Phuket Thailand, Island Hopping

It was early in the morning and the weather is really nice. It’s a day full of excitement, I must say. I travel alone going to Phuket International Airport. Everything is all set, I already have my passport with stamp on it. Unlike in some other countries were I’ve been, the immigration officers here are so welcoming. They grin at me when they noticed that I am a bit lost and pointed the right way to Exit.

Phuket International Airport

I walked down the airport and look for the mini bus bay.

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It cost me 180 baht and it’s a shared mini bus. Everyone is smiling at me and that made me feel their warm welcome. It stopped for a while in their office to register our passport number and the hotel names where we want to drop off.

Limousine Service

After 2 hours, the driver approach me and we’re now in front of the Red Planet Hotel. It was previously known as the Tune Hotel in Patong.

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Welcome to Phuket!

It was a sunny day and the hotel room is very cozy. It looks so neat and it’s totally comfy.  It has a full view mirror in front and another one above the headdress bed which I love the most. It has a cutie bed side table and a vault to secure our valuables. The bathroom has a glass divider and it smells really good. Hair blower is also available to use privately. My friend and I both love the room.

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I can’t wait to see the beach so I started to prepare. I made sure I have my phone with me so I can take photos and videos.

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It was an overwhelming feeling while walking in a foreign place.

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I have a bad sense of direction but this time I didn’t get lost. I made it and I was able to find the beach. Parasailing is one of the activity that you may want to try in Phuket. But since I don’t know how to swim, yes you read it right! I can’t try it. I love going to the beach but I don’t know how to swim. Funny isn’t it? Don’t worry, I am trying my very best to learn, that’ll be another story. I hope soon I can share it to everyone, I would be very glad if that time comes. Going back, I enjoyed watching the scenery. I am not quite sure if sitting in the beach chair is free or it has a charge. I just sat and started to take photos as I love what I am seeing. I’ve seen a couple and they look so in love after ages. I wish I could have experience it soon. Being with someone you love in a nice place.

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I tried looking for an authentic restaurant so I can try their local dish. I went inside and go out again, same goes in another restaurant. Until I found their 7/11 and look what I got. I grab the opportunity to try the Thai Milk Tea, weird because it’s color orange. Unusual for a milk tea that I’ve tried before but I really like it’s taste. It’s a bit bitter and I can say that it’s close to Teh Tarik (Malaysia’s Milk Tea).

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Snacks from 7/11 Thailand.

I also tried their burger but nothing special to it, still satisfied my cravings. Would you imagine, I only spent less than a hundred baht for snacks. That’s cheap compare to other places.

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I still have time to walk around after eating. Capturing photos, checking out menus of every restaurants for an hour made my day. I almost forgot that my friend will be coming.

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View at night.

The moment he arrived we went back to the beach and I didn’t know the other side that we explore that night. It was his second time in Phuket and we decided to go to the bar.

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Patong Beach

After eating dinner, we went straight to Bangla Road where night life is. It wasn’t an ordinary bar but a wild one for me. Everyone’s offering a drink and not just that, they are also offering a Ping Pong show. Take note, it’s a free entrance show. That was the first time I heard about it but based on their pictures, guys would really love it. ^-^

 

 

Sometimes being open to the public is much better. Just like this place, they are very open when it comes to sexuality and that’s the reason why people are having their best time of life. I’m not saying that it’s good but it’s not bad either. I am hesitant at first because I’m not used to what I am seeing. Everything is really wild for me but experiencing this kind of night life is out of my comfort zone which I enjoyed the most. Why? Because I was able to see a different side of life. A life without pretensions and pure of reality.

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The Honky Tonk Bar & Volk Bar Bangla

I’ve seen girls dancing on the table and everyone seems to be tipsy. The night is still young so we decided to get another drink. Sex on the beach is what I tried and it’s so hot even on my first sip. Then, a lady saw us having a boring drink and sitting at the corner side of the bar. Maybe she’s thinking that we are not enjoying the place but she’s wrong. She ask us to play tic-tac-toe with her and if she wins we’ll buy her a drink but if we win, she’ll give us free drinks. Not a bad offer but we surely loss the game because I have no idea how it works. We refused her offer, we already know that tactics and for sure we’re not gonna win.

