It was almost noon when we left the Kuala Lumpur Low-Cost Terminal (KLLCT). Our Cebu to KL flight arrived at 10 in the morning and we had to wait for almost an hour for the other guests who flew to Kuala Lumpur from Manila. You see, I, together with other media and travel agents were among the few who were given the opportunity to join Air Asia’s inaugural flight from Cebu to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It was my 1st time to visit the country and my first time to fly with Air Asia Zest. And unlike my previous trips where I normally research on what to see and do when travelling to a foreign place, I lacked the time as I just got back from our #TravelMindanao 25-day backpacking adventure. Since I know that we had a fixed itinerary, I allowed my mind to relax and let the guys from Tourism Malaysia take care of our trip in KL.
I only know so little of Malaysia. In fact, I can only think of 3 things – Muslim, Melaka and Petronas. Being a Muslim country, I know that there are certain dress codes that need to be followed and I had to consult a friend who lives there to know what’s appropriate to wear in Kuala Lumpur. Close friends who had visited Malaysia can’t also stop raving about the charm of Melaka so it got me hoping to visit this place too when I saw a 5-hr free time on our itinerary without even thinking if the trip is indeed possible. The there’s the famed Petronas Towers – the landmark that best identifies Malaysia. Like normal tourists who visit the country, I also looked forward to getting my photo taken with the colossal infrastructure.
So when our bus pulled out of the airport’s parking lot and headed to KL, I started imagining what the city looks like. I was suddenly awakened when our tour guide’s voice echoed through the entire bus. I didn’t realize I dozed off to sleep. When I looked out the window, I could see the view of tall buildings from afar slowly sprouting one by one. We were almost near our destination, the guide explained.
I was half listening to the voice of our informative tour guide but when I heard the words Petronas Towers. I suddenly shifted my head and stared out the window searching for the massive structure. I had to lean closer to the window though as a wrong seat calculation got me stuck to where I’m seated for the entire duration of our trip. And while searching through the different buildings from the skyline far ahead, I saw it – the Twin Towers. It was standing among a group of buildings and from a distance, it really looked unappealing. To be honest, when my eyes caught the sight of the KL Tower, I kinda found it more interesting. While trying to crane my neck, I realized I won’t truly enjoy the sight of the Petronas Towers from a distance so I sat back on my seat and settled at checking the scenery on our way to the restaurant where we will be eating lunch in Kuala Lumpur.
After lunch, I decided to spend the rest of the day inside our hotel room to catch up on important stuff and just waited for time till we’d have to go out for dinner. After dinner, I was eager to explore KL by night, including the chance to see the Petronas and KL tower but our feet led us on a gastronomic adventure at the famous Jalan Alor instead.
Petronas had to wait, I said. We were scheduled to tour the city the next day, anyway. So I was cool about missing our night visit to the famous landmark of Malaysia.
However, I completely forgot about the weather forecast that I heard on the news that afternoon, which talked about experiencing rain showers on the next coming days. I only realized this when we had our breakfast on our 2nd day in KL when the sky was crying non-stop. I should have taken the news more seriously. Darn.
Actually, the Petronas towers is just a couple of blocks away from where we were staying. But because of the weather, our tour guide decided to move our city tour that afternoon and proceeded to a different venue instead. This proved to be a bad move because by the time we got back in the city, the traffic got worse. Picture this. We were already near the Twin Towers but had to go to the other side to get a good vantage point only to find our bus stuck in serious traffic. I think we were stuck for more than an hour. I slept through it mostly and woke up to find out we have not reached our destination yet. It was very toxic – having to witness the daylight disappear into the night. We would have reached the towers if we went on foot. But the mild rain showers were unforgiving. Had our guide failed to come up with a brilliant idea that involved going through KL’s tunnels, we would probably be stuck in traffic for another 2 hours. The idea actually involved a super quick visit to see the tower before we disappear beneath KL’s subway. It was decided that riding the train to bring us to Central Market where we’d be having dinner that night would save us time.
When we finally reached the front area of the Petronas Twin Towers, we immediately hopped off the bus and without minding the rain, we took turns taking photos of the huge structure.
I’ve never seen anything like it before. Two twin towers were beaming in front of me like a diamond shimmering against a blue canvas. I had to walk a little bit farther and away from the crowd and looked up to admire its exquisiteness. I was captivated by its enthralling beauty. If not for my consciousness checking up on my companions who were a few meters away, I would have remained standing on that pavement till I get completely soaked from head down while eyes still glued at the radiant towers in front of me. But when I checked back on the others, they have all gone. I immediately scanned the area and quickly walked towards the entrance of the subway train station. With a heavy heart, I slowly dragged my feet and stepped on the escalator while I tried to accept the reality that I will be going home the next morning without any decent photo of the twin towers.
Experiencing the Best Bad Luck Ever
On our last day in Kuala Lumpur, we woke up early and headed straight to the airport. We reached the airport with ample time for us to make it pass the normal check-in process and immigration controls. However, because of an unforeseen situation, more than half of us failed to ride the plane. When we reached the boarding gate, the message “Closed” gate greeted us. Everyone except our group (bloggers) panicked. I guess we were overly confident that come what may, we’d be able to get home in one piece.
Worrying became the least of our concern as there was nothing we could do about what happened. And when we learned that we’d be staying one more night in Malaysia before we could finally go home, we all got excited and pooled in ideas on where to go and what to do for our extended stay. An afternoon trip to Melaka was the #1 choice. However, due to time constraints, it was decided that we’d go back to KL and just enjoy another round of shopping and sight seeing. Without thinking, our group all agreed that we’d want to see the Petronas Towers one more time.
Upon getting a closer view of the Twin Towers, we instantly took group photos and selfies with the tower as our backdrop. We also got a good view of the Suria Park and enjoyed an afternoon stroll as we witnessed the daily routine of locals enjoying the park’s amenities.
As for the Petronas Towers, I prefer seeing its radiating beauty at night as it’s daytime façade is plain and ordinary. Its interiors is a different story though.
Our extended stay in Kuala Lumpur was really unexpected and we were ironically grateful that we missed our flight for it allowed us another day to explore the city. Three days is actually too short to truly experience Malaysia but our helpful guide didn’t fail to give us an extensive overview of the city’s rich heritage. But if given the opportunity, I would want to explore the city on my own someday and get lost as that’s where the real adventure starts. I’m just happy that Malaysia’s Tourism has its full support in showcasing the country to the world, making it a tourist-friendly place for foreigners like me.
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AirAsia Zest – The Right Way to fly and Tourism Malaysia – Visit Malaysia 2014 made this whole trip possible. AirAsia Zest now flies daily to Kuala Lumpur Malaysia from Cebu Mactan International Airport. Visit www.airasia.com for flight schedules, promos and online flight reservation. You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter for more updates.