March 11, 2009

Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, is the destination of my first foreign trip for 2009. After four hours in a Cebu Pacific flight, which left Manila almost nine in the evening, I landed about 30 minutes past one in the morning. Hungry and sleepy, I relented to take a taxi from the Low Cost Carrier Terminal, which is about 80 km from the city, to my hostel, for a hundred ringgits. After checking in the hostel (the staff - Andrew and Mirza - were particularly helpful), I sought out to find a place to eat, and at about 2:30 in the morning, had my first Malaysian food.

It was a start of a busy day for me when I got up in the morning. Taking the monorail, I went to Petronas Twin Towers, which is still the tallest twin buildings in the world. Although I missed the free tickets going to the 41st level skybridge, the trip there wasn't totally wasted. I had breakfast at the nearby mall (Suria KLCC), and then  headed to Menara Kuala Lumpur, a telecommunications tower with a viewing deck at about 200 meters up. 

I then busied myself in Bukit Bintang after oggling the view and having a late lunch. I then dropped by a local Fitness First gym (at MBf building at Jalan Sultan Ismail) to freshen up, then got a massage afterwards.

Too pooped to go out in the evening I hung out in the hostel instead and had a beer with Mirza. I also met and made friends with some of the backpackers who stayed in the hostel. One, Kohei from Japan, went with me to explore KL the next day. Getting up early, we went to Petronas to get tickets for the skybridge tour.

The view from the skybridge - famous in the movie Entrapment - was spectacular, although Menara KL offers a better view, owing to the 360-degree viewdeck. Visitors only have 10 minutes to spend in the bridge, and afterwhich, we went to the obligatory gift shop to buy some mementos. 

After Petronas we took the Putra line subway to go and explore the old section of KL: Merdeka Square,  Sultan Abdul Samad building, Chinatown. One observation: the locals aren't very helpful when we were asking for directions, either they are feigning they don't know or are really clueless about the landmarks that we want to see.

Taking the monorail back to Imbi station, Kohei and I had a late lunch at the foodcourt of the 10-storey-high Berjaya Times Square, then went back to the hostel for a nap. Around 4pm, I went to KL Sentral to catch a bus to LCCT, where I would board my AirAsia flight to Singapore.

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