Rabu, 15 Mei 2013

Amazing "Race" journey: First Pit Stop Malaysia

One Day Trip to Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
This trip was in the end of February 2013, the very first pitstop of my “amazing race” series journey. I tooke Air Asia Flight to go to Kuala Lumpur from Jakarta. My flight was scheduled at 9 pm and it was flying punctually.
Jakarta before departure
I was taking Damri Bus from Pasar Minggu Bus Terminal in South Jakarta. I chose Damri because it’s the cheapest mode to reach Airport and also hasle-free. It costed 25,000 Rupiah from Pasar Minggu to Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. Damri is the only public transportation to reach The airport vice versa. The bus is now equipped with wifi on board, although i did not use this facility because i had no smart phone that time.

Passport and terminal tax
I took bus at 5 pm in  order to reach Airport at 7 pm (for check-in). The bus was stuck in the ehavy traffic of jakarta since i took bus in the rush hour. The bus passed Jalan Raya Pasar Minggu (Pasar Minggu Avenue in literal meaning). It took about 1.5 hour to pass this long avenue, normally in non-traffic it would cost only 20-30 minutes. The bus finally reached the toll area in highway. The bus run very well from the highway until reach the airport at 7.30 pm to Terminal 3, Soetta International Airport. Terminal 3 is newly established terminal in this airport and become the fast-growing terminal for Low Cost Carrier terminal (air asia, tiger air, and lion air). It’s the smallest terminal but now is already equipped with many shops and it’s very convenient. It has 2 storey to accomodate the vast growing passegers for LCC. The first for is for check-in and arrival terminal, and the second floor is for Departure area for boarding room.
Terminal 3. Soekarno-Hatta International Airport Boarding room
I reached airport at 7.30 pm. I then got into queue line to enter the airport for checking. The security guard checked my belongings and my ticket to let me in the airport for check-in. Once i realized that i had to pay 150,000 Rupiah for airport tax (since flight from Indonesia is not inclusive the airport tax, so we have to pay once we are in check-in), i have to go out to find ATM. i finished withdrawing my money and was ready to get in again, i got into queue line and the security guard looked at me suspiciously,. They again cjecked my belongings. I successfully checked-in to Air Asia counter at 7.50pm and i directed myself to go to Boarding Room. Everything was done and i was waiting for my first flight to go to Malaysia and my first flight after one year.
Because it is my first flight after 1 year, i saw many people made in line, so i decided to go with them, I knew that it was 8.30 and my flight at 9, but i was affraid it would be my flight. Once i got my turn, they checked my boarding pass and let me in. Fortunately, they had 2 checkers, and the next checker recognized my boarding was not for this flight (actually this line was for Singapore flight). Then he told me to wait my fligh again in queue. I was so shy that time since i was in line then they had to “reject” me on board. Finally i paid attention to the announcement, and the time was coming for my flight and i was in the right line and got my flight.

Getting to KLIA LCCT
KL-From AA Flight
I arrived in KLIA LCCT in the midnight, the flight was smooth and arrived punctually. KLIA stands for Kuala Lumpur International Airport, and LCCT stands for Low Cost Carrier Terminal. LCCT is located far from the main KLIA, And we need to take bus costing for about 1-2 hours to go to Main KLIA vv. KLIA LCCT is big enough for LCC Terminal since it is the main hub for Air Asia Flight and some Budget Airlines (Cebu Pacific and Tiger air). The airport is equipped with many restaurants and shops and also money changer. It has 2 terminals, international and domestic terminal.
My Flight
Once i got stamp from Malaysia immigration, i found the ATM for myself to accomodate me living for one day in Malaysia. I did not bring any cash that time and i used ATM consequently. I used my CIMB Bank (it’s a Malaysian Bank which had branch in Indonesia, Thailand, and Cambodia). Since it was my budget trip, i would not buy anything in airport and i used airport as hostel this time. i already prepared myslef with bread from Indonesia and Bottle for free water. I was so hungry that time and i just brought plain breads. I got to McDonald’s to find Sauce, and i “stole” sauce from Mcdonald’s  (with this post i am sorry for this, it was beyong my plan). I enjoyed the bread with mcdonald’s sauce. I found myself thirsty. I wandered around the airport to find free drinkable tap water. I finally found the only one Drink water fountain (I dont know how to call this facility), i could drink for free and also fill my bottle with full of drinkable water. I come to this fountain twice and the Indian lady starred at me, i was ignorant then.
They slept on the bench
i decided to sleep in the floor since there was no sofa or sleepable bench there. I was looking for the perfect spot to sleep. I saw many people (Mostly Indonesia) sleeping in ths spot, it was not perfect at all but since many people did, so did I. I Slept with my jacket as the blanket and my bad as pillow. It was about 2 am i started sleeping. At 4 am i hard thecrowd of teh airport. The airport was starting working for usual daily routinity. I was waken up and i had to open my laptop to find the wifi of the airport. KLIA LCCT is equipped with high speed wifi. However, it is only valid for 3 hours in one PC/Laptop. You can use again the internet after 3 hours you’re done with wifi access. I tried to find electic power plug. The place that i know it has power plugs is in the front of check-in counter and also weight measurer area where many people wait. I could not use the plug since we had different port. I still could surf on internet to find the details how i could reach Kuala Lumpur city Center. FYI, Wi-fi in here cannot access Youtube at all. I went to ATM in the corner and i found CIMB ATM and this ATM dispensed Indonesian Rupiah.
KLIA LCCT in the midnight
I decided to take Bus from LCCT to go to KL Central. I found the cheapest one was 14 RM for roundway. It would cost me 8 RM for one way, but i bought roundway and it costed 14 RM. The bus left at 5.30am. (the bus leaves regularly vice versa LCCT-KL Central).  From the bus counter i had to walk to Bus Terminal (i had walk about 100 m). It was easy to find this area. I showed them my ticket and the indian guy as the ticket checker allowed me to board the bus. The bus was ful with passenger that time and the AC worked very well (too well since it was very cold for me). I was so asleep that time so i decided to sleep during the travel to KL central.

