Friday, August 7, 2015

International Summer Travel: Enjoying Kuala Lumpur in 24 Hours!

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda


Taken Inside the Petronas Twin Towers Ground 

Malaysia's national capital, Kuala Lumpur (KL), is a bustling metropolis and a multicultural haven; a place worthy to be a part of our 9 - Day Cotton Summer Travel itinerary even if it means being there only for less than 24 - hours! Here's how we made the most of our stay in KL, checking off bucket list without breaking our wallet!  


Meridian Holidays Bus at Johor Bahru Larkin Terminal
April 20, 2015 (Monday). Traveling to KL from Johor Bahru by bus takes at least four (4) hours, with one washroom and meal break provided. The standard fare is only MYR 35 (Php 413) per passenger if you buy it at the couches ticketing office. Anything higher is a rip off, by those seemingly helpful bus conductors who would usher passenger to their buses and hand a bus ticket with a super imposed amount of MYR 51(Php 602). I know this because we got fooled by them lol.


TBS - A First Class Airport Style Bus Terminal
All buses from Johor Bahru to KL terminate at the newly - built Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS) or the Malay Language for Southbound Integrated Terminal. Located in Bandar Tasik Selatan, TBS was opened only in January 2011 (so it was not the same terminal we used during my visit to KL with my friends in 2007). It has a direct connection to LRT, KLIA Transit, and Komuter Train for those going to KL Sentral. For buses and taxi stations, just follow the signs where to catch your ride. For taxis, there's an option  for either a Budget Taxi or an Executive Taxi. We took a Budget Taxi which cost us MYR 25 (P297) to reach i-Hotel in Maharajalela in Kuala Lumpur.


Deluxe Room with Queen size Kingkoil bed mattress, 32 inch TV, AC,
two bottled water, Ensuite Bathroom with Hot water, Hair Dryer, & Towels
Checking in at I - Hotel in KL (No. 143 Jalan Maharajalela 50150 Kuala Lumpur Wilayah Persekutuan) was a last minute decision when we arrived at TBS, since hubby was shy about staying at my friend's condo that I have pre-arranged long before our trip. Good thing, I got an an address card from I-Hotel in Johor Bahru with a 10% off promotion for its other branches. We would have wanted an Executive Suite for MYR 163 (P 1,936) per night, because it was fitted with a 5-star king size Kingkoil bed mattress, but it was already occupied. We settled for a Deluxe Room for MYR 98 (P1,163) and paid only P1,047 because of the 10% discount.

Though, none of the hotel's description on its website is true (lol), we like it nonetheless because it is staffed with friendly and helpful Filipinos that made us feel safe. Also, the hotel is a walking distance (though a bit far for me!) to and from the Maharajalela Monorail station and located at a quieter place than other budget hotels. 


At Golden Screen Cinema to watch KingsMan: Secret Service
Before calling it a night, we took a trip to the Berjaya Times Square which is only one station away from Maharajalela Monorail Station which cost us MYR 1.20 (P14.30) each, one way, to exchange our dollars, have dinner and watched "Kingsman: Secret Service" at the Golden Screen Cinema (which is one of our couple's bucketlist)!




April 21, 2015 (Tuesday). The Hop - On- Hop - Off Bus Tour maybe the way to go to see more sights in KL at a limited time, except that it cost MYR 45 (P535) each, and we are watching our budget. Instead, we utilized KL'efficient LRT system, which has three lines - Kelana Jaya Rail Line, Ampang Rail Line and the Monorail. These three lines run independently of each other, but they have points where there are interchanges. 

Since our hotel is a stones throw away from the MyRapidKL Monorail, we are in luck! The Monorail runs between KL Sentral station and Titiwangsa station, and Maharajalela Station is the third station from KL Sentral. (Please Click the link for the routes details).Operating hours is from 6am until 11:30pm (from KL to Titiwangsa) and 11:50pm (from Titiwangsa to KL Sentral) with train frequency between 3 minutes to 5 minutes during day time. We bought Single Journey Token from Maharajalela to KL Sentral for only MYR 1.60 (P19). (For faretable, please click here).


KL SENTRAL, the largest development in Kuala Lumpur today that follows the City-within-a-City concept, was our first stop to grab a bite and to take the LRT to our next stop. The Monorail Station is directly linked to the NU Sentral Mall by an overhead walkway bridge. We had lunch at the Mall's Food Court at the 3rd Floor which has lots of restaurants and serves variety of food. Our lunch is yummy but not pricey, and dessert taste really good!!!

From KL Sentral we took the Kelana Jaya Rail Line train to KLCC Station, which cost MYR 1.60 (P19) each way, for about 15 minutes journey. The KLCC station has access to the KLCC Shopping Mall and to the Petronas Twin Towers. 

Another Bucket List Checked Off. 
Selfies at the Worl'ds Tallest Twin Towers!
PETRONAS TWIN TOWERS. A visit to this KL's iconic skyscraper tops our list of places to visit in KL so we could check off another item in our bucket list - take selfies at the world's tallest buildings! Built in 1998, the Petronas Towers is truly an architectural wonder and for a time, was the world's tallest building until it was surpassed by Taipei 101 in 2004. Nonetheless, the Petronas Twin Towers is currently the tallest twin tower buildings in the world!!

Being my second trip to Petronas Towers, I led Red outside of Suria KLCC to view the towers and take photos. There used to be a lovely small park with fountain in its base when I was there in 2007, but the fountain was no longer functioning during our visit. But the views of the 88-story gleaming towers that reach 452 meters into the air, was still amazing! We took lots of lots of selfie photos, a trick photography at best! 



Inside, we intended to line up to get free tickets to go up the Skybridge at the 41st/42nd floor. The Skybridge connects the two (2) towers together, and is considered the world's highest double - decked bridge, where you can see KL's attractions and the spire of the Petronas Twin Towers at 360 meters high. But with a long queue and the cost of the ticket now priced at MYR 84.50 (P1,008), hubby decided we should not do it. Instead, we enjoyed the miniature displays and took more photos at the huge KL's Attraction Map near the ticketing counter.


From KLCC Stationwe took the Kelana Jaya Rail Line back to KL Sentral and got off at Masjid Jamek station, which cost MYR 1.60 (P19) each.  The Masjid Jamek station has access to Little IndiaChinatown and the Merdeka Square.

There's quite a walk from Masjid Jamek Station to DATARAN MERDEKA or Independence Square, but this is the heart of Malaysia both historically and literally so you shouldn't miss this place for anything! 



This is the place where the independence of Malaysia in August 31, 1957 was declared. The 100-meter high flagpole marks the spot where the British rule has ended and is currently the record-holder for being the tallest flagpole in the world! 

Exactly opposite the Merdeka Square is the Sultan Abdul Ahmad Building, the Moorish architectural building with copper domes and clock tower. This building used to house the superior courts of Malaysia  - the federal court, Court of Appeals and its Supreme Court. Now the building is home to the Ministry of Information, Communications and Culture. 



While still in Merdeka Square, we walked towards the KL City Gallery and posed at the giant "I LOVE KL" structure which was built in January 2012 and has served as KL's new icon since then. 

And to wrap up our visit of KL, we headed out to Central Market to buy some souvenirs and to feed our already hungry tummy before we move to our next adventure in Melaka. But one thing I know, there's so much to enjoy in KL, and while there enjoy every bit of the experience like we did! 

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