DSC_0161Good thing, she didn’t force us but she offered twice. We continue drinking and talking and another crew offered us to play. There’s something in her that we like. She’s so kind and accommodating. Oh! I forgot to mention her name is Cherry and even though we knew that we’re not gonna win, we let her play with us. We really had fun that night, I can’t describe but you can easy get along with her. I so like her even though she defeated us.

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The disco light turned to be a stain on my forehead (hahaha) and look we got another drink. It’s almost midnight when we finished our so called night life and that’s the end of our Day 1 in Phuket.

The next day, we manage to wake up on time and had our breakfast at Charlie’s cafe next to our hotel. We had some issues because we thought that breakfast is included in our reservation but we’re wrong. Still okay because we got a discount and while eating we contacted our tour so we can get the tour details. We found out that they didn’t listed our booking because they sent a confirmation email yesterday but since I am so busy I was not able to check it. We got really worried because that was our only chance to have a tour, tomorrow morning will be our flight going to Bangkok and we can’t miss to do the Island Hopping. That was the highlight of our trip, we prepared a month before.

Finally, my friend was able to find an alternative tour. It was a quick transaction and we got our tour for only 1,300 baht each. Right after our breakfast the lady went to our hotel lobby to get our payment and instructed us to wait at the lobby.

Red Planet lobby.
Red Planet lobby.

While waiting, we found a photo booth at the hotel lobby. Cool right? You can send the picture on your email or post it to your social media account.DSC_0185

The long wait is over, we finally got our island tour. From the port we waited for an hour because the tour guide needs to assure our safety. They briefed us about the agenda and they group us into three. They are offering Thai, Chinese and English introduction for the foreigners who does not know how to understand other languages. They give us time to change our clothes and the guy give us a pill for us not to feel dizzy during the boat ride. You can also buy swimming gear if you’d like to have your own instead of using what they will provide.

 

The moment that the boat stopped, my heart started to beat so fast. This is it! Oh my God, I am so afraid in water. I think, I am starting to pray at that moment (hahaha).

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Phi Phi Loh Samah Bay

After a few minutes of convincing me to let go of the rope to have a nice shot,I made it. Thanks to my friend who didn’t get tired to convince me. For the sake of the blog, hahaha that’s what I thought. But my fear retain so after 5 minutes of floating I started to panic again. I don’t know how to move sideways and to get back on track.

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Water is my greatest fear and I just realized that while growing. I remember when I was in my secondary school, there was one time that I got drowned because I didn’t noticed that the pool was 7 feet high. I just can’t forget that moment and whenever I tried I always failed. When our family are having a summer outing, I always stay in the pool gutter or in a 4 feet swimming pool instead. That was tough because I can’t enjoy the pool even if I’d love to. I’ve been in different islands in the Philippines but I never tried to swim even with the life vest, I don’t trust it I guess. I’m one step forward from my greatest fear now.

Phi Phi Don Island
Phi Phi Don Island

The tour guide announced that we cannot go to Maya Beach, where Leonardo DiCaprio’s movie (The Beach) was shoot. As a preparation, I’d even watched the movie before our trip. We we’re able to see the Viking Cave and the Monkey Beach. On our second stop, no more rope for me to hold on. I breathe deeply and prepare myself, at first I am enjoying it. But when I notice that I am getting far from the boat and the waves keep hitting my face, I started to panic again. Oh God, I can’t imagine I survived. I almost yelled for help but no one seems to hear me. I started to focus and think of what I learned during my DIY swimming lesson. I remember all the videos I watched from Youtube on how to survive in a deep water. I believe that the fear I had was just all in my mind because believe it or not, I was able to reach the boat. I can’t explain how did it happen, I almost forgot that there are cute colorful fishes in the area. I felt relieved and happy at the same time. I will still try to learn swimming and I hope in time I can make it.

