Harmony in Diversity: Malaysia

Last two countries to blog (including this one) and my Asian Trip series would be over #Sepanx. Today will be a continuation from our 24 hour ride to Butterworth up until our adventures in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Our train first stopped by Hat Yai Station, it made me realise my research wasn’t so bad but since Hat Yai lies outside of Bangkok that would be another long way to go. After the passengers boarded, our train continued on, by night our beds were arranged by the train conductor and we had a good night’s sleep. Just imagine, your mom rocking you off to sleep. 😛

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We just passed by Hat Yai!
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Sleepy time in the upper bunk. ZZZzzzz…

It was around passed 2pm by the time we reached Butterworth. My dad wanted to ride the train going to Kuala Lumpur but the train arrives at around 8:00pm, so instead of moping ourselves in sadness (ang OA nun ah) we decided to eat our late lunch and take the bus.

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We left 30 minutes passed the scheduled time, it kinda irritated me because it was so hot to wait inside but as soon as the bus went off, I simply dozed to sleep. The next thing I felt when I woke up was how freezing it felt. We pulled our jackets out from the bags, it was raining and somehow it was a relief to the hot weather. Our bus stopped by for 20 minutes in a Mall/Bus Terminal, where my mom and I rushed to the toilet to pee. Most public toilets in Malaysia have fees for maintenance, so I suggest that you bring around 1-5 Ringgit. Also, buses in Malaysia don’t  have built-in toilets unlike those we rode from Vietnam to Thailand, so you have to lessen your water intake or patiently wait for the stopover. They usually have only one stopover.

We reached Jalan Pudu in KL around 8:00pm, our bus stopped by a terminal and we went outside. We were uncertain on where to go. There was no Sir John with us, we are all left by ourselves. It was a good thing we stepped outside and that Jalan Pudu had countless of hotels along the road. But the biggest blessing we got was when we went outside to check the area my dad saw that above the bus terminal there was a sign inside that says “To Ancasa Hotel Express”. We took the escalators, and someone met my dad asking us where do we need to go. I didn’t hear what my dad said, but we just followed the man and he led us straight to the 3rd floor where it was filled with bus ticketing offices. At least we have an idea where we could get a ticket going to Singapore, but for now we really needed a place to stay. We asked again, where is the hotel and the man directed us to the lift/elevator and told us to go to the 4th floor.

Lo, and behold we finally found the hotel we needed to stay in for the night. The room rate is around 160 Ringgit with breakfast. In case you chose the non breakfast package and you want to avail the buffet you’ll pay separately, it costs 16 Ringgit/person. Our location was a great help, we have a hotel, a bus ticketing office, a money changer and a mini-mall. We really thank God for leading us to the right place. The best part, most tourist locations are just a within the walking distance.

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The 13nth floor. No superstitious beliefs regarding this so far.

The view from our window. Night and Day

By morning, we went to the café for our free buffet breakfast, we ate plenty and we’re certain that there are no pork dishes on the menu. You see, Malaysia is a melting pot of cultures, the Chinese, Malays, Indians and Muslims live harmoniously in one place. Since most of the guests who were enjoying their breakfast were Muslims, we were pretty confident that all meals are served to cater the cultural diversities.

After a hearty meal, we bought our bus tickets to Singapore then headed out armed with a map to the Central Market. It took a few turns and asking on where to go before we actually learned where the Market is.

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Chinatown

Central Market has been the center of art, culture, and heritage of Malaysia. A must visit site for all foreigners, where you can find goods and souvenirs. We also met a couple of Filipinos working here and they informed us of the cheapest way of transportation here in KL, which I would discuss later.

After buying our souvenirs, we headed to the Information Center to ask about the bus line, our fellow kababayan told us. It was the GoKL City Bus and there were 4 lines. Red, Blue, Green and Purple, all lines are interconnected and are accessible from morning to 11:00pm at night. All we have to do was to wait at the designated bus stop (there is a signboard for it) and the bus arrives every 5-10 minutes, unless there is a traffic jammed on the road. But this bus line will get you to where you need to go around KL. The best part, it’s for everyone! We roamed across KL with the GoKL Bus and it saved us a couple of bucks.

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The GoKL City buses

As you could probably notice, the sky looked a bit dark and true to it’s ominous sign (now that’s exaggerated :-P) the rain fell and we had to find shelter by the bus stop. We took the Purple Line bus going back to the Central Market in Pasar Seni to have our lunch. It’s cheaper there so it doesn’t matter if we have to storm the rain. But the skies did clear up before we even reached our destination.

