Menuju KLIA2 dari KL Sentral

<—-Kisah Sebelumnya

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.

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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.

Aerobus adalah transportasi dari KL Sentral ke Kuala Lumpur International Airport Terminal 2 (KLIA2) yang menawarkan perjalan murah jika dibandingkan menggunakan taksi, kereta KLIA Transit ataupun KLIA Ekspres.

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.

Lantai 2 Gateway@klia2.
Pemandangan dari Gateway@klia2 Lantai 2M.
Beberapa restoran di Gateway@klia2.
Nah, itu dia Quizinn by RASA food court.
Menuku malam itu: Nasi putih, telur rebus kandar dan sayuran.

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.

Kisah Selanjutnya—->

Keterangan kata:

Perkhidmatan Bas Percuma*1 = Layanan Bus Gratis

Medan Selera*1) = food court.

KL Tower: NKRI Harga Mati

<—-Kisah Sebelumnya

Sarapan di emperan toko….yeeeileh.

Selasa….Usai Subuh….

Mata masih kuyu…Badan serasa lemas.

Semalaman tidurku terinterupsi oleh dengkuran seorang penginap yang terlelap pulas di sebelah kanan ranjang. Tak hanya diriku, aku pun bisa merasakan protes dari seorang penginap yang tidur persis dibawah bunk bed. Berkali-kali aku bisa merasakan, dia menghantam dasar bunk bed yang kutiduri. Mungkin dia merasakan hal yang sama. Kesal….Karena tak bisa tidur dengan nyenyak.

Merasa tak enak badan, kuputuskan saja untuk mengguyur tubuh di bawah shower air hangat di kamar mandi bersama. Guyuran air hangat setidaknya bisa merelaksasi setiap inchi tubuh yang pagi itu sedang tak seratus persen segar.

Pagi itu juga, aku harus mengepack kembali semua perlengkapan ke dalam backpack untuk kemudian harus menitipkannya ke meja resepsionis. Waktu menginapku purna tengah hari nanti dan saat itu pula, aku memastikan diri masih berada di pusat kota.

Usai mandi dan merapikan backpack, menujulah aku ke resepsionis untuk check-out, mengembalikan kunci locker dan mengambil uang deposit. Beruntung, staff resepsionis dari Mesir itu sudah berada di meja kerjanya sehingga memudahkanku untuk menyegerakan proses karena aku harus mengejar pemberangkatan Go KL City Bus sepagi mungkin.

Backpack telah tersimpan rapi dan aku bergegas menuruni anak tangga untuk keluar dari penginapan. Sesampai di luar, aku segera mencari tempat duduk di teras pertokoan yang masih tutup untuk bersarapan. Sarapan kali ini masih saja sama dengan menu dinner semalam….Yups, serbuk oat masih bisa diandalkan. Jujur saja, aku sudah kehabisan Ringgit pagi itu, hanya ada Ringgit tersisa untuk menaiki airport bus sore nanti dan makan malam sekedarnya di KLIA2.

Dari sini bisa diambil kesimpulan bahwa aku akan berkeliling kota tanpa keluar biaya sedikitpun bahkan seringgit sekalipun….Ya, tak akan pernah kukeluarkan.

Beruntung sekali, jalanan masih sepi. Keadaan itu tentu mengurangi beban malu ketika harus menyesap sendok demi sendok bubuk oat yang basah oleh guyuran air mineral.

Alhamdulillah sarapan usai….Petualanganpun dimulai.

Aku melangkah menuju ke Pasar Seni Bus Hub untuk mencari keberadaan Go KL City Bus Purple Line. Bus gratis jalur ungu itulah yang akan mengantarkan ke kompleks KL Tower.

KL Tower adalah menara pemancar telekomunikasi , menara penyiaran, wisata kuliner ketinggian dan wisata sudut pandang kota dari atas.

Dari kejauhan, aku melihat jelas bahwa bus itu sudah berada di posisi. Jadi begitu tiba di platform, aku langsung saja menaikinya dari pintu depan. Baru sedikit penumpang yang sudah menduduki bangku. Hal inilah yang membuatku harus menunggu sekitar sepuluh menit….Setidaknya untuk mengisi bangku-bangku kosong dengan penumpang yang perlahan berdatangan.

