Malaysia Trip 2015

DAY ONE (Saturday – May 23, 2015)

We left home 6:15 AM then took autorickshaw to Rawamangun Bus Terminal. DAMRI Bus departed at 6:35 AM and arrived at airport 40 minutes later. Glad that I did web check in and no dropped in baggage because queue at Lion Air counters were long and slow.

The flight delayed one hour. It was 1:05 PM already when we arrived at KLIA2.

We took bus to KL Sentral then checked in to New Winner Hotel and got a double room (80 ringgit for Saturday night, 70 ringgit for Sunday night) then refreshened ourselves before go back to KL Sentral.

Later Alif and I took KTM to Batu Caves (@2 ringgit) to visit that famous Hindu shrine.

Arrived there at 6:40 PM, there were lots of pilgrims wearing colorful sarees to attend a religious event, Maha Annathanam 2015 by Rajayoga Transcendental Meditation Society Malaysia. Met Novita and friends (Indonesian fellow travellers) who helped us taking selfies.

Alif and I left Batu Caves at 7:20 PM, took KTM back to KL Sentral.

He got another collector’s edition of kids cup at Boost with his favorite Banana Buzz.

Next trip was going by Monorail to Imbi Station (@1.60 ringgit) for window shopping and dinner at Berjaya Times Square (Alif got a new toy of “Slideysz”, I bought a screen protector for my phone). I’d love to enter the indoor theme park but too expensive.

Our last stop before go back to hotel was dinner at Crepe 2 U. This Japanese crepe outlet got halal certificate. There was “buy 1 crepe get 1 drink free”. Yummy!

Expenses:
Airport bus = 10 + 5
Hotel = 150
Husen Cafe (2 glasses of iced teh tarik) = 4
Digi SIM Card + top up = 21
KTM to Batu Caves (return) = 2 x 2 x 2
Boost with collector edition cup = 12
Monorail to Imbi (return) = 2 x 2 x 1.60
Slideyz at Berjaya Times Square = 10
Screen protector = 15
Crepe 2 U = 6.90 + 7.90

DAY TWO (Sunday – May 24, 2015)

We left our room at 8:40 AM then had breakfast at Husen Cafe. Egg paratha for Alif, roti chanai with egg and onion for me, with our favorite chai tea (here known as teh tarik). The restaurant opens 24/7, I must not forget to pack something for breakfast before going to airport tomorrow 4:30 AM.

We arrived at KL Sentral at 9:30 AM then bought tickets for 10:30 AM departure to Genting Highland. We spent waiting time by walking around Nu Sentral Mall above the bus terminal, then I bought some books at souvenir for my friends’ sons.

We were at Genting Highland for three hours (11:30 AM – 2:30 PM). There were Snow World (but we prefer real snowing countries then didn’t enter) also indoor theme park (but mostly rides for toddlers not pre-teenager like Alif) and Ripley’s Believe It or Not (but we were not interested to see weird things). So it was only enjoying fresh air on that high altitude, fun (a bit scary) cable car ride, and lots of selfies.

Alif and I arrived back to KL Sentral at 3:30 PM. Our next destination was Bukit Bintang monorail station. Alif wanted to buy new Vanguard cards. He didnt find it there, then we walked to Low Yat Plaza nearby.

He only bought one small pack at Thunder Match (9 ringgit). So we continued walking until Berjaya Times Square where he finally got a new pack of Vanguard cards that he always wanted. More expensive than price in Indonesia but they gave him a storage box as bonus.

We went back to New Winner Hotel before do the last must-do things here in Malaysia: Go to Mydin Megastore at Jalan Masjid India. They had baggage storage but not free of charge then better drop our shopping bags in our room before go there.

After shalat and shower, Alif and I left at 8:00 PM. We had dinner at Burger King on the corner on Nu Sentral Mall that joined KL Sentral to monorail station (was still under construction when we visited KL in April 2014).

It was 9:00 PM when we arrived at Mydin (LRT from KL Sentral to Masjid Jamek Station then walked passing night market at Jalan Masjid India). Only one hour before closing time but enough for me to get what I want:
– 32 cm tawa pan
– packs of Shan Masala and Baba’s
– tubes of Soft Sense facial wash
– chocolate bars of Cadbury
– few kinds of instant tea and coffee

Alif got some keychains for himself. I bought pins at night market while walking back to LRT station @1 ringgit.

Expenses:
Breakfast at Husen Cafe = 8.70
Bus to Genting Highland = 21
Skyway + bus back to KL = 12.80 + 7.50 = 20.30
Lunch = 7.60
Monorail to Bukit Bintang = 2 x 2.10
Vanguard cards = 69
Monorail back to KL Sentral = 2 x 1.60
Bottled drink = 6
Burger King = 16.65
LRT to Masjid Jamek (return) = 2 x 2 x 1.30
Pins = 5

DAY THREE (Monday – May 25, 2015)

I asked front desk officer for morning call at 4:00 AM and he did. Alif slept since 11:00 PM but I stayed up late until one hour later to do final packing then I was still sleepy but must leave to catch our early morning flight.

