My Singapore trip was fantastic, but I am still bound to another adventure solo trip to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia!
I love how countries are just too close that you can travel from one country to another. In this short vacation/trip I was able to travel to three different countries, makes every penny I've spent worth it.
My next stop, Kuala Lumpur is one of the places that people in our country also visits. And it's been making some noise online with its attractions. I browsed the net about it, and here's what I found.
According to http://www.kuala-lumpur.ws/klhistory.htm
"Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia is located within the heart of Selangor state. It is bordered by mountainous ranges on all sides except in the East, which is why Kuala Lumpur and its adjoining areas are called the 'Klang Valley'.
Its name literally means 'muddy capital' in Malay, because of its establishment in the confluence of the Klang and Gombak rivers. It was previously part of Selangor until 1971, when it separated to form Malaysia's capital under the Federal Government."
I've been thinking about what to do in Malaysia. Of course, the Twin Tower was there, but what more? So, what's Kuala Lumpur like? I wondered in my mind as I travel to Kuala Lumpur on the night of the 29th.
On my flight to KL, I was privileged to have been assigned a seat nearest the window and on the second row of the aircraft! I feel like VIP! haha
So, as we depart from Singapore, I took a shot at the sky and the areal view of the country.
We boarded at 7:00 P.M. and that was a stunning view up in the sky looking at Singapore with the lights on. Just what I wanted. Just what I imagined to do.
Travel Tip #1: Try to be on the window side seat, so you can have an aerial view of the place you are visiting. It's gonna be awesome!
As we arrived in Kuala Lumpur, I also had the privilege to take an aerial view photo of Kuala Lumpur at night.
It is again my first time in Kuala Lumpur, some not-so-good thoughts occurred in my mind which I immediately rebuked and refused to imagine. I looked for the immigration where I needed to present myself as a tourist and get my passport stamped. There is a lane for ASEAN member country's citizen, so I went to fall in line. I saw Filipino looking people but I was afraid to speak to them, as from my experience, we look like Cambodian, Thai or Malay.
At the immigration, I was asked nothing but "how long are you going to be here?" Which I quickly answered, I'd be here only until the 31st. And off she stamped my passport for 30 days stay as a tourist. Very quick and easy. No hassle. No further questions.
Now the next challenge is, where do I go? Unlike in Singapore, I've already researched where to go, I even had the map, thanks to Jackie for the map and railway guide. But this time, I felt so alone. After the immigration, I was lost! I didn't know which way to go.
Although, I know I should go to the hotel, I don't know where I could get a cab or even ride a railway, worst, I don't know if the hotel is within close vicinity of a train station. So, I opted to look for the bus or taxi stand.
From the immigration, take the exit, look for the sign which indicates down stairs, there's an escalator, as you descend you'll see booths in a side, and you'll see ticket booths for taxi. They'll give you a coupon as proof that you have paid and your destination is also indicated there. These are the legit taxi which are safer than the taxis outside the airport.
Travel Tip #2: It's convenient and safer, to get a taxi at the taxi ticket office at the ground floor of the airport in KL. They will ask you for the destination and you will pay the fix rate, although it's a bit pricey than the train (as usual).
Travel Tip #3: If you know the nearest train station to your hotel, you can take the train from KL Airport to KL Sentral, then ride another train to your destination. I didn't know this so I wasn't able to do this.
I took a cab, paid RM$70.00 from the airport to Pacific Regency Hotel. On the way, I was told by my indian driver that he might not be able to take me to the hotel, as there's a rally going on. He told me about the anomalies that their leader in Malaysia did. He was sharing it passionately. And asked me how inconceivable it was, how some people could do it. His english is quite good, and we had a good conversation, about how he came to Malaysia and left Singapore, and some other things he shared to me about Malaysia and his life as a driver.
I told my driver, I couldn't take the train if he'd drop me somewhere else. It's my first time, and I might get lost. It's already 10:00 P.M. and I can't afford to walk on the streets I haven't been to ever before. He called someone, I'm guessing, another driver and asked if the traffic situation in KL Sentral has improved, fortunately, after the call, he informed me that it has somehow subsided and he reckoned he can take me to the doors of my hotel.
As we drove, I saw this high rise building with the mark of one of the prominent business in KL, the Berjaya Times Square! Stood tall in the city that couldn't go unnoticed, and couldn't help but click some shots to capture this. I'm still inside the taxi as I took this photo.
