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My 2008 Travel to Singapore, KL and Thailand

Malaysia Leg, Part 2



Since it was only 8:00 a.m. when I arrived at the Matahari Lodge, Manny - the owner was very helpful to allow me to deposit first my luggage in their storage room until the occupants of my room would check out at 12:00 noon. Meanwhile, he allowed me to use the common toilet to freshen up and to relieve myself since I had an LBM!. After that, Manny offered me to have coffee and toasted bread with butter and jam at the pantry. It is free for all hostel occupants.

After my breakfast, Manny advised me to buy a ticket of the KL Hop-On, Hop-Off City Tour Bus ride. For only 38 RM, the ticket will allow me to have unlimited bus rides on the Hop-On, Hop-ff buses for 24 hours. The buses have a fixed route around the major tourist areas of Kuala Lumpur. You can get off at any point on the route, do shopping or simply walk around for souvenir photos and ride again on next Hop-On, Hop-Off bus to go to the other points of the route. I decided to buy the KL Hop-On, Hop-Off City Tour Bus ride because KL does not have an EZ-LINK like Singapore. Although they have several MRT lines, just like in the Philippines, they have not interconnected yet and you have to buy ticket every time you ride the MRT.

I had a grand time sightseeing all the tourist spots that we passed. After completing one round of the Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus, it was already past 1:00 p.m. so I returned to the Matahari Lodge. My room was already available. I was dead tired and decided to sleep the rest of the afternoon.

After waking up at about 5:00 p.m., I took another Hop-On, Hop Off bus and got down at the Petronas Tower. I did some window shopping at the Suria Kuala Lumpur Commercial Center (KLCC). When darkness came, I had all the time to take pictures of the magnificent Petronas Twin Towers. The stainless steel claddings that wrapped the entire towers being illuminated with high powered lights are visually awesome!

Again, I took the Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus in returning to Matahari Lodge. I had a good sleep in my room at the Matahari Lodge which was newly-constructed and was only opened last March this year.

I woke up early the next day, packed up my luggage, placed it the storage area and took the Hop-On, Hop Off bus to Petronas Tower. I joined the queue for the free ticket to gain entry to the bridge of the Petronas Tower. I was able to get a 1:30 p.m. schedule for the Petronas Twin Towers Skybridge Visit.

Killing time while waiting for my schedule of the Skybridge Visit, I went inside Suria Kuala Lumpur Commercial Center. I entered its supermarket and bought Cico fruit (Chico in the Philippines) and ate lots of it to help me solve my LBM! I had another round of window shopping where I bought some dried dates imported from Iran and Tunisia. At lunch time, I ate at the Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet in the KLCC.

A few minutes earlier than my 1:30 p.m. schedule, I was already at the entrance of the Skybridge Visit. The staff led us to an audio visual room where there were presentations on the preparatory planning and construction of the Twin Towers.

The Skybridge Visit was exciting. The high speed elevators took us to the 45th floor in less than a minute. We were allowed to be on the Skybridge for 10 mimutes. The view of Kuala Lumpur from the Skybridge gave me an idea of how enormous the city is.
After the Skybridge Visit, I went to Matahari Lodge and opened my e-mails. Internet was fee was only a donation of 3 RM for an hour use.

At about 5:30 p.m., I left Matahari Lodge and walked towards the MRT Central Market station. At that time, the MRT was not yet crowded and I was able to be at the KL Sentral very early for my 8:45 pm. KTM train to Hat Yai, Thailand.

If my train in Singapore for Kuala Lumpur was delayed by 45 minutes, my train for Hat Yai was delayed by almost two hours. It was scheduled to leave at 8:45 p.m. but we were able to leave only at 10:45 p.m.

This time I decided to get the aircon sleeper bed instead of the aircon seat. It was more comfortable. I had a good sleep from the moment we left KL until 7:00 a.m. the next day.

I had coffee at the train canteen. I had a good view of the rubber and African palm oil plantations of Malaysia as the train passes by. To my mind, what we had envisioned in 1998 when I was still with the Department of Agriculture as the Director of the Planning Service with Secretary William Dar to promote the production of champion commercial crops in Special Agricultural and Fisheries Development Zones under the Agricultural and Fishery Modernization Act is to this date still valid.

When the train reached the southern portion of Thailand, I got a glimpse of the rice production areas of Thailand. It looked similar to our Bulacan or Iloilo rice fields. But why are we importing rice while the Thais and the Vietnamese are doing the other way around, exporting their rice? Oh, but I was suppose to learn and enjoy in this trip, and not be bothered if the marginalized families under the bridge in Fairview and the squatters in Payatas would be falling in line for NFA rice in Commonwealth Market. Oh my…

(to be continued…)

As always,

Edgar Sandalo

Posted by E. Sandalo 08:07 Archived in Malaysia Tagged transportation

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