Blue Hop on Hop Off bus little bit squeak in braking when entering a bend that leads this tourist bus into a worship building which is full of charisma. “Nash(ә)n(ә)l mäsk”…. My mouth spelled a black marble with gold alphabet.
“Ladies and gentlemen, who want to visit the mosque, please get off here. Have a good visit”, beautiful tour guide smiled while holding her microphones.
Not listed in my itinerary, It didn’t make me turn and I chose it to be a bonus destination on my last day before returning to Jakarta.
Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj is a nobleman who played an important role in its construction until naming this mosque. The initiator of the construction of National Mosque as an expression of gratitude for Malaysia’s independence from British colonialism without spilling out Malaysian blood.
I slowly entered main building after performing ablution to fulfill Asr pray. A room under a great dome auspices and high-quality soft carpet. I almost didn’t want to move from its comfort which trapping me.
Eighteen ornaments which alternately pronunciation of Allah and Muhammad symbolize 13 states in Malaysia’s constitutional monarchy and 5 pillars of Islam as foundation of Islamic religion which is embraced by more than 60% of Malaysians.
The extent of building….Indeed, it can’t be doubted if some statements state that National Mosque can hold up to 15,000 worshipers at a time. Incredibly, that’s half capacity of Patriot Stadium in Bekasi (a stadium near my home).
At front door before main worship room, you will find a white tower which stands in one corner of a pool which makes this mosque more elegant.
Also pay attention when you enter this mosque. Then at far left, there is a building which is separated by a short corridor from mosque’s main building. Its white roof is in the shape of seven stars and below it, there are tombs of country’s great heroes. One of the famous heroes who buried here is Tun Abdul Razak. Bugis descendant who played an important role behind Malaysian independence.
National Mosque itself was inaugurated and opened to public about 8 years after Malaysia’s independence day. Do you know, when was Malaysia independent?…Yup, 1957.
Had become the largest mosque in Malaysia before this title was seized by Blue Mosque in Shah Alam area.
National Mosque is architecturally connected to Old Railway Station building through an underground passageway. The train station itself is located adjacent to Malayan Railway Administration Building which is currently used as headquarters of KTM (Keretapi Tanah Melayu).
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.
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.
Not waiting long, me and other passengers were picked up by Air Asia airport coach to location of plane parking lot.
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.
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.
Learning to be a beginner backpacker made me always carry around drink bottle to be refilled….very long time ago.
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.
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.
Continue to follow my story about Malaysia in following articles.
Just after returning from expedition to Garut-Tasikmalaya-Sumedang, my fatigue after a week traveling in that three districts didn’t make me tired. Didn’t take a break, I prefer to complete my mission for complete South Asia exploration by visiting the remaining three countries.…Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Maldives.
Air Asia ticket which I bought for USD 25,8 since April 7, 2018 was able to keep my mission and my wallet to continue to travel the world. Yes, I had to caught Malindo Air on Kuala Lumpur-Dhaka route in KLIA.
During waiting period of my departure, many questions arise from work colleagues or other friends outside of work.
“Yeeee, why are you traveling to Bangladesh?. It’s not elite”
“Donny, what do you want to see in Bangladesh?”
“You will go home and sick, Donny”
“Wasting time….Better you go to Ancol (a beach in Jakarta) than go to Bangladesh”.
“Donny, Why does have to go to Bangladesh?”
I answered: “Yes, up to me … it’s my money … It’s my steps“.
Ups, I didn’t answer like that….That’s impolite.
Hahaha …. “Yes, guys, my money is only enough to travel there“….Hahaha….That’s my answer to them.
Other people don’t know about my mind about traveling….more crazy, more better….more weird, more amazing…Hahaha.
As usual…Using DAMRI bus at Kampung Rambutan Terminal. Besides being cheap, it is also close from my home. I prepared USD 2,9 to pay the fare with departure time on 15:00 hours. 1 hour and 15 minutes trip drove me in Terminal 2F, Soekarno Hatta International Airport.
Through gate 5, I started entering first X-ray screening. Not so smooth, my backpack which became my only friend was seen flipped by AVSEC (Aviation Security) officer, smeared with wet tissue and then watched closely. No need to worry…. the important thing is no drugs in it….Hahaha. Even if denied entry, it’s calm…. this is still in my city. Just go back to home with DAMRI again….If I denied to boarding.
“Hi Ms, can me get window seat, please!“, My seduction to check-in staff at Air Asia counter. God, She is very pretty and kind, always smile …Hahaha, It’s be her duty to smile to everyone. “Hello, It’s your boarding pass“, She said….I got seat 2D, yes I failed….Hahaha.
Let’s stamped a passport! …. Even though it’s an e-passport, but my habit of stamping a passport make me didn’t care about existace of autogate counter.
Immigration Officer: “Where do you go?“
Me : Just mention in detail one by one of my destination, so he wasn’t be suspicious, “Penang, Dhaka, Colombo, Maldives, sir. Transit in Mumbai and Singapore“. What kind of trip trip is it? … crazy.
Immigration Officer : “Backpacker?”
Me : “Yes sir”
Immigration Officer : He saw my face, checking my new passport and old one. Then….He stamped it, “be careful, sir“.
Me : “thank you, sir….surely I will be careful”.
Immigration Officer : “You are great“.
