Putrajaya: It is a planned city, 25 km south of Kuala Lumpur, that serves as the federal administrative centre of Malaysia. I was stunned to see a city so green, clean and well maintained. In Putrajaya there are many tourist spots among which Perdana Putra (the Prime Minister's office),Putra Mosque,Putrajaya Lake and Seri Wawasan Bridge are must visits according to me. You can check out the other options from http://www.malaysia-traveller.com/top-putrajaya-attractions.html. If you have less time and want to cover most of the main spots, this Nadi Putra intercity bus service could be a good choice.
From Batu Caves we took KTM again to KL Sentral. Trust me KL Sentral is one of the most beautiful railway station I have visited. From there we took KLIA Transit for Putrajaya. From It was Monday and unfortunately due to some reason Putrajaya was closed that day. So we didn't have much option to roam around the city. When the local tour organizers suggested us to return to Kuala Lumpur since there was no tour service available for that day, the local people suggested us to take the local bus "Nadi Putra" as it will cover most of the points. Before getting into the bus just check out the spots it is going to cover from the route chart.
Malaysia is one of those small countries in South East Asia which is a true example of unity in diversity; rugged mountains to dense rain forests, towering skyscrapers to wooden houses, cool highland hideaway to sandy serene beaches. Its key attraction is its extreme contrasts which further add to this theme of ‘diversity’.
It is a tropical country, so throughout the year the temperature varies between 30-38 degree Celsius. We planned our trip in last week of December. If you are planning for any international trip and is budget conscious, keep a check on the offers and schemes of the relevant airlines hotels.
Petronas in daylight and bird's eye view of Kuala Lumpur from KL Tower's observatory
Guys if you are foodie then here you will get plenty of options to choose from. So in a nutshell Genting is a complete package of entertainment where you can stay, enjoy casino, various rides, have good food, do clubbing etc. The glam and glitz of the place is worth mentioning. The two most important things you need here are energy and money.
So again few more miles for the Twin Towers. After reaching in front of the twin beauties suddenly I forgot all my tiredness, leg aches. It was a blend of various emotions that made us dumbstruck, mesmerized, overwhelmed. We did nothing but stood in front of the twin skyscrapers for quite a log time; even though it was close to 9 PM.The Menara Berkembar Petronas is one of the tallest and most beautiful buildings in the world. The 451.9 mt, the 88-storied structure is equally gorgeous in day and at night. We went inside the tower for the next day's Skybridge ticket but the counter was closed. The security guard suggested us to come next morning around 8 am for the ticket.
I was very happy to visit such wonderful places in one day but was completely exhausted. After reaching our hotel the first thing that I did was to go to the pool side. But it was too late to get into the pool. After spending a relaxing time there we indulged in a sumptuous dinner with Malaysian delicacy Kampung Rice, chicken satay, and Jacobs Creek Shiraz Cabernet.
Inside Awana Resort
Petaling Street-China Town
In order to reach KLC Aquaria, we returned to KL Sentral and took the Kelana Jaya Line. This time our destination station was KLCC. It’s a beautifully decorated station. There is a shopping arcade, KLCC Suria Mall, just above it. It was Christmas, so the mall was decorated in red and white, sparkling stars, bells, gifts and Santas. Here you will find huge collection of branded apparels, toiletries, accessories and food. Just outside it is the KLCC Park. If you have time, you must try to get some fresh air of the park.
We took the underpass tunnel, connecting from the lower-ground level of Suria to the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC), from where it is a 5 minute walk through the tunnel to Aquaria KLCC. KLCC Aquaria is accessible from KLCC and KLCC Park also,
Batu Caves: Batu Cave is a limestone cave outside which is a famous Hindu shrine.The world's tallest statue or Lord Murugan (Kartikeya), 42.7 mt high, is placed at the entrance of the cave. The cave is around 100 mts above the ground and to reach there you have to climb 272 steps! Seeing the height you may feel a bit jittery but trust me, it's worth climbing. The place is too beautiful and the majestic statue of lord Murugan makes it divine. Inside the cave there are few temples of lord Ganesha, Murugan, Shiva Parvati and other Hindu gods and goddesses. If you are not a religious person then also you should not skip visiting this place.
The beautiful rocks and caves will surely interest you.While climbing the steps be aware of your cameras, purses, shades etc as that might interest the macaques! There are number of food joints selling Chinese to South Indian foods. Here for the 1st time we had Dhosa (Thosai) with chole! It was not yum but one can go for it in hunger.
We took KTM Komuter from KL Sentral for Batu Caves, but you can go for taxi or local buses also.
Genting Highlands:From KL Tower we returned to our hotel, checked out and took a cab for Genting Highlands. Genting is a Hill Resort "The Resort World" comprising of 5 resorts, outdoor and indoor amusement parks, shopping arcade, casinos, etc. From Kuala Lumpur it took us around 1 hour to reach Awana. From Awana we took cable car to reach Genting. The Genting Skyway is also recognized as the "World's Fastest Mono Cable Car System" with a maximum speed of 21.6 kilometres per hour (13.4 mph) and the "Longest Cable Car in Malaysia and Southeast Asia.