The tour went well and all our pictures made my day. When we get back to Phuket, my friend and I decided to withdraw so we can eat dinner. Unexpected circumstance happens again, we use my friend’s Maybank ATM to withdraw from the Thanachart Bank near our hotel. It happened so fast and the ATM card did not came out from the ATM machine. That was around 7 pm and we have no idea of what the prompt is. We tried to press Cancel but nothing happens. What we did was, went back to our hotel and asked help from the receptionist to contact the Customer Hotline. She’s very helpful and patiently talked to the representative. We we’re advised to claim the ATM card from the bank the next day but that’s not possible because we have a flight. Moving forward, we’re still lucky because I can use my card. We made sure to be more careful, otherwise it’ll spoil our trip. It took time for me to withdraw because I need to manage my withdrawal limit and activate my card to use outside Malaysia.

Note: Be careful in using an international card to any banks. Make sure to do it during the business hours so you can report it right away. It was a lesson learned for both us.

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Whew! That was alarming at first. Good news, it was a successful transaction. That was the end of our Phuket journey. Tomorrow we will be in Bangkok.

Check out:

Sawasdee Khat Thailand

Welcome to the Capital City.. Bangkok!

 

 

French Village of Malaysia

French Village in Malaysia? Yes it exist. It’s near Bentong, Pahang, off the Karak Highway, there is a highland called Bukit Tinggi. It is located just about 40 minutes from Kuala Lumpur by car and you can also take a bus from Berjaya Times Square. Make sure to check the schedule for your convenience and be early. The entrance fee is 12 rm for adults and 8 rm for kids. You’ll have an access to all attractions.

There are a lot of things you can do in the said place. If you’d like to check it in Google, there are a lot of keywords that you can use like Bukit Tinggi, French Village or Colmare Tropical , that’s the name of the resort. If you only want to see the place, a day trip would be enough, just like what we did.

Japanese Village

My friend and I started to go around 10am. It was Saturday and the weather is really nice. We both decided to start exploring the Japanese Village first because at that time a lot of people roaming around in the French Village. There is a free shuttle going to other places like the Japanese Village, Rabbit Farm, Adventure Park, Botanical Garden, Horse Trails, Berjaya Hills Golf, Country Club and many more. It took us 10 minutes to wait on the queue going to the Japanese Village. Make sure to wear a comfortable outfit because you need to walk all day to explore the entire place.

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Near the entrance you’ll see a Japanese Souvenir Shop. The items are quite expensive for me but it’s all cute. At that time, since the weather is really hot we decided to buy an ice cream. The price is double than the price outside. If you’re fond of Japanese culture, you’ll really appreciate the place.

Japanese Village
inside the Japanese Village

Fashionistas will be happy  wearing a Kimono while in the village. Cool isn’t it? You can rent and fix your self inside the Japanese house. That really looks super nice if you love taking photos. Your ootd will be very awesome. If you get hungry, don’t worry Ryo Zan Tei a Japanese restaurant is just around the village.

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The Japanese Garden

So you need a lot of patience with you. You need to wait in a long line while waiting for the others to finish. Don’t forget to have fun, that’s the most important thing.

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Japanese fish pond.

Everyone seems to be enjoying the place. I remember the couple who ask us to take their photos. They look so happy together and smile back to us after. Sweet!

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A must try Tatami Spa to relax.

Tea house and Tatami spa is a must try. You’ll really enjoy the place but be aware that on the weekend, there’s a ton of tourist.As much as I want to take more photos, it’s very hard  because there will be times that you need to walk in a one way path. They designed the entire place like a real Japanese garden. The dead end, the road is close after the Ume Tatami Suite. I got curious of what’s inside but we didn’t enter. This is the end of our Japanese Garden tour. Next stop is the French Village, after all this is why I am here. To see the European side of Malaysia.

