Big M Hotel Kuala Lumpur Masjid Jamek

Big M Hotel, Masjid Jamek: My Favourite Budget Hotel in Kuala Lumpur

I had high hopes for Big M Hotel because of all the good reviews I had read. And as it turns out, Big M really did live up to expectations.

The hotel is a tall, slim thing sandwiched next to McDonalds near Masjid Jamek. From the outside it’s easy to miss, but once inside, the skinniness of the place isn’t really that noticeable.Big M Hotel Kuala Lumpur BedThis is one of those hotels that asks for a RM50 deposit on arrival and the person at the counter couldn’t speak English so was asking the security guard to translate.

The rooms are small, but bigger than any other hotel I’ve been in in Kuala Lumpur at this price. It’s an extremely modern room which is also unusual for Kuala Lumpur at this price. So the combination of price, modernity and size really is fantastic.Big M Hotel Kuala Lumpur BathroomRooms come equipped with small flat screen TVs, but the channels aren’t good. The wifi took me ages to get working on my iPhone, but once it started working, it was fast and didn’t disconnect me once. I clocked it at 20mbps down and 15mbps up.

The room also comes with a safe, truly icy cold air conditioning, a place to hang your clothes, coffee making facilities and a modern bathroom.Big M Hotel Kuala Lumpur InsideThere’s a rooftop area which is great for hanging out in and it has a great view of the nearby Masjid Jamek.

I think this is the best value budget hotel I’ve stayed in in Kuala Lumpur and I think it’s going to be hard to beat at this price. Mainly because other hotels at this price have a much more budget feel to them.

Check the current price on here.

Big M Hotel
38, Jalan Tun Perak, Kuala Lumpur
Standard (w/o window): US$23.50
Superior (w/o window): US$25.50
Superior (w/ window): US$27

How to transfer Sony a6000 / 6300/ 6500 videos to iPad/iPhone

You have an iOS device. And you have a Sony a6000 / 6300 / 6500. And you want to get those damn videos from the camera to your iOS device. But you can’t figure it out. That was me until today.

Up until today I’ve been shooting with the AVCHD codec (.MTS files). This is the standard codec that comes with the a6000 and some other cameras and is used when you don’t have a SDXC memory card. I am able to get these AVCHD videos onto my iPad in two ways.

1) copy the files to my mac and sync over icloud photos to my iphone/ipad

2) a really complicated Chinese SD card reader method that becomes impractical when more than a handful of files. Why? Because each video requires multiple steps to get onto the iOS device. 40 videos takes me about an half an hour. Do not bother with this method

So if you don’t want to use a mac to sync your Sony a6000 / 6300 /6500 videos across to your iPhone/iPad, there is only one solution that works.

First of all, go and buy yourself a 64gb SDXC card. Any card speed will work. I’m using one of the slower and cheaper ones at 45mb/s. This card will allow you to record your videos with the XAVCS codec. THIS IS IMPORTANT. This codec is actually an mp4 file which iOS natively supports. And these Sony cameras only allow XAVCS recording with SDXC cards.

Go and buy yourself a USB3 Camera Reader from Apple. Not the card reader (some report it doesn’t work). The camera reader that accepts a normal USB plug. Try and get the latest model with the lightning power connector so you can charge your device at the same time (some say this is important, but it wasn’t for me).

Now this is how you import those XAVCS videos onto your iOS device.

1) Go into your camera settings and make sure the USB method is set as MTP. On the a6300 & a6500, turn off the setting which allows the camera to draw power from the iPad. Why? Because people have reported that when the camera is drawing power from the iOS device, the iPad will throw up an error message meaning the maximum file size it will import is 6 seconds. (This is not happening to me on my a6000, but it is happening to other people… maybe their setup is slightly different (I’m also using a 2017 10.5” ipad pro)

2) Plug the camera into the USB3 Camera Reader and plug the Camera Reader into your iOS device.

3) At this point, you want your iPad to open an import screen in Photos automatically. If this doesn’t happen, try again.

