I have been planning to go overseas for years now. However, I have not given the opportunity due to lack of time and money. It has been on my bucket list to visit online friends and have a feel and look of being in another country. It was not an issue with me to be in another place far from home since I used to live alone before because of work location. Last 2014, I decided to leave my old work in Manila and went back to Pampanga. Luckily, I was able to find a great company with a good payout. This gave me an opportunity of continuing my plans to go overseas. I started saving initially for Singapore since I have a lot of friends living there. My friend from Malaysia found out about my ideas, and after a few debate with him, I agreed to visit him first in Malaysia before going to Singapore. Did I make the right decision? I am admittedly wary of this invite because I am not familiar with what you can see or do in Malaysia. I did some research online of places to go and to be honest; they didn’t appeal to me much.
With all the doubts and worries, I decided to push for it. I have considered my priority reason to go is to visit a good friend instead of the highlights of the city. I booked the flight bound to Kuala Lumpur, December 5, 2017. I also booked a hotel near to where he lives so just in case I would need any help, and he would just be near me. And the day of the flight came, I was all nervous and excited to see him and the place. I just told myself, “This is it!”.
I landed at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA 2) at 1:12 AM. My friend fetched me, and since I was a bit thirsty, he decided to bring me to a Mamak on the way. This was my first Mamak experience. Malaysia is quite famous with these 24-7 food stalls. These stalls were often own by locals who have Indian or Bangladesh bloodlines. I arrived at the hotel and settled my stuff and went to bed. The room was quite cozy!
Upon waking up, I went out and ate breakfast at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf (CBTL) which was just below the mall which was right beside my hotel. This reminded me of how Shangri La Edsa looks like. If you have been in that hotel or even pass by during a walk at Shaw Blvd in Ortigas, you would know what I mean. It was a bit of a culture shock for me though because the process of ordering in CBTL here is entirely different than what I was used to. I ordered a healthy breakfast meal. I noticed that the staff tried talking to me in Malay because I looked like one of the locals. Yes, Native Malaysians mostly look like Filipinos physically. They only noticed I wasn’t when I answered in English.
I went to the mall and found the set up of the mall was a bit similar to how Glorietta and Greenbelt were connected. All throughout my three days stay my friend brought me to local eateries. Malaysia is known for its sumptuous local dishes. The goal for the food trip was to eat local food.
I do agree they are quite sumptuous. The level of spice and taste is not far from Filipino dishes. They were cooked differently, and they are a bit more savoury than our dishes. I loved the dumplings and other dim sums! I was in heaven! Yes, I love dim sum, and these are totally out of this world! He also made me taste a nice dessert and tea from Hong Kong Kim Gary just outside Mid Valley Megamall. I also tried the famous Nandos Chicken. I got too excited to eat I forgot to take a photo of the food! Oh and yeah, the mall is actually beside my hotel; Cititel Mid Valley Hotel. I’ll probably write a review about it soon.
I had to meet up a couple more friends who I have been within my previous work in Manila. The two of them worked in Malaysia, and they have been staying here for a while. We had a good catch up and had some photos shot. I also met another friend who I also met online and was quite close. It was certainly a great moment being with these people. It was a great decision to meet up with them. I also tried out their local cinemas. The cinema amazed me because it was spacious and cleaner than those in the Philippines. The surround sound system and the screen were louder and wider compared to the Philippine cinemas. There was one disappointment that I had watching the film though. There were Malay language subs on the screen. You would notice random silence during the film which indicates that the foul words were omitted on the film. Knowing most American films, these words are always part of their scripts. It just felt like I was watching a pirated film because of this. Overall though, it was still a nice experience.
We also went to the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, where the famous KLCC Twin
tower (aka PETRONAS towers) can be found. Unfortunately, humidity is quite high due to the massive rain that poured a while we were having our lunch. So I was only able to take a shot of the towers from afar. The park was quite clean too and full of greeneries. It seems quite enjoyable to do a jog or walk your dog on this place.
Since we were already within KLCC, we took a visit to the Aquaria within it. At first, I thought it was small. The roof and the tunnel where you can see the fishes and sharks can be seen were quite small for my view. However, I noticed that it was not that small after all. The place was full of other attractions such as jellyfish displays, a museum type of room where there are some replicas of shark jaws. There were a lot more in other places which I didn’t expect. Overall the attraction is quite good but I guess It would be more appealing to kids and not adults.
My Malaysia trip was quite fun, and I enjoyed it. Not only that I have proven that my friend was quite a good host; I realized that going here first wasn’t a bad move after all. All my worries and doubts were changed to comfort and enjoyment. I have a lot more places that I haven’t seen on this site but I would love to go back and check out on them. This country is full of cultural backgrounds, and It was a great first trip. I look forward now to the next trip!