We left our room at 4:30 AM, made a quick stop to pack plain rice with lamb curry (for Alif) and spicy chicken (for me). It was 12 ringgit including a bottle of plain water.

Few minutes later, we arrived at KL Sentral then bought tickets to KLIA2 (adult = 10 ringgit, child = 5 ringgit). The bus departed at 4:45 AM, only half full including some Air Asia cabin crew. I just noticed that KLIA2 was new airport for budget airlines since May 9, 2015 as replacement for LCCT (Low Cost Carrier Terminal). The trip was only 45 minutes, I had more than 2 hours before ETD 7:50 AM.

The new airport terminal was huge. Took 10 minutes to walk from bus stop until check-in counters at 3rd floor. Lion Air ground staff was a bit better at KL than Jakarta, I only queued half an hour then could do Shalat Fajr at 6:15 AM also lots of time to eat our breakfast.

A weird scene happened in front of check in counter. There were two trolleys full of holy water from Zam Zam Well, Makkah, excess baggage of an umrah pilgrimage group who was on their way from Saudi back to Indonesia via Malaysia. The man who was in charge went around asking some passengers to let him use any extra check-in baggage allowance.

Alif and I each got 20 kg of free check-in baggage, means 40 kg for both of us, but only used 11.2 kg (we even had no check-in baggage when arrived at KL two days earlier because only brought one 20″ luggage and one backpack, less than 14 kg in total). Means I could have agreed to let him use 28.8 of my unused allowance for those holy water packages.

But I said no. He (or his travel agent bureau) should pay for those kilograms with his (or their) own money. They made money from arranging that umrah trip then would have spared some budget to bring such extra loads. I would be happy to do it for any fellow passengers (as personal favor because I’m a friendly Indonesian) but not for people who gained profit but wanted to reduce cost by bothering others.

I hope that he (or his company) got lesson learned. Either they must manage it better to avoid future problem of excess baggage, or prepare extra cash to pay it. Another reason was because I wasnt sure those packages were really belonged to umrah trip participants or perhaps that young man was only trying to bring it to Indonesia to be sold for his own profit.

After morning pray and finished our breakfast, Alif asked me to check Toys ‘R Us for some B-Daman marble shooters. So we went down to 2nd floor.

But everything was more expensive at that airport compared to prices at city center (obviously!). B-Daman that he wanted was 39.90 ringgit (40% more expensive than ones that he previously purchased from eBay). Hot Wheels car miniatures were 23.90 ringgit each (only 7 ringgit at Jakarta).

Therefore, he decided not to buy anything then we walkd back to 3rd floor and proceeded to immigration gates.

Beware! Malaysian immigration staffs were rude and preferred to talked among themselves. There were many passengers were going with early morning flights (because that’s why it’s called as budget airport terminal, of course) but only few counters opened means spare your time around 20-30 minutes for passport and boarding pass checking.

The long walk (around 20 minutes or estimated 1.5 km) from immigration gate to boarding areas should be considered too if you fly with always-on-time airlines (luckily Lion Air was always-late one).

And before enter boarding area, make sure that you already took of your shoes (my leather boots beeped their metal detector) also “usual” things such as watches, rings, belts, etc.

One custom officer even asked me to take my perfume out from my bag. I told him that it was 100 ml meant still allowed to bring into cabin, he said that he knew but he still wanted to check.

He inspected the bottle thoroughly, seemed like he wanted to verify its authenticity (it was authentic Guess by Marciano EDP) before gave it back to me. WTF. I wonder that he might confiscated that bottle if it wasnt authentic. Made me felt being insulted a bit. Did I look like someone poor who couldnt afford to have authentic branded perfume? Very annoying, such bad manner of no respect to a tourist who came to his country to spend money for their national income.

It was already 7:30 AM when I arrived at boarding area because of those time-wasting immigration officers. Thank God that Lion Air was late again then passengers started entering the plane 40 minutes later and plane departed one hour late than ETD.

I planned to go straight to office from airport if it was on time (could arrive at Thamrin City before 10:00 AM). But having checked-in baggage meant additional waiting time at conveyor belt. It was 11:10 AM already when I got the bus, arrived at home one hour later and too tired to go to work.

Therefore, I sent a text message to my manager asking for his approval to take annual leave today. Hopefully he’d be kind enough to approve it.

That’s should be my last trip to West Malaysia. If I ever go to that country again in future, then should be to the states in Borneo (Kalimantan Island)…or just for transit to any other country.

Expenses:
Husen Cafe = 12
Bus to airport = 10 + 5

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Malaysia Trip 2014

DAY ONE (April 17, 2014)

Alif and I left home at 12:25 PM, plenty of time before our flight ETD 4:45 PM. After 20 minutes from home by “angkot” M21, we arrived at Rawamangun Terminal to get DAMRI Bus to airport. It departed at 12:50 PM, fare = Rp.30,000 per passenger (no concession for child unless doesnt take own seat when sit on parent’s lap).

The trip was 1.5 hours including short traffic jam (BEWARE: It could take 3 hours due to heavy traffic jam). We arrived at 2:20 PM, already checked-in and got boarding pass through Air Asia’s website, then not much to do other than explore T3 Soekarno-Hatta Int’l Airport.

The flight was on time, as planned then I took bus from Penang Airport to Georgetown, checked in to Kimberley House.

DAY TWO (April 18, 2014)

Explore Georgetown!

DAY THREE (April 19, 2014)

I was awake since 5:15 AM although set my alarm at 5:45 AM. But I needed to go to the bathroom, so I got up anyway.

After final packing and prepared instant noodles for Alif, I woke him up at 6:00 AM for breakfast.

We left Kimberley House at 6:45 AM, only 5 minutes walk to the bus terminal at Prangin Mall. KOMTAR Building majestically standing, the moon was still visible at 7:00 AM.

A bit hard to locate Komtar Gunung Raya counter to get our tickets (I purchased in advance through BusOnlineTicket.com then no need to pay in cash anymore). Unititi (S VIP) Express Bus arrived as scheduled (7:15 AM) then departed from Prangin Mall 15 minutes later. Only two other passengers, a Caucasian couple, not sure how the company could cover operational costs with only 4 x RM 20 = RM 80 for this 2 hours trip to Ipoh.

The bus was good and well kept, although old and a bit damp. The driver was an Indian guy, then all the way we listened to Hindi songs and news from the radio.

After half an hour, our bus stopped for another 15 minutes at Sungai Nibong Bus Terminal. There were additional three Chinese passengers, two Malay Muslim hijabi girls, one Indian girl. Total = 10 passengers, less than half of this bus capacity (28 seats).

Talking to a lady at the counter, actually the ticket price was RM 22 on weekends. I paid RM 41.90 for both of us (including website fee), meant still a good deal.

After 25 minutes trip from Sungai Nibong, the bus stopped again at Penang Central Bus Terminal. Eight more passengers were going with us.

Finally it really departed to Ipoh at 9:00 AM. The trip was non stop.

At 10:45 AM, we arrived at Amanjaya Bus Terminal. We could take bus to Medan Kid Bus Terminal then another bus to Tambun, but would be long time and tiresome. So I decided to get a cab. Fare = RM 25 for 20 minutes trip, non-negotiable because there was price list at the terminal.

Tulip Hotel was located near Giant, only few hundred meters away from Lost World. The front desk didn’t let us enter our room before 2:00 PM, so I left our luggages at the lobby and walked our way to 24/7 McDonald’s to have a lunch.

They offered “value meal” for lunch (12:00 PM – 3:00 PM) and dinner (6:00 PM – 9:00 PM). Price cut 15% e.g. GCB set menu (grilled chicken burger with french fries and soft drink) became only RM 9.95 (regular price was RM 10.80). By the way, GCB = Grilled Chicken Burger.

We dropped our bags at Tulip Hotel then entered Lost World at 12:35 PM (ten minutes walk from McD) and enjoyed the theme park until more than next five hours later.

Alif and I left Lost World after purchased t-shirts, fridge magnets, plus a pack of “Ipoh White Coffee”. We made a stop to buy cheeseburgers for dinner, also had ice cream cone to relax for few minutes before continued walking to Giant across the street at 6:45 PM.

What I planned for just a quick shopping (I wrongly brought an almost empty deodorant) ended one hour later. Alif got a backpack and a pair of new shoes, I bought more packs of “Ipoh White Coffee”, plus some bottles of “lassi” (RM 4.90 or around Rp.15,000).

It was 8:00 PM when Alif and I arrived back at Tulip Hotel. The staffs nicely brought and arranged our things into room #102 already. We ate our burgers, later Alif played with B-Daman toys and watched some movies before went to sleep while I was busy repackaging our bags and charging all of my gadgets (nightly ritual!).

Glad that I got this hotel. Clean. Unusually, every room had “qiblat” direction on the ceiling then Muslim like me could perform “shalat” (pray) in the room knowing where the Ka’bah without asking.

Expenses:
RM 10 (fridge magnets)
RM 4.80 (bottled drinks)
RM 0.40 toilet at Amanjaya (@RM 0.20)
RM 25 taxi
RM 21.10 GCB lunch at McD
RM 1.00 food deposit at Lost World
RM 10 locker rent at Lost World
RM 6 softdrinks at Lost World
RM 20 Haunted House at Lost World
RM 6.35 cheeseburgers at McD
RM 2.10 ice cream cone at McD

DAY FOUR (April 20, 2014)

On that Sunday morning, I decided to get from our hotel to Amanjaya Bus Terminal by bus instead of taxi that would cost no less than RM 25.