4) Once the import screen appears, you will see any photos and XAVCS videos you have recorded here. AVCHD (.MTS) files with any bitrate will not appear here. I learnt this first hand.

5) Select the videos you want to import and click the import button.

It’s as simple as that. I am able to import a 2 minute 50mbit XAVCS file from my Sony a6000 to my iPad and iPhone with no problems (I have tried anything longer, but I doubt it will be a problem). It doesn’t cut out after 6 seconds as some people have reported. It doesn’t require me to plug in the USB3 Camera Reader to power.

I don’t know why it works for me and it doesn’t work for others. Is it because I’m using firmware 3.2 on the Sony a6000? Is it because it’s a new card reader? Is it because of iOS11? Is it because I’m using an iPad 10.5 (2017)? I have no idea. But it’s working. And it’s awesome.

Please please please ask me anything.

Ambrogio Patisserie Bandung

Ambrogio Patisserie, Bandung: Nice Coffee, Dodgy Pastry & Great Location

Maybe it was the wrong day to visit or maybe this place is just the most popular place in Bandung, but when I visited on a Sunday it was packed!

Ambrogio Patisserie marks itself firmly as a place that does great cakes and pastries simply by the name. And if you call yourself a patisserie, you have to be awesome.Big Room Ambrogio PatisserieI tried the banoffee croissant and although it’s not a traditional croissant flavour, I still expect the texture of the croissant to match what you’d normally get — chewy, yet slightly crispy pastry that isn’t too flakey. Sadly, my croissant was very breadlike with the wrong kind of chewiness. Not sure if it was fresh or not………..Coffee Juice Pastry AmbrogioThe cappuccino I had was great and I give 2 thumbs up to the baristas. Fantastic milk texture, perfect temperature and damn good tasting.

Susan’s healthy juice was green, tasty and full of fruit and a bit of green veg. I thought it was a little on the sweet side, so I would ask the staff to put the sugar on the side next time.Chicken Cordon Bleu AmbrogioI also ordered the chicken cordon bleu which is basically a piece of chicken rolled in crumbs and filled with a bit of (beef) bacon and cheese. It’s difficult to tell whether this was a frozen cordon bleu or not, but it was tasty nonetheless. I think it was frozen.

The fitout of the cafe is excellent. Large open spaces, classy wooden tables and lots of polished concrete floors. Plenty of tables for working at.Garden Ambrogio PatisserieTalking of work, the wifi was slow when I was there. But I’m going to give them a break here because when I visited, the cafe was full. You can’t expect super fast wifi on a day like this. It was still usable and you could even watch a YouTube video if you needed to despite how crowded it was.

Ambrogio is a cafe of ups and downs. Perhaps its popularity means they have to premake lots of pastries on weekends and that’s why quality suffers. But even despite the crowds, they’ve managed to do a great job of keeping service fast, food levels quite high and customer satisfaction right up there.

I actually quite like this place. Maybe I’ll come back when it’s not so busy and try that croissant again.

Ambrogio Patisserie
Jalan Banda No.26, Bandung
(022) 2051 2779
Instagram: @patisserieambrogio
Open Hours: 10:00 – 22:00
Chicken Cordon Bleu: Rp60.000
Healthy Juice: Rp26.000
Cappuccino: Rp24.000
Banoffee Croissant: Rp18.500
* Add 15.5% to all prices

Next8 Coffee Food Bandung

Next8 Coffee and Food, Bandung: Strong & Cheap Coffee

The first time I visited this place, I actually drove away because I didn’t like the look of it. But I knew at some point I would have to come back and try the coffee and I’m glad I did because it was quite good!

The cafe is an open sided room with a cage on it and that means you can smoke in the main area. There’s a few bits of furniture around the place and a corner used for the selfie crowd.Semi Open Coffee Shop Next8There’s a TV where they play all the big soccer matches and the crowds often come and go as the match starts and finishes.

I tried a cappuccino and it was surprisingly good. A super strong thing with nicely textured milk. It left me jittery from the amount of caffeine in it. A real heart starter.Instagrammable Next8Susan’s red velvet drink was pretty standard. Pink powder with hot milk. It looked good!Cappuccino Red Velvet Next8They also serve a wide variety of food here, but I haven’t had a chance to try it yet.

