It took me a while to get back at my feet and my hands on this site…Got a bit under the weather for the past days, so here it is guys…This is just an intro nutshell of a recent pill to a wanderlust ^_^
Year 2008 — My mom and I got our very first out of the country trip, in the most unexpected way I thought of, winning an all-expense trip to an Asian city via a tv network. Six years later, I headed back to that place where my wanderlust out of Pinas adventure started. This time though, I ended up going on my own.
It took 3 years for me to keep saying to myself that I will plan to come back, but unfortunately, I (and surely along with the rest of the world) have the habit of procrastination combined with unforeseen circumstances in my life. Thanks to a piso-fare booked a year ago, some saving up, little research and the confidence to face unexpected possibilities, I headed to Malaysia last August during the Merdeka holidays. Just for quick info, Malaysia celebrates their Merdeka or Independence day during the last day of August and usually, the folks in Malaysia take this time to have some break from work and school. As for me, it was my time to get a break from close to a year stressing project and just explore.
As many might know already, the trip from Manila to Malaysia is just a 3 1/2 hour flight. Believe me, if you’ve got that wanderlust, the love for airports and setting foot on a different place gives a surreal exciting feeling (I even get goosies when I hear this “in minutes we will be landing at…”). So that 3 1/2 hrs is like…decades to me? Anyway going back, most flights are either Manila to Kuala Lumpur (mainland) or Manila to Kota Kinabalu (in the East Malaysia — Sabah area). Since I flew via low cost carrier, Cebu Pacific, I landed at Malaysia’s newly built KLIA 2 (known before as the LCCT, Low Cost Carrier Terminal). For the very loyal folks of NAIA #sorrynotsorry, but KLIA 2 exceeded my expectations of being the terminal for low cost carriers (shall share more related to these in my next posts).
Going back again (hehe ^_^), I rode the KLIA expres (a 30-minute train ride) to get to the city proper of Kuala Lumpur, the KL Sentral station. On my first night there, I was fetched by my long time online now real friend (hehe…cause she’s not just virtual now), Mia, at the KL sentral station to head to the place where I stayed, Cube Boutique Hostel. I arrived around early night time so I was just able to spend my first eve there eating dinner and unpacking stuff in the hostel.
The next day was a road trip out of KL to the Historic State of Malaysia, Melaka. It was a 2 hour road trip, but definitely worth waking up sooo early, with some sickness mode starting to seep in. Yes, announcement, I got sick again in the middle of my trip. Anyway, going back, there are bus trips from KL to Melaka and back. Just so happened my friend took me via her transport, which became a blessing in disguise for my end though. And of course, a short trip to Melaka won’t be complete without walks and eats.
Of course, a Kuala Lumpur trip won’t be complete without getting those feet roam around within the city. I did some revisits to places I stopped by 6 years ago such as Dataran Merdeka (Merdeka Square) and the National Mosque, after our whole day roundabout in Melaka. However, it was slightly congested in this area when we visited as some streets around the said spots were closed due to their Merdeka holidays.
One of the iconic places in KL is the highest twin towers in the world — the Petronas Twin Towers. Completed in 1996 but officially opened in 1999, it consists of 88 floors on each tower connected with a skybridge on the 41st floor. However, it ain’t an easy task to get up in this awesome structure. Well, for one, you have to reserve online and pay 80RM to experience of seeing KL from the Skybridge and the peak part (86th floor). I would suggest that if you really plan to head there, book online in advance — less hassle in falling in line and minimizing the frustrations of not getting the chance to get in the Twin Towers. This structure is easily accessible via KLCC station (Kelana Jaya LRT line). Once you get off the train, you would be able to see the KL Twin Towers affixed with a mall on the first six floors called Suria KLCC (Kuala Lumpur Convention Center) while KLCC itself is in the first few floors. It may not be for adventure seekers, but it would be worth somehow of your 1 hour to pay a visit — being way up in the air minus the exertion of muscles and good for folks with fear of heights (like someone I so know…haha *wink*).
Apart from roaming around, a visit to Malaysia wouldn’t be complete without two major activities (hypocrisy aside…haha) — eating and shopping. Traveling alone and having local friends of that country are really a good mix especially if you are on the semi-adventurous type when it comes to eating.
And who would ever miss out on shopping a thing or two? Bargain stuff or luxurious ones ain’t a challenge in Malaysia, especially in KL, cause you will always find shopping malls or market stalls to buy something to bring home. I was lucky enough to stay in the busy area of Bukit Bintang where malls and hotels / hostels are just a few walks away.
Malaysia may seem to be like our home or of the rest of Asia, but to me, I was opened to a different vibe. Their country’s uniqueness and union of mixed cultures energized me amidst my illness on that trip. I must say, 6 years ago, we were welcomed and blessed. 6 years later, I’m still blessed and welcomed, with no regrets of going back to this place…And no regrets of going back again soon…
Allow me to share a few more experiences from this trip in the next posts…This is just chapter one ^_^
ps. The interest of traveling never ceases to amaze me of how life is good, God is good, and what I can and should do in this life…More thoughts and tinkers ahead…Cheers and xoxo, Calai ^_^