Airport
Kuala Lumpur International Airport

Arrived at Kuala Lumpur Feb 27, 2012 2:06pm in a gloomy weather. First thing I noticed–progressive airport! It was so huge-progressive that I felt like I walked the entire mall just to get to my baggage! We had to ride a train for the immigration and the baggage conveyor point.

It felt like Southeast Asia, alas! The people, I mean!

By the way, this is my first solo travel out of the country (as in TOUR travel with no one to get me if I get mugged somewhere). There was always someone to meet in town the previous trips. Because it was so, I had to thoroughly plan my entire stay, transportation most importantly, geographically-challenged that I am.

 

How to get from (KLIA) airport to (KL) city

KLIA-KL
Train:
RM35. KLIA Ekspres. KLIA- KL Sentral 28mins. 5am-12mn. Q15 5am-9am, 4pm-10pm. Q20 others

BUS:
RM10 1way. Airport coach. Hourly. KL Sentral-KLIA. 5am-10:30 fr Sentral; 6:30am-12:30am fr KLIA. Once you arrive at KLIA, please proceed to the KLIA bus station situated at Ground Floor Block C annex to main terminal building which is just 3 minutes walking distance from arrival hall exit.Please get your ticket at AIRPORT COACH counter no 3. The bus will depart to KL SENTRAL from platform 1 KLIA bus station.

Taxi:
KLIA-KL. fixed RM 74.80. AIrport limo budget taxi-buy coupon from airport limo counters just before you exit the international arrivals gate

KL-KLIA
RM64.40. Airport limo budget taxi. 1300 88 8989 (24hrs)
+60 3 8787 3030 (12mn-8am)
RM80-100 airport surcharge of RM12 + toll fees incl.red & white metered taxi

Transfers Low Cost Carrier Terminal. KL-LCCT
RM7.20-Air Asia. RM9 1 way. Sky Bus. Every half hour.

RM8. Aerobus. Every half hour

RM2.50 per trip to LCCT fr main KLIA. 20km away
At Main Terminal Bldg- shuttle on ground flr of car park C bldg

 

Malaysia is yes, truly Asia but right-hand drive.

First impression: Promising.

Major booboo: The major con, which is also a pro, with traveling a new place is not knowing the way. With a luggage dragging me like a turtle, I followed a wrongful gut and went up the escalator after the bus drop off only to go down by the stairs, AGAIN. The right way did not seem right at first glance. Forgive me!

The Batcave
Pods, the Backpackers’ Home

View outside from the hostel

The airport bus terminal was a short-distance walk to the hostel only if I didnt have a heavy luggage to tow. There were obvious danger scenes outside but nothing new for a person from the Philippines–it was a budget travel and I’m not complaining.

I met Krishna, a young Filipino settled in Malaysia, and chitchatted while I pay the bills. It was a good encounter so much so that I got some insider tips like where best to go for money exchange.

I had my first lunner (that’s lunch and dinner, yes. I made that up, too. : p) meal in KL at Old Town Coffeehouse– not the best Foursquare reviews but the nearest for the tired and hungry stomach. Tried chicken (always the safer, healthier choice) in ginger and black currant smoothie, which was interesting.

I capped off the day with a short walk before the night fall, a little local immersion to say the least.

Platform 2 3/4. Where arts and cultural events like poetry-reading and jamming are held by the locals

Love letters from previous satisfied backpackers
Hand-painted design to fall in love with

What to See in Malaysia

Central Market

Checked out the must-not-miss Central Market. It was a ragbag of all things to buy

 

One of the joys of traveling solo is the openness to meet strangers. I had that quick rapport with a German exchange student and had the pleasure to tour KL with her.
En route were conversations spanning from our basic info to Anncathrine‘s major annoyances staying in Thailand. A few she disliked were how they were taken advantage as Europeans and the one-way method of instruction in the university, that is, the teacher speaks, the students listen. Travel is a great learning experience indeed.
As she shares her itinerary, I can’t help but admire her bravery to tour alone and consequently arrange flights and travel documents herself, at 18 years old. Maybe it helps that her country of allegiance has less restrictions when it comes to traveling. Not even a 20-somehing yet, she’s a life go-getter. Very confident. I love to meet such driven people from all over. Pulls you out of the comfort of settling.

 

Distinguishable Islamic design. Jamek Mosque

 

Bahrain-y in KL. Funny how gradual the transition was from Bahrain to Malaysia as I make my way to the Philippines.

 

Entrance to the Central Market (Pasar Seni)
I don’t know how they plan to sell all these without any order

 

Local artist at-work!

 

National Palace (Istana Negara)

Istana Negara is the official residence of His Majesty, the Yang-di-Pertuan Agong, or supreme King of Malaysia. The palace is located on Bukit Petaling overlooking the Klang River and used to be a mansion owned by local Chinese millionaire Chan Wing. He built it in 1928 as a residence for himself and his family away from the busy city area of Kuala Lumpur (source).

The king’s golden palace located in a mountain top!

 

Zooming in to their leaders’ palace

 

Hop-on Hop-off KL tour bus. RM38 (~PhP512) 8:30AM-8:30PM daily.

 

City hop-on Hop-off tour bus has always been a life and time (and money) saver for me the same way as it has been in Paris. Allows you to tackle each tourist spot, hopping off only where interest piques. Isn’t that a genius idea?

