I’ve never experienced traveling alone. Although I’ve always wanted to try, I didn’t have enough courage to face my fears. Truth be told, one of my major fears in traveling alone is to be abducted by crazy people. Paranoid much? Anyways, last week I gave in to the challenge of traveling alone. I was in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia for a four-day holiday, which ticket and pocket money were my prizes for winning in Brunei’s 2012 I love Brunei National Day Competition (Essay, English, Open Category).
My officemate was supposed to join me in my trip. We already planned that we’ll go together in tourist spots in Malaysia. My officemate is a Malaysian and I was counting on her. Apparently, after I booked my ticket, which I was charged with BND118 for the surcharge, my officemate suddenly backed out. The high airfare ticket was her reason. Okay. As much as I wanted to rebook my flight, well, I couldn’t for there’ll be charges. So with a tight budget and a pinch of courage on traveling alone, I proceeded with my travel. So from being a "travel with a friend" series, I ended up with a solo traveling challenge.
How did I survive with traveling alone? Read on to know more about my preparations.
Weeks before I left Brunei for my Kuala Lumpur trip I started to gather information. I talked with my friends who had been to KL. I asked them the do’s and don’ts. I even consulted them on must-visit places. Okay, I was very eager to list with some "horror stories"; I said to myself, I have to know everything. Additionally, thanks to the Internet, I was able to gather hefty information on tourist spots, bus and train stations, haggling with vendors, and food alleys through blogs. Anton's blog entitled Pusang Kalye was very informative and helpful in my research. Meanwhile, in my Kuala Lumpur trip, I met Riz, the Pinay blogger behind lamyerda.com, which I will talk about in a separate entry. Riz was referred to me by Anton.
|Kuala Lumpur Map|
Weeks before leaving Brunei, right after my officemate backed out and I panicked, I chanced upon some blog entries that talk about the joy of traveling alone especially on a young and vibrant age. With those words I got encouraged and so I took a leap of faith.Apart from confidence with my age (hello, 30 na ako!), I counted on my research skills in discovering a foreign land.
Riding trains and buses was also prioritized as I worked on my KL Trip list. With a tight budget, I told myself that I’d frequent riding taxi cabs and zo I downloaded a KL and train stations maps. Lo and behold, research helped me to save cost on transportation as I rode trains at most travel in and outside the city, which is cheaper compared to getting on taxi cabs. Thanks to free city maps as well! Additionally, I learned that Kuala Lumpur has a “Hop on, Hop off” bus, which charges RM38.00 and serves a main key in touring most of the must-visit places in KL. I tried the Hop on Hop off bus and it was a glorious experience.
I handled booking accommodations via hostelworld.com. Apart from checking per night charges, comments about accommodation and services were considered in selecting the best place to safely stay in. In the end, I booked at Lacomme Budget Inn, which is along Jalang Angsoka and near Bukit Bintang (Shopper’s Haven) and Jalan Alor (Food Haven). Meanwhile, to secure my pocket money, I exchanged my Brunei dollars in Brunei. I also brought some extra Brunei dollars (for emergency purposes). Interestingly, emergency purposes for me is "last minute (at umaatikabong panic) shopping!" Kaloka!
Apart from bringing clothes, I also brought coffee sachets and some skyflakes. In some of the blog entries that I read, one of the tips in traveling alone (backpacker style) is to bring a coffee sachet or some biscuits, which can be used for immediate hunger. Plus, for the coffee, you can just ask warm water in a cup. Amazing, right? In my trip, the biscuits were helpful in filling my tummy on a long walk and bus travel.
After securing everything I need for my KL Trip – Map (check), Itinerary (check), Bag (check), Mobile Phone (Check), Malaysiang Ringgit (Check), and Courage (Check)- I began my journey.
Now, sit back and enjoy I give some tips and tricks in touring Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia!