Oh yes! It is fun to get lost and wander around the streets under the heat of the sun (and haze) with a map in your hand and a lot of print outs from different websites and scribbles from a local friend as your guide in your DIY tour. No sarcasm! I daresay this trip made my patience extend to its most possible limit and proved that I can really now do a solo trip afterwards.
Malaysia is a country full of surprises – from it’s diverse culture, variety of food choices, shopping districts, heritage streets, and a lot more adventures you still need to unravel. Yes, I have been to Johor Bahru a couple of times with my housemates (and we just go there to shop) but, Kuala Lumpur and Penang offered a different experience because of its historical and cultural aspects. Actually, as my friend always says to me, if you intend to go to Kuala Lumpur, you intend to shop (till you drop!) ’cause there isn’t a lot to do there. But, hey, I really enjoyed KL as much I enjoyed Penang. Okay, so let me tell you our mini adventure back in Oct 22-25. This might be long so be prepared, but I will separate the blog posts for KL and Penang 🙂
Our initial plan was to spend only one day in KL and 2 days in Penang. It was a very short vacation, however, Ian’s flight was cancelled by AirAsia due to technical problems so we have no choice but to move our trip one day before of our scheduled flights. After re-booking the flights, I spend the rest of the days planning and researching about our destinations. So let me tell you what happened on our two days in Kuala Lumpur 🙂
Ian and I met in KLIA 2, since we just bought our fare tickets from Air Asia. So basically, there are 2 main airports in KL. The KLIA caters the more expensive carriers and the KLIA2 for the budget airlines. We rode the KLIA Ekspres to KL Sentral and from there we transferred to LRT monorail in order to get to KLCC where we had a scheduled tour for the Petronas Tower.
Actually, there are three ways to go to KL sentral from KLIA1 & 2. Option #1: You can ride a bus, which is the cheapest transportation mode from airport to city. However, the biggest problem is the traffic jam so it may take you more than an hour to reach. If you are not in a hurry, unlike us, you can opt to ride a bus. Option #2: ride a taxi, it may be expensive, can cost you around 100RM but, if you have a lot of luggage, a taxi ride may be convenient to you, especially if you are not also in a hurry. Option #3 and the best option for me, is the train ride. There are two classes of train from airport, the KLIA Ekspres as I mentioned above was the one we chose. It is very convenient, fast and has free wifi. It has only one stop from KLIA 2, which is the KLIA1. From there, the ride is as fast as 30 minutes (yes, we timed it, though not very accurately :D). Voila! you’re already in KL Sentral. The other train, which is also in the same station, has 5 stops compared to KLIA ekspres. They say it’s more expensive to ride the Ekspres, but as I assess, the prices were comparable and almost the same. For more info you can check it on their website to be sure. (more about KLIA Ekspres)
If you are my friend in Facebook, you knew already what mishap we had because of that online booking for the Petronas tower tour. And, the funny part was it’s my fault! Apparently, I am too excited in booking online the Petronas Tower tour that I forgot to consider Ian’s arrival in KL and the train ride. The tickets for Petronas Tower viewing costs 84.80RM for one adult. So we were really in a hurry to get to KLCC and see what our fate might be. I booked 6pm and Ian’s flight was, of course, delayed for about 30mins. My hope was already gone and there’s no way we can reach KLCC before 6pm (’cause you need to claim the tickets ~20-30mins before the scheduled tour. As I was informed when we reached the concierge, my name was called thrice and I am the only one who did not show up for the scheduled online booking (how embarassing!). Anyway, I already gotten over that and as we requested if we can still go up, the receptionist asked us to wait if there were still slots and if we still need to buy new tickets. We’re about to give up and just buy new tickets, but a miracle happened! They gave us the tickets for free with no additional charges, and yes, we managed to go up even if we were the last ones to go up for that day. The two towers are really magnificent and amazing to see, both the inside and outside of the building 🙂 I was very happy that night as we go to the sky bridge, and the viewing decks of the 83rd and 86th floors. They have a lot of exhibits showcasing Malaysia, and it’s role in the development as it’s capital of the country.
We went up around 8:15pm, it was also the last scheduled tour for the day. The lift brought us first to the sky bridge wherein it connects the two towers. The view of the whole city was fantastic, though the haze made it a little bit blurry, the night was still amazing. And then we proceeded to the viewing decks on the higher floors.
The tour lasted for about 45mins, then we went down and took some more pictures outside the building. After that, we went to Furama hotel that I booked via Agoda which we stayed for 2 nights. The hotel was actually suggested by my Malaysian friend, because the location is very ideal, it is very near to Bukit Bintang (where the district shopping malls are located), it is walking distance to 2 stations, the Imba and Hang Tuah stations. The train interchanges in KL is a bit confusing at first but, you’ll realize it is easy to follow after sometime. Good thing I am already experienced in Manila for this kind of situations 😀 For more information about the different train interchanges, visit MYRapid’s official site: http://www.myrapid.com.my.
Our room was upgraded from duplex to suite, thanks to Agoda, giving me a discount during the check-out (perks of being an Agoda member!). Our hotel has a nice swimming pool area, fitness gym, and an international dining area in which our breakfast was included also for the whole stay.
Actually, my whole itinerary for this trip was a bit patchy. For some reasons, I just made sure I know the point of interests, best places to go, and oh, the transportation :). And, so we decided to go to Batu Caves via KTM Komuter. My friend suggested that I should go to Genting Highlands, but for some reasons I did not pursue. First, the haze that day was very bad, though the place has a very cool weather and is similar to Tagaytay. Second, the outdoor amusement park over there is still under renovation until 2016, and we don’t have anything to do there unless we go to the casino. So, we just opt to go to Batu Caves. They said you cannot see anything up there and you will just climb up for so long to the cave. But, in my experience, I was amazed about everything. From the monkeys along the long staircase to the cave entrance itself, the view from above was refreshing and indeed, beautiful!
At last, we reached the top! The view is amazing 🙂 I don’t care how high it is, just seeing this makes my tiredness go away.
We just spent 1-2 hours at Batu Caves and then we went to Petaling Street, Central Markent (Pasar Seni), and Chinatown for some bargain and souvenir shopping. We rode again the KTM Komuter to Kuala Lumpur Station and strolled the streets to Chinatown.
After buying some souvenirs, we decided to go to Bukit Bintang. We rode RapidKL bus in Pasar Seni Station, and the good news was, it’s for free! Yes, they have this free shuttle bus that goes around from Pasar Seni to Bukit Bintang. On our way we saw the KL tower and after a few minutes we arrived at Bukit Bintang. Pavillion, Times Square (which is really near our hotel), Sungai Wang, Lot-10 and Fahrenheit are some of the popular and large shopping malls situated here. If you really want to go shopping, I bet this place is the best for you.
And that ends our KL trip! You may be wondering why we did not went to Merdeka Square, KL Tower, and Masjid Jamek (which are included, btw, in the top list of all places you need to go if you’re in KL)… is because I forgot! huhu. After strolling in Chinatown, we were so exhausted that we just decided to go to Bukit Bintang to cool off, since it was a very hot day. And then we just walked from Bukit Bintang to our hotel, so we were really tired. Actually, it was included in my original itinerary but, in the end, we forgot to go there. We always saw the back of Masjid Jamek since it was one of the train interchange from Ampang line to Kelana Jaya line. Anyway, maybe I will just go to those places on my next visit to KL :). The third day of our trip was our flight to Penang, Malaysia. We went back to KLIA 2 airport via KLIA Ekspres again. If you want to read my blog about Penang, read my next write-up! 🙂