Pukul delapan pagi, Go KL City Bus Purple Line akhirnya berangkat jua….

Dalam duduk aku berfikiran bahwa KL Tower adalah bangunan yang tinggi, jadi aku merasa santai saja. Tentunya aku hanya perlu berhenti di halte manapun di dekat banguan KL Tower yang akan tampak dari kejauhan saking tingginya.

Go KL City Bus perlahan menyisir Jalan Sultan demi meninggalkan daerah Pasar Seni. Begitu tiba di sepanjang Jalan Raja Chulan, KL Tower sudah terlihat jelas dari kaca bus. Hanya saja aku perlu memastikan kapan harus turun di halte terdekat. Beberapa kali Go KL City Bus berhenti di halte pemberhentiannya, tetapi aku tetap saja bebal tak kunjung turun. Aku masih berharap bahwa bus akan berhenti di halte yang lebih dekat dari KL Tower.

Itu dia bus dengan layanan percuma*1)
Interiornya bagus dan bersih tentunya.

Terjadilah pengecualian, bukannya tambah mendekat, Go KL City Bus semakin lama semakin menjauhi KL Tower. “Ahhhh, sial….aku sudah kebablasan dan bus bukannya melambat tetapi semakin kencang”, aku bersandar lemas di kaca bus. Akibat kebodohan itu, aku hanya pasrah mengikuti kemana Go KL City Bus pergi. Aku memutuskan kembali ke Pasar Seni dan mengulang lagi perjalanan dari nol….Parah.

Dalam perjalanan 40 menit, akhirnya Go KL City Bus tiba kembali di Pasar Seni.

Konyol….”, aku mengutuk diriku sendiri.

Kini aku turun dari Go KL City Bus dan berpindah ke bus terdepan yang sudah siap berangkat. Beruntungnya diriku,  Go KL City Bus langsung berangkat ketika beberapa detik sebelumnya aku melangkah masuk.

Kini aku memasang sikap waspada ketika duduk di salah satu bangku. Aku akan memutuskan untuk langsung turun saja ketika melihat KL Tower bisa dijangkau dengan berjalan kaki.

Pucuk dicinta ulam pun tiba….

Bus berhenti di sebuah halte dan aku pun melompat turun dari pintu tengah.

THE WELD….”, aku membaca signboard pada  sebuah gedung pencakar langit yang berdiri tepat dibelakang halte tempatku turun.

Kini aku berada di Jalan Raja Chulan dan THE WELD sendiri adalah kompleks perkantoran 26 lantai yang berada 800 meter di timur KL Tower.

Dari THE WELD, aku memotong Jalan P. Ramlee untuk kemudian dalam lima puluh langkah masuk ke sebuah jalan yang lebih kecil, bernama Jalan Puncak. Inilah jalan utama untuk menuju KL Tower yang dibangun di tempat yang lebih tinggi.

Terengah-engah selama seperempat jam, akhirnya tiba juga di pelataran KL Tower. Sebetulnya pada tahun 2014 silam, aku berkesempatan melintas di menara ini ketika menjajal KL Hop On Hop Off untuk berkeliling kota. Hanya saja, kala itu aku hanya turun kurang dari lima menit untuk melihatnya. Ini semua karena KL Hop On Hop Off terburu-buru untuk menjelajah kota.

THE WELD….Selain perkantoran, ada pasar swalayan modernnya juga loh.
Meniti Jalan Puncak.

Kali ini aku akan sedikit lebih lama dalam menikmati pesona menara komunikasi yang berusia tak kurang dari seperempat abad itu. Bagaimana tidak bahagia, ketika akhirnya aku berkesempatan menikmati keindahan menara yang ketinggiannya masuk ke dalam jajaran sepuluh menara tertinggi di dunia.

Keunikan yang pertama kali bisa dilihat adalah atap bangunan dasar yang menggunakan deretan pola meruncing, pikiranku lalu merujuk pada runcingan-runcingan atap Sydney Opera House. Sedangkan pada bagian ujung atas antara tiang dan antena terdapat bangunan membulat yang merupakan pusat dari kegiatan broadcasting, telekomunikasi,  restoran, observation deck dan sky deck.

Sepengetahuanku untuk menikmati observation deck, pengunjung harus mengeluarkan biaya sebesar 49 Ringgit….Sedangkan harga wisata sky deck mencapai 99 Ringgit….Woouuooww.