Wifi here is fast and I could imagine opening a laptop here to get work done. When I tested it, the speed was 15mbps down and up.Cheap Coffee Next8I really like this place as a cheaper coffee hang out place. It’s not as modern & flashy as many of Bandung’s new cafes, but it’s still comfortable with good coffee at a great price. Top marks.

Next Coffee and Food
Jalan Cendana No.8, Bandung
Instagram: @nexteight
Opening Hours: 10:00 – 22:00
Cappuccino: Rp21.000
Red Velvet Drink: Rp23.000

Lula Bakery Coffee Bandung

Lula Bakery & Coffee, Bandung: Disappointing Prices But Reasonable Coffee

Lula Bakery is a small cafe attached to the Glosis restaurant on Jalan Citarum. It seems that Glosis saw all the new coffee shops in Bandung and wanted to get in on the action. And they’ve done a reasonable job of entering the Bandung coffee scene, but they still have some way to go.

I ordered a cappuccino and it cost an eye watering Rp35.000. It’s one of the more expensive coffees in Bandung and to be honest, it was nowhere near the best. Actually, it was quite a decent coffee, but with so much fantastic coffee in Bandung these days, it takes a lot to be in the top ten.Coffee Lula BakerySusan ordered a peppermint tea which was just a Dilmah tea bag and cup of hot water — Rp28.000. Sorry, but that is unacceptable. If you are charging Rp28.000 for tea, it absolutely must be special. Not a Dilmah tea bag.Lula Bakery BandungIt’s a relatively cozy cafe with decent tables and chairs to work at. In fact, the wifi was quite fast when I was there clocking in at 13mbps down and 9mbps up.Inside Lula BakeryThe smoking area out the front is going to appeal to a lot of people, but the real problem is the price of drinks, especially the tea bag and hot water. You can’t expect people to come here and nongkrong when you’re charging so much.Lula Bakery Coffee

Lula Bakery & Coffee
Jalan Citarum No.12, Bandung
(022) 8783 1503
Instagram: @cafelula_id
Opening Hours: 07:00 – 22:30
Cappuccino: Rp35.000
Dilmah Tea: Rp28.000

Boyles Coffee Bandung

Boyle’s Coffee, Bandung: Korean Coffee in Bandung!

Boyle’s Coffee is originally from Korea and specialises in “Dutch Coffee”. It’s mainly drip coffee done in a special way to accentuate the flavour of the coffee. It’s all pretty technical and serious.

But given that I really love coffee, but hate the science behind it all, I opted for a standard cappuccino which I understand more than a technical cold brew. And I must say it was a pleasant cappuccino and worthy of a place on the Bandung coffee scene.Boyles Coffee Bandung CounterSusan had a green tea latte which came in a mammoth tall glass as big as my forearm. It was predictably enjoyable — you really can’t go too wrong with those things.Boyles Coffee DrinksWe also ordered some food and it was pretty good, but nothing I come away raving about. I got the Tortilla Chicken crispy which was basically a fried chicken wrap with lots of vegetables. To be honest, I appreciated all the vegetables. Some people might prefer more chicken. Susan got the spaghetti meatball which was an Indonesian style spaghetti dish. Something I’m not a fan of, but I know many Indonesians enjoy including Susan. (Indonesian-style meatballs and Indonesian style tomato sauce)Food Boyles CoffeeThe interior is a bit weird. I think they’ve gone for the stark, sterile white look, but it usually doesn’t work so well in Indonesia due to wonky painting and dirt on the walls. And it doesn’t really work here. The outside area is actually where more people choose to nongkrong and smoke.Special Room Boyles CoffeeThe wifi here is fast and there are plenty of tables to work from. I clocked 20mbps both down and up and uploaded a 6 minute high definition video in a few minutes.

All in all a decent addition to the Bandung coffee scene and somewhere that will attract more of the middle aged crowd than many other youthful cafes. And that’s not a bad thing.