Travel time from KL Airport to Pacific Regency Hotel is around an hour. Thankfully, when we arrived in the city, there was no traffic jams, no rallies. We found out, that the rally has already been called off. And in a few minutes, I was already at the doorsteps of my hotel.
It's a nice 5-star hotel. My first time to experience a 5-star hotel. And yes, only in Malaysia. Thanks to Agoda.com for the online booking. Way convenient and easy. I will be writing a review in another post. So keep posted. 🙂
Travel Tip #3: Bring extra cash or credit card for the deposit. Hotels usually have deposits, specially 5-star hotels like Pacific Regency Hotel. Deposit is RM$200.00 which will be given back to you as you check out. So, you should extra, even if the hotel booking for the entire duration of the stay has already been paid.
It was a great time sleeping after a long day in Singapore and the travel from SG to KL, from KL Airport to the hotel. My body needed to reminder for rest. It simply fell into deep sleep after my entire body touched the linen on my hotel bed.
In the morning, I agreed to meet my beautiful, long-been-silent friend and classmate Pam, who I was surprised to know, been working in KL for quite some time. She generously agreed to take me to Batu Caves, since I didn't have a guide going there.
I asked from the hotel crew some directions to the train stations, and gladly discovered that the crew is a Filipino! He explained and directed me to the streets where I should go to reach the train station. Pacific Regency Hotel is near a train station. Couple of steps away. Then from the train station, I went to KL Sentral, I met Pam.
From KL Sentral you can also take a train to Batu Caves. As to how much, I didn't know. Thanks to the sponsorship and generosity of Pam! 😀
And here below I'll be sharing my photos at Batu Caves. It's an engineering icon and breakthrough. According to mmadventure.com "Batu Caves, is a limestone hill, which has a series of caves and cave temples, located in Gombak district, 13 kilometres (8 miles) north of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It takes its name from the Sungai Batu or Batu River, which flows past the hill. Batu Caves is also the name of the nearby village. The Batu Caves is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside India, dedicated to Lord Murugan. It is the focal point of Hindu festival of Thaipusam in Malaysia. Murugan Statue at the entrance of Batu Caves."
Batu Caves is free admission. Most merchants and traders you'll find here are the indians. You'll find them at the entrance selling just almost everything, souvenir items, key chains, ref magnets, decorations, religious articles, books, etc.
From the entrance, you'll be ushered to the view of the temple where the Hindu pray. Photo on the left below.
And of course, the icon is not the temple, it's the Standing at 42.7 m (140 ft) high, the world’s tallest statue of Murugan, a Hindu deity, is located outside Batu Caves, near the city of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The statue, which cost approximately 24 million rupees, is made of 1550 cubic metres of concrete, 250 tonnes of steel bars and 300 litres of gold paint brought in from neighboring Thailand. (Lifted from http://mmadventure.com/kuala-lumpur-attractions/batu-caves.htm)
Rising almost 100 m above the ground, the Batu Caves temple complex consists of three main caves and a few smaller ones. The biggest, referred to as Cathedral Cave or Temple Cave, has a 100 m-high ceiling and features ornate Hindu shrines. To reach it, visitors must climb a steep flight of 272 steps.
At the base of the hill are two more cave temples, Art Gallery Cave and Museum Cave, both of which are full of Hindu statues and paintings. This complex was renovated and opened as the Cave Villa in 2008. Many of the shrines relate the story of Lord Murugan’s victory over the demon Soorapadam. An audio tour is available to visitors. (Source http://mmadventure.com/kuala-lumpur-attractions/batu-caves.htm)
I am not a Hindu, but I believe in spirituality. I checked out the temple. Took stunning pictures and noticed that there are also several Filipinos there, most of them are also on a holiday. It didn't take me long to explore the area as it's a temple, and it's meant to be respected for our Hindu brothers and sisters. After I get a glimpse of the entire area, I descended where Pam was patiently waiting for me.
As we head back to the City, I had the occasion to take a picture inside the new train we just hopped in for a trip back to KL Sentral! New, neat and clean train!
Travel Tip #4: Do not book for a tour to Batu Caves, it's just soooo easy to go there, explore it yourself. If you know how to read, you can go there, without a tour guide. Saves you a lot of money. Also, you get to explore the train stations! Just ask for directions. Humans are still willing to help. 🙂
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