZE route) but now they only serve Asia, Europe, and Australia.
Malaysia Airlines, member of Oneworld.
About 1.5 hours after departure, I finally saw the Borneo Island, my destination.
This scene was "endemic" to Borneo.
The plane landed safely in Kuching International Airport at 9.40 a.m.
The terminal building.
Time to leave the plane and entering the terminal.
As Sarawak had its own immigration & custom autonomy, all non-Malaysian passengers arriving from other Malaysian states had to go through immigration check and have their passport stamped.
Then I proceeded to the baggage carousel.
Time to leave the airport.
As no public transports available at the airport, I had to walk about 1 km to Kuching Sentral bus terminal, where I would hop a public bus to Kuching city center.
I spent a night in Kuching city before having an overland journey to Pontianak, West Kalimantan, on the next day.
BONUS: some snapshots of Kuching city. "Kuching" also means "cat" in Malay, so cat statues in the city center is dedicated for them.
Foods you should try here: kolo mee and Sarawak laksa.
Kuala Lumpur - KUL
Kuching - KCH
The Malaysia Airlines 9M-MLE had been operating for 10 years, but what I saw was that the condition made the plane looked like a 20 years old plane. I hope that Malaysia Airlines can make their fleet fresher.
I was also surprised that there was no IFE, because I was enjoying the IFE on my previous flight from Jakarta to KL by the carrier. Is it available only in international flights or even not all of them? I don't know.
But Malaysia Airlines' foods never dissatisfy. The nasi lemak was delicious and reminding me a lot to traditional nasi lemak served in Malaysian food stalls.
Cabin crews were good and friendly, but I didn't have too much interactions with them.
Kuching International Airport was good, clean, but without public transports available. I hope they can improve it.
Thanks for reading!!!
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