Friday, August 5, 2016

JOURNAL | Malaysia, Truly Asia



29 June 2016. Wednesday


Boarding the Malaysian Airlines, it dawned on me that there was the Malaysian Flight 370 which was never found. And at the back of mind, if my plane suddenly disappears at least I've lived a well spent life. I won't have much regrets.

Waiting at the boarding room, I called my mom just to assure her that I was OK. It still felt odd to be leaving again, although I never had an intention to stay in the Philippines. But when you are about to leave and you realize that you won't see your family again for the next or couple of years then it hits you hard. But in this life, we all need to make difficult decisions. It just so happened that I chose to leave. So no point in being overly sentimental.


***

I have a problem with my kidneys. I always have to go piss every couple of hours; thus when I am seated by the window then it becomes a truly exasperating flight. Moreso when the leg room of the plane leaves not much, but just enough for one squeeze in the legs. So end of the story, I had to restrict my bladder; and whenever there's water coming my way, I had to discipline myself in not drinking much. 

Upon arrival in Malaysia, the first thing I noticed was that there's a lane for ASEAN passports. ASEAN stands for Association of SouthEast Asian Nations. It was brilliant to have a lane like this, because in the Philippines we have nothing of this sort. Malaysia sure values its identity and roots and proud to be Asian. The Philippines on the other hand does not give priority to this. Anyhow, the immigration process was smooth and in no time, I was already in Malaysia. This is it, Malaysia Truly Asia.


Getting to Bukit Bintang






All right then, the first order of the day is to reach my Hostel in Bukit Bintang. And I admired the fact that Malaysia has a convenient transport system. I only had to ride the Express Train to get to Sentral, then rode the Monorail to Bukit Bintang. Here's how it works:
  • After getting your passport stamped at the Immigration, proceed to the carousel, collect your bags and exit. 
  • If need be, change some money to Malaysian Ringgit (but DO NOT change all your dollars; because money changers outside have higher rates, and you can even ask for preferential rates e.g. if you have 1000 dollars to change, you can definitely ask for some higher exchange rates which is reasonable according to Google).
  • Go to Level 1 using the elevator. Find the ticket counter and buy your KLIA Express Train ticket. It is the pink train, so make sure you hop on to the right train. The Express Train stops at KL Sentral and takes about 1.5 hours.
    • Ticket Price: 55 Malaysian Ringgit
    • Travel Time: 1.5 hours
    • Point to Point: KLIA to KL Sentral
  • Once you reach KL Sentral, proceed to the first floor and locate the monorail. There are plenty of signs that will direct you to the monorail.
    • Ticket Price: 2 Malaysian Ringgit
    • Travel Time to Bukit Bintang: 15 minutes
Voila, you should be in Bukit Bintang now.
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The Hostel | Sunshine Bedz






Sunshine Bedz is strategically located at the center of Bukit Bintang, 15 minutes away from the Petronas Towers. With an average rating of 9 stars in most hostel booking sites, I chose this place. Plus, they have cheap rates of 30 Ringgit per night, that includes the bed and breakfast. The breakfast is coffee and toast with jam.


You can find more information about Sunshine Bedz Hostel here:

While you can book directly to the hostel, it is recommended to book through:

I stayed for a couple of nights and it was all worth it. The room was comfortable enough and very quiet. The shower rooms and toilet are plenty so everyone will always have something to use. The staff are very friendly and accommodating.

The only comment I have was that one of the staff, when I arrived was not wearing any shirt. I understand that this is a hostel and everyone is like friends with each other, but this is still a business and clients expect some level of professionalism. So I hope they keep the standards in the place.

But what I really loved about this experience is meeting people along the way. And in this trip, I met an American Buddhist, Cory who has been traveling Asia for quite some time. He is into meditation and he shared with me some valuable Buddhist principles.

You can read more about this discussion over here:

I never intended to get myself into a deeper conversation, but for some reason I have been encountering a number of signs that points out to the path of higher meditation. These signs like people talking to me about the Universe, finding myself watching or reading articles on achieving peace and calm, yoga practices, etc. It looks like the Universe is conspiring yet again for me towards this direction and I just can't ignore the signs.

Anyhow, for dinner I decided to have some McDonalds and walked some bit around the area. I saw the Petronas Tower from afar so I decided to go visit that on my very first night.



It was quite a walk from my hostel, and was hot too. But I enjoyed my first night.

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