Travel Log: Malaysia Tour (27/7/09-13/8/09)

LONG LONG LONNNNNNG ENTRY AHEAD!

In January, some travel buddies and I went to KL for a 6 day trip. So this time round we decided we shouldn’t just stay in the city and that we should explore the rest of Malaysia. It was definitely one of the most exciting vacations ever! Hehehe.

Here are the collective places, activities and forms of transport and accommodation that I actually did/used/went to:

DAY 1

1. Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) of Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) which is where all AirAsia planes go to. Takes about 1 hour plus to get to KL. Many people do not like this airport but I personally thought it was fine. It is after all a budget airport, and with flights coming in every 30 minutes I think it’s pretty decent. I would rate it 6/10.

“However, the Low Cost Carrier Terminal is a temporary solution for budget travellers, MAHB has submitted a proposal to the Transport Ministry to build a new, permanent LCC hub in between the main terminal building and satellite building A to replace the present Low Cost Carrier terminal.” From here.

Looking forward to the new LCCT! πŸ˜€

Obviously transported via plane.

2. Tunes Hotel at LCCT.

Sitting area downstairs if you can’t sleep. There’s also a 7/11 down there.

View from the balcony.

Free internet connection. πŸ˜€ Always a good thing.

I thought it was quite convenient staying there for one night as we all had a flight to catch the next morning. Room was VERY small but beds were nice and comfortable, which is really what you’re paying for: a place to sleep. Modern and simplistic designs, reminiscent of AirAsia. But overall not bad, better than I expected. πŸ™‚

DAY 2

3. Nilai, Negeri Sembilan (transported via van). You may remember Kay from my January trip. πŸ™‚

It’s quite amusing that I actually went here. Initially came here for lunch because it is the nearest town to KLIA. But then we had some time to kill before going off on our next flight in the afternoon so we explored the area. Turns out it has some of the cheapest kains I’ve ever seen. Also tudongs and household items as well. The place is a huge Ikea!

So many cheap kains! And tudongs and bags and everything!

Rows and rows of shops like these.

Fun conical snacks

Even arcades for bored kids waiting for parents!

It was quite a sight! Many business opportunities await for those who are willing. πŸ™‚

4. Langkawi International Airport: Nothing special about this airport, but it’s reminiscent of the airport we have here in Brunei, small and modest. Maybe even smaller. But the feeling u get as u touched down is priceless. Hehe the runway is not really made for big airplanes so for Langkawi flights, may I recommend you to use Firefly instead of Airasia for a more comfortable land.

Yeap, the kind where you have to walk under the open sky to the terminal. Hehe. And yes, Langkawi is an island, thus it is duty free. πŸ™‚

5. Transport: Langkawi van taxis!

These awesome van taxis are definitely the way to travel when you are in a big group that does not know the meaning of “luggage control”. Most of the drivers are between 40-50 years. Where are the young people I wonder? Hmmm…

6. Malibest Resort: This awesome resort is located in Pantai Cenang, which is in the southwestern tip of Langkawi, 25km away from the nearest town, Pekan Kuah. There are no buildings higher than coconut trees, caused by a government ruling, so hotel owners create these awesome little chalets overlooking the blue green waters lining the white powdery sand of the beach.

This was the nice young lady who checked us in. She was very helpful and friendly. After a while I realised that most of the hotel staff were people around the ages of 20-35, which answered my earlier question of where are all the young people.

This was our chalet: the “family room” which is actually for 5 people, but we managed to fit everyone (7 of us) in. Girls get the double bed! πŸ˜€

It was an extremely enjoyable time mostly because of the hotel’s location as well. I think even if the hotel is made out of nipah and mengkuang, we’d still think it’s an awesome place because…

Barely 10 steps away from our awesome chalet is the beach! πŸ˜€ After taking this photo, I immediately dumped all my belongings and ran into the water.

7. Best place to be while in Langkawi is undeniably in the waters of Andaman Sea.

Sunset, noon, sunrise, full moon? They’re all extra amazing while you are in the water. Check out how there are barely no waves. Believe you me, we swam even at night! The water is warmer then and there are less people. It’s just absolutely awesome.

