Akan sedikit lebih lama menempuh jalur gratis menuju penginapan dibandingkan menunggangi LRT Laluan Kelana Jaya. Tetapi demi menebus ketiadaan Ringgit, aku memutuskan untuk mengeteng saja dan memanfaatkan jasa Go KL City Bus.
Bergegas meninggalkan KLCC Park, aku melangkah menuju halte bus KLCC yang terletak tepat di depan Suria KLCC. Tiba di bawah naungan halte, deretan armada “Perkhidmatan Bas Percuma*1)” jalur hijau telah menunggu para penumpangnya.
Aku menunggangnya untuk menggapai titik pertukaran antar jalur, yaitu halte bus Pavilion. Dari situlah aku akan menangkap Go KL City Bus jalur ungu demi menggapai Pasar Seni Bus Hub, halte bus terdekat dari penginapanku, yaitu The Bed Station.
Mengendap-endap curang, aku menaiki tangga The Bed Station dengan penuh harap tak terpergok resepsionis ketika melintas di depan pintunya. Itu karena aku sudah men-check out masa inapku tadi pagi, tetapi kali ini, aku memaksakan diri untuk mandi di kamar mandi bersama lantai 3.
Aku sukses melewati ruang resepsionis di lantai 2, sekelebat kulihat staff resepsionis itu sedang sibuk melayani tamu-tamu penginapan yang tampak berdatangan, memang aku tiba ketika masa-masa check-in telah dibuka.
Bergerak cepat, aku segera mandi untuk meluruhkan segenap keringat setelah sedari pagi tadi berkeliling kota.
Begitu selesai berbasuh, aku segera turun ke meja reception untuk mengambil backpack yang telah kuititipkan sedari pagi.
Penuhnya antrian di meja resepsionis membuatku tak terlihat ketika baru turun dari lantai atas yang sebetulnya sudah bukan menjadi hak bagiku untuk menaikinya lagi, apalagi untuk beraktivitas apapun di lantai itu….Dasar, Donny.
Berhasil mendapatkan backpack, aku bergegas melangkah menuju Stasiun LRT Pasar Seni yang berjarak hanya 200 meter dari penginapan.
Begitu tiba, aku bergegas menuju automatic vending machine untuk bertukar 1,3 Ringgit dengan token bulat berwarna biru. Token itulah yang akan menggaransiku untuk bisa berpindah menuju KL Sentral.
LRT Laluan Kelana Jaya bergerbong empat tiba menjemputku di platform lantai dua, untuk kemudian aku larut dalam putaran roda kereta menuju KL Sentral yang jaraknya tak berselang satu stasiun pun.
Dalam 15 menit, aku tiba di KL Sentral….
Menuruni escalator aku tiba di lantai satu dan tanpa berfikir panjang segera bergegas menuju basement level. Aku punya satu keuntungan bahwa segenap denah KL Sentral telah kuhafal di luar kepala, setidaknya sudah tujuh kali aku menyambangi transportation hub kenamaan Negeri Jiran tersebut. Hal itulah yang membuatku dengan mudah menggapai konter penjualan tiket Aerobus.
Aku menyerahkan 12 Ringgit untuk mendapatkan selembar tiket menuju bandara.
Seperempat jam lewat dari pukul empat sore….
Setelah menempuh perjalanan 45 menit, aku tiba di lantai 1 Kuala Lumpur International Airport Terminal 2. Aku diturunkan di salah satu platform di transportation hub di Gateway@klia2..
Walaupun penerbanganku akan berlangsung pukul sembilan malam, hal itu tak menyurutkan langkahku untuk segera menuju lantai 3 untuk melihat informasi penerbangan lebih detail. Seperti biasa, aku selalu detail dan strict perihal jadwal terbang, setidaknya sore itu aku harus mengetahui di check-in desk nomor berapa aku akan menukar e-ticket dengan boarding pass serta di gate berapa pesawatku akan di lepas.
Senyum tipis tak bisa kusembunyikan dari bibir ketika aku berhasil mendapatkan informasi itu di LCD raksasa lantai 3.
“Jam 17:20, ternyata….”, aku membatin ketika mengetahui kapan check-in desk akan dibuka.
Aku memutuskan untuk melakukan shalat jamak takhir di surau lantai 2 dan tentu berencana mencari makan malam setelahnya.
Tak seperti biasanya ketika aku mencari makan di KLIA2. Sore itu restoran langganan yang menyajikan makanan murah khas India sedang tutup. Adalah NZ Curry House yang lokasinya tertutp oleh papan-papan renovasi..
Tapi aku tak ambil pusing….
Pada 2015, aku pernah makan di sebuah food court yang berlokasi di lantai 2M. Aku sedikit lupa posisi food court itu. Tapi aku berniat mencarinya hingga ketemu. Ada restoran ala padang yang menawarkan makanan murah di food court tersebut.
“Itu dia….”, aku bersorak dalam hati ketika melihat food court itu dari kejauhan.
“Quizinn by RASA….”, aku melafal nama medan selera*2)tersebut.
“Restoran Padang Kota Group….”, yupzzz aku melihat restoran yang kucari.
Kiranya tak bisa berlama-lama, aku menuju restoran ala padang itu kemudian mencari menu sesuai dengan kondisi dompet. Inilah saat dimana Ringgitku akan habis.
Lima belas menit sebelum check-in akhirnya aku bisa menikmati seporsi nasi seharga 5,9 Ringgit. Inilah nasi yang kumakan setelah terakhir aku memakannya kemarin siang.
Mengambil sebuah tempat duduk, aku menikmati makan malam itu dengan khusyu’ untuk kemudian bersiap diri melakukan penerbangan lagi.
Apakah aku akan pulang?….
Tidak….Justru petualangan sesungguhnya baru akan dimulai.
Aku akan terbang menuju sebuah kota di selatan India….KOCHI.
Aku bergegas menuruni escalator demi escalator untuk menuju lantai 3 Terminal Bersepadu Selatan dan langsung memutuskan keluar melalui jembatan penghubung menuju Stasiun Bandar Tasik Selatan.
Setiba di depan deretan ticketing vending machine, aku segera mencari tiket menuju Stasiun Pasar Seni yang akan kutempuh menggunakan dua laluan kereta yang terintegrasi, yaitu LRT Laluan Seremban dan LRT Laluan Kelana Jaya. Aku memasukkan 3,5 Ringgit ke dalam mesin untuk mendapatkan sebuah token biru menuju Pasar Seni yang letaknya berjarak sepuluh kilometer di utara.