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Parking area is near the French village, there are 4 floors where you can park your car. The view that you are seeing is where the shuttle will drop you. Make sure to check the sign board because the shuttle looks like a private one.

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in front of the French Village

Look at that scenery, it’s very elegant and attractive. The structure is really amazing. I haven’t been in Europe but it feels like I’ve been there. I remember some movies that I watched before. It looks very real and I really love it. Although the clouds are a bit dark.

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Before I went to the place, I’ve seen this creative horse figure and I told myself that I wouldn’t miss the chance to take a photo of it.

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Excuse my photo-bombers.

I enjoyed checking out the place. It’s hard to find a nice spot inside because photo-bombers are around.

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That’s how it looks inside, there are different restaurants inside where you can eat. I think they will renovate the place soon because there are some rides for kids that is not open yet.

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The front view near the entrance.

This is just the entrance, I’m sure you’ll love it more when I show you the inside view.

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It would be nicer if people are allowed to go inside but that’s not the case. Taking photos of this pretty colorful structure is the only thing you can do. Below this tall replica are the restaurants.

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At the end of the french village, there is a 5 floor tower where you can see the view. The lift isn’t working at that time so no choice but to take the stairs. I feel like I am in a real castle.

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I’ve taken different side view of the tower. The front view where you can see the detailed design of the area. You’ll see how crowded the place is. Even inside the tower, I need to wait for the others before my turn to capture this beautiful view.

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Still the front view but this time I’m at the top part of the tower.

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At the right side, still at the 5th floor of the tower. This is what you will see, there is a swimming pool behind.

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The back part view, you’ll see the whole area and I’ve seen where the Golf Course is. I can’t imagine how people live in that tiny houses built far away. I stayed where I am at for 5 minutes and I remember the rice terraces in Baguio of what I am seeing.

21476353_10155563871132508_1954111159_nYou can’t see much from the left side view of the tower but I remember when I watched a couple trying out their drone. The girl was holding it and the guy starting to control it. I waited for them to set it up but after a few minutes it fell on the ground. When we are on our way down, the couple seems to be really upset because the drone was broken.

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We supposed to go to the Rabbit farm after but we need to wait for the shuttle to come around 3:20pm. I decided not to go there because it’ll be a heavy rain and I am so hungry.

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That’s the end of my French Village journey. Next stop is Sunway Pyramid Mall.

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We are really lucky because the rain didn’t stop while we are on our way back to Kuala Lumpur. We’re heading to Sunway Pyramid Mall to attend a convention center. Since I am not into reading books I didn’t buy anything. They are also offering cheap stuff as a promo. Few more hours to wait so I can eat a real food. We both decided to eat in a Korean Restaurant near the area. Oh I miss the Samgyupsal!

 

 

 

Welcome to Bamboo House, it’s an Eat-All-You Can Korean restaurant in Mentari near the Sunway Pyramid Mall.

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Samgyupsal (fresh pork belly) is Korean dish that usually served with a side of lettuce which used to wrap the meat, radish, kimchi, sesame oil sauce, ssamjang, sweetened black turtle beans and etc. I’ve tried it once in Manila before and it became my all time Korean dish. While waiting for the grilled pork to become tender, I tried the kimchi first. At first, I am hesitant to try it because it looks very spicy but after a few bite it became irresistible. No left over allowed when you eat here. Make sure to just get what you can finish.

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Don’t forget to partner it with Kook Soon Dang, I recommend this Korean rice wheat wine drink. It only has 6% of alcohol drink and make sure to shake it well before you open. At first it does not taste good but after a few sip, I assure you’ll like it. It was a night full of memory and that’s the end of my French Village journey. See you on my next trip. Bonne Nuit!

 

Sawasdee Khat Thailand ,.

A new place to explore, welcome to Thailand. It’s a Southeast Asian country. It took an hour flight from Malaysia to Thailand. There are several transportation that you may use. You can travel by car, plane, ferry and via International Express train between Bangkok and Butterworth (northern part of Malaysia). Malaysia time is an hour ahead of Thailand.

I’ve seen pictures of Thailand and it’s really amazing. I have no clue on what to expect but I am so excited to try their food. I can’t wait to try their authentic cuisine. I’ve tried Tomyam soup in Malaysia and I really like it though I’m not into spicy food. I have some Thai friend and they’re really sweet. I am expecting a lot from this place.

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What I love the most from this trip is the food. When I travel, I don’t have a lavish budget when it comes to food. My friend and I first explore Phuket Thailand. We stayed at Red Planet near the Patong Beach. If you are in this place, you can’t resist to try their fresh seafood. There are a lot of Seafood Market and Restaurants nearby. There are so many varieties to choose from and they serve different Thai cuisine. Whenever we passed by the area, sellers keep asking us what we want. For me it’s annoying because even if we refuse they keep asking us. But that’s what their marketing strategy works. I can’t remember how many times they offer their menus to us.

Phuket Thailand

When we finally decided to eat, we tried this small night market near our hotel. You may choose to sit inside or outside the restaurant. I remember seeing a little girl selling a floral garland to some of the customers. That way foreigners would feel the warmed welcome from locals. From what I searched, they call it Phuang malai (พวงมาลัย). They are giving it as offerings or kept for good luck.

The place was crowded but I can guarantee you that you’ll enjoy the food. You’ll see how fresh the seafood is and it will be cook right in front of you. You can choose the amount of the food you like to order and the dish that you want to try. You may request different viand for one kilo of squid. You can ask to cook half of it with oyster sauce and the half is grilled. It’ll takes time when you order because they will cook it real time so you need to be really patient. Don’t go to this place if you are really hungry. Allot a few minutes for them to prepare your food. Here’s what we tried in Patong Phuket.

 

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Squid cooked in oyster sauce with vegetables. The squid is half-cooked and you’ll really like the taste. I remember Chopsuey (Filipino Cuisine) in this dish.

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Grilled Oyster. There’s a funny story behind this oyster. My friend and I decided to order half of any dish so we can try it all. When we order the oyster the guy ask if we want to have 1 or 6 order. It shows a small plate on the menu so we requested 1 order. To our surprise, he gave us 1 big piece of oyster. When we realize the only option would be 1 plate of 1 big oyster or 6 small pieces. So be careful when you order because most of the time there will be a language barrier. Good thing, this big oyster didn’t disappointed us. It’s really tasty and fresh.

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Sticky Mango Rice for dessert. I didn’t expect that the serving is really big. We got 2 orders and I wasn’t able to finish it. The sticky rice really taste coconut milk. The mango is really sweet. The one I tried in Malaysia is in a small plate but instead of coconut milk they use condensed milk. I love the condensed rather than the coconut milk.

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We thought breakfast was included on our stay. So on our 2nd day we went down and ask the receptionist where to claim it. They lead us to the restaurant beside the hotel. Charlie Bistro & Bar affiliates the Red Planet hotel. We found out that we do not have any free breakfast but they give us discount.

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I made sure to try their authentic Tom Yam seafood soup in Thailand. You may choose chicken, beef or seafood soup. Compare to other soup that I tried, this is the best. I like the herbs that they use to cook this dish. The mixed seafood was cook nicely.

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How will I not try their famous Pad Thai? I’m not really eating bean sprout but this is a must try when you go to Thailand. The sweetness and saltiness of the sauce complement the taste. The dried wide rice noodles is a perfect combination with stir fried tofu. Now, I know the reason why it became famous. I wish I can easily find it wherever I go.

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Khaosan Bangkok

We stayed at the Green House Hostel when we went to Bangkok. The Hostel have their own restaurant and bar. The price is around 150-450 baht but if you are staying there, you’ll get 10% discount. You must first register and claim your meal stub from reception area. They will require you to surrender the room key to get the stub,  so make sure to claim it when you decided to eat there.

My friend tried the Pineapple Fried Rice with cashew and shrimp. Look at the presentation, the idea of putting it in a pineapple is so brilliant .

