I was really excited that finally had a chance to visit Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia. Originally I planned to just stay a few days but then my friend gave me a generous offer to stay with them for a while and I accepted, I think it is always good to have locals on your side and they can show you things that you would be unable to find out on your on.
Packing to leave from Jakarta was kind of tricky, I bought new suitcase which were smaller than my previous one and it was a challenge to put all my stuff inside because at first try I was unable to close it. Also I needed to carry my tripod in the tripod bag which I checked at the airport ( this was my first time to check my tripod like a separate bag, usually it is inside main language, but this time it did not fit, and I felt it would be a bother if I carried it on the plane with me).
Boarding time came really fast and I was sad to be leaving Indonesia but at the same time excited because of the upcoming places and travels. In the airplane I love to sit next to a window and stare outside, and it is especially magic when you travel at sunset time. I arrived in Kuala Lupmur International Airport in the evening. After i pick my baggage I realized that check in tripod probably was not best idea because they damaged my tripod bag ( not a lot of damage but its looks like somebody poked it with a knife or some sharp metal object, it’s hard to notice but still there ).My friend told me they would be waiting for me in the car at the drop-off point so I needed to manage to get there, at first it was a little confusing because KLIA2 airport is big but I manage it.
First day I did not go anywhere but my friends house and after I arrived it was time to sleep.
The next day It was time for my first visit to Kuala Lumpur. I realized my friend lives kind of far from town, in the Putra Heights housing area. We needed about 30 minutes travel time by car to arrive in the center of city.
I was really impressed by Petronas Twin Towers, twin skyscrapers, they were the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004 and remain the tallest twin towers in the world (replacing the World Trade Center in New York ). We arrived early so we had plenty of time to walk around, explore, and do basic tourist stuff in the mall and park nearby. I was waiting for the sunset to take some photos and I decide the best place would be from the Sky Bar in Traders Hotel which would give a really nice view of the towers.
We were lucky and easily found a place to sit in the sky bar, we ordered drinks and waited for sunset. I had heard tripods were forbidden in the Sky Bar but I decide bring my mini tripod. I was hoping nobody would notice. At the beginning I was able to shoot with it, I manage to test some long exposure shots with my new Lee Little Stopper 6 stops ND filter, and just 10 seconds before my exposure time was over, the security came to me saying I could not use the tripod, I delayed a little till the exposure was finished and then I put my tripod back in the bag. Luckily on the table were some napkins and I took a few to support the camera and lens, I just put it on the window wall and that was ok with security, but its seems very unstable and insecure because it was just on the edge.
I think I managed to get some cool photos, soon we were headed back to my friend’s house and the day was over.
On Monday my friends had things to do so I joined them. First we went to the kids private school because she needed buy some books for children. I need to say the school looked really cool... and after that we went to the mall for lunch.
In the afternoon we went to a park near their house and I joined in at the gym for a yoga session. I already did yoga sometimes in Jakarta but its really hard XD at least for me… In the evening we started to get ready for our Kota Kinabalu trip.
23.8.14 – 30.8.14
We just got back from Kota Kinabalu trip, but this week was a little awkward for me. First few days were ok.
I went with my friend in Putrajaya Lakeside, and I was able to shoot some mid day long exposure photos with the Lee Big Stopper. The place had so many cool buildings and places for photos. Later my friend missed the turn and she decide to go home so I did not get many photos.
On another day I went with my friend and her kids to Desa Water Park, I think that was the worst water park there, but it was a fun day just relaxing in the pools.
The rest of the week I felt a little ignored because my friend suddenly did not want to go anywhere, or they were too busy with they own stuff. They told me if I wanted to go somewhere I can take a taxi or bus, but they told me there is no bus stop around their house so it’s best if I take a taxi. I then found out the taxi price is $20+ in one direction, I didn’t think it was really worth it. I’m not a person that likes to complain, especially if I am a guest in someone’s home. so I just stayed in the house and prepared my things for the Dubai and Istanbul trip. I felt it a little unfair because before I came to my friend’s home I was told that there would be so many cool things to see and do that my stay there would be too short, also that they would be on holiday so they would not have things they needed to do. Then I found myself alone in the house from time I woke up till 7pm, and at 8:30 they were ready for bed.