8. Transport: Another big ass van/jeep that could fit everyone in. Hehe. Driven by Formula One driver who doesn’t know when to brake. *shudder* Hahaha.

9. Medan Selera Nelayan: I have no idea where this was but it was basically nearby.

Fresh seafood! Had a marvelous dinner here. It was like a fish market, except that they cook everything for you straightaway. Some of the fishes were still breathing and swimming even. Dinner was extra special because my friend, GZul deshelled the crabs and shrimps for me! Hahahahah, I’m such a baby sometimes. πŸ˜€

10. Sunbar: One of the erm, “social networking venues” that we visited. Ahem. But has the most wonderful singer. I love places with live acoustic shows. My songlist on iTunes are full of acoustic versions of this or that song, simply because I love it when singers strip down to the most basic form of their music. I love that rawness.

DAY 3

11. Transport: Motorboat! Went on an island hopping package on this cute little boat. Company agreed to let us charter the whole boat with no extra cost. πŸ˜€

12. Pulau Dayang Bunting (Isle of the Pregnant Maiden): It is the second largest island in the archipelago. The island is shaped like a pregnant woman lying down while looking at the sky. But it actually gets its name from a legend that surrounds the freshwater lake, Tasik Dayang Bunting (Lake of the Pregnant Maiden) The large lake is suitable for swimming and apparently barren women will suddenly be able to bear children if they drink water from it.

The Isle of the Pregnant Maiden eerilly shaped like a pregnant woman lying down.

One of the many many tame monkeys on the island.

Water was nice and cool. Perfect for the hot hot weather!

Of course I swam in it (eventhough I think I’m not barren). But I used a life jacket because it was really deep and was afraid I’d get cramps and shit after the light trekking to get to the lake. Well light trekking if you’re Michelle of course. I’m absolutely unfit so this was just “trekking” for me. Also I wasn’t sure if I could swim all that well. This was honestly the first time I’ve ever swam in a freshwater lake. It felt.. bottomless. The water was pristinely clear but it was so deep I couldn’t really see the bottom.

Oh by the way, the life jacket is on rent haha. I might not be a light traveller but I don’t pack a life jacket with me “just in case”. πŸ˜›

13. Pulau Singa Besar: Here I saw one of the most amazing sights ever. The boat driver first threw something in a bucket into the water then suddenly made the engine splash some water into the air. Then suddenly 10 or more eagles came down and grabbed something from the water.

Apparently the boat driver said that the bucket was filled with chicken guts, and that’s what made the eagles come down to eat. I’ve never seen these eagles up close ever before so that was amazing. I apologise these pictures do not do the scene any justice. It was just so beautiful, and they were so close I swear I could almost feel the wind from the bird’s wings. At times like these I wish I have a better camera.

14. Pulau Beras Basah:A most beautiful island, sand was whiter and more powdery than the ones on Pantai Cenang. Water was crystal clear and so blue and the best thing was that, underwater, there was a lot coral and little fishes darting about, oblivious to humans. Had much fun snorkeling and pretending I was The Little Mermaid.

15. Dataran Lang: This is the where the biggest most regal looking eagle statue resides, majestically welcoming you to Langkawi. It’s awesomely huge!

Love this photo!

It’s huge and impossible to fit in a single photo. Well, impossible using my camera, anyway.

Camwhore.

View of the Kuah Jetty from Dataran Lang.

16. Transport: Yet another big ass van, this time rented. I think we spent about RM15 each for this van. Quite affordable. Just make sure u bring your driving license. Nissan Serena, auto of course! πŸ˜€ Quite convenient to have a car because taxis are quite expensive.

This time I drove because I was the only one not sleepy despite not sleeping for 2 nights already. Easy driving in Langkawi. Even more leisurely than in Brunei.

Kids fell asleep at the back hahaha.