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Chicken Salad with garlic bread is what I ordered.

 

 

 

 

 

Malaysia, my first ever trip.

First stop, Malaysia truly Asia. This photo was taken last November 2014. I didn’t plan my trip with detailed itinerary. I just booked a flight and hotel for 2 weeks and that’s it. I arrived in Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA 2) around 10pm. I had a hard time looking for the bus station going to KL Sentral the City Centre. I paid 10rm to be exact from the airport going to KL Sentral by bus. I always prefer the cheapest transportation when I travel. It will take an hour to go to the City Centre. KL Sentral is the last stop so you can still sleep during your trip.

  • You may also take the train from Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA 2) to KL Sentral. It will cost you 25rm (one-way) and 45rm (return) to get a ticket.
  • They also offer an Express where you can book online and it will be non-stop. It is 55rm (one-way for adult) as of writing. You can go to KLIA Express website to book your tickets online. It will save your time for your convenience.
  • Another way is to take a cab or Taxi. Grab and Uber are also available. Prices may vary depending on your hotel location.

I still remember how my friends reacted when they found out that I went to Malaysia alone. They said if I were them, they will be frighten. I felt scared when I’ve seen their reaction, but not during the entire trip because at that time I am so excited. Excited to explore the country.

To save my budget I booked a Flight + Hotel using Air Asia Go. The price is cheaper if you will travel more than a week.

  • AirAsia offers the lowest rate among other airlines so you may want to check it first.
  • Don’t forget to compare the prices before you book it.
  • Try to sign up to their site and get points whenever you fly to save money in the future.

If you are staying in City Centre, don’t forget to grab Malaysia’s smarter way to travel using Go KL Bus. You can visit some tourist destinations without paying any amount. I was amazed when I first experience it hahaha. I can’t believe they offer a free ride. But take note and plan ahead of time because if you chose to take Go KL Bus it will take so much time. There will be a time that you will wait for 30 minutes to an hour going to one place to another. They have Blue, Red, Purple and Green Line so make sure to check it before you hop in. Aside from the time, everyone will be riding to this free bus so make sure to bring a lot of patience with you. It will not be advisable if you are with your grandparents. Better to take the train or book a cab.

No Entrance Tourist Destination

 If you are staying near KL Sentral, the easiest way to go to Suria KLCC shopping mall and Petronas Twin Tower is by using the Rapid KL LRT Train (Kelana Jaya Line) . If you love shopping this is the best place to visit. The premier shopping destination is located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. You will notice the extravagant interior of each store. You will find luxury boutiques like Alfred Dunhill, Bvlgari, Chanel, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Gucci and many more.

 

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Don’t forget to check out Level 2 where you can find the Food Center. You will see different cuisine and their famous Old Town Cafe. I was overwhelmed when I first visit the place. I remember that people are shouting when I came in. I’d even follow them though I didn’t know what’s happening. Only to find out that a celebrity passed by. Funny because I got distracted and I’d even taken a video. I waited until they all went back to the shopping mall. I stayed longer outside the shopping mall so I can see the beauty of the twin tower. Around 7pm you can watch the Lake Symphony Fountains near the Dome cafe. Grab the opportunity to take photos with the Twin Tower background at night. I was mesmerized by the colorful lights around me. I wouldn’t forget the song “Satu Malaysia” or 1 Malaysia in English. I may not totally understand the meaning of the song, but I like its tune. Whenever I heard the song it brings back the memory when I started this journey.

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You will find a Go KL Bus stop outside the mall, our next stop is the StarHill Gallery , one of the Asia’s most beautiful shopping mall. I am amaze of it’s unique structure so don’t miss to take a photo. In front of it you will see the Pavilion Mall . If you love shopping don’t forget to redeem your Tourist Card Reward at Fashion Avenue Concierge at Level 2 or Concierge Desk at Level 3. Check out their website and enjoy their special offer. I must say that this country really values their tourist. Just walk around the place and you will see a lot of boutiques.