Monday, September 24, 2012

MY UP CIRCLE BRUNEI FAMILY ( I WILL BONGGANG BONGGANG MISS EVERYONE!)

I'm on my last week of stay in Brunei Darussalam, the Abode of Peace. With a few days left to pack my balikbayan box and explore Brunei, left and right send-off dinner, party or celebrations keep my schedule oh-so tight.

I had a jaw-dropping send-off last night. I was supposed to be out with Ma'am Betsy and Ton for a dinner in Gadong when I suddenly found myself in shock at the Curaming's Residence. I was so naloka with UP Circle Brunei's surprise send-off party for me. I was so clueless that such well-prepared and appetising celebration is dedicated for me.


Friday, September 21, 2012

BATU CAVES: THE 272-STEP CHALLENGE

I was doing research on what to explore in Kuala Lumpur when I stumbled upon some information about a sacred place in Selangor called Batu Caves, which is 13km north of Kuala Lumpur, As I browsed through the pages, I learned that Batu Caves has three caves, which have temples and galleries: the Sri Mahamariamman Temple, the Art Gallery Cave and Museum Cave. Since I wanted to check on unique and culture-rich places in Kuala Lumpur, apart from shopping malls, historic landmarks, and modern infrastructures, I put Batu Caves in my itinerary.

I visited Batu Caves on the first day of my solo traveling challenge in Malaysia. I was (seriously) alone in my sojourn. In preparation, I had a good breakfast; I brought a small bag with my money, map, passport, water and baby wipes; and I loaded lots of courage and extra precautions as I embarked on the challenge.

Believe it or not, I just paid RM1.00 going to Batu Caves. I rode the Komuter Train, which is found in KL Sentral Station. On the side, based on what I read, you can also reach Batu Caves via bus11/11d from Bangkok Bank Terminus (Near Puduraya Terminus) or bus U6 from Titiwangsa.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

THE PETRONAS TWIN TOWER

My trip in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia won’t obviously be complete without having a picture taken with the phenomenal and jaw-dropping Petronas Twin Tower. So on my first night in KL, Kuya Raul joined me in my Petronas Tower Hunt.

Most of the time, I was holding a map in KL. Since I’m on a tight budget, I tried to avoid getting on a taxi to visit tourist places, as listed in my itinerary. Unfortunately, on my first night in KL, since I was tired as I just arrived, I opted to get on a taxi and went to the Petronas Twin Tower. Kuya Raul, who is assigned to do a photoshoot in KL and who has no itinerary for the night, joined me on my trip. We just split the taxi fare.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

LA COMME BUDGET HOTEL

Traveling on a shoestring budget is what I’ve always wanted to try. With last week's chance to travel alone, I thought of budgeting my money properly. Actually, as I was making my itinerary, I told myself to go for tourist spots and not just shop in shopping malls. Since I heard that dishes in KL are very cheap, I thought I can work on a budget. True enough, with my research and planning, I achieved a budget-friendly trip. More or more, I got hooked in visiting museums, mosques, a cave, a world heritage city (hello, Melacca), and taking lots of pictures in any place I got in.

Since I was clueless on where to stay in Kuala Lumpur, I asked my friends in Brunei. Quickly, they referred Hostelworld.com, which I immediately browsed and bookmarked for research. As I read the reviews on the list of accommodations ranging form hotels, inns, and even hostels, I decided to pick a budget hotel, which is located in Bukit Bintang. What’s more, in consideration was the budget hotel should be near Jalan Alor, the street which boasts food stalls and restaurants.

After a careful review of prices and tourists’ comments, I picked La Comme Budget Hotel.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

ARRIVAL AT KUALA LUMPUR INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (KLIA)

I arrived early at Brunei International Airport on 3 September 2012. Not that I’m “uber” excited with my solo traveling challenge but I was anxious on possible problems that may arise with my pass; with my multiple pass to expire on 14 September 2012, I thought of the possible scenarios that could happen such as not allowing me to board in my flight. Positively, everything went well.

Meanwhile, one of my friends named Raul, a well-known and professional photographer in Brunei, was on the same flight as mine. He’s bound for KL to do a two-day photoshoot. With his presence, I kinda felt relieved. In my mind, I said, “Buti at may makakasama sa flight.” Apparently, as Kuya Raul and I conversed, I found out that he’s also staying in Bukit Bintang, a place where I booked my accommodation. In end, we agreed that we’ll just help each other in finding our hotel once we reach KL. Soon, we boarded and our journey to KL began.

I was clueless on how does Kuala Lumpur International Airport look like. In fact, I didn’t even google it. To me, the only objective is to land on the country of destination and fulfill one’s itinerary with a big smile plastered on one’s face. Surprisingly, Kuala Lumpur International Airport is one of the world’s best airport for three consecutive years. I tell you, I was so shocked to see the colossal, modern and cosmopolitan architecture of the airport.

Wanna know more about it? Read on.
 


Monday, September 10, 2012

PRE-KUALA LUMPUR TRAVEL PREPARATIONS


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.

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