No direct bus from Tambun to Amanjaya. First I had to take bus to Medan Kid Bus Terminal. It departed hourly from the bus stop in front of Pasar Raya Giant, less than 100 m from Tulip Hotel. The bus arrived 10 minutes late than schedule, 7:55 AM. Fare (based on distance): RM 1.50 for adult, RM 0.80 for child. The trip from Tambun to Medan Kid was 25 minutes without traffic jam. No AC, an old bus but comfortable because not much passenger and weather was nice.

We took another bus from Medan Kid to Amanjaya. This one was air conditioned. Fare (based on distance): RM 2.30 for adult, RM 1.20 for child. Travel time was 15 minutes.

Total cost was RM 5.80 for both of us. Much cheaper than taxi.

It was still 8:45 AM when Alif and I arrived at Amanjaya. The bus terminal was new building, 2-stories (ground floor for departure, upper floor for arrival). After exchange my e-ticket to printed one at Plusliner counter, then I spent our waiting time by going around, also tried massage chair (RM 1 for three minutes).

Our Plusliner bus departed as scheduled, 9:30 AM. Not much passengers then Alif could lay down to sleep. Very comfortable trip. Some passengers were snoring while they slept along the way, hehehe…

After 2 hours trip, the bus made 15 minutes stop (70 km before Kuala Lumpur) for toilet or smoking break. The gasoline station was nice, there were convenient store, bakery, coffee shop. Alif and I had our snack of mini jelly cups. Perfect for trip because contains fiber to make us fell full for a while, also watery but wouldn’t make us want to go to toilet. Purchased at Giant, 16 mini cups (288 gr) for only RM 1.

We arrived at KL Sentral at 12:30 PM. I preferred Plusliner Bus than others that took passengers to Puduraya then need to take other transport to KL Sentral.

Alif wanted a cheap watch for daily wear (he didn’t want to risk a quite expensive Casio that I bought for him last year). He got a knock-out of Ice Watch for only RM 15 at KL Sentral on our way to New Winner Hotel at Thambipillay Street (only 10-15 minutes walk away).

The front desk let us checked-in at 1:00 PM (should be 2:00 PM). After dropped our bags, then Alif and I had lunch at Restoran Husen Cafe. It was only few meters away from the hotel.

From nearby shelter, we took a bus to Petaling Street. I only paid RM 1 (bus fare for one adult) because a lady told me that no charge for Alif.

At the Chinatown (similar with Ladies Market in Hong Kong), Alif got Mr. Bean’s Teddy. I bought another one for my sister’s son.

The next destination was Pasar Seni or Central Market, less than 100 m from Petaling Street. There was new sign, Kasturi Walk, taken from the street’s origin name (Hang Kasturi Street).

We didn’t enter the market because Alif and I’ve been there few times and just need to buy some keychains, fridge magnets etc for Alif’s teacher and schoolmates then already found a seller who offered a good price at Kasturi Walk.

From Central Market, we took LRT to KLCC, fare = RM 1.60 per passenger (no concession for Alif). Arrived there at 3:00 PM, then he and I walked inside the malls (and visited Toys R Us), enjoyed the fountain (and made a pose with the twin towers as the background) until next couple of hours.

We left KLCC, take another LRT ride to Masjid Jamek. It finished major renovation few months ago. The result was a very modern and beautiful mosque inside, while still kept its historical outlook. Unlike mosques in Turkiye, the praying rooms were limited only for Muslim. Visiting hours for tourist was limited, and should be accompanied by mosque operational staffs.

I had no problem entering the mosque, but taking picture inside it was a bit challenging.

From there, at 6:40 PM then Alif and I walked to Jalan Masjid India across the street, going to Mydin. Locker was not free, RM 1 (small) or RM 2 (big). Add charge if more than 2 hours.

Somehow I got disappointed, I couldn’t find skin care products that I wanted, also not Oldtown White Coffee. Alif was also disappointed because he couldn’t get a.bicycle (both of us thought that Mydin had complete range of items like Giant in Tambun).

Still I purchased lots of things until next hour. BOH Teh Tarik, facial foam, etc.

After a stop for chocolate cakes (RM 5 for two), we took LRT again back to KL Sentral (@RM 1.30). Finally back to our room at 8:30 PM. It’s time to get rest!

Expenses:
RM 2.30 bus from Tambun to Medan Kid
RM 3.50 bus from Medan Kid to Amanjaya
RM 0.20 public toilet at Amanjaya
RM 2 massage chair
RM 15 Alif’s watch
RM 10 keychains
RM 16.60 lunch at Restoran Husen Cafe
RM 1 bus to Petaling Street
RM 35 keychains
RM 30 fridge magnets (9 pcs)
RM 20 Mr.Bean’s Teddy plush toy (@RM 10)
RM 3.20 LRT to KLCC
RM 3.20 LRT to Masjid Jamek
RM 5 chocolate cakes
RM 10 Pusky cat toy
RM 2.60 LRT to KL Sentral

DAY FIVE (April 21, 2014)

Alif and I had enough sleep. After shower, we checked out from New Winner Hotel at 9:30 AM then went to Restoran Husen Cafe for breakfast. Alif ate “nasi kandar ayam kecap” again, I chose “nasi lemak daging kambing” which only served every morning by this 24/7 restaurant.