Aku melangkah menuju entrance gate KL Tower untuk melihat aktivitas di sana dari dekat. Tentu aku tak akan naik ke atas untuk berwisata, terlalu mahal untuk pengunjung sepertiku yang hanya sekedar singgah saja di Kuala Lumpur.

Tak begitu ramai, sedari tadi hanya beberapa turis Eropa yang memutuskan untuk membeli tiket dan naik ke atas menara, sementara aku hanya mengamati sisa-sisa kegiatan kompetisi pemrograman yang diselenggarakan kemarin lusa. Kompetisi itu bertajuk HR Hackathon.

Bergeser ke kanan menara, ada atraksi lain ternyata. Di sisi itu berdirilah konter penjualan tiket untuk berkunjung ke KL Tower Mini Zoo (KLTMZ). Papan informasi yang ada mengatakan bahwa KLTMZ menyimpan tak kurang dari lima puluh spesies asli dan eksotis. Dan untuk melihat spesies-spesies unik itu maka pengunjung perlu merogoh kocek hingga 30 Ringgit.

Berpindah lagi menuju arah depan menara. Tersedia KL Tower F1 Zone yang menyediakan simulator Formula One untuk umum. Pengunjung bisa merasakan sensai mengendarai jet darat itu dengan membayar sebesar 20 Ringgit untuk enam menit mengemudi di simulator. Dinding KL Tower F1 Zone ini berwarna merah menyala, menyeleraskan diri dengan warna salah satu tim balap terkemuka di ajang balapan premier Formula One. Hanya saja, saat aku mengunjungi KL Tower, KL Tower F1 Zone itu masih tutup. Mungkin aku tiba terlalu pagi.

Oh ya, KL Tower F1 Zone ini juga dilengkapi dengan Formula One Cafe & Mart loh….

Tetapi baru sejenak melihat seisi cafe & minimarket dari luar ruangan, aku melihat kedatangan KL Hop On Hop Off warna putih dengan deck atas sebagian yang terbuka. Sontak aku berlari menujunya, sudah enam tahun lamanya aku tak pernah bersua dari dekat dengan bus wisata itu. Ternyata di pelataran menara terdapat shelter KL Hop On Hop Off. Pantas saja bus wisata itu berhenti untuk menurunkan para wisatawan.

Entrance gate KL Tower.
Ticketing Counter KL Tower Mini Zoo.
KL Tower F1 Zone.
Di spot inilah rombongan Surabayan itu aku foto.
Wisatawan asing sering meyebutnya dengan KL Forest Eco Park.

Tak lama berhenti, hanya menurunkan  5 wisatawan, bus itu tancap gas kembali. Tetapi tak lama kemudian, ada sebuah logat yang tak asing di telinga ketika kelima wisatawan wanita itu saling bercakap usai menuruni bus. “Itu logat Surabaya….”, aku menyimpulkan. Aku memutuskan diri untuk menyapa dan bercakap sejenak. Sudah empat hari lamanya aku tak bersua dengan orang Indonesia, tak ada salahnya untuk berbincang sejenak. Atas peristiwa itu, aku tahu bahwa kelimanya adalah Tenaga Kerja Wanita yang sedang berwisata ke Kuala Lumpur. Dari percakapan kami pula, aku tahu bahwa mereka sedang bekerja di Penang.

Seperti biasa, orang Indonesia selalu memiliki ciri yang khas. Mereka akhirnya memintaku untuk mengambil foto dengan latar KL Tower.

Aku? ….Ya tentulah aku meminta juga untuk dipotret….Kan aku orang asli Indonesia….NKRI harga mati.

Aku sendiri sudah berada di ujung kunjungan ke KL Tower. Untuk menutup kunjungan singkat ini, aku memasuki setengah area depan dari Taman Eko Rimba KL. Dahulu taman ini dikenal dengan sebutan Hutan Simpan Bukit Nanas, yang merupakan salah satu cagar hutan permanen tertua di Malaysia. Untuk memasuki cagar hutan ini pengunjung harus rela merogoh kocek sebesar 40 Ringgit.

Usai sudah petualanganku di KL Tower.

Saatnya pergi meninggalkannya.

Kisah Selanjutnya—->

Keterangan kata:

percuma*1) = =Gratis.