Boyle’s Coffee
Kompleks Surya Setra Blok C No.2, Bandung
(022) 200 5528
Opening Hours: 08:00 – 22:00
Cappuccino: Rp32.000
Green Tea Blend: Rp40.000
Tortilla Chicken Crispy: Rp50.000
Spaghetti Meatball: Rp48.000
* All prices add 15.5%

Cupola Bandung Luar

Cupola, Bandung: Promising Coffee Shop

Wow, high expectations! I really thought this place was going to be awesome, but it’s not. It’s not awesome because there are a few details which haven’t been attended to. I just hope they can figure out what needs to be fixed and then fix it.

Firstly, the fit out of the cafe is modern, large and quite enjoyable to hang out in. I really thought the tables were good for opening a laptop at and the music was quite decent. But they allow people to smoke inside the air conditioned room. It’s ridiculous and perhaps one of the only places in Bandung where this happens these days. If you’re a smoker, this is great. If not, it sucks. Note: e-cigarettes are not allowed.Cupola Bandung InsideI ordered a cappuccino and Susan ordered a peppermint tea. My coffee was nice, but a little weak for my tastes. We also ordered a brownie and some cheese fries. The brownie was awful. I’m not sure if it was stale or not… but it was the same texture as a biscuit meaning it was extremely crunchy. It wasn’t good.Cupola Bandung CoffeeThe wifi here clocked in at 3mbps down and 1mbps up which is workable.

Prices of all items here are really quite low for Bandung standards.Cupola Bandung Inside FrontI really had high expectations for this place and I’ve got to say, it really could be much better with a few tweaks here and there. But right now, the cafe needs to step up in order to get it running in accordance with their vision.Cupola Bandung CounterStop smoking inside, make sure cakes are not stale (or good quality), amp up the coffee strength.

Jalan Cendana No.3, Bandung
(022) 720 6090
Opening Hours: Tues-Sat 12:00 – 23:00, Sun & Mon 12:00 – 21:00
Cappuccino: Rp20.000
Peppermint Tea: Rp15.000
Cheese Fries: Rp18.000
Brownie: Rp15.000

Kopi Barli Bandung Outside

Kopi Barli, Bandung: Cool Hangout Place near Setrasari

Kopi Barli is an odd place that is sort of out of place in this area of town. But it’s got a lot of character and I think it deserves a little more attention than it gets.

Kopi Barli isn’t the hyped hipster places that seemingly pop up weekly in Bandung. It’s more of an art space catering to the average Indonesia who likes to smoke, drink coffee, play pool and nongkrong in the garden. And for those purposes it’s fantastic.Kopi Barli Bandung InsideI ordered a cappuccino and it was quite good. Not like some of the best in Bandung, but not far off to be honest. They know how to make good coffee. End of story. Susan had hot honey lemon and it was perfect for her given that she had a bad cold at the time. A simple drink done well.Kopi Barli Bandung CoffeeThe fitout of the place is interesting. There are pieces of art all around the place which give the cafe a pleasant feel. But it’s not ultra modern, and that makes you feel at home. Especially when you look at the garden area. It really does feel like a loungeroom albeit an outdoor one.Kopi Barli Bandung CounterThe cafe is quite breezy meaning there is no need for air conditioning. There’s a pool table which was getting plenty of use when I was there.

If you just want to hang out, there’s quite a few comfy lounges. But for those wanting to open a laptop, there are a lot of tables as well. And speaking of work, the wifi is quite fast clocking in at 10mbps up and down when I tested it out.Kopi Barli Bandung Inside ArtAll in all, Kopi Barli is an enjoyable place to visit and hang out in. If you’re up around the setrasari area, drop in and check it out.

Kopi Barli
Jalan Professor Doktor Sutami No. 91, Bandung
(022) 2027 7315
Instagram: @kopi.barli
Opening Hours: 07:00 – 22:00 (until 23:00 on Fri & Sat)
Cappuccino: Rp30.000
Hot Honey Lemon: Rp20.000

Roempi Bandung Outside

Roempi, Bandung: Cheap but Good Coffee

Roempi is not as hipster as many of the new coffee shops in Bandung, but it’s also much much cheaper with a cappuccino being just Rp16.000! Bargain!