An hour later, we took monorail to Imbi Station. Our last destination of the day was Berjaya Times Square. It was similar with Cevahir Mall, Istanbul. The indoor theme park was huge. Too bad that its operating hours started at 12:00 PM then we couldn’t try anything (the roller coaster looked great).

After strolling around, Alif got additional purchase for his B-Daman collection. It’s a “rare, one sided core” (a “rypid fire” type that enable continuous shots).

We left Times Square at 12:00 PM then got back to our hotel (only 15 minutes away by monorail plus few minutes walk). We grabbed our bags then walked to KL Sentral (10 minutes walk). Few more minutes of waiting after purchased our tickets (RM 10 for adult, RM 6 for child), the bus came. It departed from KL Sentral at 1:00 PM (hourly departure, 5:00 AM – 11:00 PM).

The trip from KL Sentral to KLIA was exactly one hour. I checked in to Malaysia Airlines flight MH723 at 2:25 PM, two hours before ETD. Alif and I then just hanging out around the departure hall.

The airport was very nice. I wished that Jakarta airport would be like someday. This country of 30 million people was well prepared to welcome over 20 million tourists annually, unlike Indonesia.

The flight departed and arrived as scheduled (ETD 4:25 PM Kuala Lumpur time/ETA 5:30 PM Jakarta time). Alif got “child meal” in a box that could be cut to become Malaysia Airlines model plane. There was a cheese sandwich, bun and butter, mango puding, packed blackcurrant juice, plus a bar of chocolate and activity book. I got cold turkey sandwich with orange pudding. Choice of beverage ranged from plain water to milk, juice, wine. Flying with flag carrier was always great time.

We got DAMRI Bus from airport toward Rawamangun at 6:30 PM. See you again, Malaysia!

Expenses:
RM 15.10 Restoran Husen Cafe
RM 10.90 B-Daman
RM 3.20 monorail to Times Square
RM 4.40 monorail to KL Sentral
RM 16 Airport Coach to KLIA
RM 2.55 ice cream cone at McD

SINGAPORE – JOHOR BAHRU TRIP 2013 (DAY TWO)‏

We left our room at 8:30 AM, looked for restaurant but none opened that early. Only a convenience store then I bought few cups of instant noodles (the hotel owner lend a water boiler) for breakfast.

I also bought few cans/boxes/bottles of canned drink. My favorite (hard to find in Jakarta): The kundur (tea with winter melon flavor).

LEGOLAND, SMALL WITH LOADS OF FUN

We left our room at 10:00 AM. KK NG dropped us to Legoland with his car, RM 16 (cheaper than taxi that might cost RM 22.40 refer to http://www.ihcahieh.com/2013/06/johor-budget-and-itinerary.html).

Our first destination was the waterpark. Alif spent three hours in the Lazy River, etc and tried almost all of the slides (unless the ones those he called as “baby slide” because of their less height and short track).

After lunch, we entered the theme park. Raining for few minutes at 3:00 PM, later we enjoyed the park until 7:30 PM (closing time during weekends were 8:00 PM, two hours late than weekdays).

After dinner, we left the park at 8:30 PM. Called KK to pick up us again, he arrived at 8:45 PM and took us back to hotel within 10 minutes.80 (Burger King) + SG$9.50 (CW3)

SINGAPORE – JOHOR BAHRU TRIP 2013 (DAY ONE)‏

TIME IS MONEY, ONE MINUTE = Rp. 10,000!

It was Friday – November 15, 2013.

I left from office before 1:00 PM, arrived at home at 1:30 PM, then we left home at 2:30 PM. I thought it should be enough time before closing time (45 minutes before ETD 5:15 PM). But weather and traffic jam ruined my trip, it took I reached Terminal 2 Soekarno Hatta Int’l Airport at 4:40 PM. The check in counter closed already, but the guy there was kind enough to give us boarding passes and let us go to departure with Rp.100,000 of “extra charge”. We were 10 minutes late, means one minute = Rp.10,000. Now I know that “time is money” is true statement. Hehehe…

BURGER KING IS HALAL IN SINGAPORE

We felt so hungry when arrived at Terminal 1, Changi Airport. After looking around, we decided to have dinner at Burger King near exit gate (turn left after custom check point). Glad to know that it had halal certification from local Islamic organization.

MIDNIGHT TRIP TO JOHOR BAHRU

We left from Terminal 1 at 10:00 PM, got Skytrain to Terminal 3, MRT to Jurong East, finally arrived at the bus terminal after 90 minutes.