Kuala Lumpur

KL Central
 It was about 1 hour we arrived in KL Central. I was acting like a local because i did not want to be recognized as foreigner. I have asian look (malay look) so it was beneficial for me. Once i hopped of the bus, i found the weather of Kuala Lumpur was humid (it reminded me of Jakarta). It was about 6.30 am. I found an elevator to go to main floor of KL Central. KL Central is the integrated place For city Trains. I was so hungry and i needed rice for breakfast (It’s typical Indonesian to have heavy meals for breakfast, and also rice). I went to Seven Eleven in the KL Central. I bought Nasi Lemak and Croissant and Green Bean Drink. The nasi lemak costed me 2.5 RM, Crossiant for 2 RM for croissant and drink, so i spent 4.5 RM for breakfast. I could not eat in the station since it would eb embarassed for me. So i decided to eat when i arrived.it about 7 am and many people commuted to work or school. I was so impressed with this condition. Although it was supposed to be rush hour, they could still walk in regular not heavy traffic like in Jakarta.
I decided to go to BATU CAVES. From KL Central, I took Commuter Train to go to Batu Caves station. I was not worrying at all since batu caves is the last stop for the train. The ticket used the electronic system, and i did not know how to use it. So i was helped by the person who saw me in difficulty to enter the platform.
I was on the right platform and i could find the train to go to Batu Caves. I was stading in the train since it was full, but after some stations i could have seat. It took about 20 minutes to reach Batu Caves station.

Batu Caves
Commuter Train
I arrived the station and found way to go to Popular spot in Batu Caves, the batu caves itself with Mughal Statue, the tallest Mughal Statue in the world. With 2 bags, i walked to the main center, i was so impressed with some Indian Hinduism Gods and Goddesses Statue along the way. Then before reached the main spot, i saw from distance the mughal statue. It looked so Amazing. It was breathtaking for me. I step approaching the main spot and found that it was so majestic and gigantic main creature.
Inside the Cave
How many steps?
There are some Hindu Temple in this area. The yard in front of the statue was full by Doves. It was really good for me since i was dreaming about the yard full with doves like in the movie, and i found hard in Indonesia so far for this con
Batu Caves from distance
Doves and the Mughal golden Statue
I saw the cave on the top of the big rock. I  had to step hundreds steps to reach this area. This pictures will tell you everything of this amazing place. Beware of monkeys here, they may be stealing monkeys, and they eat coconuts from the offerings after the procession of praying. I was so tired to get to the top, but it was worth doing. In the cave i could see some spots for praying. It was really good and I felt like i was in India. There were so many tourists here since it is the touristical place
Kuala Lumpur Station
Batu Caves is very good for one day trip in KL. There are many Indian restaurants around here. And you will find the foods was quite pricy or me. I did not eat at all here since it would be out of budget. I finished the journey at midday there, at about 11.30 am. I decided to go back to KL Central by Commuter Line again. And the suprised thing was The Ticket Price was 2 RM to go to KL Central. I stoped in Kuala Lumpur Station (it is different with KL Central). The station was quite big too. I decided to stop here to go to Pasar Seni and the famous place for backpacker in KL, Petaling Street.
Me in the picture :)
Stealing Hungry Monkey

Petaling Street
Petaling Street
I Could noty find pasar Seni at the first time. i kept on waling then i found this place. It was very good for me, for aliedn for it was not bad. I went to petaling street, saw many buildings and also the KL Bus.
It was about 1 pm, i was hungry, i found the eatery in petaling street. I spent 4 RM for my meals consisting rice, beansprout, tofu, and stirred morning glory.
I finished wandered around the petaling street and went backto go to KL Central tp go back to KLIA LCCT to catch my flight to clark at 9.30 pm. It was abot 3 pm and i walked to KL central from Petaling street. I was getting lost anddid not know the way to go to KL Central, then i found KL Monorel to go to KL Central. I bought the ticket for 1 RM to go to KL Central the train was really good (again) for me. Just one station and it was about 1 minutes. I went to Bus Shelter to LCCT and showed them my ticket and board then slept in Bus.

Lunch for cheap :)
For This Trip, I spent:
VV Bus KLIA LCCT-KL Central 14 RM
Breakfast for 4.5 RM
Lunch for 4 RM
VV KL Central Batu Caves 3 RM
Monorel ticket to KL Central 1 RM
Total: 26.5 RM

The short trip was good kick-off for the enxt one to go to Taipe by Clark airport.  Actually it was not planed to do this short trip since my flight to go to Clark from KL was rescheduled by Air Asia from 9 am to 9 pm. And thanks to Air Asia for rescvheduling my flight eventually.

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