I didn't have any immediate plans to visit Malaysia. But I definitely included it in my travel list, just so I could see the iconic Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur. Yes, I've heard and read about the country and its rich culture. But I didn't give it that much thought. But when my Filipino friends urged for me to visit their second home, I gave it a go and was not left disappointed. Malaysia, let alone its lovely cities and states, have sincerely kept me in awe.
Malaysia, being the melting pot of religions, hosts a cordial, multiracial community. And in my time in Kuala Lumpur and Penang did I see how the society really lived harmoniously despite being so diverse.
HOW TO COMMUTE FROM LCCT TO DOWNTOWN KL
I never really knew much about Kuala Lumpur, not until my trip drew close to its date (and when I had to read more about it). I didn't know that Kuala Lumpur was only declared as a city in 1972. But it was soon recognized as a federal territory just two years after. It was also named after the Malay language, which meant 'muddy confluence'.
I was traveling alone by plane. But Rubel was already waiting for me in KL, as he went a day early. It was a good thing that he went ahead, as I didn't like traveling in a foreign country in the wee hours of the morning. So when my plane arrived at the LCCT (Low Cost Carrier Terminal) at around 1 AM via Air Asia Zest, my smiley-half-awake beau welcomed me at the departure area. I only had a quick CR break before boarding the bus that was bound for downtown KL. Anyhow, the ticket purchase was quiet easy, as plenty of local bus conductors crowded the terminal. It was just a matter of choosing which bus to take. Anyway, the entire trip took less than 2 hours.
It was around 3 am at the time, so there weren't any other modes of transportation. So when Rubel and I alighted near KL Sentral, we immediately rode the next available cab towards Tune Hotels, Downtown KL.
1ST SITE: THE ICONIC PETRONAS TWIN TOWERS
Rubel and I, being first-timer visitors of the city, didn't have a hard time going around --- as cabs and trains were quite abundant. The mode of transportation in KL was commendable, given that we were able to maximize our time by riding all possible means. Plus, the rates were quite affordable. Even the taxi ride from Tune to Suria KLCC only cost us 5 RM ($1.55 USD), for just a short 10-minute ride.
We were set to meet my blogger friends for lunch at Suria KLCC, so Rubel and I left the hotel early so that we'd have more time to see the Petronas Twin Towers during the day. We were completely caught off guard upon seeing the towering structures. I mean, it's not everyday that you get to see one of the world's most celebrated buildings.
Anyway, did you know that the renowned twin towers used to be the tallest structures in the world for 6 straight years? Well, it was until Taipei 101 took its title in 2004.
FAST FACTS: Each of the towers were built and funded by two different companies (Samsung from Korea and Hazama Corporation from Japan).
FOOD SCENE: NANDO'S HOT PERI-PERI CHICKEN!
Nando's is a famous Malaysian restaurant that offers delish grilled chicken meals. Rubel and I actually tried a platter of their 1/2 'hot basted' chicken (for sharing), which came with 2 regular sides of coleslaw. We really loved what we ordered, and everything was just 60 RM! I mean, what's not to love about Nando's ‘legendary butterfly-cut, flame-grilled PERi-PERi chicken.’? Our chicken pieces were so spicy and delicious! You really shouldn't miss eating here when you're in Kuala Lumpur.
|[Left Bottom: Riz & Me / Top Right: MJ, Krissy, Joey & Rubel]|
2ND SITE: BATU CAVES
It wasn't just the Petronas Twin Towers that got me to visit Malaysia. It was also Lord Murugan's statue by Batu Caves that drew me into flying to the country. I've seen plenty of photos of his magnanimous graven image. But seeing his sculpture felt more striking in person.
It was a good thing that all my friends were game in taking us to Batu Caves. So we all went there right after lunch. We took a cab to KL Sentral, and then purchased a train ticket that would take us directly to Batu Caves. Our travel time was just 30 minutes.
It was raining a little bit when we got to our destination. So the steps up the caves was slippery. But what made the stairway all the more slippery was the hardened candle wax on the flooring. As much as I wanted to climb the steep 272-step staircase, I was suddenly stopped by a local. I was, unfortunately wearing shorts, which they didn't allow. And since I didn't want to be disrespectful, I immediately climbed down. I would've wanted to see what was in the caverns. But I just satisfied myself with a photo of Lord Murugan's statue, which was located just at the base of the hill. The Hindu deity, which towers at a height of 140 feet, is considered as the tallest Hindu god statue in Malaysia (also the 2nd tallest in the entire globe).
FAST FACTS: Did you know that Batu Caves got its name from the Batu River (also known as Sungai Batu)? Well, it got its name from the same river that flows past the hill. It also houses 3 main caverns, one of which is the 'Temple Cave' (the biggest cave). It has been called as such since it displays a few Hindu shrines.
3RD SITE: UP AND ABOUT AT BERJAYA TIMES SQUARE
Since the whole group didn't want to part ways just yet, our friends decided to take us to Berjaya Times Square. I found out later on that it was the 8th largest building in the world. The 48-storey twin tower housed a wide range of establishments.
Now, despite my love for shopping, I couldn't fathom the idea of going around the square, while browsing through all 1000 retail shops. It was that crazy many! But aside from having a mall, the building also housed a hotel, condominium, indoor amusement park and a few business offices. It also has around 65 eateries. But we just ended up getting our dinner at the Taste of Asia food court. It was actually a good decision to dine there, since Rubel and I were able to buy some really affordable and tasty meals. But what was even more interesting was being provided with a card that can be loaded with money, which we used to pay for our food and drinks. We even got the balance from the card right after we were done with our meals. How innovative and convenient, right?
FOOD SCENE: NIGHT-CAP AT DR. CAFE COFFEE
Rubel and I weren't tired yet after coming home from Berjaya Times Square. So we left the hotel to scout for a nearby coffee shop. Good thing Dr. CAFE Coffee was still open (by Maju Junction Mall). It was easy to locate since it was just a few minutes walk from our accommodation.
At Dr. Cafe, "Everyday has been a challenging adventure at dr.CAFE. We cultivate the spirit of a legendary coffee tradition while reinventing a masterpiece to personalize original ideas to blend with our philosophy, core values and the commitment to excel in delivering the experience of the best coffee in the world."
I ordered a slice of Toffee Cheesecake for sharing, a hot cup of coffee for me, and an iced lemon tea for my beau. Our experience at the coffee shop was relaxed and pleasant, as the interiors exuded a warm and lovely ambiance. Plus, the two baristas that night were very kind and accommodating, which to me was very commendable (given that they've already had a very long day at work).
All in all, it was a well-spent first day in Kuala Lumpur. :) But an even more exciting adventure awaited us at Penang the next day. So do stay tuned for that!
Explore & Be Free!
Read More About My Malaysia Trip Here:
Day 1 in Malaysia (KL): 5 Sightseeing and foodspotting locations worth exploring in Kuala Lumpur
Day 2 in Malaysia (Penang): Discovering George Town's historical sites and sensational street art
Day 3 in Malaysia (Penang): A quick tour around Penang Hill and Kek Lok Si Temple
Day 4 in Malaysia (KL): 5 Must-see Shopping Havens in Kuala Lumpur
Day 5 in Malaysia (KL): A great end to a 6-day journey!