The last CW3 departed at 11:45 PM as scheduled, after two immigration processes, then we arrived at Warm Blanket Hotel after one hour trip. The guy at the front desk, KK NG (yup, that’s his name pronounced as “Ka Ka”) gave us room number 11.

Alif’s Second Trip to Kuala Lumpur

SUNDAY – MAY 5, 2013

After enjoyed SnoWalk at i-City, we took a taxi to Shah Alam KTM Station (RM 15.00), then commuter train to KL Sentral (12:55 PM – 1:40 PM). Fare = RM 2.50 (adult) + RM 1.20 (child).

When arrived at KL Sentral, we were very hungry then bought some lunch at McDonald’s (opened 24 hours at the ground floor of the train station). It was good time to get value meal between 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM. Alif and I had Spicy Chicken Deluxe and Fried Chicken for RM 20.05 including potato fries and soft drink (it was disappointing that Malaysian McD didn’t serve steamed rice unlike their outlets in Indonesia).

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Only 15 minutes walk from KL Sentral, we went to check in at Joy Inn Hotel (http://www.joyinnhotel.com/), got “Joy Room with Window”, fare = RM 88.00/night.

We left our room at 3:30 PM, walked back to KL Sentral then took LRT (@RM 1.30) to Masjid Jamek Station. Too bad the mosque (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamek_Mosque ) was still closed (under renovation) then couldn’t get inside.

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Few minutes walk from Masjid Jamek, around the corner was Dataran Merdeka (http://www.welcome-kl.com/dataran-merdeka-independence-square/).

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From Dataran Merdeka, we visited Masjid India (http://www.masjidindia.com/).

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The mosque had very spacious pray area for ladies on the second floor.

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Every evening until almost midnight, the street in front of the mosque (Jalan Masjid India) became very crowded night market.

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Another retail therapy at Mydin: Alif got a brand new Casio watch, I purchased some packs of Pakistani masala and my favorite brand of facial wash (http://www.myeversoft.com.my/products/product.html#).

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It was 6:15 PM already when we reached the lobby of KL Tower (http://www.kltower.com.my/) from Masjid India by taxi (RM 10.00). I paid for Observation Desk + Animal Zone, fare = RM 57.00 (adult) + RM 37.00 (child).

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It was beautiful sunset view from Observation Deck (http://www.kltower.com.my/index.cfm?sc=observation_deck).

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One hour passed so fast, when it was dark already then we left to see Animal Zone. Alif really enjoyed that mini zoo (http://www.kltower.com.my/index.cfm?sc=kl_tower_animal_zone), he spent one hour there and got a pose with some cute parrots (additional RM 5.00 charge).

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At 8:15 PM, we got free shuttle bus from KL Tower to Jalan P. Ramlee then 15 minutes walk to Hard Rock Cafe at Concorde Hotel to buy some pins before took Bus 79 to KLCC (fare = RM 1.00 per passenger but I only paid for one person because it was only one stop away).

Arrived the ground floor of the twin towers, Alif bought a toy at Toys R Us (http://www.suriaklcc.com.my/shopping/). It was his ritual, must get something to remember from cities we visited.

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When we got out from the mall at 10:00 PM, there was water and light show (accompanied by Celine Dion’s OST Titanic “My Heart Will Go On”) at Fountain Park (http://thestar.com.my/metro/story.asp?file=/2012/6/6/central/11385400&sec=central).

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And this is an obligatory pose for KL visitors:

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It was 11:00 PM already when we got back to our hotel, tired but happy.

MONDAY – MAY 6, 2013

We checked out from hotel at 5:00 AM, then took Airport Coach from KL Sentral to KLIA (http://airportcoach.com.my/v1/2011/02/08/klia-kl-sentral/). Fare = RM 10.00 (adult) + RM 6.00 (child).

After baggage wrap, checked in, baggage drop, and morning pray (Shalat Fajr) then we went to boarding gate. It was C11 means we had to take Aerotrain (free of charge) from Departure Hall.

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It was safe trip by Lion Air, departed and arrived as scheduled, Alif and I ended our trip then looked forward to visit Johor Bahru (November 2013) and Penang (April 2014). See you again, Malaysia…

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A Short Holiday at Shah Alam

SATURDAY – MAY 4, 2013

It was 6:40 PM already when we arrived at Shah Alam Bus Station (by Transnasional Bus from Melaka Sentral Bus Station, departed 4:30 PM). We took a taxi (RM 10.00) to i-City Boutique Hotel (http://www.agoda.com/asia/malaysia/shah_alam/i_city_hotel.html), which was located right in the middle of The City of Digital Lights (http://www.malaysia-traveller.com/i-City.html).

After checked in, shower and few minutes of rest, we got dinner at Nasi Kandar.

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Later Alif had fun at Trick Art Museum (tickets = RM 5.00 per person), 4D Cinema (tickets = RM 10.00 per person), Pirate Ship (tickets = RM 5.00 per person), and Spacewalk (RM 20.00 per cable car  which can hold two people).

The park was beautifully decorated with lights.