Oh, Malaysia is no exemption from metro traffic!

 

Look at those distinct architecture!
Trying out Malaysian train. Happy to report that they have functional effective trains, that coming from my level of geographic literacy!

 

EVERYTHING PETRONAS

Petronas Twin Tower is the second tallest skyscraper in the world, next to Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

There’s something about world records that make people flock in to probably tick off world record items from their bucket lists. Or probably being able to experience the least and the most somehow gives people a gauge of others of its kind and relieves them of the need to see everything. What do you think?

The line is unbelievable. "Malaysia, truly Asia" tag line must be really working to bring in all these tourists.

The line is unbelievable. “Malaysia, truly Asia” tag line must be really working to bring in all these tourists.

And look how many more are behind me!

And look how many more are behind me!

I was told to come early so I can avail of the limited number of tickets which run out as early as before 8am. So I heeded.
But hello Malaysia tourism! You’ve got to be doing something we’re not to lure all these citizens of the world!
View from the skybridge

View from the skybridge

Petronas

Kuala Lumpur from the second highest tower in the world!

Kuala Lumpur from the second highest tower in the world!

Aerial traffic view from the sky bridge of the second highest tower in the world!

Aerial traffic view from the sky bridge of the second highest tower in the world!

Sky bridge connecting the two towers

Sky bridge connecting the two towers

The bridge is not attached to the main structure of the towers but instead is designed to slide in and out. It sways according to the direction of the wind thus preventing breakage. It also serves as an escape route in case of emergency, so the other tower may serve as a safe place. The Argentine architect and two Filipino brains (what a delight to discover this!) in the persons of Filipino-Malaysian Engineer Deejay Cerico and Filipino Designer Dominic "Minick" Saibo must be oh so proud of their twin babies!

The bridge is not attached to the main structure of the towers but instead is designed to slide in and out. It sways according to the direction of the wind thus preventing breakage. It also serves as an escape route in case of emergency, so the other tower may serve as a safe place.

The Argentine architect and two Filipino brains (what a delight to discover this!) in the persons of Filipino-Malaysian Engineer Deejay Cerico and Filipino Designer Dominic “Minick” Saibo must be oh so proud of their twin babies!

Petronas from the far away highway, dominating the Malaysian sky!

Petronas from the far away highway, dominating the Malaysian sky!

The twin king of the Kuala Lumpur sky line

The twin king of the Kuala Lumpur sky line

Greenery at the back of the very urban Petronas. Great! Nature meets technology!

Greenery at the back of the very urban Petronas. Great! Nature meets technology!

While waiting to be accommodated, guests are treated with a Petronas architecture history, project grandeur, and high-technology

While waiting to be accommodated, guests are treated with a Petronas architecture history, project grandeur, and high-technology

They spend on their waiting sheds/taxi stands for some very visual public science education

They spend on their waiting sheds/taxi stands for some very visual public science education

A taste of a segment of Malaysian fashion

A taste of a segment of Malaysian fashion

Other moments that went down in KL
<>I had a conversation with David, the cab driver while waiting for the Hop-on Hop-off bus, where I incidentally also met Anncathrine who’s waiting for the same. A little business chitchat and he asked where I’m from. “Guess.” He answered right. He explained that it was because of how I speak English, distinguishable from other Malay-looking species. That’s something to uplift the envy-for-KL’s-vibrant-tourism spirit, I guess?

<>I had an early morning flight which demanded that I leave the hostel as early as 4am. It was dark, I was a bit worried. It’s too near to take a cab– 15-minute brisk walk from pods to bus station. A really helpful, securing receptionist of Pods walked me to the bus, Emre the Turkish backpacker blogger.

Emre, the Turkish backpacker blogger. His Story

He works as a receptionist at Pods for the mean time that he’s in Malaysia. Apparently, hardcore travel bloggers/ backpackers momentarily work where they are to earn money for their next destination. Win-win– free lodging, income generated. He works on creating content for his blog while in transit. We even had the website-developing talk one breakfast.

I had a bit of his mind on why he does what he does, saying in broken English, “so much out there. People traveling. Partners. Mother-daughters. Friends. Solo.” The guy should have the same zest for traveling. I didn’t have much idea how people from his side of the world think.

I got oriented as we walk on Turkey, their history, the Uris descent, and a bit about all their neighboring -stan-ending countries.

I found out through his blog that he is a mechanical engineer, had a masters degree, served their army, left the job he loved, and traveled to infinity. Who knows which border he’s crossing as of writing.

How awesome to finally meet a real life backpacker blogger (http://www.broadroadabroad.com).

Random observant traveler’s thoughts

<>There are just people who may have been wrongly “raced”. They seem to be whole-heartedly Asian in lifestyle.

<>Is it lame that I found it funny that they have a gas station called PETRONas? : p

 

<>I think the Philippines’ tourism time is near. The world has been coming to Thailand by its aggressive campaign all over the world but seems to be under-delivering the promises, as per testimonies. People getting disappointed will soon come to the under-promising Philippines and actually find more value for their money. We should travel more, then, as a nation because every travel is an opportunity to market the Philippines to the world, don’t you think?
An end thought
Traveling really floats my boat. It’s a life therapy. It is energizing to see co-travelers’ energies and how they seem so alive exploring places, out of their comfort zones. The very time I feel most lucky, blessed  is on travel. I get transported literally and figuratively!

Da Nang, you’re next!