Burger Hangat di Kuala Lumpur International Airport

<—-Kisah Sebelumnya

Tiba di International Concourse.

Penanda waktu menunjukkan setengah sebelas malam ketika Malaysia Airlines MH 724 merapat di Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Aku menghela nafas panjang ketika pesawat telah terparkir sempurna di apron, itu karena connecting flight Malaysia Airlines MH 1326 baru akan mengudara menuju Kuala Terengganu pada pukul 07:25 esok hari. Artinya, selama sembilan jam ke depan aku harus bermalam di KLIA.

Bermalam di KLIA2….Pernah kah?….Yes, dua belas kali sudah, aku mencicipi “kasur keras” KLIA Terminal 2

Bermalam di KLIA?….Pernah juga kah?….Nup, kali ini pertama kalinya aku menginap di KLIA Terminal 1.

Sembari berjalan di arrival hall, aku mengambil boarding pass yang sudah kudapat dari check-in desk Soetta. Setelah kuamati, boarding pass yang kupegang belum mencantumkan nomor gate. Oleh karenanya, aku berusaha mencari informasi status penerbangan di Flight Information Display System (FIDS) yang terletak di arrival hall….Akhirnya, aku mendapatkan nomor gate….Yupz,A5.

Nah itu….Sudah ada status gatenya.

Supaya esok pagi aku tak keteteran mencari gate, aku pun berniat melakukan rehearsel untuk mencari jalan menuju gate yang dimaksud. Dari International Concourse di level 4, aku turun satu level menuju Domestic Concourse.Perlu diketahui bahwa domestic flight di KLIA diterbangkan dari gate A dan gate B, sedangkan international flight diterbangkan dari gate C, gate G dan gate H.

RehearseI yang kulakukan pun terpaksa usai di depan gerbang konter imigrasi, tetapi setidaknya aku telah memahami bagaimana aku harus melangkah menuju gate esok pagi.

Suasana Domestic Concourse.

Dari depan konter imigrasi, aku terpaksa naik kembali ke International Concourse untuk mencari tempat demi memejamkan mata.

Sementara itu, beberapa menit lagi memasuki tengah malam, aku duduk di salah satu bangku International Concourse ketika sepasang turis setengah umur mendekat dan menduduki kursi kosong di sebelah kiriku.

Helloo, Sir, where are you come from?”, aku memberanikan menyapa.

Hi, I’m from Algeria”.

Oh I know, it’s a country in north of Afrika”, aku mencoba membuat percakapan lebih hangat.

Ohhhh….yeaaa….yeaaaa, you know that. I will go home tomorrow and will transit in Doha”, dia mulai bercerita tentang rencana perjalanannya.

Oh, Doha will be last destination in my traveling this time”, aku mulai mengaitkan perjalananku dengan perjalanannya supaya terjadi percakapan yang lebih intens.

Oh, good. What is your traveling for?….Business?

Oh, no. it’s just for tourism. I’m Donny from Indonesia and Oh yeaaa, what is your name, Sir?

Oh, I’m Younes and she is my wife

Hi, Donny, nice to meet you”, istri pak Younes turut menyapaku

Hi, mam. Nice to meet you too

Donny, let’s we dinner together!”, pak Younes mengeluarkan empat potong burger dari kantong kertas yang sedari tadi dibawa istrinya.

Thank you, Sir. I had have dinner since from Jakarta”, aku menolak lembut

No No No…. It’s different, It’s for accompany us while talk about our traveling”, dia memaksaku untuk menerima sodoran sepotong burger yang masih hangat.

Alhasil kami bertiga pun saling berbincang sambil menikmati burger bersama. Dan ketika kita usai menyantap hidangan sederhana itu, mereka pun berpamitan untuk menuju ke gate.

Tapiiii…..Sebelum mereka berdua meninggalkan kursi, tetiba istri pak Younes menyodorkan satu potong burger terakhir kepadaku.

It’s for you, Donny. Just take it, we are moslems, we are family

It’s really, I think you more need it in your journey, mam”, aku menolak halus.

No, Donny, It’s for you”, dia semakin dekat menjulurkan burger itu di depanku

Thank you, mam. Allah is always with you”, akhirnya aku tak kuasa menolaknya.

Amiin, Good night, Donny, Assalamu’alaikum”.