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Some of our photos at Trick Art Museum:

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SUNDAY – MAY 5, 2013

It was Malaysia’s 13th National Election Day, glad that Alif and I still could get a taxi (RM 8.00) to take us from i-City to a great mosque  which was called as Masjid Negeri (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sultan_Salahuddin_Abdul_Aziz_Mosque). The taxi driver, Pak Kamal, was orginally from Kelantan State but he still worked at Shah Alam (instead of traveled back to his hometown to participate on the election) on that day because “my vote wouldn’t change anything anyway”.

The Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Mosque (construction began in 1982 and finished on 11 March 1988) was the country’s largest mosque and also the second largest mosque in Southeast Asia after Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The large blue and silver dome was astonishing even from far, it measures 51.2 m in diameter and reaches 106.7 m above ground level. The four minarets were listed in the Guinness World Records as tallest in the world before being supplanted by Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco, in August 1993. The Blue Mosque does however still maintain the distinction of having the world’s tallest group of minarets as the set of four each stand at 142.3 m above ground level. The mosque has the capacity to accommodate 24,000 worshippers at any one time and is large enough that on clear day it can be seen from some vantage points in Kuala Lumpur.

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View of the dome from entrance to main pray hall:

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From the mosque, we took a taxi back to i-City (RM 9.00) for Alif’s main interest: SnoWalk (http://www.tripadvisor.co.id/Attraction_Review-g298316-d2226692-Reviews-SnoWalk-Shah_Alam_Petaling_District_Selangor.html).

Entrance tickets = RM 35.00 (adult) + RM 30.00 (child), included winter jackets rent (but Alif and I got our own). It was not allowed to bring any bags into the venue, then we paid additional RM 2.00 for the locker.

Alif enjoyed it so much. First time in his life the he experienced the feel of living inside a giant freezer.

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Too bad that Alif and I were first visitors, no other persons to play football with Alif.

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Back to the hotel, we said our goodbyes because David and Jenny would join their friends while Alif and I were going to our next destination: The capital city of Malaysia…KUALA LUMPUR!

The Historical City of Malacca

FRIDAY – MAY 3, 2013

Thank God that I made it as planned on my itinerary (https://perjalananbunda.wordpress.com/2013/04/15/malacca-shah-alam-kuala-lumpur/).

Alif and I walked out from my office at 12:30 PM, then we took 1:00 PM DAMRI Bus from Thamrin City (fare = 2 x Rp.30,000). Glad that it was only 50 minutes to airport then we didn’t miss the flight (ETD 2:50 PM). I had boarding pass from web check in at Air Asia website and only bring cabin baggage then not much formalities other than immigration and airport tax payment (2 x Rp.150,000 = Rp.300,000) before entered the boarding gate. I still had time to do noon pray (Shalat Zuhr-Asr) while waiting before went onboard.

The plane took 40 minutes for taxi before fly, so it arrived at LCCT on 6:10 PM (20 minutes late from ETA 5:50 PM).

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The first thing to do after got out from immigration gate was getting Malaysian SIM card for my mobile phone. Seems like Maxis was best option because they offered “tourist edition”. I bought it for RM 25 which was enough for call/text message and internet browsing (must use Google maps for navigation) until the end of 3-days trip in Malaysia.

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For travelers who need temporary place to store their luggage, it’s available near arrival gate, website: http://www.baggagesolutions.com.my

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We ate dinner at McD (open 24 hours) while waiting for our bus. It was two cheese burgers (@RM 7.90), plus Ribena (RM 4.20) and Passion McFizz (RM 4.65).

I did evening pray (Shalat Maghrib-Isha) in the pray room. Unlike in Indonesian airports where people can stay overnight, it opened only between 5:00 AM – 7:00 AM and between 12:00 PM – 11:00 PM.

I bought tickets for Transnasional Bus departed from LCCT at 9:00 PM, fare = RM 21.90 (adult) + RM 16.50 (child). On the bus, I met David and Jenny (fellows member of CouchSurfing.org from Medan) who wanted to get along with my itinerary.

The trip should be only 2 hours (130 km), but it didn’t leave the airport area for until 9:30 PM (30 minutes late than scheduled) and later the driver dropped a passenger far inside A Famosa housing estate (certainly not included in the official route), then we arrived at main bus station (Melaka Sentral) on 11:35 PM.

The driver just stopped at Melaka Sentral and didn’t want to drop us to final destination as mentioned on tickets (Mahkota Medical Center) because “tak banyak orangnya” (means “not much passenger”…while there were for of us!). Well, at least he paid a taxi for us. Actually that was good deal because we could tell the taxi driver to drop us in front of the hostel on Jalan PM2, instead of Mahkota Medical Center (which was 400 m from our hostel).

It was 12:40 AM already when I finished all of check in formalities and payment. For private room at Backpacker’s Freak Hostel (http://www.hostelbookers.com/hostels/malaysia/malacca/71019/map/), fare = RM 54.00/night (including RM 2.00 for govt’s heritage tax). I also paid RM 10.00 for the bicycle rent.

