Today is my tenth day in Malaysia and it feels like home away from home. It is my second trip here and the country has always shown immense love to me as a blogger. In 2014, I had come to Malaysia after winning the MalaysiaJao blogging contest. And this year I had this opportunity to be back again on a media trip organized by Selangor tourism and Malindo Airlines. As I look down from my room on the 33th floor of Sheraton Imperial Hotel, not only do I feel closer to Kuala Lumpur, I am also feeling nostalgic about everything, the trip that happened three years ago, (which was my first international assignment ever with respect to blogging) and the past 9 days which have been nothing less than a roller-coaster ride.
How did it start?
It all started at SATTE 2017 in New Delhi where I met the corporate communication manager of Selangor Tourism. He had invited me for a small conversation to understand my perspective and expectations from the upcoming media trip. The interaction was very fruitful and later I was shortlisted among 5 bloggers to fly to Malaysia. Hence, I am writing this blog from Kuala Lumpur. Unlike other FAM trips, I was pre-informed about my dates of travel and I had enough time to extend my trip to do more of such things that I wanted to do.
Ever since I have started travelling and living in different cities for weeks and months at a stretch, a 5-day trip is never enough to pacify the traveller in me. Moreover, Penang and its street art had been on my mind for long. Thus, this was the golden chance that I didn’t want to let go. Hence, I stayed back for five more days and it has been a superb trip. I am glad Malindo Airlines was extremely accommodating about my choice of dates for return.
5 days in Selangor
Day 1 – It was a night flight from Delhi which landed in Kuala Lumpur at 6 in the morning. We were warming received by members of the Selangor Tourism at the airport and next we drove down to Kuala Kubu Baharu (KKB), the principal town of Hulu Selangor District, Selangor, Malaysia. The local breakfast, the walk around the quaint town and the paragliding gave us a thrilling start. After being hung in the air for fifteen minutes and having an eye view of the beautiful KKB, we were transported to the wilderness, woods and the silence of ‘The Sticks’. The barbecue in the night was a delicious way to end the first day.
Day 2 – From KKB, we travelled to Avani Sepang Resorts which took us closer to the feeling of living in resorts on the sea (like Maldives). The rooms that are built on water, the view from the balcony overlooking the Straits of Malacca and the ambience of the property added a lovely experience. We spent the day exploring the property while the evening was about the mangrove tour and the sunset dinner by the beach. The fun in the infinity pool in the late evening added to a zing.
Day 3 – The day was well-spent in exploring the adventures and thrill rides of Sunway Lagoon amusement park. It was almost like going back to the carefree days of childhood and screaming in excitement. I did not dare to go for the bungee jumping but I loved getting drenched in the lagoon. The evening was about savouring a grand spread at One World Hotel. Cinnamon Restaurant offers a unique dining experience. In the night, some of us decided to walk around and explore the flourishing eating outlets of the neighbourhood. Malaysia has a legacy when it comes to local food.
Day 4 – No trip is complete without a heritage walk or a look around into the local culture. The visit to the Royal town of Klang was a lovely chance to get introduced to the former capital of Selangor and its characteristic historic buildings. In the evening, we dined at the Palace of Golden Horses Hotel, a unique hotel in Asia that is known for its fascination with horses. A night tour to the Petronas, KLCC, Bukit Bintang, Brickfield was a nice way to get introduced to Kuala Lumpur. Wish, we had more time for this.
Day 5 – This was supposed to be the last day of the media trip but it was ending on a very interesting note when we got a chance to visit the Sepang International Circuit, the famous motorsport race track in Malaysia. It gave us a chance to learn about its activities and experience some adrenaline rush too. Before heading to the airport, we spent some time at Mitsui Outlet Park shopping mall to peek into Malaysia’s fashion and lifestyle.
After bidding goodbyes to my friends at KLIA, I returned to the heart of the city and spent my night at a friends place in South Bangsar. For the rest of the journey, I was really excited because this was going to be all about me. I am not a solo traveller but I am glad that I chose to take up a solo trip in Malaysia. From the safety point of view, there is nothing to worry at all.
Day 6 – On the advice of a friend, I decided to travel to Butterworth by ETS (train). This indeed turned out to be most comfortable, pocket-friendly and the best way to travel to Georgetown, Penang. KL Sentral in KL is the place where you plan your journeys to all the nearby places. I took my train from there and reached the Island by the evening. I took a ferry to make it to Sunway Hotel in Georgetown. The ferry ride was refreshing and first look of Penang was enough to make all the efforts worth it.
Day 7 – I had only one full day and I knew this wasn’t enough for Penang. To make the fullest of it, I walked for almost like 10 hours to explore the UNESCO world heritage site area. With a map in hand, I tried finding every piece of art that Penang is famous for. Though I couldn’t locate all, I learned a lot about Georgetown. I even met a representative from Penang Tourism and on her insistence, I visited the Jetty clans where each one had a different story. Everything about the day turned out to be very-very special. I slept like a happy soul.
Day 8 – I bid goodbye to the lovely staff at Sunway Hotel. I bought some souvenirs, wore one of the Penang art street tee and got clicked with some of the famous art works. Armenian Street is the place to be! Sadly, I only had half day to myself before boarding the ferry and taking a train to KL. To cheer me up, I was already looking forward to my stay at Sheraton Imperial.
Day 9 – I woke up to a lovely weather. While it rained, I looked at the KL tower and the other high rises from the 36th floor of the Sheraton club lounge. Trust me, I was loving the privacy and the breakfast to my liking. The silence was magical. I decided to rest for the first half of the day. In the other half, I walked around the famous and lively Bukit Bintang, soaked in the KL moments, shopped from Pavilion and met a Malaysian blogger friend over coffee. The dinner at the Italian Restaurant – Villa Danieli was one of the best that I had in Malaysia.
Day 10 – I am reminiscing the past few days while writing this blog. Next, I plan to pack my bag before I go exploring the Quill City Mall which is right opposite the hotel. At 2, I will head to KLIA. I have my flight to New Delhi at 6 p.m. You guessed it right, I am flying Malindo Air. For now, signing off from KL. Follow my other posts from Delhi.
Thank you, Selangor Tourism and Malindo Airlines for this superb trip.
Keep travelling peeps!