Wa’alaikumsalam

Pertemuan yang sangat menyenangkan di dini hari. Aku memasukkan burger hangat itu di dalam backpack. Lebih baik aku menyimpannya untuk sarapan esok hari.

Usai pertemuan itu, aku memutuskan berpindah tempat untuk mencari deret bangku kosong untuk tidur sembari meluruskan badan sehingga aku bisa memejamkan mata dengan nyaman.

Yukz….Cari tempat untuk tidur.

Kisah Selanjutnya—->

Sembilan Jam Singgah di Kuala Lumpur International Airport Terminal 2

<—-Kisah Sebelumnya

Mendarat di KLIA2.

Bagi sebagian besar pengelana, Kuala Lumpur International Airport menjadi titik paling aduhai untuk melompat ke negara asia lainnya. Tentu keberadaan maskapai Low Cost Carrier (LCC) Air Asia yang membuatnya demikian. Sejak 2001, Air Asia telah memberikan akses murah bagi para pejalan untuk berkeliling Asia. Berkat Air Asia pula sudah 21 kali aku menyinggahi KLIA selama menjelajah Asia.

Tapi dalam kisah ini adalah delapan….Yups, ini kali kedelapan aku menjejakkan langkah di Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

Lewat jam sepuluh malam, roda raksasa Air Asia D7 505 berdebam lembut menyentuh KLIA2. Perjalanan 5 jam 50 menit dari Seoul pun usai sudah. Kesan pertamaku mencicipi pesawat berbadan lebar Airbus A330 sungguh menyenangkan. Terbang melintasi Laut Kuning dan Laut China Timur berlangsung dengan turbulensi yang bisa dianggap tiada, tenang dan mulus tanpa hambatan. Itu mungkin salah satu keuntungan menunggang pesawat berbadan besar ketika menjelajah angkasa.

Usai taxiing beberapa menit, Air Asia D7 505 pun merapat di apron dan sesaat setelah pintu pesawat terbuka, aku pun memasuki bangunan KLIA2 melalui aerobridge. Aku kembali menjejak KLIA2 setelah sepuluh hari sebelumnya menyinggahinya untuk melompat ke Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Sungguh perasaan yang membahagiakan malam itu karena aku sudah berada dekat dengan rumah, hanya 2 jam 15 menit jauhnya lewat udara.

Dan bagiku singgah di KLIA2 akan lebih afdol jika keluar dari konter imigrasi, karena aku bisa menemukan banyak sajian kuliner di Gateway@klia2 mall daripada hanya berdiam diri di transfer hall.

Transit Pak Cik, ingin cari makan malam”, sapa ringanku pada seorang petugas imigrasi di hadapan.

Dari mane mau kemane?”, tanyanya sambil memeriksa paspor hijauku.

Dari Seoul, mau pulang ke Jakarta, Pak Cik

Oh…”, jawabnya singkat lalu mempersilahkanku untuk menghadap kamera dan melakukan sidik jari.

Menjelang tengah malam itu, sebetulnya lambungku sudah lebih dahulu dipenuhi oleh angin karena jadwal makan malam sudah lama lewat.Tetapi untuk melengkapi jadwal itu, aku memilih untuk menyegerakan langkah menuju tempat makan langganan. Adalah NZ Curry House yang merupakan restoran India yang terletak di Transportation Hub level 1 Gateway@klia2 mall.

Restoran langganan.

(pada kunjungan terakhirku di KLIA2 di akhir 2019 saat akan terbang ke Kochi-India, area restoran ini sedang mengalami renovasi, entah tutup atau sekedar diperbaiki).

Menu andalan yang sering kupesan ketika singgah di restoran ini adalah adalah nasi lemak dengan telur rebus serta secangkir teh O panas. Untuk menu tersebut biasanaya aku hanya mengeluarkan uang sebesar 6,5 Ringgit.

Sembari mengecap suap demi suap nasi lemak itu, aku faham bahwa setelahnya aku hanya akan menghabiskan malam di lantai 1 sambil menunggu esok tiba. Oleh karenanya, aku tak terburu-buru dalam menyantap hidangan sederhana itu.