SATURDAY – MAY 4, 2013

This website provided comprehensive guide to explore Malacca: http://www.malaccaguide.com/. So much places to visit but then I only went to some major tourism spots due to our limited time of stay. Here is my route:

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At 7:00 AM, Alif and I left our hostel by bicycle to the island. It took 20 minutes, when we arrived at Masjid Selat Melaka then it was sunrise time but too bad the sky was cloudy and few minutes later it started raining.

It was a beautiful mosque. Looked like floating because of the structure.

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The mosque had a great view to Melaka Strait. Far far away on the horizon would be my beloved homeland, Sumatra Island of Indonesia.

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After one hour there, we traveled back to hostel for breakfast, then David, Jenny, Alif and I checked out from the hostel. Sean (the manager) was kind enough to let us left the luggage and take it later before leave Malacca.

Our first exploration was Maritime Museum, only few minutes walk from the hostel. Entrance ticket = RM 6.00 (adult) + RM 1.00 (child).

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Refer to http://malacca.attractionsinmalaysia.com/Maritime-Museum.php: The Maritime Museum or the Flora de Lamar is a replica (34 meters in height and 8 meters in width) of the Portuguese ship which sank in the coast of Malacca while on its way to Portugal. Its main focus is the maritime history of Malacca and the golden ages of Malacca’s Sultanate as the Emporium of the East. There are paintings which displays how the Straits of Malacca was a strategic location for traders from both the east and the west stop by at Malacca and conduct their businesses while waiting for the monsoon winds to change direction. The museum has myriads of exhibits of articles such as porcelain, silk, textile and spices used by the seamen of the yesteryears and even come sunken treasures hauled from Diana, another shipwreck. Other than exhibits on the history of the Malaccan Maritime, the museum also showcases the different eras that Malacca has gone through starting from the Malacca Sultanate era to the Portuguese era, Dutch era and ending with the British era. For ship fanatics, there are also a collection of different ship models that are on display at the museum.

After 40 minutes in the museum, we walked to Muara Jetty. Because boat for Melaka River Cruise (http://www.malaysia-traveller.com/melaka-river-cruise.html) only departed once an hour, then we spent 20 minutes to visit Custom Museum nearby (free of charge). It has displays of seized goods by customs offices over the years e.g. below vest that was used to smuggle gold bars, and shoes with extra hole in the sole to hide narcotics.

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The tickets for Melaka River Cruise was RM 15.00 (adult) + RM 7.00 (child). It was great 45 minutes boat ride passing following Kampung Morten, Pirate Park, Kampung Jawa, etc (http://www.malaysia-traveller.com/melaka-river-cruise.html).

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The captain even stopped few times to show us “water lizard” (“biawak” in local language) which lived in the river. He said that it was good to be cooked as “special medicine for men”, must be for “bed business” purpose, hehehe…

After the boat ride, we shopped at Hard Rock Shop (to add some t-shirt and pins to my collection).

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There were lots of trishaw in the city center, uniquely colorful with plastic flowers and songs were being played loudly during the ride (mostly Indonesian songs :D).

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Later we entered Jonker Street, officially marked as Jalan Hang Jebat.

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Visitors should not miss “5 THINGS TO EAT ON JONKER STREET, MALACCA” (http://maryaroundtheworld.blogspot.com/2010/11/5-things-to-eat-on-jonker-street.html) but all I could enjoyed was only few dishes of halal food at Kampung Mango Juice, No. 32 Jalan Hang Jebat, which doesn’t serve chicken/meat/pork (their menu only contained vegetable/egg/seafood).

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Alif and I ate Cai Pau (@RM 1.00), Tiju Kau (RM 1.50), Durian Spring Roll (RM 5.00 for 3 pieces), Durian Yummy Ice Cream (@RM 4.00), with Honey Dew Milk Tea (RM 5.00) and Roasted Milk Tea (RM 5.00).

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Referred to recommended route for DIY walking tour at http://www.gpsmycity.com/tours/tour-of-melakas-historic-district-4312.html later we walked around to visit The Clock Tower, Stadthuys, Christ Church,  People’s Museum, and ruins of A Famosa Fort within next 100 minutes (1:00 PM – 2:40 PM).

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The last stop in Malacca was Menara Taming Sari (http://menaratamingsari.com/our-attraction/), tickets = RM 20.00 (adult) + RM 10.00 (child). From a height of 80 m, it was great to see panoramic view of the World’s Heritage City and the surrounding island. Only 7 minutes, though. I wish that it was longer.

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Back to hostel and got our luggage out, we took a taxi to bring us from hostel to Melaka Sentral Bus Station (RM 20.00). We ended our Malacca city exploration and leaving by Transnasional Bus, fare = RM 15.40 (adult) + RM 11.60 (child), departed at 4:30 PM, to Shah Alam.