Tak perlu lama menunggu, LRT Laluan Seremban tiba dan aku memasuki gerbong tengah. Sore itu kereta penuh, aku harus berdiri hingga kereta tiba di KL Sentral.
Perlu kamu ketahui bahwa Pasar Seni adalah sebuah area yang letaknya hanya dua kilometer di utara KL Sentral. Dari KL Sentral, aku bergegas turun dan menuju platform LRT Laluan Kelana Jaya untuk mencapai Stasiun Pasar Seni.
Hampir jam tujuh aku tiba di Pasar Seni…..
Aku sejenak menepi di pojok platform stasiun untuk mengamati keramaian area Pasar Seni dari atas. Sudah tiga kali aku menjelajah area itu semenjak 2014, berarti ini kali keempat aku tiba di tempat yang sama. Bosan?….Tentu saja tidak, selalu ada hal-hal baru dan menarik yang bisa kutemukan di tempat yang sama sekalipun.
Menjelang gelap, aku mulai menuruni tangga Stasiun Pasar Seni dan mulai menelusuri Jalan Hang Kasturi untuk menggapai penginapan, yaitu The Bed Station. Penginapan yang kupilih cukup dekat jaraknya dari Stasiun Pasar Seni, hanya perlu berjalan kaki sejauh 200 meter saja.
Menemukan lokasi penginapan, aku bergegas masuk pada pintu yang tak berpenjaga dan tak terkunci, hanya lorong berupa tangga menuju ke atas, yang menghubungkan ke beberapa lantai.
Meja resepsionis yang kucari ternyata terletak di lantai kedua. Aku memasuki ruangan itu yang suasananya masih kosong dan senyap. Untuk kemudian memutuskan mengambil satu tempat duduk di depan meja resepsionis demi menunggu staff hotel tiba.
Akhirnya lima belas menit kemudian, staff pria itu tiba.
“Hallooo….”, dia menyapa ramah.
“Hi….I want to check-in”, aku beranjak dari tempat duduk dan merapat ke meja resepsionis lalu menyerahkan lembar konfirmasi pemesanan online beserta paspor.
“Let me see!….Your name is in our system. Ok, 22 Ringgit for room and 20 Ringgit fo deposit”, dia mulai menutup transaksi.
“Why don’t several hotels in some cities require a deposit?”, aku sedikit tergelitik
“I don’t know about that. I’m originally from Egypt, so I don’t know more…”, dia menjelaskan tetap dengan senyumnya.
“Just take a bunk bed in your room….All the choices are up to you”, dia menyerahkan kunci locker kepadaku.
Usai menyelesaikan transaksi, aku menuju ke lantai 3 melalui tangga untuk memasuki kamar. Kamar itu penuh, 20 bunk bed di ruangan hanya menyisakan satu bunk bed di dekat pintu.
“Oh, ini tempat tidurku”, aku tersenyum mengernyitkan dahi.
Ruangan itu kosong, para penginapnya mungkin sedang berpetualang di tengah kota. Nanti malam, menjelang tidur, aku baru tahu bahwa tamu itu seluruhnya adalah sekumpulan rombongan dari kota lain di Malaysia, karena mereka saling bercakap menggunakan bahasa Melayu. Aku menebaknya sebagai sekelompok siswa yang sedang melakukan study tour karena salah satu dari mereka dipanggil dengan sebutan Cikgu.
Aku berkeliling lantai 3 untuk mencari shared-kitchen tetapi tidak pernah menemukannya. Hanya ada kamar mandi bersama di salah satu sisi tangga dan lobby bersama yang berupa deretan kursi dengan meja gantung memanjang yang biasa digunakan penginap untuk bekerja menggunakan laptop. Hanya tersedia satu sofa panjang di shared lobby ini.
“Waduh, berarti aku harus makan di luar”, aku segera memutuskan pergi dari lantai 3.
Sudah pukul delapan malam….
Malam itu aku hanya akan mengeksplorasi secara lengkap segenap isi Central Market. Walau sudah tiga kali mengunjunginya, tapi belum sekalipun aku menjelajahnya secara detail. Jadi malam itu aku akan menuntaskan niat itu.
Aku kembali turun ke Jalan Hang Kasturi menuju utara. Hingga tiba di sebuah pertigaan besar.
“Aku harus makan malam segera, sebelum melangkah lebih jauh”, aku memutuskan duduk di salah satu bangku beton di tepi Jalan Tun Sambanthan.
Aku dengan percaya diri membuka kemasan serbuk oat, menuangkannya di foldable lunchbox, mengguyurnya dengan air mineral, lalu memulai makan malam yang sangat sederhana itu dengan lahapnya. Aku sengaja duduk di tepi jalan itu karena di sisi atas, LRT Laluan Kelana Jaya hilir mudik melintasi jalanan dengan indahnya.
Sebentar lagi pukul dua siang, kondisi awan semakin tebal di atas sana, aku pun telah merangsek turun dari kuil utama Batu Caves, menuruni 272 anak tangga dan kemudian bergegas menuju Stasiun Batu Caves.
Sesampai di stasiun aku langsung membeli tiket Kereta Komuter KTM Laluan Seremban seharga 2 Ringgit (Rp. 6.800) demi menuju KL Sentral. Sepanjang perjalanan pulang-pergi, aku tak tahu kenapa jalur ini selalu sunyi. Gerbong kereta yang masih tampak bersih dan baru, stasiun-stasiun yang dilewati pun masih terlihat bagus.
Menempuh jalur kereta sejauh 16 kilometer, aku tiba di Lantai 1 KL Sentral’s Transit Concourse hanya dalam waktu setengah jam. Aku segera menaiki escalator menuju KL Sentral’s Main Concourse untuk berburu token menuju Stasiun Pasar Seni, kali ini aku harus menaiki LRT Laluan Kelana Jaya. Perlu mengeluarkan ongkos sebesar 1,3 Ringgit (Rp. 4.500) untuk mendapatkan akses menaiki LRT itu. Inilah pertama kalinya bagiku menggunakan ticket vending machine di Negeri Jiran itu. Tetapi kali ini tak butuh banyak waktu untuk memahaminya.
