Nasi Lemak AirAsia in-flight meal

Malaysia 2010: Leaving Kuala Lumpur… and about going back

Date: 4th October 2010

Today was the last day of our trip, and what a trip it has been: 3 whirlwind days in Singapore, 6 full days in Malaysia (1 day in Penang, 2 in Langkawi, and 3 in the capital city)

We woke up at a reasonable time and since I was done with all my packing yesterday itself, after breakfast I headed to Times Square just to roam about and see if there was anything I could pick up for the last time.

Berjaya Times Square shops morning closed
Unfortunately most shops were still yet to open
Berjaya Times Square shopping mall floors
Most shops only post 11am
Exclusive Nikon centre Berjaya Times Square Kuala Lumpur
There’s a fairly big exclusive Nikon store on the ground floor

I did go around looking for camera tripods but as mentioned earlier, most shops were closed.

Once all three of us were packed and ready, we checked out of Irsia and hailed a taxi. We initially asked him to take us to KL Sentral, from where we thought of taking the monorail to the airport. Then the taxi driver offered to drive us to the airport for RM60 (Rs. 875/$20/€14). The three of us looked at each other and wondered about all the luggage we had, sighed… and then said “fine” to the taxi driver.

Taxi driving to LCCT airport with luggageRow houses villas Kuala Lumpur outskirts airport highway

Taxi driving to LCCT airport highway
The journey was nice — and long
Onwards KLCC Sepang circuit Malaysia
Sepang Circuit, home to the Malaysian F1 and MotoGP events, is close to the airport

We arrived at the LCCT (Low Cost Carrier Terminal) an hour later, and were among the first to check-in for our 3:30pm flight.

LCCT plastic baggage wrapping service
First, we had to shrink wrap our IKEA boxes; cost RM30

We had pre-booked for 20kg luggage (per person) and fortunately all our luggage came just under 60kgs!

Relieved everything worked out alright, we went through customs and made our way towards the departures lounge. There is a Duty Free at the LCCT but liquor prices weren’t that great (read: cost more than Bangalore Duty Free) but you get good enough selection of international brands and chocolates. I instead went to a store selling traditional Malay sweets and snacks, and picked up tea biscuits, chips, etc. Something different for a change I thought.

We had to sit a bit longer in the boring departures lounge because our Air Asia flight was delayed by 45minutes. By the way, there is a new LCCT set to open by the end of the year.

Once it was time, we made our way in. We pre-selected our seats as myself and Ramesh were keen on window seats.

Air Asia LCCT baggage handling laptops
Even laptop makers want to cut costs on flying
Petronas stations KLIA
Kuala Lumpur International Airport is all the way there
Petronas station KLIA take off runway
In case you wanted to fill up before taking off, there’s a Petronas station here 🙂
Palm trees new LCCT construction Malaysia
We took off…
Palm tree farms near airport Malaysia from sky
… and flew over lot of palm trees
Palm tree farms near airport Malaysia from sky
Malaysia is the world’s largest producer of palm oil, and you can see why
New LCCT airport construction site from sky
Guess that’s the site of the new LCCT

Selangor river from sky planeMalaysia town from sky planeSelangor Malaysia from sky planeTelok Gong Malaysia river into Malacca Strait from sky plane

Port Klang Malaysia from sky plane
Port Klang

Power station Kang Malaysia aerial viewMalacca Strait sea Malaysia from sky

Pulau Selat Kering island Malaysia from sky
Selat Kering island

Malaysia shore line aerial view from airplaneMalacca Strait aerial view from plane

Ships Malacca Strait Malaysia aerial view
Container ships making their way to Malaysia

Air Asia plane wing aerial view from skyI took a break from taking photographs to reminisce about the last few days. I guess its always sad when a holiday comes to an end, especially when you think how fast time flies by.

We began planning for this trip as early as March. Booked our flight tickets in April. Made arrangements for stay in Singapore first, since we were going during F1 weekend. We made most of our booking via Hostels.com and Hostelworld.com, with only our Langkawi booking done via Agoda.com.

We flew Tiger Airways (one way) to Singapore (which cost Rs. 4500 per person) and our Air Asia one way journey from KL to Bangalore (with 20kgs luggage and pre-booked meals)  cost us Rs. 3600 per person. All in all, this 9 day trip (10, if you include today) cost us around Rs. 36,000 ($810/€560) — that’s flight, stay, food, commuting fares, and sightseeing expenses! 🙂

I didn’t do a whole lot of shopping, so I spent the least among the three of us.

If we had gone via a packaged tour, it would have easily cost us more than Rs. 50,000 per person and I doubt we would seen all that we saw the past 9 days. Sure, we didn’t check out Sentosa Island (and Universal Studios) but that’s due to lack of time in Singapore. It was either Sentosa or the Zoo — we chose the Zoo. In Malaysia, we skipped Genting Highlands as well because it was another theme park and casino — places subsidized package tours include so that they bring in droves of tourists in hopes the tourists will spend some money.