Usai makan, aku menyempatkan berganti t-shirt di toilet dekat restoran dan kemudian naik sebentar ke level 2 untuk mencari oleh-oleh di Jaya Grocer. Bagiku, KLIA2 juga menjadi tempat favorit untuk mencari oleh-oleh jika tak sempat menyinggahi kota, kehalalan produk Malaysia yang 61% berpenduduk muslim menjadi jaminan tersendiri. Target utama belanjaku adalah kemasan Teh Tarik Aik Cheong untuk bisa kunikmati pada hari-hari bekerjaku di Ibu Kota nanti. Satu kemasan Teh Tarik Aik Cheong berisi 15 sachet kutebus dengan 13 Ringgit malam itu.

Setelah oleh-oleh kudapatkan, aku segera mencari spot untuk merebahkan diri di lantai 1 karena waktu telah menyentuh dini hari dan mata juga telah memerah seakan memintaku untuk segera memejamkannya.

Tak lama memilih, terlihat deret bangku kosong di Lantai 1 di sebuah pojok hall. Usai mengakuisisi, aku tertidur setengah lelap diatasnya hingga subuh nanti tiba.

Bagaimanapun itu, aku pantas berterimakasih pada keberadaan KLIA2 dalam sejarah panjang perjalananku berkeliling Asia.

Kisah Selanjutnya—->

Agosto Inn: Mencari Penginapan Dadakan

<—-Kisah Sebelumnya

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.

Geblek….Sandal….

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”.

Kamar single milik Agosto Inn.

Transaksi itu selesai di meja resepsionis. Aku bernafas lega, karena telah menemukan penginapan untuk dua malam ke depan.

Saatnya berburu destinasi.

KL Sentral….Awesome Transit Oriented Building

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 level 1 which seen from Nu Sentral mall on level 2.
KL Sentral level 1 was seen from Kelana Jaya Line platform on level 2.

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.

Left is Airport Coach ticket counter to KLIA and right is Skybus/Aerobus ticket counter towards KLIA2
Airport Coach towards KLIA (Terminal 1)
Skybus towards KLIA2 (Terminal 2)
Bus towards Genting Highlands.
Direction sign to Rapid KL Free Bus to 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:

The corridor at Basement level leads to Tun Sambanthan Street.
This is appearance of Tun Sambanthan Street.

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.

Connector escalator between several train gates on 1st floor to Nu Sentral mall which is on level2
Nu Sentral mall situation.
Nu Sentral mall situation.

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.

Direction sign towards Tun Sambanthan Street.
This is the pedestrian bridge which I mean.

Transportation Area

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.

Yuhuuu….It was in front of monorail station gate.
Here it is, the monorail….On its way towards Titiwangsa Park.

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.

Preparing to take KTM Komuter Laluan Seremban to Batu Caves.
That’s KTM Commuter platform in basement.

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.

Let’s rides LRT to city center!
Ticketing vending machines….Where to buy LRT tokens (tickets).
Automatic gates menuju platform LRT Kelana Jaya di level 2.
Finally caught a picture of LRT Laluan Kelana Jaya at Pasar Seni Station.

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.

KLIA Transit ticket counter and its automatic gate
See, KLIA Transit!…Cool right?.
Of course….Super comfortable.

Eatery

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.

Eat “Penang White Curry Bowl” at Panettone (2018).

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.

ABC Bistro Cafe….My hangout place 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.

Westree Hotel during my Malaysia-Singapore trip on 2018
Hotel M&M while visiting an international event on 2019

So….Visit KL Sentral well and just enjoy its facilities.

Batu Caves….India Trace in North of Kuala Lumpur

A. KLIA2 to Batu Caves Route

Step 01. KLIA2-KL Sentral

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.

Trip in year 2018

Check out my second and most recent trip to Batu Caves at this link: New Route to Batu Caves, Malaysia

B. About Batu Caves

Corridor between commuter station to Batu Caves.

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.

I looked small under it.

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.

A monkey which is eyeing my camera….
Temple was quite crowded with visitors.
Incense were burned in front of temple.

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.

Ramayana Cave gate.

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?

Take your shoes off before climbing stairs!

To ensure tourists don’t miss any part of Batu Caves, they prepares a sign with 17 different directions.

That is….

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.

Buy ticket there.

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.

That are pigeon…. benign but in fact are not.
The worship building on Batu Caves courtyard was being renovated.

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.

Gold color makes it very prominent in anyone’s eyelids.