Mendapatkan tiket berwujud token berwarna biru, aku segera melewati automatic fare collection gate menuju lantai dua untuk menaiki LRT Kelana Jaya. Hanya perlu menunggu tiga menit hingga kereta itu tiba lalu aku segera melompat ke dalam gerbongnya.
Tak berjeda satu stasiun pun untuk menuju Stasiun Pasar Seni. Aku tiba dalam sepuluh menit sejak memasuki LRT empat gerbong itu. Stasiun Pasar Seni yang berwujud stasiun layang itu menampilkan pemandangan kawasan Central Market beserta aliran Sungai Kelang yang mengalir deras karena hujan. Rupanya sungai-sungai di Kuala Lumpur juga belum sepenuhnya lepas dari masalah sampah, terlihat beberapa sampah hanyut dibawa arus sungai itu.
Hujan lebat membuatku harus berdiam beberapa saat di platform Stasiun Pasar Seni. Tak ada pilihan karena aku tak memiliki payung ataupun jas hujan. Aku baru tiba di Kuala Lumpur pagi tadi sebelum memutuskan mengeksplorasi Batu Caves terlebih dahulu sebelum memasuki pusat kota. Kini aku memiliki satu tujuan ketika memasuki daerah Pasar Seni….Yups, mencari penginapan.
Kala itu aku masihlah backpacker amatiran yang tak berhasil menyiapkan satu penginapan sebelum berangkat. Beruntung aku tak ditanya perihal hotel oleh petugas imigrasi, mengingat inilah pertama kalinya aku mengunjungi Kuala Lumpur. Tadi pagi, petugas imigrasi KLIA2 hanya menanyakan tiket kepulangan yang tentu sudah kusiapkan jauh hari.
Menunggu beberapa saat, hujan tak kundung reda, masih menyisakan gerimis lembut. Kiranya aku tak boleh kehilangan banyak waktu hanya untuk menunggu hujan reda. Kupaksakan diri menembus gerimis, menyusuri Jalan Sultan, melewati lokasi proyek pembuatan jalur MRT di sisi kanan dan berbelok ke kiri untuk menyisir Jalan Tun HS Lee untuk mencari penginapan. Setelah beberapa waktu mencari, aku tertarik pada logo Trip Advisor yang terpajang di sebuah pintu kaca penginapan kecil. Agosto Inn namanya. Maka, aku tak ragu memasukinya.
“Halo, Pak. Apakah Anda masih memiliki satu kamar untuk dua malam?”, aku bertanya dalam Bahasa Indonesia yang seharusnya dia faham.
“Can you speak English, Please?”, resepsionis sekaligus pemilik penginapan itu ternyata tak bisa berbahasa Melayu.
“Oh, sorry. Do you still have a room for two nights?”, aku menjelaskan pertanyaan yang sama.
“Oh, of course. But I don’t have a bed in the dorm. Would you like to use a single room?”.
“Can I see the room?”.
“Oh, sure….Follow me, Sir!”, dia beranjak dari meja resepsionis dan memimpin langkah menuju lantai atas.
Aku mengikutinya menuju ke ujung koridor untuk melihat kamar terakhir yang dimaksud. Kemudian bersambung menunjukkan kamar mandi bersama di ujung yang berlawanan.
“Hallo, Sir”, seorang staff yang sedang membersihkan kamar mandi bersama menyapaku. Nanti aku akan mengenalnya sebagai sosok asal Bangladesh yang ramah.
“Hi…”, aku membalas senyumnya.
Aku tak akan berfikir panjang dan memutuskan mengambil kamar itu. Hari sudah sore, tak ada waktu lagi untuk mencari penginapan. Aku harus segera menuju KLCC untuk mengunjungi menara kembar kenamaan Negeri Jiran.
“Yes, Sir….I’ll take your last room….How much?”, aku mengambil keputusan.
“Sixty Ringgit, Sir (Rp. 208.000) for two nights….Come on follow me, I’ll give you the room key”.
Transaksi itu selesai di meja resepsionis. Aku bernafas lega, karena telah menemukan penginapan untuk dua malam ke depan.
Inexperienced to sleep in a room with a Central AC made me didn’t really sleep because of cold. The advantage which I got was keeping myself from welcoming the dawn which was slowly present. At 5:30am, I started bathing in shared bathroom.
That were all because of me. Agosto Inn staff were stunned and rushed to prepare a breakfast menu which was actually quite simple at dining table. Forgive me if it made you nervous, miss….Hahaha.
Pouring tea pot, baking white bread, stirring oatmeal and slicing sunkist oranges in a relaxed manner before Srilankans sat at the same table.
Me: “Hai….Hello….Are you from India?”. My first question to them.
Srilankan: “No, We are from Colombo”.
Me: “Oh, Srilanka”.
Srilankan: “Yeaa….Great, you know that”. Broadly smiling and inviting to shaking hands.
Me: “I hope I can go to your exotic country”
Srilankan: “Yes….You must go there”
You know, how long did I need to realize that hope?….Yup, 5 years later I was present in Colombo. A derfect dream.
45 minutes later, I already rode LRT Kelana Jaya to KL Sentral. I would catch first departure of Go Genting Express Bus at 08:00 hours.
My failure to got a ticket on my first day in Kuala Lumpur wasn’t repeated after a ticket was held before first departure time.
Very happy when roar of “The Maroon Red” began to be heard at a corner towards KL Sentral Bus Station which is located on basement floor.
Bus seats which was full made the driver immediately work in his seat by stepping on gas pedal and then leave KL Sentral in a matter of minutes.
Damn….The first sight was a Chinese descent child who had to pee in front of my eyes. His urine entered perfectly into empty mineral water bottle which held by his mum which is pretty….Hhmmhh. She kept the bottle in a small trunk in front of her chair….I hope you weren’t wrong to take a bottle when you drink, Mam.
As far as 42 km, my eyes enjoyed Karak Expressway views together with Go Genting Express speed. An hour later, the bus slowly approached at Lower Genting Skyway Station precisely at Basement Level 4 (B4). I immediately moved to Genting Skyway Complex level T1 to boarding the cable car.
Actually, my expectations to visiting Genting Highlands were just curious, there wasn’t intention to staying there at all because of my limited time to explore. As a result, I only allocated 2 hours to explore First World Plaza.
