Day1: Exploring Kuala Lumpur in a Walkabout Tour

Kuala Lumpur Travel Blog

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the national ensigns of Malaysia

The hotel receptionist was impressively prompt when she rang my phone for my wake-up call at exactly 8 o’clock.

national monument
I may have slept less than the normal required, but i guess, that uninterrupted five hours of deep sleep is more than enough to keep me awake for this entire day. Thanks to the very comfortable bed, the perfect ambiance of my room, and the perfect centralized air-conditioning system of the hotel. Glad i’m alone, for sure i slept soundly last night. lol.

After a warm bath,  I hurriedly dressed up to my most comfy clothes and wore my snickers because this day, according to the receptionist, will require a lot of walking and stair climbing. By the way, i arranged this tour online through this hotel (which i later found out to be a wrong move).  I had a quick breakfast at the lobby... yes, you read it right... if there is something that i did not like with Hotel Genesis is that it does not have a “real” restaurant or a descent “dining” area. They just set up the tables and the buffet area beside the counter at the lobby. In fairness, the food was nice, well, not exceptional but okay. They served traditional malay food and some local fruits and delicacies... and the orange juice (which is my favorite) was really freshly squeezed.     

I am at a local coffee shop now, near the hotel. Sipping “Kopi teh” in between bites of “roti canai” while writing this entry. It is seven in the evening and ironically, the sun is still up. Just to share:  the Philippines, by this time, is already covered with darkness of the night.  

My first day in this country is both interesting and educational.  I signed up on a Full-day Kuala Lumpur walk about tour for RM360 (quite expensive, i know, and i admit this is a wrong move). Well, atleast, I was able to experience the rich diversity of typical Malaysian lifestyles in the cosmopolitan city of Kuala Lumpur. The entire journey lasted for more or less seven hours which included a full lunch at a local Indian Banana Leaf restaurant... and the receptionist was right, it required us to walk a lot. The guide is friendly and very knowledgeable with almost everything in KL. She can answer any of your questions regarding her country. By the way, most of the people here in Malaysia speak English well so you need not to worry.

Our journey started at the wet market to see the colourful and traditional way of shopping for household goods among locals. This part was not really unusual in my case since the way they bargain, and the wet market itself is definitely the same as what we have in the Philippines. After that, we proceeded to the Petronas Twin Towers, or KLCC, one of the tallest structures in the world.

As the most famous landmark here Malaysia, this is the best opportunity for you to take some photos. Actually, the first few floors of the twin towers are part of the shopping center (KLCC). If you plan to buy souvenirs and small items, try not to buy here because almost everything is expensive. You can buy the same stuff at a lot cheaper prices at the street shops.  From KLCC or Petronas Towers, we headed on to Masjid Jamek by an LRT train. We visited and explored the Little India in Masjid India Street. In a brief guided tour around the area, i had a firsthand experience on the Indian Culture and tasted some authentic delicacies which aren’t available back home.

After  Little India, we went straight to Jalan Tun Perak to see the Jamek Mosque, the city’s oldest place of worship for Muslims since 1909. We were also shown the convergence point between the Klang And Gombak Rivers before we headed at an Indian Restaurant for lunch. I am not really a fan of  “curry” and “spicy foods” so i won’t be able to share much with what was served in the lunch except for the fact that the food was served in a banana leaf. And.. Oh dear, the Coke was refreshing!

After lunch, we went to the  Sultan Abdul Samad building. We were told that it is one of the most important landmark in Kuala Lumpur since it was used to house the old railway station and high court. It is like the “London area of KL”... The heritage building has a  clock tower known as the ‘Big Ben of Malaysia’. Opposite the clock is the Dataran Merdeka or Independence Square,  where the Malaysians usually celebrate their independence day every 31st day of August. If there is one trait that is so evident in the people of this country, i think it is their patriotism and loyalty to the flag. You can see their flag literally everywhere. Even cabs and motorbikes have small flags flapping on their bumpers. All buildings, houses, store, have flags on their windows...  it’s incredible. With that, i give this country a “snappy salute”.

From that point, we had  a short walk to the Central Market, which showcases Malaysian handicrafts and artistic products. This is where you could buy souvenirs at a very low price. T-shirts were sold at 2pcs for RM150. Keychains and magnetic fridge cards were RM2 per piece. But still, I bought nothing here. I was told that it is even cheaper in China Town- a must see in KL. I plan to go there one of these days.

And i don’t want to buy some stuff yet because i still have five days here. I am afraid i might overspend on this first day which will mean cancellation of some of my planned activities in the next days. The tour ended with a trip to ‘Sze Ya’ Temple, the oldest Taoist Temple in the city. From there, we were brought back to the hotel.

Important notes:

I do not recommend for you to take the full-day walk about tour. Well, it was interesting and educational, indeed, but i think, it was not really necessary plus, it is quite expensive. I just found out that there is a “hop on-hop off bus” – you can practically see all the major attractions, including all the places i saw this day for only RM19! If i should have known this earlier, i won’t even think. I’ll grab this best deal at once. Here are some general information about this “hop on-hop off” thing:

  • The bus runs on a 15 to 30 minutes at the stops between 8.30 a.m. and 8.30 p.m.
  • The service covers a circle route that allows tourists to start the tour and end at the same location. Along the route, there are approximately 40 attractions where the tourists can hop-on or hop-off at any of the 22 designated stops.
  • There will be one driver assisted by a tour assistant on the bus and tourists will be given pamphlet on the city guide.

The bus is designed to match the climate and modern aspect of the city with following features:

  • Double-Decker fully air-conditions.
  • The glass roof panel on the upper deck made specifically for viewing KL skyline.
  • The bus equipped with CCTV camera and GPS Tracking System.
  • All buses are disable friendly.
  • All seated passengers with no standing permitted.

See what I mean?  I advise do not commit the same mistake that i did.  I am almost done with this entry, and i am on my third cup of “kopi teh”... i plan to go to the food street just a block away from here. Time to explore the “hidden delicacies” of Malaysia.  After my foodtrip, I would morelikely see some clubs and bars at the next street. All but less than five minute walk away. This is the main reason why i wrote “location of your hotel” is the prime factor to consider in one of my reviews.

Got to go. Excited to check that  food street.  

Temporarily signing off...


darlenemartin says:
Wow, thank you for this very informative blog about KL, esp about the “hop on-hop off bus” :) but I am only spending a day in KL. Well, more like half day since I will arrive in KL from Penang during lunch time and will leave the following day at 6am (departure time) for SG, daan lang talaga haha. So what do u recommend para sa half day? :P
Posted on: Apr 20, 2011
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the national ensigns of Malaysia
the national ensigns of Malaysia
national monument
national monument
Kuala Lumpur Hotels & Accommodations review
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