On the weekend they didn’t plans to go anywhere either I was also considering a short visit to Singapore but my budget was getting low so I canceled that trip for another time.
My last Sunday in Kuala Lumpur my friend asked me if I really liked to stay in the house all the time, and of course I said NO, but I think it’s crazy to pay the taxi price and I have no idea how to reach the city from where we are. It is just houses and highway all around here.
Then my friend told me I could take a bus into the city. Of course I can but first they at least need to show me where the bus stop is because I did not see one anywhere. They somehow assumed I should know where it is on my own ?? So I asked them to please take me and show me where the bus stop was, it was about 5 minutes away from the house ( with car ), and then they left me there to wait for the bus.
It was really hot and I waited for an hour, and then the bus took another hour to reach the city. Then I had another surprise at the final bus stop, I did not have any idea where I was because I expected the bus would pass the Petronas Towers but I didn’t see them anywhere, and the place was full of busses for many directions. I looked at the location on the map so I know how to come back to bus station and started walking. I noticed Kuala Lumpur Tower and I thought somewhere nearby would be the Petronas Tower so I just started to walk that way. I actually enjoyed the walk on KL street and it gave me a much better experience to know the city. I walked in the park around Petronas Tower and looked in stores in the mall. I also took photos of a very cool fountain dance in front of the mall and the time just flew by.
It was getting late and darkness fell really quickly so I decide it was time to go back. First I went the way I got there in the first place, but then I noticed I was going in the opposite direction of the “bus station bookmark” on gps ( my phone did not have the internet so I did not have map, only my current location and one dot that represented the bus station on a blank screen, so I was like a mouse who was trying to reach that dot in the dark and empty labyrinth streets of KL, I guess I took a few wrong streets).
Later I managed to get to the bus but my friends were extremely mad because I was returning late and I messed up their bed time so they gave me a lecture on how I needed to manage my time with other people ??? That’s ok, but I also wonderd how I can manage my time when they told me I need only 30 minutes to reach city and in reality I needed 3 hours, and 2 hours for going back to the place. When they picked me up at the bus station near their house, they did not say a word to me and in the house went directly to their room for the night. I did the same :/
My last full day in Malaysia and I have decide to go early into KL city. I took the taxi to the bus stop ( it is funny because the taxi driver did not know where the bus stop was so I had to give him directions.It is so hard to find a taxi in that area. I managed to find a taxi that was booked and waiting for other customers, by telling him it was just a few minutes drive ). I took the bus to Kuala Lumpur and then another bus to Petrona Towers, I tracked the bus route on my phone and I saw the bus was headed in the wrong direction so I got out and started walking.
My first stop was Hard Rock Cafe to buy a souvenir for myself and have a drink, it was an extremely hot day. After that I was headed to Petronas Towers mall for lunch and to just look at the shops, and walk outside in the park, I was really enjoying it but the light was too harsh for taking any photos. I wanted to shoot the sunset but my friends had told me they would come back at 7pm because they could not pick me up later ( sunset is at 7:30 but I did not want to create an awkward situation so I just sacrificed the idea). When I arrived at the bus station near the house they asked if there was anyway I could get a taxi, but I was unable to find one at that location the nearest was more than 30 minutes away, so I was forced to call them again to come pick me up.
Finally my last day in Kuala Lumpur. My friends booked a taxi for me that will take me to the airport. They were unable to take me because they needed to drive their kids back from school, but I didn’t leave til they came back because I could not lock the house up? Anyway this trip is kinda full of disappointments from my side but it was also a valuable lesson. When somebody comes to visit my house as a guest, I will always make time for them and I will really want to show them all that I think is worth visiting here and if I find I am busy with something I will make sure they have some things they can do. Maybe I was too naïve but I expected I would be treated the same way when I visit someone, but it looks like that is not the case. I can not say I am a demanding guest but I think too much is too much. I did not expect that them to drive me every day someplace, but at least they can show me where the bus station is, at the beginning of my visit any there are many similar examples).
Next time I will just get a hotel room in the city. I think that will be a much better choice. I had actually planned to move to a hotel but I decide to stay at the house and save some money for my next trip. Later my taxi arrived at same the time my friends arrived home.
I said good bye to them and thanked them for giving me a place to stay and an opportunity to visit Kuala Lumpur and I was on my way to the airport.
Next stop -> Dubai :D