Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Kuala Lumpur in 24 Hours

It was one of those weekends when you feel like taking a different scenery for a change.  When shopping can already lead you to bankruptcy and people watching is already quite boring, you take another turn to release the stress - then you go to Malaysia.  This is what most Singaporeans would do on any given weekend.  Particularly if its a long weekend.  However, that was not our case.  It was my fiance's last weekend before going back to Abu Dhabi.  So along with some good friends we hopped onto the bus going to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Kuala Lumpur (KL) is the capital of Malaysia and it is a 5-6 hours bus ride from Singapore, depending on how many stopovers the bus will be taking.  We took the Airebus (business class).  It was a last minute decision so we didn't get a good price for the ticket, the only tickets left were quite expensive.  The business class tickets cost SGD 80 that time.  However, when we saw the bus, it was worth the pay.  It was spacious and the seats are very very comfortable.  Personal monitors for movie watching during the trip is also provided per passenger.  The bus only carries 27 passengers.  The 5 hour trip has one stop over and meals are provided during the trip.  We left at 8 pm so most of the time I was sleeping.  A very good sleep.  We arrived at the border around 12 midnight, and there we got out of the bus for immigration inspection and passport stamping.  We arrived in Kuala Lumpur around 1:30 am and the bus stop was quite far from the main highway.  The sad part is, we forgot to have our SGD's changed to Malaysian Ringgit.  Tip: Have a few Singapore Dollars changed into Ringgit before boarding the bus to KL.  We tried to hail for any taxi, believe me at this time, no taxi cabs were running about the city center.  After almost an hour of walking, we found one and negotiated since we will be paying in SGD.

We have a reservation at the Flamingo Hotel.  We got the chalet room.  It's a sort of villa facing the lake.  Most of its villas surrounded the lake.  The lake is very pretty especially in the morning.  The hotel/resort gives the feeling of having your own house by the lake.  Jog around the lake is the perfect way to start your day.  What we did, since we came in late already, we woke up a bit late for an early morning run.  So we lazed around a bit, then headed to the twin towers - Petronas Towers.

Known to be the tallest twin tower in the world, Petronas Tower is the landmark of Malaysia.  Most souvenir shops sells all kinds of goods with a print or a replica of this tower.  We took the cab going there, unfortunately, the driver is not familiar with the twin tower as the destination.  Instead he took us to Kuala Lumpur City Center (KLCC)because, as he said, this is where most tourists go when they are in KL.  When we reached the place, we were so awed because it was actually the twin towers itself.  The KLCC is an 139,000 sq.m. shopping center at the foot of the tower.  The tower structure is so beautiful despite of the dirty surroundings, both stood regally like a two queens.  At the other side of the shopping center is a big fountain where most tourists loiter and take a picture with the twin towers as the background.  We strolled inside the mall for awhile.  It was a bit awkward because we were wearing shorts.  If you got used to the Singapore fashion going anywhere wearing only shorts, Malaysia is completely the opposute.  It is a strict no-shorts wearing place.  It being an Islamic country, people everywhere wear conservative clothes.  After a few rounds and a quick lunch inside the mall, we took a cab and decided to go back to the hotel.  Luckily we got a friendly driver, before heading to the hotel he took us to one of the most visited spot in Kuala Lumpur - Beryl's Chocolate Kingdom in Kawasan Perindustrian Seri Kembangan 43300 Seri Kembangan, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia.

If you are one of those chocolate lovers, this is definitely your place.  It is located quite far from the city center but near to a bus station.  We came in and we were greeted by their friendly staff.  We had our names written on a sticker and we were wearing it when we entered that quaint house turned into a factory and shop.  We had a little tour of their kitchen and a little taste testing.  The store boasts of original and authentic tastes of chocolate.  I love their Tiramisu.  I bought two kilos of it.  It is an almond coated with white chocolate and milk chocolate.  They also have different flavors like Durian flavored chocolates and other tropical fruits.

After a short indulgence, we head straight to the hotel and decided to have a massage instead.  We have an appointment at the hotel's spa at around 5 pm.  When we got there for our massage schedule.  We were ushered inside and we each have our own room.  I hesitated for a bit because I would like to have it in two's.  But it is their policy.  One client per room.  I got inside the room but was baffled, I'm a massage whore if there is such a word, I know how spa massages work, but this spa is sort of different.  I was sitting on the bed waiting for my masseuse.  When she came in I was a bit shock because she was wearing this flimsy night gown with glitters and feathers on her chest area.  And even though the lighting inside the room was really poor, I swear I could see she is not wearing any underwear.  UH-OH.  Yes, that was what I was already thinking but I can't turn away now.  We have already paid for this.  So when she saw me, she sighed sadly and rummaged through her small basket and put on her ta dah! her underwear.  She told me to take my clothes off.  I begin to panic because probably my fiance is experiencing the same thing.  To shorten this tale, the massage was a total nightmare.  When I got out we all look so shocked.  So that was why most guys were staring at us girls and they were sending us curious glances.  Had we known!  Oh well, one to include in our bizarre experience in Malaysia.

We went back to KLCC for dinner and we had a spectacular view of the twin towers.  It is even more stunning at night with all its lights on.  We checked out by dawn and headed down to the bus terminal to take the bus going back to Singapore.  It was a fun 24 hours, we had walked the dirty streets of Malaysia, hoard on the chocolates, awkwardly strolled inside the mall, was harassed by semi naked masseuses and best of all we had the chance to see and enjoy the beautiful twin towers of Kuala Lumpur.

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