Prepare your calves to steps on 272 stairs to main temple which hides on a 400 million-year-old limestone hill.

Dress modestly…Try not to wear shorts.

Humid air and cold temperature like a fridge make this cave as a special place in the middle of stinging area around hill.

Combination of lighting and layout of God statues makes it sacred.

Before leaving this site, you can visit Gheeta’s Souvenir Shop on left front of courtyard.

Souvenir shop.
Parking lot.

If you don’t want to buy souvenirs, you can buy indian foods and snacks which are sold in front right of courtyard.

Indian snacks with Indian aroma.

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.

Twice visited….Twice also lunch here.
Nasi lemak in Indian taste….Hahaha.
Coconut water with ice was drank in middle of sun sting.….Beuh.

Of course, you know Batu Caves, because of its popularity … But try to explore about values which can be obtained from this site.

So….Batu Caves….Let’s go there!.

24 Tourist Attractions at Kuala Lumpur in 3 Days 2 Nights

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:

1. KL Sentral

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.

Beware, Donny…Your zippers.

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.

So, if you can’t use a tripod….Ask someone else to just take a your photo, Donny!….Huh.

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.

3. Suria KLCC

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.

4. Petrosains

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.

What are you doing….?

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.

Security: “Get Downnnnnnn…..!”

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.

6. Genting Skyway

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.

First time riding a cable car….

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.

Watch out, Donny! Don’t be in the middle of way!….Many people want to pass.

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.

8. Bukit Bintang

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.

Don’t be too long, Donny!. Many people in your back, wait for took photos too.

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.

Sorry viewers….I ran out of battery when in the park….That was better picture.

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.

Hurry up!….Don’t trap in the evening.

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.

11. Istana Negara

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.

Beware don’t cling to wall !….You could make the wall dirty, Donny….Huh

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.

12. Dataran Merdeka

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.

Yes….Not bad pose.

The plain is known as Dataran Merdeka, the place where Malaysia independence from British colonial government was declared.

13. KL Tower

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.

Hurry up got in bus!…. Don’t be long time.

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.

Like I’ve never seen train before….Huh.

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.

Hi, don’t stick!….Hahaha.

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.

Hi, don’t step on the grass!….Wew, ask for a fight.

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.

Hahaha….Similar

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 Lumpur Bird 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.

Don’t touch the sign, Donny!….It can collapse….Huh

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“!.

19. National Mosque

Exiting Perdana Botanical Garden, HOHO bus drove me to perform Asr prayer at National Mosque.

Be polite!….

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.

Like a villager.….Hahaha

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.

Be saw by security guard from inside…..

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

22. Petaling Street

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.

You want to shop….Do you have money, Don?

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

Borrowing pictures from someone (year 2019).

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.

He who had a Central Market picture above….He came from future….Wow!

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.

Try to count by yourself….!

Bus from KLIA2 to KL Sentral

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:

Bus from KLIA to KL Sentral, Malaysia

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 .

Its cool name is Omega Half Boiled Eggs….Hahaha.

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.

Use that elevator!
Those are taxi and bus ticket sales counter at KLIA2.

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.

Ticket fare have double increased after 5 years.

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.

Aerobus which came on platform no A05.

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.

Entering aerobus….sat at back.

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:

Aerobus/Skybus Shelter at KL Sentral.
Aerobus and Skybus which were taking passengers at KL Sentral.

From Basement, I only needed to go up by escalator to 1st floor to reached gate which headed to commuter and LRT platform.

I was already at gate and getting ready for Batu Caves.

For some transportation modes from KLIA2 to KL Sentral, you can get the ticket at 12Go Asia or at following link: https://12go.asia/?z=3283832

Anyer, KLIA2 Arrival Hall and Malaysian Immigration

Hi Guys….This is a classic story when I start my passion as a backpacker.

Starting from this article, then I will pour my old adventures in dissecting neighboring country….Yesss, Malaysia.

Malaysia is the closest country which is often used as the easiest and most economical place to start a passion as a backpacker. In addition to offering cheap living costs and close to my country (Indonesia), Malaysia is also known for being friendly with its transportation system. So, Malaysia can train you to become a beginner level backpacker.

Malaysia itself became third country which I visited after Singapore and Thailand in the early phases of my journey to become a backpacker.

