Its 6:00am and my neck is slightly sore from the awkward fetal position I tried to sleep in on the flight. The plane landed right on time and yes my friends I am now in Malaysia! Just look at the beautiful welcome I got when I arrived!
Check-in at the hostel is at 2:00pm so I decided I would visit some sights before checking in. I decided I would visit the Islamic Arts Museum. From the notes I wrote before I left I knew it opened at 10:00am. The bus from the airport into the city would take about an hour and half. And figure in rush hour traffic and me fumbling around the public transportation system, I should reach there just in time for it to open 🙂
The first place I headed once off the plane was to the bathroom to brush my teeth and tidy up a bit. I left the arrivals terminal and headed towards the information desk. I had walking directions to the museum from the “Pasar Seni” train station but needed information how to get to that station. So I went to find help and a map! The lady at the information desk and I poured over the map looking for the museum. She was so helpful! With directions in tow I rushed pass all the vendors selling bus tickets and yelling for me to buy theirs!
Once in the waiting area of the airport I realized, oh shit! I didn’t purchase the shuttle bus ticket to the KL Sentral train station with my plane ticket. It would have been an extra $9.00. I looked back at the vendors area and realized there was a “Do Not Enter” sign by the door. *SIGH* I was beyond the line. I thought for a moment and pulled out my Ipod to check the time. Then I decided that I would ask one of the two police officers that were circling the area if I could go back and purchase a ticket. I used my super powers called “intuition” haha to figure out which one seemed the “nicest”.
Oh come on! Don’t act like you’ve never done this before. You know try to feel out peoples vibes before you ask them a question…?. I know you’ve done it!
Hmmm ok…the chubby guy on the right who is already staring at me seems to be the one. I watered up what my mom calls my “puppy dog eyes” and channeled all the solo travelers in the world. I also channeled Darius from Awkward Black Girl and spoke really low. Haha. I walked up to him and told him that I needed a shuttle bus ticket and asked if I could go back. I showed him my passport and boarding pass and anything else that was in my hand…for no apparent reason…but it worked.
He said OK very sternly and watched me walk back through the doors. Just my luck but there was no one at the AirAsia shuttle bus counter! Darn darn darn! There were other options, for $8.00(in Malaysian dollars) but I didn’t remember seeing reviews about these bus companies. I mean…what if their bus breaks down on the highway and I have to hitch hike the rest of the way? Or most importantly…what if their bus has no AIR CONDITIONING!
Oh I should mention that the temperature was lovely! A scourging hot 90 degrees. I had to wrap my winter coat around my backpack.
I left the vendors and walked through the doors again. I told the officer thank you and proceeded to the food court and outside the airport. Taxi guys were hollering left and right! NOOO I don’t want to spend 80.00 ringgit for a taxi when the bus cost 9.00. Speaking of which where the heck is the shuttle bus stop??!! I know I should be able to buy a ticket on the bus. Years of travel taught me this. Well I hope I can anyway 🙁
Sugar Honey Ice Tea! I have no idea where I am going right now. Ok.. I thought I am going to go sit down and collect my thoughts. I heard ” Taxi Taxi” as I was taking a seat. Didn’t I already politely tell you no a few minutes ago? I thought. Why are you trying to mess up my “I am trying to pretend like I know where I am going”, SWAG?
I sat down and people watched and surveyed the area. Where the heck is the SHUTTLE BUS STOP!!! I saw one of the budget buses go by and watched it intently. OHHhhh!!!!! It stopped all the way down at the other end of the airport. Score!!! I put my backpack on and walked down. The same Taxi guy stopped me again, “where are you going?” he said. I pointed to another shuttle bus that was going by and said “to the bus!”, with a smile of course.
If this was a movie, M.I.A’s “Swagger like us” would be playing in the backdrop as I walked away from the Taxi man to the shuttle bus. No wait! The remix with Jay-z and Kanye West 🙂
I found the Air Asia buses and asked for a ticket. The driver just told me to get on the bus and pointed to the next bus due to leave. I got on the bus and let out a sigh of relief. I’m finally on my way I thought. And there is air conditioning. Some of the Air Asia stewardesses got on the bus as well. Another sigh of relief.
I had no small bills when it was time to pay the 9.00 ringgit fare and gave the driver a 50 bill. I should note I changed money in Korea at KEB before I left. Normally I would just use the ATM machines in country but I wanted to ensure that I had some Malaysia money upon arrival since I got in at 6am.
The driver gave me 20 and said he would come back with more change. I said OK with a furrowed eyebrow but felt I could trust him. He came back with my change after everyone paid and then we were off….into traffic 🙁
The hour and half ride took longer. I fell asleep at one point and forgot where I was for a second. I took video of some of the ride which I will upload to YouTube. Malaysia is so luscious and green! So many palm trees. As we approached the city center I saw so many skyscrapers. I didn’t know what to expect about Malaysia. I hardly did any research on Kuala Lumpur.When I was planning I was most concerned with Singapore as its one of the places on my bucket list that I wanted to visit. Malaysia was just a stop over.
But I was slowly becoming infatuated with it!
The bus finally arrived to KL SENTRAL station after 830am. I got my bag and followed the crowd. No I had no idea where they were going but I knew they must be going toward the trains. Okay…wrong trains. They were going towards the monorail in a different direction. I got directions to go back inside the KL Sentral station to get the train I needed. Malaysia uses these cool blue tokens for single rides. And the train map was pretty easy to read.
I know I should show you pictures of the pieces but the building itself was really nice 🙂
And outside by the fountain. I sat out there for about 30 minutes just chilling out. The oil lamp on the wall post reminded me of Morocco.
|leaving the Islamic Arts museum (front of the building)|
Finding the station wasn’t hard. I got some decent directions and only almost got hit by a car twice trying to cross the numerous round -a-bouts.
A young Malaysian couple was crossing the second set of round-a-bouts so I just followed them 🙂 I got on the train and headed to the hostel.
The direction said they were next to a “famous McDonald’s” in Bukit Bintang. It was easy to find. I stayed at Sunrise Bedz “bed and breakfast”. I don’t recommend it and wouldn’t stay there again. I think I’m getting too old in for hostels. I’m 27 by the way. Or so I thought while in Malaysia 🙁
The check-in was easy and fast. The lady (forgot her name) was really nice. I think the owners are Spanish. True to Asian culture though you had to take off your shoes at the entrance. I had on socks so I didn’t freak out about not having my “inside shoes”. She showed me to my room which was blazing hot.I quickly picked a bed, found my toiletries and went to the shower in my shower shoes (they were in the white plastic bag if you saw my YouTube packing video). As I walked pass the reception desk I saw a sign that said “no shoes“. I thought they can’t possibly mean no shoes at all. Besides who takes a shower in a hostel barefoot…nasty!(if you do…please start bringing shower shoes…please!)
After quickly getting dressed I left the hostel bed and breakfast and roamed around Bukit Bintang. There was shop after shop and mall after mall to explore. Slipping in and out of each one was great escape from the heat. And hot it was! But if you’ve seen my Teaching in Korea video about the freezing cold office and school buildings then you know that I appreciated the warmth.
The shops that I see in the U.S. I saw here and then some. Like Topshop which I hadn’t seen before and there were tons of boutiques and concept stores. I went into a very large freestanding Sephora which was nice. After that I went arcoss the street to the Pavillion. This place was MASSIVE! I think I walked around it for 4 hours and didn’t even see all the stores.
I really didn’t care about the 20 ringgit lost.
Read what happened next here!