Like I said before, we wound up leaving the house late. We had planned on being out the door by 9 am, but there were so many last minute things to check over, pack, and rearrange. We had to put away most of the things in the room, into drawers or the closets, and the closets had to be blocked with heavy furniture. In other words, we had to “cat-proof” the place. It wouldn’t do to come home and find our place completely decimated due to feline boredom!
We got going at about 10:30 am or so and walked up to the shopping center to try to find something to eat. The only restaurant that we remembered seeing at the Budget Terminal at Changi Airport is Han’s, and the prices there aren’t exactly… Budget. Doesn’t make sense right? To put a very expensive restaurant in the Budget Terminal of an airport? The people flying through that terminal obviously are trying to maintain a smaller travel budget and can’t afford to spent 3 SGD for a can of soda, or 7 bucks on a packed sandwich!
So, instead, we stopped at the bakery at the shopping center we usually eat at and selected two breads (hotdog w/cheese and sausage/tomato). We also bought two cans of juice from the discount store a few doors down from the bakery. With food in hand, we stepped up to the curb and flagged down a taxi. We had initially planned to use the bus and then the train to get to the airport, since we didn’t have any luggage to worry about, but we were running out of time.
The ride to the airport was fairly short. My wife was telling me how much she wished she could have McDonald’s for breakfast when we pulled up in front of the Budget Terminal and saw… McDonald’s. When did that get there? The last time we flew out of the Budget Terminal was 3 months ago, when we went to the Philippines. We remembered that part of the building being under construction, but who would have guessed they’d be doing something smart and putting a budget restaurant in a Budget Terminal? There was also a small cafe called Hani’s. I wonder if that’s different from Han’s? We didn’t stop to look at it. My wife was really disappointed, because she wanted a sausage biscuit. I told her to go get one, and I would eat the breads we had bought. She liked that idea. (She hates the idea of wasting food, so was planning on eating the bun she had picked from the bakery.)
With that decided, we jumped into the line to check-in. We didn’t want to miss our flight, and the last time we’d flown out of that terminal, we waited in line for about an hour. This time it was better. We only had to stand around for about 20 minutes. My wife went ahead and got her sausage biscuit while I held our spot in line, and immediately after check-in we sat down to eat. I had a medium coffee and the breads from the bakery, and she had her McDonald’s breakfast.
After finishing up our meal we leisurely walked outside to enjoy a cigarette before our flight. Well, it was leisurely until I glanced down at my watch and realized it was 11:30 am. Where had the time gone!? We dropped our cigarettes and rushed back inside. We were lucky. There was a very short line at customs, and no line to speak of at the security check. While going through the security check, we heard the last call for boarding for our flight. So, we rushed through the small shopping area between security and the departure gates and down the hall. As we got closer to our assigned gate, we saw a large crowd of people strolling in at a steady pace, so we slowed down too. There were quite a few people still going through the door to get on the plane, and they certainly weren’t going to slam the door in anyone’s face. Ten minutes later we were on the plane.
The actual flight was really short. The itinerary said we could expect to be in the air for 55 minutes, but by the time the plane leveled off and I got started on the immigration and customs forms, the descent had already started. I think the total time the plane was in the air was about 30 minutes. When we touched down at Kuala Lumpur Airport we had to wait on the runway for a while. I think the plane arrived early, because there weren’t any available parking spots! It wasn’t long though before it pulled in to a parking area and we were deboarding. Less than an hour after stepping onto the plane in Singapore, we were in Malaysia. I still love that about Asia. Everything is so close together and convenient for traveling to!
Kuala Lumpur Airport itself is a lot nicer than what I was expecting. It wasn’t fancy by any means. I got the impression that the terminals used to be warehouses that had been later linked together as the airport grew. It was clean though, and there were a few shops here and there. Also, the place was packed. There were a lot of locals around and there were even more tourists. We kept a firm grip on our bags and gave everyone around us a careful looking-over before they got too close. No sense in getting robbed at the airport after all, and Malaysia is supposed to be dangerous. Johor Bahru certainly seemed dangerous when we went there last November!
[Update: I was informed that the terminal we landed at was KL’s version of a budget terminal. The bigger international terminal is, according to a friend, very very nice.]
The first thing we did after getting off the plane was to rush to the bathrooms, which are along the left wall in the above image. The flight was so short that there was never much of an opportunity to get up, and the coffee and juice we had at Changi’s Budget Terminal were starting to work on us.
After that, we stepped outside and had a smoke before figuring out how to get to our hotel from the airport.