Because I arrived at First World Plaza on 4th floor, I was doing reverse exploration. Starting from 4th floor and ending on 1st floor. You need to know that what I currently visited was a 4 storey modern mall building.
Nice….The first thing that I did was stop by at a local food and beverage retail store which is very famous in Malaysia, Heng Heng Local Delights on 4th floor. Even though I didn’t know how to bring it home later because of my small backpacks and I am a person who anti-buying baggage planes.
After shopping, I got around myself at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Adventureland and visiting Jurassic Research Center and taking time to play on PlayTime! Video Games Park which is part of Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium
After visiting First World Indoor Theme Park on 4th floor, I returned to 2nd floor to visit Snow World.
I also took time to see Genting Casino which is really greedy because it occupies 2 floors at the same time at First World Plaza. It uses Level 1 and Level 2 for gambling business.
After exploring entire floor of First World Plaza, I decided to return to KL Sentral for exploring Bukit Bintang, which is also a retail and fashion center in Kuala Lumpur.
Massive development by 21st Century Fox has turned Genting Highlands into an Asian and even world tourist gem.
For those who haven’t visited yet, please go a few hours to go there.
I don’t know how many times I’ve said KL Sentral as far as publishing this 221 traveling articles. I remember, I have five times traced this phenomenal building. Five years also, various sides and interesting moments which I stole from Kl Sentral languishing in external hard disk which neatly wrapped in a desk drawer in my bedroom….Room which continually give me many inspiration in conquering beauty of the earth.
It’s not fair, if its greatness isn’t shared with you. Because I’m sure that you will visit it someday….Or maybe, you have visited it but you don’t understand yet its details.
Operating 18 years ago, KL Sentral has played an important role in Malaysian tourism. KL Sentral meritorious in being the link between Malaysia’s first gate (i.e Kuala Lumpur International Airport) and important tourism spots in city center…. Fast, effective and efficient. Maybe that’s what will be pursued by Manggarai Central Station in 2021 (It’s a station central in Jakarta).
Gives you a basic view of KL Sentral. Here’s my best photo at KL Sentral level 1:
KL Sentral Bus Station
Before exploring level 1, I will invite you to look at KL Sentral basement level. Why?….Because 100% of my arrivals to KL Sentral use the cheapest transportation mode….Yups, Skybus, Aerobus and Airport Coach which its tickets are only worth USD 3.1.
After passing through Stesen Sentral Street, bus will enter basement level and stop at shelter which sells Aerobus/Skybus/Airport Coach/Resort World Genting Bus tickets. While, behind escalator (is used to go up to level 1), you will find Rapid KL Free Bus shelter which is used by tourists towards Batu Caves.
Twice, I went down to KL Sentral basement level and immediately left KL Sentral towards Westree Hotel (2018) and M&M Hotel (2019) through this corridor:
Nu Sentral Mall
If you want to continue your trip using KTM ETS (Kereta Tanah Melayu-Electric Train Service), Kelana Jaya Line LRT, Seremban Line commuter KTM, Monorail, airport train (KLIA Ekspres and KLIA Transit) you have to go up to level 1 KL Sentral using escalator near Skybus/Aerobus ticket counter.
Or….you can also go up to level 1 as access to go to Nu Sentral mall on level 2….Let’s look at Nu Sentral mall.
Finished shopping at Nu Sentral mall, then look for pedestrian bridge to Tun Sambanthan Street. The pedestrian bridge is directly connected to Nu Sentral mall.
Before going back down to level 1, you should see where the monorail station is. The floor plan shows that KL Sentral monorail station is a separate building from KL Sentral itself. But not to worry because there is a connection bridge from KL Sentral to monorail station.
Come on!….We explore 1st floor. This floor is allocated as access to various modes of train transportation.
Starting from commuter train. There are two commuter train lines in KL Sentral namely KTM Laluan Seremban and KTM Laluan Pelabuhan Klang.
Besides KTM Commuter, the most popular transportation mode to city center in Kuala Lumpur is LRT (Light Rail Transit). LRT Laluan Kelana Jaya was the one which was lucky because it was the only chosen LRT which visited KL Sentral.
Besides Skybus/Aerobus and Airport Coach, Malaysia tourism also presents KLIA Transit and KLIA Express which are premium trains to Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Premium is certainly synonymous with expensive prices but certainly guarantees a comfort.
Regarding food….As the biggest transit hub in Malaysia, KL Sentral certainly provides many eateries.
At level, there are several food and beverage shops such as La Cucur Express, Panettone (vegetarian food), Meals Station, I Love Yoo !, Chatime, Swiss Oven, Secret Recipe, Starbucks, Burger King, Ayam Penyet Express and many more.
Outside KL Sentral (around Tun Sambanthan Street), there are also some reasonably-priced food stalls with topnotch taste. I visited it because I often stayed around KL Sentral.
Nearest Cheap Hotels
Tun Sambanthan Street is an important road in Brickfields area. This area provides restaurants, shops and residences. Brickfields also provides many hotels from five-star hotels to budget-friendly hotels.
So….Visit KL Sentral well and just enjoy its facilities.
Heading to 1st floor which is location of KLIA2 Transportation Hub, I rushed to Skybus sales counter. Rates of USD 2.6 was enough to move me from KLIA2 to KL Sentral which is located in center of Kuala Lumpur city. I spent 50 minutes traveling to see situation of Selangor state’s streets.
Step 02.KL Sentral-Batu Caves
Trip in year 2014
From KL Sentral, I headed to KTM Komuter Laluan Seremban ticket counter to reach Batu Caves. At that time, commuter tickets couldn’t be obtained at automatic fare machines like LRT tickets in Kuala Lumpur. So I had to go to ticket counter to manually buy it. Its price is quite cheap, only USD 0.5 for one way. Distance from KL Sentral to Batu Caves is 13 km with 45 minutes travel time.
Taking a light step through exit gate at Batu Caves Station and gathering curiosity which is increasingly rising when I moved in a roofed pedestrian corridor. The corridor which its end is right entrance of Batu Caves.
Entering from right side, the 15 meter high statue of Lord Hanuman welcomed. Its green body added sacredness of “Wanara” King. It was undeniable because indeed many long-tailed monkeys present around temple which is located next to statue.
Ramayana Cave Suyambu Lingam on left side of green temple solemnity presents Ramayana epic through several character statues which imply a storyline. Set aside USD 1.3 to just enjoy its majesty.
