Kuala Lumpur

Kesh let me stay in her apartment for free so I saved a lot of money. Since I had work the rest of the week, I was only able to tour the city on my day off and after work, so I made the most out of it! This trip marked so many firsts for me. While the first time I travelled by myself or not with a family member was to Boracay, Malaysia was the first time I travelled out of the country and completely by myself. I was so nervous for fear of the unknown, but it was pretty much smooth sailing all throughout. Whew!

I highly recommend taking the KL Express train to KL Sentral! It’s comfortable, spacious, and fast (although a bit on the pricey side).
First taste of Nando’s. Kesh and I ended up eating at Nando’s three times during that week.

First stop was the Jadi Batek Gallery, where I dropped in for a batik painting class for RM50. It took me two hours to finish a handkerchief. The guides were very patient, friendly, and nice. Even though there were three other foreigners in the class with me, we were all quiet. You need to concentrate to do this properly! If I ever go back to Kuala Lumpur, I’ll try this again.

After tracing my chosen pattern on the cloth with a pencil, it was time to trace it with wax so the paint won’t go over the outline.
Then it was time to paint the hanky with my chosen colors.
Final touches

After class, I walked to the nearest restaurant that served Western food, which was Levain. It was a bit pricey but sooo delicious. If I wasn’t saving my money, I would have bought more food. I was lucky to even get a table because it’s supposedly almost always full.

Since I wanted to go around the city but only wanted to go up the KL Tower, I took the hop on-hop off bus. It’s become one of my favorite ways to see the city since we did it in Paris. It was easier than figuring out which train to take, and definitely less tiring than walking around. Plus, it enabled me to easily see the city’s highlights. What I love about the hop on-hop off busses is that I can get on and off at any of the bus stops and just get back onto the bus for the next stop. And if you want to just take pictures from the bus (like I did), you can finish the whole tour in two-three hour tops (excluding Batu Caves).

After lunch, I walked to the nearest hop on-hop off bus stop. Kesh warned me that people don’t walk in KL; people take uber or a cab – and she was right. I must have came across about five people in the fifteen minutes it took me to walk to my destination. I was getting weird looks too. Also, I got lost! So I ended up taking a cab to the tourism office, which is bus stop #1. And I found out that I was right next door to the bus stop I intended to go to initially. Ahhh the fun in touring!

View of KL Tower from below by Haeja Franca

Since the hop on-hop off bus ticket I took was good for 24 hours, I was able to use it the next day for a few more hours. I went straight to KL Tower to have an overview of the city. I debated whether to go up here or the famous twins, the Petronas Towers, but they say KL Tower is actually higher.

View of KL and the Petronas Towers by Haeja Franca
View of the city and the world-famous twins from KL Tower

Of course, I went to Batu Caves (which is not part of the hop on-hop off bus route), but I was so pressed for time, I couldn’t go up anymore. I had to return to Jadi Batek at 4pm to get my dried finished product. Going to Batu was very easy. Like Kesh told me, it was just almost an hour’s train ride from KL Sentral. Once you get off the train station, you just walk straight until you see the giant statue. There are no signs, and there are a lot of stalls selling souvenirs. After admiring the view, I quickly ran back to the station. It only took me twenty minutes to tour the place, and I was able to make the last ride back to KL Sentral. Whew!

Batu Caves by Haeja Franca
The Lord Murugan Statue is even more astounding than my camera could capture.

At night, Kesh and I met up for dinner, and she brought me to the famous twins. Although the hop on-hop off bus did stop near the twins, I waited until nighttime. Kesh and I had dinner, then we went out the building. A lot of people were seated on the ground, looking up at the tower and taking plenty of pictures. We spent almost an hour trying to take the best pictures of these towers, because my mom really wanted to see them.

What I liked about Kuala Lumpur are the wide roads, cheap utilities, numerous parks, and green pockets right in the city. There was also a feeling of security; I wasn’t afraid my bag was going to be snatched or whatever. They don’t even have guards in the entrances of their malls (like in Singapore). It’s a city where modern architecture surrounds old architecture, filled with parks wherein you can breathe fresh air despite the numerous vehicles. It was a slightly more advanced version of Makati – or what BGC could be. How I wish we had more infrastructure development!

Petronas Towers at night by Haeja Franca
Expecto Petronaaas!

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