All aboard! “Selamat Datang” Malaysia.
Kuala Lumpur Travel Blog› entry 1 of 3 › view all entries
Aboard Cebu Pacific 5j150 which took off in Manila about three and a half hours ago, the 84 passengers, including me, finally touched down at the runway of the modern Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) on this rainy past midnight of October 10th (2009). I am more than excited to see what this country could offer me in the next six days...
After passing through the legalities of the immigration officer, and after claiming my checked-in luggage at the conveyor belt, I made my way to Tourist Center at the airport to atleast have a clue on what to expect on this fellow ASEAN country. Unfortunate enough, no one was there, but an instruction was written on the signboard at the counter: “Free maps and guidelines at the shelf, tourist brochures at the magazine stand”. After grabbing some “ass-savers” (my term for maps and brochures) at the center, i headed out. I inhaled my first breath of Malaysia... and the air was warm and savvy. Exactly the same ambiance i left in Manila. I just felt i did not leave home. By the way, i am in my hotel room now, a little tired and a little hungry, and... great! my bags are still unpacked. The first thing that came into my mind when the hotel staff showed me this cozy room was to plug my notebook and to write this blog.
When i was planning my trip, i did a little research over the net, i asked some close friends and practically spent all my spare time in phoning them, scouting for tips and advices on their travels to Malaysia. Well, with a limited time and a limited budget that went along with me all the way from Manila, i was convinced that i should exert a lot of effort to find the best deals in making my itinerary so i would be able to maximize my five nights in this country. I found real helpful tips and advices, but, guilty as charged, i assume, as most of the travelers out there, i guess i won’t be able to follow them.
From the airport to Kuala Lumpur is about 30-45 minute ride. Most blogs would recommend that instead of paying a surcharge in the hotel for an “airport pick-up” service (unless it is free and part of the amenities of the hotel), it is far better to take the public transportation to the city proper. Well, in my case, since I arrived past midnight (time which most of the low cost airlines arrive), and it is my first time in Malaysia, i chose to arrange and pay some extra Ringgits for an airport transfer than to hire a cab. Atleast, i wont need to queue to get one and i wont need to worry that the driver might take the farthest route to the hotel so he could charge me more. So, if you are a first-timer traveling alone and you will arrive at the same time as i did, better follow my advice. But, if you do not belong to the "abovementioned" conditions , then, pretend you did not read the first part of this paragraph. i strongly suggest that you take the bus (which is your cheapest option ) or take the train direct to the city which is quite expensive but a lot faster. It is a No-No to take a cab. Unless you have no problems with your budget, go ahead and share your blessings . By the way, do not forget to grab some of the “ass-savers” at the tourism center at the airport. You will need those, believe me. Important note: if in your country, cars are all right-hand-driven, here in Malaysia, everybody drives on the wrong side of the road! Lol.
There are lots of hotels, bb’s, backpacker’s lounges, guesthouses in KL. You will have numerous options on where to stay, with prices ranging from almost free to a fortune. I was not really on a very tight budget on this trip so i stayed on a three-star hotel (which was worth it). I stayed at Alpha Genesis Hotel located in the famous Bukit Bintang area... pretty much at the heart of Kuala Lumpur. It has an excellent location, literally close to most haven spots and terminals and stations in KL (for a more detailed info, please read my separate review on this hotel). Location is the most important factor that you should consider in choosing a your crib. This is an essential thing to consider if you are saving time (travel time) and money (extra fares) in your trip.
Local time now is 3am. I guess It’s time for me to hit the sack. I’ll just give the hotel receptionist a quick call to ask him to wake me up later. My pre-arranged city tour is scheduled at nine.
Signing out... for now.