The sun sting didn’t deter my enthusiasm and spirit for being present in front of Venkatachalapathi Temple which was built above 19 stairs. This temple praises Lord Vishnu incarnation who is carrying out his duties as a “destroyer of sin”. Do you know Lord Vishnu who rides Garuda (the king of all birds) and armed with chakra?
To ensure tourists don’t miss any part of Batu Caves, they prepares a sign with 17 different directions.
Understanding Hindu history through beauty of art is what Cave Villa wants to show. USD 3.9 is a pretty expensive value to explore this cave.
Lord Shiva who be illustrated as Nataraja “the Lord of Tandavam” (the name of a religious dance in Hinduism) and Lord Murugan who were essentially born as 6 babies, were eventually transformed into a single powerful figure of Lord Murugan, are two stories which is explained in this cave.
Standing on Batu Caves main part i.e a large courtyard which is full of pigeons which always loves to beg for food from tourists.
Visiting statue of the highest Hindu God in the world, His mother is Parwati Lord and his father is Lord Shiva. Lord Murugan is his name …. Armed with a sacred scepter and his majesty is represented on his soaring as high as 43 meters.
Prepare your calves to steps on 272 stairs to main temple which hides on a 400 million-year-old limestone hill.
Humid air and cold temperature like a fridge make this cave as a special place in the middle of stinging area around hill.
Before leaving this site, you can visit Gheeta’s Souvenir Shop on left front of courtyard.
If you don’t want to buy souvenirs, you can buy indian foods and snacks which are sold in front right of courtyard.
Couldn’t buy souvenirs because I didn’t have plane luggage….Then I just enjoy lunch or drink coconut water in canteens around Batu Caves.
Of course, you know Batu Caves, because of its popularity … But try to explore about values which can be obtained from this site.
A flight to Kuala Lumpur, which was barely caught due to race with time along Jakarta-Serang toll road, was added with pale faces due to the bitter interrogation of Malaysian immigration staff because of my inconclusive appearance, then making my heart and spirit go high together with my success first steps to leave the KLIA2 immigration counter.
Guys …. My journey in Kuala Lumpur for first time began. Very happy at that time. My fridge magnet will add to be three. Yes like that, number of fridge magnets in my house shows how many countries I have visited….Later when I have visited 100 countries, I will buy a refrigerator as high as my house ceiling. So I can put all fridge magnets on it….Hahaha.
The trip that had been planned since 9 months before departure was finally realized. Still couldn’t believe when I really entered this neighbor country. The itinerary which I detailed in three sheets had taken me to the following 24 destinations:
KL Sentral is the first stopover which is often used by travelers before exploring Kuala Lumpur. Yes, most public transportations from KLIA will end here.
KL Sentral was indeed built by Malaysian government as a transit-oriented transportation building. No wonder, this transportation center is never empty of visitors.
For the first time, arriving here on the first day of my journey, at exactly 11:23 hours. I took time to explore Nu Sentral which is a shopping mall which is integrated with this modern building.
2. Batu Caves
The time that was too late to begin my trip to Genting Highlands made me choose this Hindu temple as my next stop. Located in Gombak area which is 15 km north of KL Sentral with a distance of 40 minutes travel time making the yellow statue of “Dewa Murugan” as the favorite icon in Kuala Lumpur after Petronas Twin Tower.
90 minutes is more than enough time to dispel my curiosity about the cave which is located in a 400 million-year-old limestone hill.
After returning from Batu Caves and after hunting for hotels in Pasar Seni area which ended with staying at Agosto Inn, in a light drizzle I hurried to Kuala Lumpur City Center (KLCC). KLCC is center of Kuala Lumpur which offers a modern shopping mall i.e Suria KLCC, a row of five-star hotels, iconic view of Petronas Twin Tower and a large urban park (KLCC Park).
Even though I don’t like shopping, I’m just curious to see this mall which has 350 tenants. The Suria KLCC architecture is in crescent shape when viewed from above….Cool, huh. And you need to know that Suria KLCC construction is an integrated project with Petronas Twin Tower.
Before leaving Suria KLCC, I made time to visit Petrosains in 4th floor. Petrosains is Petronas’s petroleum education site, a Malaysian oil giant. Simply set aside Rp. 35,000 to study in Petrosains.
5. Petronas Twin Tower
Right to the left of Suria KLCC exit, I finally found the phenomenal twin building. Soft drizzle which accompanied me to enjoy Petronas Twin Tower was unable to drive me out of front yard of the tallest twin building in the world.
Petronas Twin Tower is the last destination on the first day of journey. Rest faster at Agosto Inn to prepare myself for Genting Highland tomorrow.
On 6:30 hours, seeing my presence at dining table made hotel staff seem rushed to prepare breakfast which was only oatmeal, orange sunkist, toast and warm drinks which I could take as much as I could from tea and coffee pots.
A morning that was still very quiet I passed to KL Sentral to catch the first bus to Genting Highlands which will depart at 08:00. By paying for a round trip ticket from KL Sentral to Genting, USD 5.5 (price in 2014, in 2019 price have gone up to USD 6.3) I arrived at Genting Highlands 1 hour 15 minutes later.
That price includes Genting Skyway ride. While the one-way price for this transportation mode is USD 2. The gondola’s lower station is in Gohtong Jaya and its Upper Station is in Maxims Hotel, Genting Highlands.
7. Genting Highlands
Twenty minutes later, I arrived at Genting Highlands after hanging in the eight-persons seat gondola
The main purpose of second day journey, which had to give up my all time in second day was taken away. Deprivation which absurdly excites me . Hope, there was a repetition like this at another time.
Two hours I explored the resort at top of Mount Titiwangsa in northeast of Kuala Lumpur. If you have much money, you can spend the night in Genting. But passing every mall without shopping, restaurants without taking lunch and casino without gambling, surely that’s me who has never had enough money to do all that.
I just needed to reverse my departure way so I could go back to KL Sentral.
15: 30 hours….”Wow, I can still explore,” My thought cheering. Bus, done!….LRT, done!….Commuter, done!….MRT, not yet Donny!, they werw still seen dredging the ground next to Pasar Seni. So what will you ride next?
I decided to try the only monorail route in Kuala Lumpur. When else can I ride it if not now?. This is also my first time riding a monorail which three years later I rode the same mode for free at Sentosa Island, Singapore….Yup, that was Sentosa Express.