17. Gamat Shop: Well, let’s just say my BPY friends bought enough to supply a Gamat Spa here in Brunei for a year.

Gamat is usually the dried, powdered bodies of sea cucumbers made into a lotion or other topical salve. Of course, there’s always the unconventional use like the one below:

Hehehehe. I don’t think I need to explain what this is for. But I especially like the note at the bottom, “Tabahkan senjata anda sebelum anda bertarung. Kalau berdayuh biarlah sampai ke muara” LOL!!!

18. Pantai Cenang Sunset

Beautiful and pink.

Miss this beach a LOT!

19. The Beach: A restaurant where we had a delicious and fuss free barbecue dinner. Just a few minutes walk from our hotel via the beach. πŸ˜€ Had the most amazing barbecued barracuda ever!

There’s something awesome about eating while your feets are submerged in powdery sand.

Just a few steps from our table was this nice sand art. Complete with candles! πŸ˜€

DAY 4

20. Pantai Cenang Watersports: Probably the cheapest in the region. We had sooooooo much fun this morning! πŸ˜€ I remembered the sea was extra extra blue and calm and just so beautiful. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Langkawi sure knows how to make an impression.

Banana Boat! Eeeeeps!

Parasailing!!!

There were also other water sports like jetskis and all that jazz. Fun times! BTW if you’re wondering where the rest are, they are in Pulau Payar (Coral Island) scuba diving. πŸ˜€

21. Transport: Taxi to Kuah Jetty. I took this photo. Was quite sad to leave. 😦

Like I said earlier, if you’re planning to do so much travelling, bring one luggage only. Easy for taxis and easy for you. 15 kgs maximum! Basically you should be able to carry it on your own without help.

22. Kuah Jetty: We waited around for a while for our ferry at Starbucks. πŸ™‚ At this point it was 3 nights of no sleeping.

23. Transport: Ferry to Kuala Kedah

Exciting!

Ferry was very big, with 2 floors and airconditioned. If you are planning on taking this ferry, well I suggest you to wear warm clothes. It’s quite cold.

All of us nice and tanned. Hehehe. LOVE it!

Also seats are not allocated so best go on the ferry early as so to grab the seats most near to the luggage bank for fast exit later on. Believe me, people will push.

Why are we going to Kuala Kedah? Well, on that particular week, all flights (all airlines) to and from Langkawi were all FULL! Serves us right for not booking early hehehe.. Therefore, another way to go back to KL is via Pulau Pinang International Airport. The easiest way to get to Penang obviously would be to go there directly by ferry. But again, luck is not on our side: ferry tickets are all gone. So our last resort would be to go by ferry to Kuala Kedah, then to either grab a taxi or bus to Penang. Then catch a flight to KL.

24. Kuala Kedah Jetty: Nothing special. The jetty in Kuah is much better looking, not that it’s a looker in the first place. But most definitely better looking than the one in Kiangggeh hahaha.

There is a very conveniently placed taxi station outside. That is the extent of the convenience. Hahaha.

25. Transport: Another taxi from Kuala Kedah to Pulau Pinang International Airport. Journey wasn’t that long. About 2 hours or so? Was a nice and comfortable ride. πŸ™‚

Photo with the driver.

The car.

26. Pulau Pinang International Airport

With our friend: Henry! The reason why we went back to Penang. Hahaha.

Checking in our baggage. Angry looking AirAsia staff. Heheh.

PPIA was a bigger airport than Langkawi’s. Nothing particularly interesting about it though. Some shops. No internet. Nyum nyums everywhere.

27. Transport: On another AirAsia flight. You’d recognise the leather seats even if I didn’t say right? Was delayed by an hour. So apparently AirAsia flights get delayed on a regular basis. It actually depends on the first flight of the day, if that flight is delayed then the rest of the day’s flights will also be delayed.

28. Transport: Bus from LCCT to KL Sentral. This journey took at least 1 hour, even without traffic at 12am at night. Haha we were pretty tired at this point, but spirits were still up as we joked and laughed. This cost about RM9.90? I can’t really remember. But it was some ridiculously cheap amount.

