Wanderlust: Kuala Lumpur

I spent a good two and a half days in Kuala Lumpur after Penang. It was a great two and half days to say the least. This city has so much charm and beauty in it. I couldn’t find the right words to actually describe it but let me try.

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I left Penang on the morning of October 26, 2013 and made my way to Malaysia’s capital city. I took the bus, which I thought was the most economical one, but goodness, it took me about six (6) hours to get to KL. The Super Nice bus I rode had a total of four (4) stops, which is a lot considering that the trip should only take around four (4) hours. The only thing nice about taking the bus is that I got to see the Malaysian countryside — Butterworth, Kota Bahru, Ipoh.

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We reached KL at around 4:15 and was dropped off at the Puduraya Bus Station. I was already excited as I walked in Puduraya because I could see the Kuala Lumpur I only got to see in pictures then. I can’t help but scream, I’m in Malaysia! From there, I bravely walked to find Backhome Backpackers Hostel in Jalan Tun H.S. Lee. When I say bravely, it was because people seemed to stare a lot. This time, more intense since I was in the capital city. I gave up after a while and decided to take the taxi. I’m no good in directions even if I have a map with me. So imagine the confusion. Haha! KL is notorious for its taxis, ripping you off your precious ringgit. Mr. Taxi driver ripped me off 20 ringgit for a 10min ride. If I’m knowledgeable and good enough at directions, I should be able to find the hostel within 2 blocks. But I wasn’t. So goodbye 20RM.

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I rested for a while and eagerly walked along Jalan Tun H.S. Lee to find Chinatown in Petaling Jaya. It’s like Temple Street in HK, with all the touristy prices and fake goods. I walked just to see a bit of downtown KL but I went back and settled in at the LOKL Cafe. I figured it was a long day and a long bus ride so I might as well be somewhere more relaxing. I treated myself to a 3 course meal — soup, pasta and some apple crumble.

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I got lucky in the early evening because Ate Gen, my Ninang Marie’s daughter, and her boyfriend, Kuya Armand took me out for late dinner at Publika at Jalan Duta, just outside KL. We ate at Ben’s and had amazing carbonara! While on the way there, they kept reminding me to be careful because as a local, Kuya Armand said that KL isn’t really that good of a place to female solo travelers, especially in the area where I’m staying at. But it’s all good you know. I’m still alive. After late dinner,  they took me back to my hostel and while on the way, I had my first glimpse of the Petronas Towers glowing at night time. They’re so pretty I tell ya. It was just the first glimpse but I instantly fell in love!

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The next day, I had my simple breakfast over at the hostel. While eating, I had small  talks with an American, Argentinian and Chinese. I asked them where they’ve been already and I’m surprised that they’ve been all over the world. I felt small. They’ve got so much experience with them while there I was, just starting to see the world. I can’t wait to be a seasoned traveler though. I must be like them one day — armed with so much stories to tell to future travelers and dreamers!

Ate Gen and Kuya Armand picked me up before noon and we headed to Bangsar Village to have lunch. I forgot what we had for lunch and where we had it but we ate it on a banana leaf. It was so good that I ate all the rice. Curry! Our next stop was at the Pavillion to shop then on to Fahrenheit 88. It’s Deepavali in Malaysia at the moment. It’s the Indians’ celebration of the Festival of Lights to commemorate Lord Rama and his wife Sita’s return from exile. In the late afternoon we went to Suria KLCC and took sight of the Petronas Towers again. They’re so beautiful! I really fell in love with them…and it screams, wish you were here. It’s so beautiful especially at night! We ate at the Little Penang Kafe for dinner. Kuya Armand made me taste Malay street food. I can only remember the char kwey teow. It was yummy but it was spicy! My taste buds can’t handle that!

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On my last day in Kuala Lumpur, I decided to take it slow by just eating at the nearby restaurant. I ate Japanese food because I couldn’t take spicy food anymore. Ate Gen and Kuya Armand took me to the LCCT at about 2:30 pm. It was already raining cats and dogs and I can’t thank them enough for being so kind to drive me all the way to the airport! It was buzzing at the LCCT when I arrived and the next thing I know, I was already in Manila, smelling Philippine air and screaming mabuhay.

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My first solo trip was memorable and I can’t wait to do it again, and again and again! For now, I can only be thankful for this achievement and for the lessons curiosity has given me. I did it. Despite the culture shock and the indefinite feeling of being lost, I did it. So can you.

Kaye

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