The famous destination on KL Monorail Route is Bukit Bintang. Bearing a title as the most famous shopping and entertainment venue in Kuala Lumpur makes Bukit Bintang as the most popular retail center which is always hunted by shopping enthusiasts, from housewives, office workers to young women and even tourists.
Aren’t you a tourist, Donny? … No, sir. I’m just a fortunate wanderer who was given a chance to travel around 25 countries….Plakkkk Plakkkk Plakkkk…I hit you, Donny!
9.Taman Tasik Titiwangsa (Titiwangsa Park)
Killing time in a city park at north of city center was my journey’s closing on second day. Founded in former of tin mining during British colonialism made it reasonable by existence of a large lake as former of mining activities.
At four o’clock in afternoon, I was present in the park in a crowd of extraordinary citizens’ activities. Until maghrib pray call reminded me that I wasn’t in “Bluntas Park” (the park name which is closest my home in Jakarta….Hahaha). The mean was, time began to expel me to immediately leave Taman Tasik Titiwangsa (Titiwangsa Park) and better spend my evening near hotel where I stay overnight.
10.Hop On Hop Off Bus
Time is indeed unfriendly when confronted with curiosity. Suddenly I was pushed into last day of journey. Long exploration time is successful in compromising with my tired calf veins in affecting my brain. Then my brain whispered, “Just relax in spending last day in Kuala Lumpur, Donny!“.
USD 11.6, I was forced to give it to double decker bus tour guide…. It’s called HOHO bus….Or, Hop On Hop Off bus.
HOHO Bus Stop No. 09, located in Central Market, made it easy for me to catch it….It took less than 5 minutes to reach it from Agosto Inn. Not accepting loss, I insisted on visiting several tourist destinations along HOHO bus line.
“Only 15 minutes. After that, every ladies and gentlemen can go back to bus or join to next bus“, her voice became clearer with presence of a mic under guide’s lips. Her face was beautiful within hijab (girl moslem wear ). She Made me melt.
I rushed away as fast as I could to approaching palace gate. Took a picture with palace guard who stands like a statue and a very tame palace horse even though dozens of different faces took turn taking pictures with it.
A large square adorned with an iconic Mughal-Moor building becomes my next stop. Sultan Abdul Samad is name of the building. Sultan Abdul Samad himself was the leader of Selangor state which was famous for moving capital city of Selangor from Klang to Kuala Lumpur.
The plain is known as Dataran Merdeka, the place where Malaysia independence from British colonial government was declared.
HOHO bus which didn’t stop for long time at that communication tower, didn’t make me give up. I nimbly jumped out of bus and a second later HOHO bus left me in KL Tower yard.
I would explore KL Tower before heading to Muzium Negara (State Museum).
If you have more guts, go to Sky Box!, if you want to lunch in an elegant way then try revolving restaurant! ,then go to observation deck to catch beautiful view of Kuala Lumpur city closer to your eyelids!.
Me?….I missed the first two parts. My wallet was only able to put me in the last part….It was better than nothing.
14.National Museum of Malaysia
Want to quickly know about culture of a nation?….Come to its national museum!.
For this reason I was present at Muzium Negara (National Museum of Malaysia). The journey of Malaysians from time to time is clearly displayed in this museum. Starting from prehistoric life….Kingdom life….Even the story of Majapahit Kingdom (Biggest Kingdom in Indonesia) is here.
The nuances of Kuala Terengganu kingdom seem to strongly influence this museum architecture which looks so magnificent.
The Malaysian struggle session from British colonialism closed the history learning session at this building which is located on Jalan Damansara.
15.Taman Tasik Perdana(Perdana Botanical Garden)
Hop On Hop Off slowly entered into Kuala Lumpur green area….Amazing, this was the famous Taman Tasik Perdana (Perdana Botanical Garden).
Known as Lake Garden, this park was my best solution to stay away from hustle and bustle of Kuala Lumpur city which gradually made my ears noisy.
I saw how happy Kuala Lumpur people picnic as a family, swinging their feet along jogging track, rowing a boat on a beautiful lake and I was dissolved with my steps to enjoy green trees which cooling surrounding air.
16.Kuala Lumpur Orchid Park
The colors of flowers were like a magnet which pulled me closer. I was cheerful when a park signboard whispered information that I didn’t need to pay a cent to enter it.
A woman with wide hat greeted me with a happy smile. Her duty in arranging the park was finally visited by a thin-pocketed traveler. Without embarrassment, the traveler also posed in front of camera which held by the woman….Already entered, free of charge, also gave an order to catching a picture…. Beuh, plaaaaaakkkk#hitmyface.
17.Kuala Lumpur Deer Park
“Ma’am….Is there something where doesn’t require an entrance ticket in Perdana Botanical Garden?“, I asked without shame
“There, Sir….There is deers across. At the end of this road then turn right “, She said mixed with a smile.
Beuh, if it’s free, don’t ask….Donny is the best searcher and Donny will be the fastest to visiting. As fast as lightning, I was already inside Kuala Lumpur Deer Park.
All visitors who all quickly entered the park and also quickly left it. In contrast to me who really enjoy behavior of those deers whose its brothers like to steal cucumbers in Indonesia (Indonesia have famous story about a deer that love to steal farmer’s cucumber).
Beuh….Those deers dung beat my bad habit….Free attraction hunter.
18.Kuala LumpurBird Park
The biggest bird’s nest in the world. Home for three thousand birds. This time there was no mercy for my wallet. USD 10.2 flew just to see birds freely roam in the park.
If you go there, you will find a mandarin duck which for the first time I saw it. Don’t forget to also take part in feeding program for KL Bird Park “residents“!.
Exiting Perdana Botanical Garden, HOHO bus drove me to perform Asr prayer at National Mosque.
National Mosque, which is capable of accommodating 15,000 worshipers, was established to give thanks to God for country’s independence from colonial government without bloodshed.
Feel coolness of main room with soft carpet while worshiping in this mosque. Guaranteed peace and make sleepy.
20.Kuala Lumpur City Gallery
I slowly moved away from Perdana Botanical Garden area to return to city center. Apparently, I had circled the city 360 degrees, because I had arrived again at Dataran Merdeka. This time I was visiting Kuala Lumpur City Gallery.
Do you want to know about Kuala Lumpur city development plan?