FRIM: FRIM is one of the leading institutions in tropical forestry research in the world. In the Rain Forest you will find hundreds of species of trees, plans and flowers. Canopy walk is one of the major attractions of this FRIM. The canopy walkway gives a panoramic view of the Kual Lampur’s skyline. The way to the canopy is a bit rough tracking path, you have to climb a small mountain. So better to wear comfortable walking shoes and carry some water.
China Town:Petaling Street is the Chinatown where you will get a huge collection of Chinese food, show pieces, accessories, and electronic items. If you feel like doing some shopping, do bargain otherwise you will end up paying much higher price. There is a Central Market. Here the shops are small, but fully loaded with beautiful show pieces and electronic items. So while entering the shops if you have bags or backpacks be extra careful, otherwise you may knock off some ‘highly priced’ items and end up paying for that. If you want to have some authentic Chinese food you can try it here.
The Sri Mahamariamman Temple is located at edge of Chinatown. It is the oldest Hindu temple in Kuala Lumpur. This ornamentally embellished temple is dedicated to Mariamman, manifestation of the goddess - Parvati, an incarnation embodying Mother Earth with all her terrifying force. She is associated with disease and protects her devotees from unholy or demonic events. If you love photography, this temple is a must visit for you. Near this temple there is a beautiful Chinese temple, Guan Di Temple. The origin of this temple comes from one of China’s greatest warriors known as General Kwan, Guan Di or Guan Yu. He was given the title of ‘God of War’ and many had chosen to worship him due to his excellent fighting and war skills.
It was sunny in Awana but when we reached the Genting everything was in clouds! Due to this weather the outdoor amusement park was closed. Considering the weather condition we decided to return to hotel and come next morning for the tour. If your room is in the Pagoda Tower of Awana Resort, don't miss the morning view of the area from the balcony. It was completely white outside... everything behind the clouds! Gradually that fog disappeared with the sunrise. What a beautiful morning to start an eventful day! After exploring some of the vast varieties of breakfast options, we left for Genting Skyway. When we reached the Resorts World it was foggy outside. So unfortunately most of the outdoor rides were not operating. So we got our tickets for the indoor theme park.
Like other theme parks there are lot of rides to keep you engaged for the whole day. There are finest casinos and gaming parlors in the Resorts World where you can try your luck. I was highly excited to try out something there but the facilitator informed us that it is only for the members. I have to enroll for membership first. So unwillingly we left from there.
We had our bookings in Awana Golf and Country Resort which is 4km before the peak of Genting Highlands at Gohtong Jaya. Try to get the room in the pagoda tower, the view from the rooms is mind blowing. After leaving our luggage in our room we left for the Genting. There is a shuttle service between the hotel and the Genting Skyway. But the frequency is not that good.
Bukit Bintang: Bukit Bintang is the trendiest shopping and entertainment district, offering everything from sleek shopping centres and five-star hotels to all-day restaurants and vibrant nightclubs. It is a place for foodies, shopoholics, selfiholics. If you are tired from your days trip you can go for some Thai foot spa here. Few things which I felt are must buys from here are shoes, souvenirs of Malaysia, cosmetics etc. There are some beautiful shopping malls like Fahrenheit 88, Lot 10, Starhill Gallery, Sungei Wang etc housing some of the best brands of the word. So here get some good food, drink, shop and indulge yourself at the roadside performances.
Morning view from room
Next day morning, after grabbing our free jumbo choco-cookie we left for FRIM. We took Kelana Jaya Line metro from Ampang Park station (walking distance from Double Tree) to KL Sentral. KL Sentral is the node of all the lines. From KL Sentral we took KTM Komuter for FRIM. The nearest railway station to FRIM is Keopong. From the Keopong station one has to take a cab (it cost us RM7) for FRIM. We were unaware that cars were allowed inside the main gate of FRIM till the office. So we left our cab there. But it’s advisable that you take the car inside, otherwise you will end up walking miles.
Gaming parlor inside Resorts World
Malaysia - The Wonderland
Skyway; On the way to Genting Resorts World
Petronas Twin Towers
Next day we were scheduled to go to Genting Highlands. So after grabbing a quick breakfast we left for Petronas. As suggested by the guard we reached the tower before 8 am. But to holy cow! there were hundreds of people standing the the queue before me! People were waiting for the Petronas Skybridge ticket from 4 am !! After waiting there for close to an hour finally the counter opened and all the tickets got sold within 5 mins. It was too frustrating. So if you don't want to experience the same, try out their online booking option and also check with the hotel if they can arrange.
From Petronas we went to KL Tower (Menarakl), another one of the tallest buildings in the world. KL Tower is an observatory which not only gives a bird's eye view of the surroundings but also houses the famous revolving restaurant, Malaysia Culture Village, Menara KL Eco Tourism, mini zoo and splendid banquet halls. There are separate entry fees for the spots. So while booking the ticket from the counter ask if there is any package.
From Putrajaya we returned to KL Sentral from where we took Monorail for Bukit Bintang.