The inside of Roempi is a cross between typical hipster coffee shop and Warunk Upnormal nongkrong spot. And it works really well. Lots of places to open your laptop, lots of places to sit and chat with friends and lots of places to just drink coffee and eat food.Roempi Bandung SeatingAnd food here is mainly Indonesian food. The nasi goreng kunyit I had was really good and I can imagine their other Indonesian food to be good too. The menu is extensive and you can also find ice dishes like the ones you might find in Korea — I’ll be trying one of these next time.

The coffee was really good. Just strong enough for me, but not too strong to give you the jitters. To be honest, it was right up there with the good Bandung coffees. Top marks.Roempi Bandung CoffeeThe wifi here is quite poor with 3mbps down and 0.5mbps up when I tried it. That means you won’t be doing any video streaming or youtube uploads. But simple web browsing and instagram was OK.Roempi Bandung InsideI’m really impressed with this place. It’s a cheaper place that gives people what they want. Good coffee, good indo food, good nongkrong environment. Highly recommended.

Jalan Anggrek No.27, Bandung
(022) 720 8078
Instagram: @roempi_bdg
Opening Hours: 10:00 – 23:00 (Fri & Sat until midnight)
Cappuccino: Rp16.000
Green Healthy Juice: Rp20.000
Nasi Goreng Cikur: Rp17.000
* All prices add 15.5%

Grind Joe Coffee Machine

Grind Joe, Bandung: One of My Favourite Coffees in Bandung

I love to judge a book by it’s cover. What this means is that I’m sometimes totally wrong when I see a place from the outside and try and guess what their coffee is like. In the case of Grind Joe, I was so far off the mark it’s a bit embarrassing. Grind Joe is surprisingly awesome and I want the word to get out.

From the outside, Grind Joe looks like it’s in the lobby of an office block on the corner of the super-busy Jalan Dago. WRONG! It’s actually attached to the lobby of the Moxy Hotel, Marriott’s first Moxy hotel in the whole of Asia! Say what?!Grind Joe Bandung InsideMoxy is a super trendy young person hotel and of course they need a fantastic coffee shop to go along with it. And they have absolutely succeeded with this coffee shop as it’s one of the better ones in Bandung and the coffee is one of the best.

The interior is basic with laminated benches for seats, lots of glass and lots of open space. It’s actually quite a fresh look and not too bad for working in. I guess the main problem is that if you stay here too long, you’ll get a sore arse because the seats are quite firm, even when you manage to get one with padding.Grind Joe Bandung Inside StylishThe coffee here is amazing and one of my favourites in Bandung. They’re using a Brazil, Ethiopia Toraja blend as their house blend and I really love it. The cappuccino is quite large, but it’s also served with a double ristretto so it’s quite strong. Awesome!

The cups their using here are like no other in Bandung and I really appreciate the uniqueness of the cups. They feel good in your hands and look great too.Grind Joe Bandung CoffeeWe ordered food from the restaurant next door and it was really nice. The nasi goreng was really expensive at Rp54.450, but you know what? It was one of the better nasi gorengs at a cafe in Bandung. Pretty close in price to the one at Ruckerpark… so it’s expensive, but good.

The wifi here clocked in at 10mbps both up and down when I first arrived. But after that, it shit itself and was on and off for the next 2 or 3 hours. They need to fix this. Now.Grind Joe Pizza Nasi GorengI love this cafe. The wifi was crap, but everything else was great. Fix the wifi and we have a contender for best coffee shop in Bandung.

Grind Joe
Jalan Dago No.69, Bandung
(022) 2052 7475
Instagram: @thegrindjoe
Opening Hours: 07:00 – 21:00
Cappuccino: Rp28.000
Banana Mocha: Rp50.000
Nasi Goreng Bandung: Rp54.500
Manis Legit Prata: Rp32.670