29. Noble Hotel, Masjid India. Our hotel in KL. We chose this area because, well I am not sure really. Random choice I guess? There are many hotels in KL within our budget limit and this was randomly chosen out of many many. Hehe, we were rather glad too because it was very exciting staying there!

Don’t you find it amazing that only this morning we were swimming in Pantai Cenang and now a few states later, here we are in Noble Hotel, Masjid India.

DAY 5

30. Masjid India, Kuala Lumpur. Such an interesting place to be in. πŸ˜€ Bustling with activity, this is where you get to see the real Malaysia, the real Kuala Lumpur.

Just outside our hotel early n the morning.

These shops all suffered damages during the ISA Protests when the Fire Engines sprayed water everywhere to disperse the crowds. More on the ISA Protests later. Very exciting time!

Had breakfast there as well. Accompanied with some furry brown rats. πŸ™‚

31. KL Sentral: One of KL’s most important buildings. It is the largest train station in South East Asia. Hehe.

We were there to do two things. By this time we pretty much made up our mind to go to Penang. So we need to change our flights home to a later date and then but a train ticket from KL to Butterworth.

Stopped by a very packed AirAsia counter and waited for our turn. Change of flight dates usually cost about RM50, and if the fare of the flight is more than your orginal ticket, then you have to top that up. If it is less, you don’t get a refund. And you need to do this at least 24 hours before your original flight.

Waited some more at the train ticket counter.

Soma, my friend, joined us waiting! Hehe. Then this man stopped by and approached him. Apparently was raising funds for some charitable cause. Wasn’t too sure. Have you ever donated this way? I’m always scared of getting conned.

Got our tickets! πŸ˜€

32. Transport: Komuter to get from KL Sentral to Mid Valley. This was about RM1? Cheap!

33. Mid Valley MegaMall: We didn’t really have any plans for the day so we decided to go shopping and have some indulgent me-day. We decided to go to Mid Valley. Walked around then quickly got bored.

So I decided to do my hair. πŸ˜› I think KL has very nice salons, which are manned by professionals. And totally affordable. Then my friends also decided to do their hair! LOL. Anyway yes all those days swimming in seasalty water had taken its toll on my long tresses. Had to do some sort of treatment before it gets any worse.

Then had yummy dessert in Beard Papa‘s.

And after shopping around ended up having dinner still at Mid Valley! Hahaha.

You know where we are right? πŸ˜€

34. Dataran Merdeka. To relive great old times. πŸ™‚ Maybe I should make it a ritual. From now on, everytime I go KL, I MUST visit Dataran Merdeka to hear the clock strike twelve.

Can you believe it’s only been 5 days of travel?

TO BE CONTINUED WITH ADVENTURES IN…

  • Masjid India during ISA Protests & Genting Highlands (Click here!)
  • Pulau Pinang
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11 Comments

  1. salam der!

    hy Mau, u plan kah all those city/hotels n all? or jz langgar2 saja? hehe.. and do u allocate budgets on this travels? jz wanna know. ive been dreaming on doing on one of those unplanned activites/city…etah~~

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    1. Hi MsD, well for some stuff like air tickets to Langkawi and KL,Tunes Hotel, and our hotel in Masjid India, we planned early. (Like 2 weeks before belayar). However, our actual hotel in Langkawi and our trip to Pulau Pinang and Genting was totally unplanned and unresearched hahahah. It helps however to have friends in those areas to recommend and help us. My advice to u would be to PLAN EARLY with regards to hotel and flights. But the rest can be done with spontaneity.

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      1. Oh and about budget, I allocate a per day budget… Like.. $20 a day kah, or something like that… Set them aside for food and transport.

        But set aside a generous amount for entertainment. Or shopping, if u like… I don’t really go shopping when I travel, surprisingly quite frugal. Haha. I have a philosophy of, “if I won’t buy that in Brunei, then why am I buying it here?” However, I do set generous amount of money for things like tours, island hopping, jetskis, banana boats, clubbing, theme park entrance etc.

        Also make sure u always have at least US$100 in ur wallet in that currency, in cases of emergency (esp. if you do not have a credit card). U may or may not use it but I recommend it.

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