I was quite excited that night of 6 May 2011 that I was going to visit Kuala Lumpur (KL) again after years. This City is quite similar to Jakarta, only cleaner and tidier. My last visit to KL was sometime in 2005 when I had to attend a meeting with my colleague from Iran. I wondered what it looked like now because I heard there had been a lot developments going on in there.
I took the last flight from Jakarta to KL on AirAsia which supposedly departed at 9pm, but there was unfortunately a 2-hour delay due to some technical problem. Well, I hoped it’s not a serious problem. As the consequence to this delay, the Airlines gave us a courtesy to provide free dinner for all passengers.
Exactly at 11 pm, there came an announcement that all passengers should go onboard. The plane was finally ready to fly us to KL. So, off we went. It was heavy raining outside, but the plane was taking off smoothly. A bit shaky but smooth. It took around an hour and a half to get to KL International Airport.
After landing, we rushed to get to the Immigration Clearance. It was quite a long queue considering this Airport is always busy welcoming travellers from around the world. I could see that their Immigration Office has a very tight screening for all passengers especially ones who were suspected of not having proper documentations for their traveling purpose, such as illegal workers who mostly come from Indonesia and India. The Immigration Officers would ask these suspects to enter an interogation office where they had a thorough investigation. I was anxious at first that they wouldn’t allow me to enter their Country, but luckily I was free to go because I had the required document, such as flight itinerary for my departure. After going through some check up points, I was beginning to have an overwhelming feeling yet very exhausted and sleepy.
I went immediately to a bus terminal to catch the next bus to Chinatown at Petaling Street. The problem at the moment was I couldn’t check in to my hotel since it was not yet their check-in time which was at 1pm while I was already in town at 1am. It would mean that I had to wait for another 12 hours to get to that warm bed I was longing for. Anyway, I was keen to get to Chinatown first and probably looked for hourly-rate hotel before I got to Malaya Hotel which I previously reserved. (Note: The room rate I got from a website was RM110/room-night. But currently, that hotel is still under renovation. Another nice hotel I’d like to recommend is Alamanda Hotel, still in Chinatown.The room rate I got from a website is RM58). So, I dragged my travel bags here and there knocking on every budget hotel’s door in the area that was willing to provide me what I required. But apparently there was no such thing as hourly-rate in Chinatown, KL. They only had one day rate. It’s unbelievable. I later decided to go to Malaya Hotel, wanted to try my luck.
It was a fortunate that that night shift hotel staff allowed me to check in at 3am without any additional charge. Thank GOD! Well, I thanked him million times for that previlege of providing warm bed and a hot shower after that long long journey. The room he gave me was quite comfortable, not too spacious but clean and neat. And there was a bath tub in the room! HUGE YESSS! Without delaying for any second, I was more than ready to enjoy the luxury of warm water and bed. It was a happy ending for that night.
Oh, one thing I’d like to share with you…It was funny and quite annoying about the (dis)ability of Malaysian people in giving directions to tourists. Out of 20 people I asked, only 1 that really got me to the designated place. And it happens all the time. Malaya Hotel is a big 3-star hotel in the area, but none of the locals in Chinatown seemed to know what and where it was. When I finally managed to get to the hotel, I was surprised that Malaya Hotel was in fact that huge and quite a decent hotel but no one there knew about it. Hillarious! And apparently it didn’t happen only in that area, but also in other places like Genting, Bukit Bintang, Chow Kit…and God knows where else…Oh my.
Later that day, I was awaken by the rumbling voice from my tummy. Apparently it was screaming for some food which I forgot to take earlier due to the fatigue I felt which almost killed me. I was surprised that it was only 9 in the morning. That would mean I had only 5 hours sleeping. Although I was still sleepy, I had to eat and later could go back to get more rest. So I got up and had some cleaning, then went to have a breakfast in the hotel’s restaurant down floor.
There were already several people who were enjoying their meal there. From the conversations I noticed, it was obvious some of them came from Indonesia, and others from some western countries. The menu for that day was fried noodle, fried rice, baked beans, baked sausages, breads, croissants, and some traditional cakes. I tasted them all, took as much time as I could get. Although the foods there tasted not too special to me, but I was happy that I took enough food for my stomach. After finishing my breakfast, I went upstairs in a lift and went back to my room. Next plan I had was, ofcourse, sleeping time.
When I finally woke up later that afternoon, I felt fresh and was much ready to take some actions. My agenda for that day was visiting Bukit Bintang and Petronas Twin Tower. After getting a nice hot shower, I went out to get to a nearby Bus Terminal to Bukit Bintang which was quite popular for its shopping arcades and assorted eating places.We went there taking a bus for about 20 minutes ride. First thing came to mind was shopping malls. This area was surrounded by stores, restaurants, and malls, and it was always a heavy traffic there due to these facilities. When it came to lunch, I went to a nearby Chinese restaurant which was almost full of visitors. This place was previously recommended by a friend, so I’d like to give it a try. i was very happy finding the soup that I ordered tasted very fulfilling, and it was served in a big portion for only about RM16. Not bad, isn’t it?
After enough walking around, I headed to MRT Station nearby to get to Petronas Twin Tower which is also known as one of the tallest buildings in the world with its 88 floors. It took me about 15 minutes to the KLCC MRT Subway Station. Then we had to walk around 15 minutes to get to the Twin Tower.This remarkable building was getting more popular after Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones showed up on some scenes of their movie “Entrapment”.
Since it was already late the afternoon, I couldn’t get to the Skybridge that connecting these two tall towers. To get to that bridge, you should start queuing as early as possible, because they only allow maximum 1000 visitors per day to get to the bridge or up to 88th floor. And it was usually much much more than that who were enthusiastic to get there first. They are open everyday from 9am to 5pm, but on Monday they are only open from 9am to 1pm. The admission fee to enter this Skybridge is RM10, but if you want to get all the way up to 88th floor, you will have to pay RM40/person. Well, I was happy enough to see that skyscraper from the ground.In front of this building, there was a huge water pond where it had a 30-minute show of dancing fountain in the middle of it after 6 pm every day. It was so entertaining. Inside Suria KLCC building under this Twin Tower, there were plenty stores selling various items from clothes to merchandises. This mall had 4 floors above the ground and 2 floors under the ground.
After having pleasant time looking around, I finally decided to go back to Chinatown. I’d like to have a dinner in some local Chinese restaurant I saw before going to KLCC. The foods there smelt so good when I passed that restaurant, and they looked good too. Chinatown at night was quite different than in the morning. Now there were so many stalls deploying row to row in the alleys inside that area. They mostly sold merchandises and souvenirs from bags, shirts, trousers, to accessories.
Having feeling most satisfied for the day, I went straight to my hotel room. I finally called it a night.
It was sad though that that day was my last day in KL because the next morning I had to catch a flight to Phuket. So, I guess that was it, guys. I hope to catch you soon with the next travel in another place.