NEWSFLASH: I’m going back to Malaysia this April because Kuala Lumpur is my stop-over from Manila to…Australia!!! Whoopee!
Yes, mates, I’m going to visit the land down undahh!!!
No visa panic this time! I got my Australian stamp today, more than a week before my departure date. What a HUGE improvement! (*pats back!)
But before Australia, I have Malaysia. Truly Asia, as they claim. And it’s true! I’ve been there last 2010 with my brother and cousin and saw that it’s really the melting pot of all Asian cultures. Enter one KFC in Kuala Lumpur (order the cheesy wedges please!!!) and you’ll see Indians, Chinese, and Malays all dining peacefully together. It’s quite a reassuring sight.
Aaah, I can’t wait to go back. I’ll probably have my picture taken at the Petronas again. Will definitely grab some kaya toasts too. I’ll meet-up with my friend Cholo and probably munch on some rat’s ears (LOL!) at some hole in the wall. Exciting!
Have you ever felt the need to drop everything and go?
I was reading a travel blog one night and suddenly felt inspired to “see the world”. Thought to myself: “D, you’re slacking up on the travelling. You need to go out there again. At least see Asia.” Obviously, I can’t see the whole of Asia in one go because my funds are limited. (I still need to marry a gazillionaire or start an acting career to be able to afford that. Hahahahaha crazy!) So I prioritized: Singapore-Malaysia-Thailand.
My father said it might be hard for me to enter Singapore alone as immigration officers might think I’m going there to work so he asked my younger brother to go with me. I didn’t want to make it a cheesy sibling-bonding trip so we asked our cousin to tag along. After all, she grew up and studied in Singapore.
Currency: Singapore Dollar
Exchange Rate: 1 SGD= 34.13 PHP
Airport: Changi International Airport
Hotel we stayed at: Gallery Hotel (via Agoda.com, 100USD per night) (in between Clarke Quay and Orchard Road)
Meeting-up with friends!
One of our favorite persons in the whole world is crazy Kriztel! This girl and I used to be officemates. We used to bond over yoga and sauna sessions after work. Who would have thought she’d end-up shaking-up Singapore? And we’d hang-out in Clarke Quay while sipping martinis and watching Ferraris and Lamborghinis race each other? This is Kriztel inside our room doing her “legs, legs, legs mo ay nakakasilaw pose”!
Kriztel with her one true love, my brother, at the Riverside Point!
We met with a number of super accommodating friends and family– Jenie G., Kuya Lloyd and wifey, The Galang family, The Castillos, and Brit-brit! [We miss you all!]
We also met-up with my eternal travel buddy Rhona who was there on business. That’s me at the center with Rhona (left), her officemate Via, Brit-brit and my cousin May-ann. We shopped along Orchard Road ala Sex and the City!
D-lish meals we ate–
If you like BARBECUE, eat SATAY (paired with roti and curry)!
If you like PALABOK, try HOKKIEN PRAWN MEE.
If you love HALO-HALO, you’d enjoy AIS KACANG!
You can’t leave Singapore without trying-out the following:
HAIANANESE CHICKEN (I prefer the roasted over the steamed.)
CHILI CRABS!!! (2 SupahSizeMe Crabs please!!!)
STEAMED SEABASS!!! (healthy, tasty fish!)
THE SINGAPORE SLING AT THE CLINIC AND SOME BEER AT WHERE ELSE?
Sights we saw–
the Alkaff pedestrian bridge that spans the Singapore River in Robertson Quay
the Helix Bridge
state-of-the-art shopping malls
and lots of other cool stuff like this store called Limited Edt The Vault that houses hundreds of Limited Edition Nike shoes!
We took the bus (Aeroline) from Singapore to Malaysia. It took us 5 hours to reach our hotel.
City: Kuala Lumpur
Currency: Malaysian Ringgit
Exchange Rate: 1 MYR = 14 PHP
Airport: Kuala Lumpur International Airport
Language: Bahasa Melayu
Hotel we stayed at: Corus Hotel (right where the bus from SG stops; 100 USD per night)
Malaysia was a breeze! All we did was eat, shop, take pictures, and eat some more!
Busy Pavilion Mall
10 floors of shopping!
Tech stuff are sold here. We bought Papa an HP mini-note. No iPads at that time yet.
Cool mall marketing idea: The Style Cop
Central Market for souvenirs (It’s like an air-conditioned Divisoria; More like 168 but less crowded.)
Love the rice!
One reason to go to Malaysia: quality affordable SHOES! (Vincci is VNC in the Philippines)
Our friend Cholo brought us to this coffee shop with the best-tasting kaya toasts ever!
We went to Aquaria where I had a fling with this cute diver. Well, I’m assuming he’s cute. Can’t really tell because of the mask. We blew kisses to each other so I guess that made “us” official, right?? 😛
Doctor fish tickles!!!
Everyone who has gone to Malaysia should leave with an awesome photo at the Petronas Twin Towers! We took about a hundred!
Airport: Suvarnabhumi Airport
Currency: Thailand Baht
Exchange Rates: 1 THB = 1.4PHP
Language: Thai (Tai)
Hotels we stayed at: Baiyoke Sky Hotel with the awesome roof deck and Baiyoke Boutique (smaller but newer than the earlier) (around 100 USD per night)
I have an officemate who dresses like she’s a Gossip Girl character. Truly chic! Whenever I’d ask her where she got a piece of clothing she’s wearing, she’d almost always answer “Bangkok.”
Only down side when shopping in Bangkok is you seldom get to try on the clothes. So make sure you know what fits you just by looking at a piece of garment. Clothes and accessories are cheaper when you buy wholesale (6 pcs. or more) so be ready to buy belts in every color!
Seeing all of these photos again makes me want to go back and shop some more (if only moolah is easy to earn!):
Don’t forget to avail of the Tourist Privilege card. You may get one at any mall information desk. It gives you discounts and freebies from a number of branded stores.
My brother instructed the taxi driver “Quezon Mall please.” Driver: “What?” Brother getting helpless “Que-zon Mall”. Driver “Ooohhh Gay-sorn Mall!” LOL
We spent 5 days in Bangkok and practically spent 3 days going back and forth to the Siam malls!
Authentic luxury brands are cheap in Bangkok (they give you tourist rebates at the airport too.) Buy at the flagship stores!
Comme des Garcons is now open in Manila (One Rockwell!).
Shoe collaborations: Nike + Gucci and Comme + Converse
Bought my brother this pair of Eric Koston Frog Skins Oakleys. It’s so lightweight!
I call my brother “Brocs” coz when we were younger, he was always broke! Changed the spelling to broC, short for brother Carlos.
The Rolls Royce of chocolates!
MickeyDee’s Sawasdee Ka
Jim Thompson’s house.
Warning: Cheesy Letter from the Big Sister:
Thank you, Brocs, for being patient with Ate. Thanks for carrying our stuff and always reminding me of my valuables. Sometimes I feel like you’re older than I am coz you have more restraint than I do. Except when you’re buying shoes. Don’t worry, I will never charge you for all the Nike shoes you ask me to buy from all of my travels. 😉 But please promise to reserve a room for me in your future home coz your single and old maid big sister might need a place to crash in for the holidays.
I was never the same after this trip. I changed jobs. Vowed to live everyday knowing I’ve done everything to be productive and happy.
Travelling really teaches you lessons you can’t experience inside of a classroom. So I work, work, work (even on Sundays for makeup gigs!) while I save, save, save so I can traveeeeeeeeel!
Where’s your next stop?