Want to know also how much Malaysia’s income from tourism?….Fantastic.
Want to know too, what building which they want to build to defeat Petronas Twin Tower which actually has also become the tallest one in entire world?
Just pay USD 1.2 and enter into it….It’s great, I guarantee.
21.National Textile Museum
Yup, there was still a little more time…..
Crossing road in Dataran Merdeka, I was shocked by existence of National Textile Museum. No need to spend money to visit it.
The museum, which is placed inside a building which is more than a decade old, offers historical and cultural journeys through a series of typical Malay fabrics which are displayed therein. Also some of relics of Kuala Terengganu’s artistic objects which must have been luxury items in its era
Goodbye Hop On Hop Off bus, thank you for taking me to know Kuala Lumpur.
I immediately headed to hotel to pick up a backpack which I had left in receptionist since morning because my stay finished at 12:00 hours.
But yes, back to the habit….Not wanting to lose against time which kept rolling, I pushed toward Petaling Street which is close to hotel.
Petaling Street is center of Chinatown in Kuala Lumpur. Quite crowded when I enter it and explore each stalls which offer a variety of souvenirs and food.
You have to eat roasted chestnuts….It’s delicious, oath!
23.Pasar Seni (Central Market)
It was getting darker….No need to worry, my flight was still tomorrow. A thing which limited me was LRT’s last operating hour, which was 23:00 hours.
I only needed a few minutes to move from Petaling Street to Central Market. Sitting and enjoying culinary time in Petaling didn’t make me realize that the dark had begun to acquire the day. Maybe it was also because of my tiredness which had conspired with the dark to make me forget
“Ma’am, what can i get with this amount of money?….Just packing as avail as possible, ma’am. Just a souvenir, Ma’am….Don’t pack foods. I want to go back to Jakarta” words which indicate that I was tired and couldn’t think anymore to choose souvenirs.
24.Kuala Lumpur International Airport Terminal 2 (KLIA2)
Only a few minutes before 21:00 hours, I closed curtain of my journey in Kuala lumpur. It was time to head to airport which will be my bed on the last night. Combination of traveling using LRT Kelana Jaya and Skybus made me arrive at KLIA2 at a little over 22:00 hours.
Hi, man….Airport is not a tourist destination….Yakss, for you maybe not….For me is yes, because I often invest time in exploring airport which for the first time I visited.
For me, KLIA2 is an exotic place like a seven star hotel which has contributed to taking me around the world.
Already finish….Need three days to write this article. The longest article which I’ve ever written. This article have 2,679 words, Wow.
This time I willn’t focus on the route, but I will tell about the line…. Yups, It is KTM Laluan Seremban (Kereta Tanah Melayu-Seremban Line).
Chinese technology in Indian destination.
Why is that?
The train which runs on this line is an electric train which made in China….While the most favorite destination in this line is Batu Caves which is a place of worship of Indian descent citizen.
Indeed, in the last few years, Malaysia has been ahead than Indonesia in boosting infrastructure with loans from Chinese government.
KTM Laluan Seremban has the last two stations which is visited i.e Port Klang station in southwest and Batu Caves station in north. In total this train passes 27 stations.
KTM Laluan Seremban is a commuter train route. Whereas commuter trains in each country are made to connect city center with suburban areas and majority of passenger are commuters.
Slightly different from Indonesia which uses quality used trains from Japan to be operated as commuter trains, Malaysia prefers to use “made in China” trains with a slightly futuristic shape. I was eager to try it when I saw its shape which looks like a bullet train in some developed countries
Tickets aren’t sold at Automatic Fare Machine like MRT, LRT and Kuala Lumpur monorail tickets, but these commuter train tickets are sold in cash at ticket sales counter.
In 2014, ticket price towards Batu Caves station from KL Sentral was USD 0.5.
The following picture is interior appearance of KTM Laluan Seremban
The prohibitions applied on the train are smoking, eating and drinking, littering, throwing gum, doing immoral things, carrying dangerous goods and carrying animals.
YAB PM stands for Yang Amat Berhormat Perdana Menteri (the Most Honorable Prime Minister). 1Malaysia slogan is a campaign to unite one Malaysian nation regardless of ethnicity and cultural differences. As Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (Unity in Diversity) in Indonesia’s slogan.
Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive Co. CSR Ltd is one of many electric train manufacturers in China. This company’s reputation is very cool because it supplies electric trains for Macedonian Railways in Eastern Europe, Shanghai Metro in China and Rapid KL in Malaysia.
This modern technology train has several good facilities such as priority seats, modern cockpit for machinists, dynamic route map on each train door to facilitate passengers in monitoring the presence of trains, two female-only coach in each train, LCD info screen in each coach and of course CCTV .
Next is appearance of Batu Caves station which is the last stop of this line.
KLIA2 is the most popular airport terminal for travelers to visit to Malaysia. So, if you are one of them, your chances to landing on KLIA2 (Terminal 2) will be higher than landing on KLIA (Terminal 1). This is because LCC (Low Cost Carrier) aircraft such as Air Asia and Scoot Air will land on KLIA2.
Of course, you will go to Kuala Lumpur downtown after landing. There are three choices of transportation modes which can be used, namely taxi, KLIA Express train and airport bus. Now, back to the opportunity, then the most chance which will be used by travelers is using airport bus because this transportation mode is the cheapest one. Here’s the comparison:
KLIA2 to KL Sentral.
1. Using taxi = USD 22.8
2. Using KLIA Express train = USD 14.2
3. Using airport bus = USD 3.1 (the most cheapest)
Therefore, I need to write my journey story when using airport bus from KLIA2 to Kuala Lumpur downtown, which passengers will be dropped off at KL Sentral.
Long time before, I had also written about my trip using Airport Coach from KLIA to KL Sentral. You can see it in the following link:
Now, I will write my trip from KLIA2 to KL Sentral. Here’s the story:
On exactly 9:15 hours, I passed KLIA2 immigration counter. Early morning flight didn’t provide me an opportunity even if only just eating an omlet like my usual day at home. This made my stomach was very hungry after arriving at KLIA2.
A moment later, I sat at HomeTown Hainan Coffee on 2nd floor of Gateway @ KLIA2 mall. Eating 2 half-cooked eggs for USD 1.5 made my stomach which continued to rebel slightly calm .
