It has been a while, but now I am back, occasionally.
Life is a journey! The more you travel is like the more pages you read in a book, and it gets more and more interesting. This is my second time traveling abroad after Thailand trip last November. But guess what? Only 2 of us, my female friend and I, went on the adventure, not by tour agent, but on our own! It has brought me mixed experiences for traveling to unfamiliar places without any guides. Though exhausted, but it was so much fun, indeed.
My trip this time took place in 2 countries, Malaysia and Singapore, as they are near each other, so it is easy to cross back and forth. My first 3 days were spent in Malaysia, but we had such a hard time on our first day; it was irritating but funny.
Anyway, we met 3 Cambodian guys who also traveled to Kuala Lumpur for a visit. They helped us a lot at the airport, finding our baggage and taking us to buy Malaysian prepaid sim card, but unfortunately, we departed from each other, and I did not even have a chance to give proper thank and goodbye to them.
So, what hard time did we face? ATM machines of the bank we deposited for use in Malaysia could not be withdrawn! After wandering around in Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) for a few hours, we assumed that all available ATM machines there must have got problem, so we decided to move on to KL sentral station by a local bus (cost 10 ringgits, can be found at ground floor of the airport) with some money exchanged we had. KL sentral is a big station with many rapid rail lines and buses. There is an ATM machine of the bank there, so we kept praying along the way on the bus for the machine to work, or else we could not survive without money. Luckily, it worked! The feeling was like we won lottery despite it is actually our own money. Thanks Gods! And our real adventure started.
Our first and third days were spent in Kuala Lumpur and second day in Malacca (Melaka trip will be in another separate post later).
Kuala Lumpur is quite a big city, so without guide, transportation was a big concern to me. People say “Do not take taxi in Kuala Lumpur! It is expensive as most of taxis there refuse to use meter, though it is illegal doing so.” However, besides taxi, we can take rapid rail and bus, and they are definitely much cheaper. There are local bus and plenty of rapid rail line and type, such as Monorail (MR), Light Railway Transit (LRT) and KTM Komuter running to many parts of the city. But please be noted that those rapid rails run from around 7am to 11pm or 12 midnight only, as I know. The point is you have to be street smart and know which rail/bus station you need to stop to get to your target place. So before the trip, I did some searching with advice from my Malaysian friend, and during the time there, with big helps from local people in the city, I was able to visit the places without getting lost. People in Kuala Lumpur, most of them if not all, are so friendly, kind and helpful. Moreover, they can speak English, so communication is not a problem at all. We could always ask and get directions from the locals, and they are happy to help.
We continued from KL sentral by taking monorail to Imbi station (cost 1.6 ringgit, maybe) and walked to Sky Express Hotel we had booked. We realized later that Hang Tuah station (LRT) is nearer to the hotel. (Along the way from KL sentral to monorail station nearby, we coincidentally met a Cambodian lady who is a seller at a fruit shop in a shopping mall. We were surprised meeting our nation mates in the foreign land, and we shared a short conversation)
We arrived at the hotel in the afternoon. It is located along the road JalanPudu in Bukit Bintang area, opposite to Swiss Garden Residence. With the price around US$ 50+ per night (by booking online from Agoda website), the room with 2 single beds is clean and big enough. The staffs are helpful as we could always ask for the city’s information. I recommend this hotel to you.
At night, we visited Chinatown (also called Petaling Street) as it usually opens from 6pm to 11pm with many stalls of souvenir and food. It is within walking distance from Sky Express Hotel, but not quite near.
Petronas Twin Towers
What is the landmark of Malaysia? Of course, Petronas Twin Towers! By public transportation, it can be reached by LRT, and you just stop at KLCC station and walk up to the towers. I went there twice both day and night time. At night, it is nice for photo shooting as the towers are full of lighting, bright and shining. At first night, I went there at 10pm and stayed till 11pm, and there were still many tourists roaming around taking photos. Inside the towers, there are lots of shopping malls that you can spend some time during the day, and there are also parks outside the towers for a walk and fresh atmosphere.
On our third day in Malaysia, we went to Batu Caves. It is a sacred place for Hindu people and is one of popular tourist places in Malaysia. About 13km north from Kuala Lumpur, you just take KTM Komuter to Batu Caves station (from KL sentral station, it costs 2 ringgits only), and the place is right next to the station. First thing welcomes you near the entrance is the 15-meter tall statue of Lord Hanuman (noble monkey) with the appearance of tearing his chest showing Rama and Sida in it, which represents his love and honesty for them. Near the statue, there is the way to Ramayana cave, but I did not go there. Famous attraction at this place is the golden big statue of Hindu God names Murugan, and you can walk up by 272 stairs near the statue to see the Cathedral cave. I reached there at around 4pm, and there were still many visitors going. Along the way on the train, we met a young Malaysian girl. She is nice and friendly, and we talked a lot till she got off at the station near her house.
Berjaya Times Square
It is one of many interesting shopping centers in KL and is within walking distance from our hotel. There are so many shopping malls including clothes, shoes, cosmetic products, as well as food and others. We went there on the last day for dinner since it is near our place.
And at 9:30pm we rushed back from Berjaya Times Square to take our luggage at the hotel, taking rapid rail to the bus station, waiting for boarding to Singapore at 11:30pm. Annoyingly, the bus was delayed till 12:15am to depart. It was my first time sleeping on night bus, and I could not sleep properly.
Where to buy bus ticket from KL to Melaka and Singapore?
KL – Melaka: bus tickets available at Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS) (take LRT to Bandar Tasik Selatan LRT station and walk to the bus station). I took one at 10:30am which cost 10 ringgits per way, and it takes 2 hours to reach Melaka.
KL – Singapore: bus tickets available at Pudu bus station (take LRT to Plaza Ragyat LRT station and walk to the bus station). I took one at 11:30pm which cost 55 ringgits, but it delayed its departure till 12:15am! It takes around 5 hours and a half to 6 hours to reach Singapore.
Places we failed to visit
Little India, Sri MahaMariamman Temple, Central Market, Bintang Walkway, Sultan Abdul SamadBulding, Merdeka Square and Penang are places we had planned but could not manage to visit due to time limit. Hopefully, I am able to take a look at those places next time I visit Malaysia, especially Penang.