The Central Market has a food court that could give you options of Western, Indian, Malaysian, Chinese and all the sorts of cuisine you would prefer. We decided to go with the Indonesian cuisine. My brother and I had Nasi Goreng in Chicken, it was so GOOD! 🙂 Spicy, but we had to buy a take out for dinner at the hotel. Heehee. We returned to change clothes and rest, our shoes were soaked and you definitely need to air that out or else…

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By night time, dad asked us whether we still want to go out. My brother and I gleefully got dressed up and went with him. We went to see the KL Tower. Since we only took the Purple Line, we had to walk all the way to the top, which was a great deal of calorie burning! Haha. To get up on the highest deck of the tower you have to pay 100+ Ringgit, but since we only wanted to try it out we procured the cheapest which is their lower observation deck (52 Ringgit). We used the elevator and had our pictures taken, it was a wonderful sight to see KL by night.

After a few pictures around the deck, my brother and I went down to meet with our dad who was waiting and we rode the Purple Line bus back home. The very next day, we all packed our belongings and had our breakfast. At 1:00pm we headed to the bus terminal and waited for our bus to arrive. Around 2:30pm our bus came and we boarded with our things, The driver came to us and ask us whether we speak English and we said yes. Then he gave us instructions that we have to be quickly done within 20 minutes at the Singaporean Immigration or the bus would leave us. It kinda appalled me to hear that from him and considering how harsh he said that. I gave him my smirk, as I was thinking we paid for our tickets full, we’re tourists here as well and we did nothing in breaking the law, so how come we get to be treated like this? >_<

My parents just let it be and devised a way for us to move faster. Remember guys we have 3 strollers, 2 back packs, 1 hand carry bag, and 2 shoulder bags just imagine how could we move that quick. But I have faith that God would lead us and make sure that we won’t be left behind. So our travel began, in the middle of it I suddenly felt really sick, my tummy ached badly and I wasn’t sure if it’s diarrhoea or a simple stomachache. Needless to say, I wasn’t feeling good and the 20 minute warning from the driver only made it worse! We had to stop by another bus terminal to pick up other passengers and thankfully, despite my upset stomach I was able to hear clearly when the lady asked us if we are going to Singapore. So she handed us Singaporean Arrival/Departure cards to fill up, that will save us time in the Immigration.

Few hours passed by we headed to another stopover, I run towards the toilet and you probably have an idea of what comes next but to no avail, nothing happened. I didn’t eat or move from my chair. I just wanted to be relieved of the pain in my stomach. It felt better to know if it was just gas pain or you have to answer the call of nature but with a situation where it seemed both, well it left me helpless. We reached Johor, Malaysia where most of the passengers unloaded, there were only 7 of us going to Singapore and all are first-timers. The driver gave us a 20 minute break, I headed down with my dad, he had to drag me to the comfort room, by the time we reached it I went straight to the sink and had to vomit. The women were staring at me, like I was a drunk but I didn’t mind all I need was to get it out. After which, I headed to the cubicle and did my thing. In my mind, I didn’t care if the bus left me and dad.

We got back to the bus, the conductor wasn’t there yet and there was this nice young Malaysian lady who assisted my dad in looking for a drink that could help. They went down and in a few minutes, the conductor came back, they were almost going to leave my dad and the Malaysian lady, when my mom in her reverberant voice said, “We have to wait. My daughter is sick. My husband just bought a medication. We have to wait” I guess you won’t ever in your life want to piss off a mother. 😛 In short, they waited. My dad and the lady came back with an isotonic drink to help me hydrate.

When we got by the border of Malaysia-Singapore, we walked fast towards the Immigration, scanner and back to bus to head to the Singaporean Immigration where we even worked double-time just to get back early. Thank God, all that was done. Though I felt my stomach still rumbling from the brisk walking we did, I was glad that the uneasy feelings lessened around 80%. Our bus dropped us by the Golden Mile Complex, where we said our good byes with the Malaysian lady who helped us and headed straight to our hotel hunting, it was around 9:00pm.

The hotel hunting in Singapore is another adventure that I would be sharing in my next blogpost. One country left from our 15 Day journey to conquer 5 countries in Asia. Out stay in Malaysia was short and quick, I would really like to see more of the places like the Batu Caves and Lego Land Malaysia, someday. I’ll keep you guys posted!

 

Merci beaucoup et á bientôt!

GIFs are from giphy.com and crossed-flag-pins.com

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