Genting Resorts World
From Left: Seri Wawasan Bridge, Putrajaya, Monorail at Bukit Bintang
The Towers: After spending a couple of hours there we headed towards our hotel. We were carrying a map of the city and according to that Petronas is at walking distance. So we though of following the map and stroll across the lanes for KL Tower and Petronas. But trust me it was not that close!! I really wonder how distance is calculated in these maps! We were walking and walking and suddenly we saw the lofty gracious KL Tower in front. There was some construction work going on the side from where we came and the entrance to the tower was quite far from there. So we dropped the idea of having dinner in the revolving Atmosphere 360. So guys if you are excited to experience a sumptuous dinner 282 mt above ground level, better plan your trips accordingly and book the table at least an hour before. After spending a couple of hours there we headed towards our hotel. We were carrying a map of the city and according to that Petronas is at walking distance. So we though of following the map and stroll across the lanes for KL Tower and Petronas. But trust me it was not that close!! I really wonder how distance is calculated in these maps! We were walking and walking and suddenly we saw the lofty gracious KL Tower in front. There was some construction work going on the side from where we came and the entrance to the tower was quite far from there. So we dropped the idea of having dinner in the revolving Atmosphere 360. So guys if you are excited to experience a sumptuous dinner 282 mt above ground level, better plan your trips accordingly and book the table at least an hour before.
From Aquarium we header towards Chinatown as it was on the same line just, a station before KL Sentral. The nearest station to the Chinatown is Pasar Seni. That day we were too tired to continue with the night life of Malaysia. So from China Town we headed towards our hotel. We have Batu Caves, Putra Jaya, Bukit Bintang for our next day.
From left; Kampung Rice with Chicken Satay and Hokkien Mee with Tom Yam Soup
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KLC Aquaria: Aquaria KLCC is a world-class aquarium that showcases animals & marine life from Malaysia and around the world. It showcases over 5,000 different exhibits of aquatic and land-bound creatures. To me the most exquisite part of the aquarium is the Oceanarium. It is a 90-metre transparent tunnel with a moving walkway to take you past Sand Tiger Sharks, Giant Stingrays, Marine Turtles and shoals of other fishes. If you like adventure you can go for activities like Cage Rage, Dive with Shark etc. But for the 2nd option you need to be a certified diver.
Standing in a marine kingdom with Eel, Shark, Octopus, Crabs, Sea Horses and other marine animals is an out-of-the world experience. The ticket price was worth spending. In case you want to do the adventure activities, which are quite costly, you have the book the passes before hand. If you fall in love with these beautiful creatures, you may check out the souvenir shops for the miniature replica of your loved animals.
After spending the whole day here I was too tired to stand properly. Next day we had our flight from LCCT of KLIA. I was completely depressed and was not at all ready to leave Malaysia. There are so many things which we missed due to time crunch.
So guys if you are planning for a 5 days trip to Malaysia, I would suggest you to add 2-3 days more so that you can cover at least the Langkawi Islands. It is an archipelago of 104 islands in the Andaman Sea, some 30 km off the mainland coast of northwestern Malaysia. The Forested hills, romantic white-sand beaches and crystal-clear waters greet visitors to this tropical Palau Langkawi. Here you have lot of things to see, the underwater world, wildlife park, lakes, rice and dragon fruit farms etc.
If you are a passionate about photography, Langkawi will never disappoint you. It will give you some great shots of the serene beaches and sea.
Other places near Malaysia which may interest you are the Cameron Highlands,Perhentian Islands, Malacca, Mount Kinabalu, Sarawak Cultural Village etc. You can check out other options from http://www.malaysia.travel/en/places.
So guys while planning for your trip be clear about the places which interests you. I know it's a bit difficult to identify the exact places but it's always better to short list few in case you have time crunch. Few things that I would like to mention based on my experience are:
1. Be open to street foods and local cuisine. Those are really delicious. Must try Kampung Rice, Hokkien Mee, Satay and Dragon Fruit Shake.
2. Do follow traffic rules while crossing roads.
3. Kuala Lunpur is hot, so no need to carry heavy woolens even if you visiting in Dec-Jan.
4. Try to avoid buying anything from China Town if you are bad in bargaining.
5. Try to use local transport for the sightseens. It will make you feel the pulse of the city.
Malaysia is 2 hours 30 minutes ahead of IST. Our fight was with Air Asia and had our hotel booking in Double Tree. We reached Kuala Lumpur at 12 AM their time. From airport it took us an hour to reach hotel.
Local travel facility was available in the hotel but we preferred to see Malaysia like locals. Kuala Lumpur is well connected via railways. It’s the easiest and the cheapest way to commute. Like us if you want to avail this facility the map available in the link http://mapa-metro.com/mapas/Kuala%20Lumpur/mapa-metro-kuala-lumpur.png will be of much help.
Our trip was of 4D / 5N; 2 days in Kuala Lampur and 2 days in Genting Highland. So we had too much to see in this short duration. Based on the metro connectivity, we selected few spots in our itinerary; Day1: Forest Research Institute Malaysia(FRIM), Aquaria, Bukit Bintang and Petaling Street(Chinatown), Day 2: Batu Caves, Putra Jaya, Day 3: Petronas, KL Tower and heading towards Genting.