Backpacking MY and SG: Day 1 Kuala Lumpur/Petronas Towers

July 27, 2012

Group shot at the Petronas Towers.

Group shot at the Petronas Towers.

The first time you set foot in another land, it will change you forever. This generally summed up what happened to me the first time I visited a foreign country. Little did I know that I will be bitten by the travel bug that early and that much.

I know I started late when it comes to traveling internationally. But I am so proud that I worked hard for my own pocket money. My first travel was with my college friends and all of us were first timers. I could not explain how much freedom, responsibility and maturity I felt taking care of myself away from everything familiar to me.

Excited first timers.

Excited first timers.

My first international trip was bound for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Thanks to Airasia’s seatsale, we were able to get very cheap tickets for this flight. We booked the tickets almost a year before the trip and I must say, we used the whole waiting year to prepare, to get equipped and to research about foreign travel. It wasn’t an easy task but I enjoy every single day that I am googling and browsing the net for the best travel blogs.

At DMIA

At DMIA

The OC in me.

The OC in me.

We stayed at Jella’s house the night before our trip since her Dad volunteered to bring us to the airport. I was glad we did that because her Dad had a lot of travel advice for us. Some things we actually forgot to research –  the Embassy’s number and bandaids. Haha!

DMIA is about 2 hours away from Manila if you travel in the morning. We arrived very early so we had time to check in without queues and to exchange our currencies to MYR and SGD. Since we were first timers, we did not know that we had to sign the immigration card before our passports will get stamp. Haha! At least the officer in-charge was very nice to us.

After a couple of hours of waiting and getting excited, our flight took off. It was a 3 hour flight of boredom, excitement and anxiousness in one. Finally, our flight arrived in a very hot Malaysia. I was hotter than summer in the Philippines.

It was a long walk from the plane to the immigration counter of LCCT (Low Cost Carrier Terminal). Before even reaching the immigration, all Filipinos were called by one officer. We were terrified at first but we later found out that they were just checking for OFWs. I think they had to undergo a different process in the immigration. Anyway, our passports got stamped fast and we headed to the arrivals section of the airport.

There were many passengers that day. I think a lot of people were taking domestic and cheaper flights in that airport. Before leaving the airport, we looked for the skybus counter to buy bus tickets going to Kuala Lumpur for RM9. Then after exiting the airport, we turned left and walked for a short while before we reached the bus terminal.

I did not notice at first that the driver seat of vehicles in Malaysia is on the right side. I only found out when I was looking at the cars along the way and the left side was vacant. I almost panicked that the driver was missing. Major bobo moment.

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At LCCT Terminal

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Skybus going to Kuala Lumpur

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Colorful KL Center

After about an hour, we reached the KL Sentral. It was quite a busy and colorful city center. The main train hub is located in this area. We had a hard time looking for the Monorail going to Bukit Bintang (which we later found that is a couple of minutes away from the train hub). Tired and desperate, we hailed a cab to our hotel. We were reluctant at first to take a cab because the price rate the drivers were offering was way too high. I guess it’s almost the same everywhere when they know you are a tourist and can pay for a higher rate. Most of the drivers told us that the traffic was bad that day due to the Ramadan. Anyway, we were really dying to get to our guesthouse so we said yes.

Ruby and I booked the Anjung KL Guesthouse which is located at Bukit Bintang. It is a very strategic location because it is near the monorail, a lot of shops and the next street is Jalan Alor – the food street in Kuala Lumpur. When we arrived at the guesthouse, we presented our passports and Roy, the Indonesian guy in-charge at the reception area that day, photocopied our passports for documentation. Then we were informed that we were not allowed to use shoes inside the house. I think this is the common custom for a lot of Southeast Asian countries like Philippines and Singapore.

Roy accompanied us to our room on the 3rd floor. The guesthouse was small but it felt very homey. We also had to share a bathroom with everyone else and I had no qualms about it because it meant a new experience for me. We took our time to rest, to update our families that we arrived safely in Malaysia and to freshen up. It was 7PM when we decided to go out and have dinner at Jalan Alor.

Jalan Alor is a popular food street in Kuala Lumpur. You can find different dishes from nearby SEA countries and even some Chinese delicacies. There were already many tourists when we arrived. Luckily, we found a nice spot just in the middle of the street. It felt like eating in a carinderia in the Philippines. It was authentic and exciting. While waiting for our orders to be served, we took photos. Then when we checked our watches, it was almost 8PM and it was still bright outside. We discovered that since Malaysia and Singapore are both near the equator, the sun shines and sets later than the Philippines – almost 3 hours later. Talk about body clock changes, choz!

We ended up ordering nasi goreng, spicy squid, satay and iced tea. They were very tasty. We were so full by the time the sun was down.

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Eat Street. Jalan Alor.

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Yummy Rice.

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Satay!

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Spicy Squid.

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First Meal in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Since we wanted to burn all the calories and food that we ate, we decided to walk from Jalan Alor to the Pavilion Mall. It was a short walk and we enjoyed being with tourists and locals alike. We passed by a lot of malls with very distinct architectural designs. I really liked the Sephora store. After taking photos at the mall’s fountain, we walked towards the long bridge connecting the mall and KLCC Suria Mall.

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At the Pavillion Mall.

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Amazing Architectural Design for Sephora.

We thought that the walk would be short, like what Roy told us. But we ended up walking farther and longer than we expected. At least there was airconditioning and the bridge was actually very nice. We reached the lower ground floor of KLCC Suria Mall. While walking, we saw a lot of stores and restaurants. We also passed by Candylicious – a huge candy store with gigantic lollipop decorations. Ahhhh! I wanted to buy them all.

We also saw a Gelato store that made us drool with all its flavors. We gave in and ordered 4 different flavors. They were very creamy and nice for KL’s weather.

We walked towards the Ground floor then went out. That’s when we found out that the top of the mall is actually the Petronas Twin Towers. It was really a sight to behold, so bright and tall.

We decided to sit near the fountain while enjoying our gelato and taking photos. I really enjoyed that moment, just marveling man’s creation while enjoying the quiet time with my friends.

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Drooling over these candies at Candylicious.

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“Masaya ako kapag kasama kita…. Ako rin.” – Petronas Towers

After enjoying the view, we decided to go back to our guesthouse. We tried to follow Roy’s sketch on how we can return using the shortcut. However, even if we tried to bring out the Dora in us, we were not able to find the shortcut and eventually walked farther than how we’d come to the place. Anyway, we still enjoyed the experience and saw more of Kuala Lumpur. I even had major “bobo” moments when I would stop in front of a car without a person on the left side. Haha! It took me quite a while to get used to it.

Before going to bed, we went to a nearby grocery store to buy snacks and some pasalubong. We ended up buying a couple of boxes of Beryl’s and jellies. Haha! We stayed at the terrace of the guesthouse while chatting and eating the jellies. It was actually very relaxing, just observing Kuala Lumpur by night and enjoying the company of good friends.

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Home away from home – KL Guesthouse

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Yehey for the first stamp.

10 thoughts on “Backpacking MY and SG: Day 1 Kuala Lumpur/Petronas Towers

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