I was having the hard time decided where to go for welcoming 2016. I was bored with my routine in Bali and I need a new fresh experience I haven’t had before. After tons of considerations (I spent a lot of time thinking where I should go) Malaysia became the perfect destination for me. The next thing I did was to find a perfect travel buddy. Sadly, all my friends and my boyfriend seemed busy during that time; they just couldn’t go with me to Malaysia. So, I dared myself to travel on my own. I was thinking whether it’s the best decision for me or not. I haven’t traveled (for leisure) on my own before. I was afraid it’ll be boring as hell or if there will be something happened to me and no one could help me, I might die unidentified there (again, overthinking!) Anyway, I already bought a return ticket and booked cheap accommodation. I had no reason not to travel; it’s good that my love for travel is greater than my fears!
Before I travelled, I browsed everything about Malaysia and also asked my friend who just came back from there. I was advised to visit Malacca, Penang and some of the top attractions in KL. In addition to the trip, I bought another return ticket from Malaysia to Penang. So, here is the rough schedule of my journey: Bali-KL-Penang-KL-Bali.
Day 1- 29 Dec 2015: Bali to KL
I took first flight at 6 am from Bali to KL. The flight was good as I slept all the time. It took 3 hours from Bali to KL, we landed safely at 9 pm. As I didn’t have baggage, I went directly to the immigration. Had my finger print scanned, passport stamped and I became a legal tourist in MalaysiaJ. Kuala Lumpur International Airport is located 1 hour away from KL, in order to reached KL I had 3 options; by KLIA Express, by bus or by taxi. I took the bus, as it’s the cheapest way to travel. I got my ticket for RM 11 (around IDR 35.000) and it didn’t take a long time for the bus to depart.
My first impression in Malaysia was this country is so damn rich! Why? Because as far as my eyes could see, the carpet of green oil palm trees became my view. My bus stopped at KL Sentral station; from here I bought LRT ticket to get to Bangsar Station. My hostel, the Bodhi Lodge is located next to Bangsar Station. Arrived at the hostel, I checked in and asked for some suggestion for the nearest attraction. JJ (the owner) gave me the map of KL and explained me the destination clustery. So I decided to visit Muzium Negara or National Museum of Malaysia since it’s very close from Bangsar.
To enter the National Museum, I paid RM 5 for the entrance ticket. The museum has 2 floors and 4 galleries. The first gallery is displaying the story of Pre History area, the second gallery is about Malay Kingdoms, the third gallery is describing the Colonial era and the last gallery is showing the life of Modern Malaysia (Malaysia Today). I found the gallery was so informative and understandable.
After the fun exploration inside the museum, I went to a garden located 3 minutes walking from the museum. Perdana Tasik Garden/Perdana Botanical Garden was originally built for the recreational occasion, but as it’s planted with collections of tropical plants, the garden was rehabilitated and turned into a botanical park. This garden has a wide range of attraction, such as a lake, Bird Park, Butterfly Park, Wetland and Aquatic Garden, Hisbiscus Park and many more. There is also the bamboo house where kids could use as the playground. This park is such a beautiful sanctuary in the heart of KL. I feel so freshened up and peaceful walking along the park.
Finished a fresh walk around the park, I went to the nearest LRT station and heading to Chinatown at Petaling Street. Chinatown was busy with tourists; I get in some holy shrines and tried to discover the place by asking the guards. One shrine that amazed the most me was the temple of Sri Mahamariamman Temple. It’s a Hindu temple with elaborated handmade relief which is so great and beautiful. Moreover, there was a preparation for the holy ceremony inside the temple and everyone seemed busy with the offerings, decorating the temple and statue with their Indian costume. Petaling Street is famous for a shopping and culinary center for the tourist. I only bought some chopsticks and for my early dinner, I ate Malaysian Bak Kut Teh. It’s quite different (in my opinion) with the Bak KutTeh in Singapore, and to be honest, I prefer the Singaporean Bak Kut Teh.