—-****—-

Office outing in Anyer just held on first night. My anxiety worsened when employee award event didn’t ended yet. 23:00 hours was almost over, as a new employee, I ventured myself to ask for permission to early go home to Jakarta…..I didn’t packing yet, guys.

Permission was finally approved without an easy steps. Not thinking long, I hurriedly and deeply stepped my car’s pedals. I was speeding in Jakarta-Serang toll road in early morning which began to dew.

—-****—-

Imperfectly parking “The Silver” in garage, I rushed and jumped into my room to pack all my supplies into a 25-liter backpack.

My time wasn’t enough anymore to catch DAMRI bus on “Kampung Rambutan bus terminal to SHIA” route, making me to pushed again “The Silver” pedals towards Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (SHIA). It made me had to spend USD 18.8 for paying parking fee at airport for 4 days-3 nights.

—-****—-

Jakarta-Kuala Lumpur return ticket which costs USD 44.8 which I got through Air Asia promo program since 8 months before departured were finally saved from lateness threat which haunted me since first minute of returning from Anyer.

I couldn’t wait to fly to Melayu Land soon after “The Red Airline” was seen landing on Terminal 3, Soekarno-Hatta International Airport runway.

The old Terminal 3 (when Terminal 3 Ultimate wasn’t built yet).

Not waiting long, me and other passengers were picked up by Air Asia airport coach to location of plane parking lot.

QZ 202 which would fly at 6:25 hours with travel time of 1 hour 50 minutes.

At that time, it was my second flight with Air Asia (in 2014). Whereas my first flight with Air Asia took Jakarta-Bangkok regular route in 2013.

—-****—-

Yuhuuuu….First landing in Mahathir Muhammad’s land.

My landing on KLIA2 (Kuala Lumpur International Airport Terminal 2) runway was greeted with flight attendant voice in Malay language. First time I directly heard Malay language. Amazed.

My heart beated fast because it was my first time for solo traveling. “Ouch, how is it?….Crazy, I abroad alone….How? if do somethings happen to me?“. I muttered when I set foot in aerobridge.

KLIA2 which operated in 2014, replaced LCCT (Low Cost Carrier Terminal) function.
Building condition was still new.

Learning to be a beginner backpacker made me always carry around drink bottle to be refilled….very long time ago.

Water station which made me glad….Free water
Female toilet, nursing room and disabled toilet in arrival hall.
Departure flight information at KLIA2 is also available in arrival hall corridor.

In fact, I felt that I wasn’t ready to go to immigration counter because of extreme fear. Scary stories very disturbed me i.e strictness of Malaysian immigration officers for first time new comer. And the bad news was….This was my first time entering Malaysia.

Come on….Enter the immigration counter….No matter about what would happen.

Being behind the yellow line of immigration queues made my heart beated fast….Because I would enter a slot at immigration counter soon. My appearance which didn’t support….My jacket which had faded in its color because I often weared it and used for go around Jakarta as a salesman, non-original mountain sandals which weren’t so bonafide and small backpack which wasn’t convincing.

Immigration staff: “Where are you going?“, I was little afraid.

Me: “Just sightseeing in Kuala Lumpur, Sir“.

Immigration Staff: “Where are your destinations?

Me: “Batu Caves, Petronas Twin Tower, Bukit Bintang and Genting, Sir“.

Immigration Staff: “Can you show your return ticket?

Me: Put down my backpack, opened it and looked for it, “This is my Air Asia return ticket on November 18, 2014 at 09:50 hours“.

Immigration Staff: “How about your hotel reservation?

Me: “I haven’t booked a hotel, Sir” I began to strain.

Immigration Staff: “How come, there isn’t hotel reservation, where do you want to stay?“, His face was very fierce.

Me: “I got this reference hotel, Sir (while showing a hotel name card which I got from my boss who often travel to Kuala Lumpur)”. But actually I will not stay at that hotel.

Immigration Staff: “In next journey, you must have a hotel reservation, this time I was allow you to enter“. I was still looking nervous while he wrote my return date under free visa stamp on my passport. A sign that he suspected me.

But on my next visitation, every immigration officer who I passed never wrote my return date on passport. I have been able to freely enter in all around Malaysia until now.

Look at my appearance, really suspicious as a tourist.

Continue to follow my story about Malaysia in following articles.