Yuhuuu…..I’m great like he said
Then I prayed at end of corridor before entering gate. After that, I entered second X-ray screening in front gate D5….Yess, very smooth.
While I was sitting reading near charging station, came a couple of Korean. They tried very hard to use it too.
Me : “Hi, Sir. That’s broken. I had tried many times and failed”.
He : “Oh yea….Why put it here if broken” ostensibly kicking charging station while smiling.
Me : “Do you want go to South Korea?”.
He : “Oh, Nup….I’m from California and will fly from KL”.
Me : “Oh Nice”.
He : “What are you doing here? “.
Me : “My profession, your mean?”.
He : “yeaaa”
Me : “Sales”.
He : “Good money?”
Me : “If not good, I willn’t here to fly with you”.
He : “yea…yea…yea”, nodding while smiling at me.
Looked like his girlfriend was a travel vlogger. Always speak with her confidence….Great. I thought I could not be like that? It’s better to write than to talk like her.
QZ 206 finally leaned to gate. Yup ….my adventure started immediately. Thirsty made me out from gate to buy mineral water. And a little warning from gate officer to immediately back to gate. Ok, sir, instead of buying it on the plane, it’s expensive.
Exactly on 19:17 hours, I started boarding.
Turbulence night flights on end of December. Seen middle-aged man next to me was so tense and held tight to the armrest chair throughout flight while me and a young woman who flanked him only wryly smiled while hiding misgivings.
Because my latest knowledge about Ipoh and Penang was so minimal, I decided to explore Travel360 inflight magazine. Hoping to find valuable information about Ipoh and Penang tourism. And …. thanks …. I really got it.
QZ 206 was preparing to landing. Could not sleep during the trip because focus in reading inflight magazine to find information. This time, my 5 days transit adventure in Malaysia was foolish. Traveling without enough information.
Once arrived at KLIA2, a thoughts which immediately occurred to me were looking for a free water station, dinner, prayer, bought bus ticket to Penang and then sleeping.
The increasing of direct flights from Jakarta to Penang, making traveler prefer landed at Penang International Airport rather than do travel overland for about 6-8 hours from Malaysia’s capital.
And if you are patient to do overland trip, your memory will be filled with interesting experiences and accompanied by breathtaking views throughout Selangor State and Perak State.
Then ….For you who travel overland using bus then majority of buses will stop at Penang Sentral which is tourist gateway of Penang Island.
Therefore….So you will not confuse and can get detail preview of Penang Central, so I present this article to you.
PENANG SENTRAL …. Built in 2018 as main transportation hub owned by Penang State. Penang Sentral strategically replaces Butterworth Bus Terminal role with an exceptional integration system. As you can imagine, this large building integrates bus terminal, train station and ferry port in a location. Third integrated building which I admire in Malaysia after KL Sentral and Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS).
This is my story of exploring Penang Central.…
At 13:54 hours, I arrived at Penang Sentral … yes, of course, I was dropped off at Drop Bay in 1st floor.
And for presenting this article, I delayed towards ferry terminal which can anchor me in George Town, capital of Penang State.
For 1 hour and 20 minutes, I would explore Penang Sentral.
Starting from this hall:
Generally, 1st floor is used to drop and take passengers.
Come on, we’re going up to second floor. What are there?
So….What are you looking for?
Bus Ticketing Counter.
Bus ticket sales counter is in front of me after I go up with escalator. I immediately buy a bus ticket to leave Penang with schedule about two days after my arrival in Penang. Existence of KiosK Self Ticketing which stuck to building pillar made me stop before reach sales counter. I am better to finding cheapest bus ticket via that machine, because many buses with varying fares provide routes to Ipoh.
Finally, I held Perak Transit bus ticket sheet after putting USD 5,2 in KiosK Self Ticketing machine….Bus ticket was in hand, my heart was calm.
2. Information Centre
The first standard when arriving at a foreign place is visiting information centre to get as much information as possible before exploring it more deeply. So did I, asking about Penang tourism, asking for brochures, finding ways to leave the city in the best way and many other things which I asked to information centre officer.
3. Ferry Terminal.
Walking on back side of Bus Ticketing Counter, in several meters you will find a linkway to Ferry Terminal. Located to left side of your steps, you will see clearly a direction sign whinch leading you to Ferry Terminal.
Walk straight for about dozens of steps you will find a Customer Service Center which sells ferry tickets to George Town. The name of ferry terminal is Pangkalan Sultan Abdul Halim.
4. Shopping Counter.
Actually more Shopping Counter are on 3rd floor. I didn’t have time to visit it because it was already late and if I didn’t leave Penang Sentral soon, my exploration in Penang Island would be disrupted.
Food stalls are located near linkway to Ferry Terminal. These are certainly guaranteed halal and relatively cheap in price.
6. Butterworth Station.
Another integrated transportation mode in Penang Sentral is train. Train station is called Butterworth Station. The station building is located separately from Penang Sentral main building.
To find this station. Walking straight pass Bus Ticketing Counter on 2nd floor, then you will find an lift at end of floor. Then go down to 1st floor via lift.
Not too far after exiting lift, on 1st floor then you will find a corridor with KTM (Keretapi Tanah Melayu) sign as a guide to Butterworth Station.
After a few tens of meters down the hall you will find a white building which is none other than Butterworth Station.
OK…That is my story. I have explained all results of my exploration in Penang Sentral.
So, finally, you want to go to Penang by land or by air?