“Ada batang mati, adalah cendawan tumbuh.”
(When there is dead tree stump, then there is mushroom growing) – Malayan Proverb
I went to Kuala Lumpur (KL), Malaysia in 2008 when I was still living in Singapore, so it was very quick and easy to just go here over a weekend when we needed to exit my nephew again that time while his student visa was still on process. I took my sister and nephew to Singapore to live with me when her marriage ended. It’s just the two of us now, our parents passed away already, so I guess living together in Singapore will be better for us, we are not that close to our relatives on both sides anyway.
It’s only one-hour flight to get to KL from Singapore. However, we opted to take a coach only which is a 5-hour trip to KL, because with all the 2-hour check-in policies at the airport and long taxi ride from KL airport to the city, it will cost less and save more time actually. A friend of mine, Bea, joined us too as this will be our first time in Malaysia so we were all very excited too.
The coach is not bad at all, it’s quite similar to airplane’s reclining seats with decent meals on board and dedicated TV with multiple channels for only S$47 (in 2008)! The only hassle of taking bus/coach is you have to go down the bus twice for Singapore and Malaysia immigrations, but that will only take few minutes.
We booked our 2-night stay at Malaya Hotel, a 3-star hotel only because we will be doing a lot of sightseeing anyway so we won’t be around the hotel all the time. However, the hotel’s area is around Chinatown, so it’s convenient for shopping but to our dismay, the surroundings are a bit rundown. The hotel however is decent enough, receptionists are very friendly and accommodating, the room is neat and big, and lastly, the buffet breakfast is so good!
As soon as we arrived and checked-in, we went straight to sightseeing. We went to Petronas Twin Towers (KLCC) and KL Tower. We didn’t go to Batu Caves anymore as it was already getting late. We just spent our day shopping and eating around Chinatown. The best part of staying at our hotel was there was a Reggae Bar across! Kids are allowed so we spent our night there ;)
Since there is nothing much for us to do in KL, we decided to take a side trip to Genting Highlands the next day.
One of our colleagues told us about this and upon hearing the word “highlands” I thought it’s a countryside of KL. Unfortunately, it’s not, it’s more of an amusement park haha! I did not research so we were surprised! But that was fine because my nephew loved it!
The weather is colder too so we loved it, however since we don’t like casinos and not prepared for a “Disneyland” sort of trip, we didn’t really enjoy it that much. Luckily, we were with my nephew, so no regrets at all, he enjoyed it a lot. But at least, I now have been to the First World Hotel who’s holding the Guinness record for hotel’s most number of rooms at that time, haha!
As you see, it wasn’t the best trip for us but we all find something out of it to enjoy this trip, after all this was all our first time in Malaysia, that thing alone is enough for us apart from the need to exit my nephew to get his new tourist visa entry in Singapore. I had to do everything I can so they can just live with me and start their new life in Singapore. I know it will be a huge challenge for my sister to be a single parent that time, but nobody can help her then but me, her only sister.
Just like what the Malayan proverb says, we are like mushrooms that can grow anywhere even on a dead tree. There’s a huge adjustments for us to move and live in Singapore. I truly believed then that after all the hardships in life we both went through back in the Philippines, I strongly believe we can survive living in a new place like Singapore and despite leaving our comfort zone in Philippines, we can still have a better life.