Three restaurant waitresses were closely watching me when I pulled out many sheets of 1 Malaysian Ringgit. Yes, I asked for 50 sheets to DolarAsia money changer at Melawai Street, South Jakarta when exchanging money. Hahaha….Swear, I was really embarrassing five years ago.
Heading to 1st floor which is location of KLIA2 Transportation Hub. Then I hurried to Aerobus ticket sales counter.
At that time, Aerobus ticket fare (on 2014) was USD 1.2. But last time when I went to KLIA2 again in April 2019, this bus fare was already at USD 2.6.
I waited for Aerobus Express at platform no A05 on 15 minutes before departure time. Positively thing of this bus is its time accuracy. Besides Aerobus Express, another bus company which operating on this route is Aerosky Ventures or better known as Skybus.
Only needed to show ticket which I had bought then bus staff would tore driver copy part of ticket. Every time I take a bus in Malaysia, for some reason I really like to taking a back seat. Sitting in the back might be more free for me to observe around.
Aerobus would run to KL Sentral via MEX (Maju Expressway) Toll Road. 50 minutes trip that I spent for watching situation of Selangor state streets.
Approaching the end of trip, bus slowly entered to Stesen Sentral road to stop at KL Sentral.
Do you know KL Sentral, right? It stands for Kuala Lumpur Sentral which is main train station in Kuala Lumpur and the largest train station in Southeast Asia. Located in Brickfields area and integrated with shopping centres, hotels, offices and condos.
Bus shelter with KL Sentral to KLIA/KLIA2 route is located in KL Sentral Basement. Here is the shelter:
From Basement, I only needed to go up by escalator to 1st floor to reached gate which headed to commuter and LRT platform.
Tak berpengalaman tidur di kamar berperangkat AC Sentral membuatku tak benar-benar terlelap karena kedinginan. Keuntungan yang kudapat adalah terjaganya diri menyambut fajar yang perlahan hadir. Jam 5:30 aku mulai membasuh badan di kamar mandi bersama.
Itu semua karenaku. Staff Agosto Inn terhenyak dan tergopoh pontang-panting menyiapkan menu sarapan yang sebetulnya cukup sederhana di meja makan. Maafkan aku jika membuatmu grogi begitu ya, mbak….Hahaha.
Menuang tea pot, memanggang roti tawar, mengaduk oatmeal dan mengiris jeruk Sunkist kulakukan dengan santai sebelum para Srilankan itu merapat ke meja yang sama.
Aku: “Hai….Hello….Are you from India?”. Pertanyaan yang sok tahu.
Srilankan: “No, We are from Colombo”.
Aku: “Oh, Srilanka”.
Srilankan: “Yeaa….Great, you know that”. Tersenyum lebar dan mengajak berjabat tangan.
Aku: “I hope I can go to your exotic country”
Srilankan: “Yes….You must go there”
Kamu tahu, perlu berapa tahun aku bisa mewujudkan harapan itu?….Yup, 5 tahun kemudian aku hadir di Colombo. Mimpi yang Sempurna….#peterpan.
45 menit kemudian, aku sudah meluncur bersama LRT Laluan Kelana Jaya menuju KL Sentral. Aku akan menangkap pemberangkatan pertama Go Genting Express Bus pada jam 08:00.
Kegagalan mendapatkan tiket pada hari pertamaku di Kuala Lumpur tak terulang setelah tiket tergenggam sebelum jam pertama keberangkatan.
Girang sedikit ndeso ketika deru “Si Merah Maroon” mulai terdengar di tikungan merangsek memasuki KL Sentral Bus Station yang terletak di lantai basement.
Bangku yang tak tersisa membuat driver segera bekerja di kursinya dengan menginjak pedal gas dan meninggalkan KL Sentral dalam hitungan menit.
Damn….Pemandangan pertama adalah seorang anak berketurunan Tionghoa yang harus pipis di depan mataku. Air seninya masuk dengan sempurna ke dalam botol air mineral yang dipegang oleh mamanya yang lumayan….Hhmmhh….Canteeekkk. Disimpannya botol itu di bagasi kecil di depan kursinya….Moga ndak ketuker saat minum ya, Mam.
Sejauh 42 km, mata yang menyusuri pemandangan Karak Expressway beriring laju Go Genting Express. Satu jam kemudian, bus perlahan menepi di Lower Genting Skyway Station tepatnya di Basement Level 4 (B4). Aku segera berpindah ke level T1 Genting Skyway Complex untuk menaiki cable car.
Sebetulnya ekspektasiku berkunjung di Genting Highlands hanya sekedar ingin tahu saja, tidak ada niatan menginap disana sama sekali karena keterbatasan waktu ngelayap. Alhasil, aku hanya mengalokasikan waktu selama 2 jam untuk mengeksplore First World Plaza.
Karena tiba di First World Plaza lantai 4, berarti aku melakukan eksplorasi terbalik. Dimulai dari lantai 4 dan diakhiri di lantai 1. Perlu kamu ketahui bahwa yang kupijak saat ini adalah bangunan mall modern 4 lantai.
Gokil….Hal pertama yang kulakukan adalah mampir di toko retail makanan dan minuman lokal yang sangat terkenal di Malaysia yaitu Heng Heng Local Delights di lantai 4. Padahal tak tahu bagaimana cara membawanya pulang nanti karena kecilnya backpack dan anti membeli bagasi pesawat.
Setelah berbelanja, berkelilinglah diriku di Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Adventureland dan mengunjungi Jurassic Research Centre dan menyempatkan bermain di PlayTime! Video Games Park yang merupakan bagian dari Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium
Setelah mengunjungi First World Indoor Theme Park di lantai 4, aku kembali turun di lantai 2 untuk mengunjungi Snow World.
Aku juga menyempatkan diri melihat Genting Casino yang sungguh tamak karena menempati 2 lantai sekaligus di First World Plaza. Level 1 dan Level 2 dipakainya untuk bisnis judi itu….#gile
Selesai menjelajah keseluruhan lantai di First World Plaza, kuputuskan untuk kembali ke KL Sentral untuk melakukan eksplorasi Bukit Bintang yang juga merupakan pusat retail dan mode di Kuala Lumpur.
Pembangunan besar-besaran oleh 21st Century Fox telah mengubah Genting Highlands menjadi permata wisata Asia bahkan dunia.
Yang belum berkunjung dimari….Monggo silahkan melipir sebentar kesana.