From Chinatown, I walked to the Central Market. This market is a center for Malaysian arts, culture, and handicraft. My eyes were pampered with attractive handicrafts here. I bought a wallet and pants as a gift for myself. The shops are uniquely designed and very clean. It’s totally worth to visit when in KL. The last attraction I visited on the first day was dataran Merdeka/merdeka square, merdeka=independence. This place is surrounding by the famous historical building such as Sultan Abdul Samad building, the Royal Selangor Club, Kuala Lumpur City Gallery, national library, St Mary’s Anglican Cathedral, and a 95-metre flag pole (one of the highest in the world). From here I could also see the KLCC tower and yes, the I Love KL icon is can be found here next to the Kuala Lumpur City Gallery. Snap Snap Snap!
Day 2 -> 30 Dec 2015 : KL
On the second day, I woke up earlier in the morning and had pomegranate as my breakfast. My first destination on that day was Batu Cave. I headed to Sentral Station and bought KTM Komuter ticket to Batu Cave. Batu Cave is one of the famous Hindu shrines located outside of India. This temple is dedicated to Lord Murugan. The golden statue of Lord Murugan becomes the icon of Batu Caves. To get in to the shrines inside the cave, I climbed up hundreds of stairs. Inside the caves, there were monkeys, chickens, and pigeons. There is also a dark cave next to the the shrine. The dark cave is a conservation site contains a diverse range of cave faunas that opened for education and adventure tour. The ticket for the educational tour is RM 35* for adult and RM 25* for children, and for adventure tour is at RM 80* (excluding GST). I skipped the dark cave tour and directly went to Little India-Brickfields.
The Little India gave me another unique atmosphere. I strolled around the area, got in some shops & explored the stuff they sold, captured almost everything, and nodded my head following the rhythm of Indian music. I really wanted to enjoy samosa, but unfortunately, my tummy had full with local street snacks. I found this was one bad thing if you travelling solo, you couldn’t eat everything!
From Little India, I continued to visit the Petronas Tower! The iconic twin towers of Malaysia have attracted plenty of tourists from all over the world. The other reason I chose Malaysia as the New Year destination was because I wanted to see the fireworks by the towers. I met another female solo traveler name, Dana. She’s from Slovakia. At first, I asked her help to take a picture of me with the tower and then I took for her. We had such a nice convo and decided to get in the tower. We went inside and too bad that the ticket for today was sold out. We asked about New Year’s Event and the operator said that there would be a concert in the KLIA Park, right behind the KLIA tower to welcoming the New Year. So Dana and I made an appointment to meet in the front of the tower again on 31st Dec at 11 PM. Dana then headed to Chinatown where she stayed and I went to Jalan Alor to enjoy dinner.
Jalan Alor offers a wide range of Delicates Asian Food such as Thai Food, Vietnamese, Chinese, Indian, Malay and Singaporean. I had myself attracted to colorful siomays. I asked for 6 siomays and finished it less than 10 mins. It tasted sooo gooood and I couldn’t get enough. So I asked for 3 more siomays. The seller gave me a shocked look and then smiled. I told him that “your siomay is the best I ever had in my life”. For dessert, I had a Thai Coco Jelly. It’s a coconut with its water turned into jelly. I’m a big fan of coco and jelly, when it comes to the Coco Jelly it’s heaven for me!
Day 3 -> 31 Dec 2015: NYE at Petronas Tower
On the third day in KL, I did a half day visit to Malacca. Back from Malacca, I was in a rush because I got the last bus and I was too late to meet Dana. I feel so sorry I couldn’t meet her as planned before. I met another traveler from The Philippines and they were also had the same goal with me, WATCHING FIREWORKS at PETRONAS TOWER. By the time we arrived there, it’s when the countdown starting. As there were tons of people there and made us hard to move, we can only hear the sound of the Fireworks. And it’s only lasted for a while. I felt sad and disappointed about it, but the only thing I could do was accepting it. But hey, HAPPY NEW YEAR!
The way back to the hotel was even challenging. I got to que for 1 hour before I could get the LRT ticket. And yes, since I bought a ticket to KL Sentral and the LRT service was closed, I need to find bus or taxi to Bangsar. Unfortunately, I found no bus and I was too afraid to take a taxi. I walked from Sentral to Bangsar. On my way back, I met a Pakistani guy who was also walking back home. As I asked him for the directions, he told me to walk with him as we in the same directions. We talked about the New Year celebration and why he came from Pakistan to Malaysia. After 10 mins of walking with him, I arrived at my hostel. I thanked him and said Good bye. This was really a good start on the New Year. I felt so lucky surrounded by good people during traveling. Thank you, Malaysia!!