Indonesia shores from Malaysia aerial view
Looking at the world map, I believe this was Indonesia we were flying over

Indonesia shoreline clouds from Malaysia aerial view

Indonesia from sky aerial photography AirAsiaThe long wait at the airport made me quite hungry and I was looking forward to the meal I had pre-booked. Not that I had high expectations, I was just hungry.

Nasi Lemak AirAsia in-flight meal
Microwaved Nasi Lemak for lunch. It was a bit dry, but alright.

So would I go back?

To Singapore, that’s a definite ‘yes‘! Mostly because the experience of being in Singapore during F1 weekend is just too good. The whole city really comes alive during the Grand Prix. The main lesson learnt from this Singapore visit is that 3 days isn’t enough, even for such a small city state. You can spend an entire day at the Zoo itself — go see the animals in the morning and then the Night Safari once it gets dark. You can spend an entire day at Sentosa, for which they have activities from daylight to sunset. Next time, I’m definitely going to Universal Studios Singapore.

Also, next time, I’m going to carry a lot more money. SGD$250 is enough to get by for 3 whole days in Singapore (which is what we spent on getting around, eating, some shopping, and the attractions we visited). But next time, I’ll probably triple my budget and stay for minimum 5 days. I want to have fun in Singapore!

Aerial photograph Tamil Nadu India
By now, we were flying over Mother India

Would I go back to Malaysia? Well, depends really. I felt I saw all that I needed to see and do in Langkawi. I also saw quite a bit of what I sought in Kuala Lumpur. The one place I do feel ‘incomplete’ about is Penang. Just one day in Penang was a bit of a stretch, plus I didn’t get to see what was on the other side of the bridge, which apparently has its fair share of attractions.

Funny thing though, until last year, I didn’t even know there are two ‘sides’ that make the nation of Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Langkawi are all on one ‘side’ — but there is more to Malaysia, on the Borneo side.

Malaysia territories map
(Map image taken from Wikipedia)

Sabah and Sarawak are famous for its wildlife, lush forests and serene coast line — offering an experience quite different from that of the ‘main land,’ so to speak.

But because they are far apart, and not as developed, most tourists to Malaysia are often oblivious to Sabah and Sarawak’s existence.

Air Asia has flights to Sabah and Sarawak, so if I do go back to Malaysia, I would probably hop over to ‘the other side’.

Bangalore village aerial view lake from skyBangalore Karnataka India farm land aerial photograph from skyBangalore highway ring road aerial view

Nandi Hills Bangalore aerial photograph view
Not sure if these are Nandi Hills
Bangalore outskirts aerial view from plane
The outskirts of Bangalore, from up above

As we descended, the nice and sunny outside suddenly turned dark and rainy.

Rain clouds plane landing Bangalore

Dark rain clouds from plane Bangalore
Rain

Rain airplane window BangaloreLanding at Bangalore airportBangalore airport dark clouds

BIAL airport Bangalore rainy day
Landed at 5:30pm

After picking up some stuff at the BIAL Duty Free, we were out in half-an-hours time. We hired a cab who agreed to take us to Srajapur Road (near Total Mall) for Rs. 650. We opted not to take the airport bus due to the luggage we had.

If felt nice to return to the post-rain, fresh air and experience Bangalore’s greatest asset — its weather. But 30 minutes into our journey, and into peak hour traffic, it didn’t take long for all three of us to get frustrated and say the same thing:

“Man, I wanna go back!”

P.S: I also didn’t get to have bread ice cream in Singapore!

Other posts in this series:

Singapore & Malaysia 2010: Planning and preparing for the trip

Singapore 2010: Day 1 – Little India, CBD, Clarke Quay, China Town… and a lot of walking

Singapore 2010: Day 2 – Orchard Road, mall-hopping… and already shopping

Singapore 2010: Day 3 – Singapore Zoo, Marina Bay Sands; leaving Singapore for Penang

Malaysia 2010: Day 5 — Langkawi (Ferry ride from Penang, Cable car & Sky Bridge)

Malaysia 2010: Day 6 — Langkawi (Island hopping tour, Pantai Tengah beach, Night market)

Malaysia 2010: Day 7 — Kuala Lumpur (Low Yat Plaza, Petronas Towers, Jalan Alor)

Malaysia 2010: Day 8 — Kuala Lumpur (Batu Caves, Petaling Street/China Town)

Malaysia 2010: Day 9 — Kuala Lumpur (KLCC Aquaria, Merdeka Square, KL Tower observation deck)

 

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One Comments

  • manjesh

    29/06/2011

    so nice

    [Reply]

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