I'd complain about the seat not going fully flat, but the truth is that this is the first time I've paid for a business seat and both the food and the trolley dolly are superb. The Entertainment, OTOH, is poor and I'm stuck listening to my own Radio 4 rips.

The first order of business in KL airport is to invest in a bottle of whisky. I narrow it down to a pair, and finally go for a 10 year old Ardbeg over a Caol Ila. The formalities at KLIA are straightforward and I'm soon out in the sweltering heat (yes, this is me saying that), waiting for a bus to my hotel. It's about five minutes away, and once I get there I flake.

Ian arrives mid afternoon, another victim of Jeddah's inability to send a plane off on time, and we head off in search of monkeys.

Our tour at least arrives on time, and whisks us off on a 1½ hour drive into the Malaysian countryside towards monkey central. We're kindly provided with beans, which have the handy effect of making the monkeys climb all over us in an attempt to reach them.

As sunset approaches, we end up at a Chinese restaurant, dining on freshly caught and dismembered sea creatures.

The main event is the fireflies cruise, and it's spectacular. We're ferried out in a sampan, and steered up and down the river as the fireflies pulse in unison from the riverside mangroves.

On the way back, we're treated to a free durian, the "King of Fruits". Possibly in the same way as Budweiser is King of Beers - it too tastes mostly of putrifaction.

Posted Wed Apr 6 00:00:00 2011 Tags: Malaysia

I leave for the airport mid-afternoon after flinging my new gear in my new bag.

Last night I went to the Mares dealer and splurged. I'm now the proud new owner of a Mares Metal Proton 42 along with Mares octopus and triple console, plus a rather nice bag to put them in.

Jeddah airport is even more ghastly than usual. One of the check-in baggage belts appears to have broken down and there's luggage and containers of zam-zam water littering the entire check-in area. The queue for check-in isn't going anywhere. It's unclear whether that's baggage-related or due to the fact they changed the plane from a 747 to a 777 and it's now full.

Being business class gets me served and my bag is soon on the floor on its way to who knows where.

The Jeddah First Class Lounge is rubbish.

As usual, the flight information boards simply show you the schedule, and fail to reflect what's happening on the ground. There's still no-one going through the gate as it ticks over to Final Call. It's 1 ¾ hours late when it leaves.

Posted Tue Apr 5 00:00:00 2011 Tags: Malaysia