Feature Post

Rainy Day travel with my Filipinos

Inigo was the first to arrive in this place,  He was initially looking for Filipino friend but there was no one until he realized that the...

Kuala Lumpur Train Travel to Singapore.

Ticket to Singapore


I get bored when I was in Kuala lumpur so I bought a train ticket going to Thailand. Then my friend who was just arrived in Singapore convinced me to go with him and travel together.

So the next day I went to the Intercity Ticket Station at the KL Central Station, I ask the teller to change my Thailand ticket to Singapore ticket. They give me change because the Thailand ticket was 69MYR and the Singapore Ticket is only 39MYR. My advice is to plan your travel and buy ticket in advance specially during weekends that trains are usually fully booked.

Kuala Lumpur Central Station


I have a backpack and a luggage and went to the Kuala Lumpur Central Terminal 1 hour earlier to my 22:00 boarding time. The Central Terminal have restaurants and McDonalds that is open 24 hours, a lot of benches and waiting area. It is very crowded in the daytime. The intercity Train here is not so many like Europe where trains comes and go every 30 minutes.

The security will just let the passenger go to the Flatform once the Train arrived. The security has checked the the ticket and baggage and they let us in inside the carriages. The sit and carriages number is written on the ticket.

The Night Train with Bed


It is a night Train and will be travelling for around 8 hours going to the JB Central Station. I got a second deck of a double decker bed.  The night Trains comes with a normal couches but mostly are converted to double decker bed specially for long night travel. It is actually comfortable, comes with nice bed, clean pillow and clean blanket. And is covered with sliding curtain but expect to hear the sound of the snoring and chatting passengers. There will be a ticket inspector on board and they will start to check the ticket just right after boarding so you will not be disturb while you are sleeping. I didn't see any luggage space so I put my luggage and my backpack on my bed. The other passengers they just keep their luggage on the floor. The train stops in other stations to unload and pick up new passenger for around 5 to 10 minutes then will go and end the trip to JB Central Station. Johor Bahru or JB Central Station is the final and last station of the Train. Johor Bahru is part of Malaysia and is connected by a bridge going to Woodlands which is a part of Singapore.


Johor Bahru Malaysia Immigration Control


Around 5:00 o;clock when we arrived at JB Central Station. There is supposed to have a transfer to another train going to Woodlands but it is fully booked until 16:00. The teller told me to just take the bus as it is always available going to the Woodlands. I just follow the teller instructions, I follow the crowds that are also going to Singapore. I don't know actually what is outside of the JB Central because I just take a long walk, around 20 minutes walk taking elevator, escalator and hallways without going outside the building. Then we end up in the Malaysia immigration Control. I show my passport and did the immigration check out. Then following the instruction going out and I found the Bus going to Woodlands. Camera and Video Cam in the immigration building is not allowed so I don't have any picture.

Crossing the Boundary Johor Bahru to Woodlands.


The bus is nice, the locals use their card to pay, some people just drops coins on the box beside the driver and because I don't have coins I pay to the driver and he gave me changes and printed receipt, I forgot how much but its cheap. It's around 30 minutes travel because it is very traffic, but can be taken for 10 minutes without the traffic. This bus is just crossing the river, the boundary of Malaysia and Singapore.

Woodlands Singapore Immigration Control


We reach the Woodlands and noticeable the amazing numbers of people with their motor bike and cars that are also going to cross the border and will go to Singapore. And that is aside from the people that are commuting from Malaysia to Singapore like me. So these people are maybe living in Malaysia but working in Singapore it means that this s a daily scenario in this place. Upon reaching the immigration some officers ask me some information like, where I will stay, for how long etc. Then they stamped my passport to stay in Singapore maximum 30 days. Filipinos have no visa to most asian countries for 30 days.

Finally in Singapore


I get out of the immigration and to be sure I ask one officer if I am already in Singapore  because people are still look the same, environment is still the same. lols. Down the immigration is a bus terminal going to city. I don't have Singapore Dollar with me and there is no ATM machine in the area. I walk and reach this place like a market, I ate there and withdraw some cash. I went back to the bus terminal I take the bus and the conductor told me that I can pay Singapore Dollar or Malaysian Ringgit.





How to Travel Around Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

I already spend a lot of money during my long days Europe trip that is why I need to save and spend as thrifty as I can during my trip to Asia.


From the Airport

It was morning when I arrived at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. They have a nice looking airport and its quite busy. I didn't stay long in the airport I just observed a bit and check the internet for the possible scam I might encounter in the city. Thanks to the internet I've seen ways to avoid those scammers. The airport is far from the city and your option are:
  • KLIA Train. is a train service that will bring you to Kuala Lumpur Central Terminal. From Central Terminal there are MRT and Tram with several lines that you can use to go to your Hotel. Using the ticket machine is easy as the instruction is written in English, Malay and Chinese.
  • Metered Taxi, Taxis are always ready waiting for the passengers from the airport, as much as possible always ask to switch ON the meter to avoid excessive charges and inconvenience. Some of these guys do some kind of scams.


  • Airport Budget Taxi Coupon, I used this going to my Hotel. Basically, there is a counter in the KLIA  located in the exit of the departure area. From there you can buy a prepaid taxi Coupon. You just need to tell to the teller the address of your booked Hotel or house and they will compute and print the voucher then pay for it. Then go outside and look for that taxi and show to the driver the voucher and that is it.


  • Car lift.  I don't know if this exists in Kuala Lumpur but it's not a good idea to use it in any way.

  • The taxi brings me exactly in front of my guest house, The driver was using his mobile phone GPS during our trip and that's when I realized that google map works really well without a data plan, you just need to open the google map app then search the target location while you are in a wifi zone then you're good to go. The map will bring you to the right place. I didn't give a tip to the driver because he is not polite. He opens the windows of the car and starts to smoke. I don't mind, I'd rather sleep than speak to him.

    Accommodation

    I booked the first guest house while I was in Europe When it comes to booking a Hotel always consider to book in a location that is near to your places of interest or at least in a place that is easily accessible.  It is going to gives you conveniences and savings. If you love going to the beach then book a hotel that is near or accessible to the beach.  Like for example, you are going to Phuket, for sure your main target is the beach then book a hotel near or walking distance to the beach. Most of the time taxi/tuk-tuk drivers are scammers especially for the tourist like us, avoid that. I stay in Kuala Lumpur for 20 days in different guesthouses. If I like the guest house I speak to the reception to extend my stay or sometimes I book it again depending on the price.  I stay in one guest house because it's cheap and nice-looking in the picture when I book it and is accessible but I regret it because it's dirty  and I am scared because it feels that I am their only guest for 6 days. I used booking and Agoda to book Serai Inn, Arenaa Star, Bullokcart Hostel and Trilogy Hotel. Anyway, if the description of the hotel in booking.com is different from the actual,  you can complain and ask for a refund if you want.. just be sure to be ready for any inconvenience.

    Food

    Most of these guest houses and hotels provide free breakfast, it is written on your booking. if you are new in the city McDonald's is the first option because they have the standard taste of their common food and the prices are almost similar to your home country. Most of the time I am eating in a local cheap restaurant for around 5 to 7 MYR a meal, I felt that more than 10 MYR is already expensive. For one day I spend more or less 30 MYR. I am not really a fan of Indonesian food, I am not into strong spices. Compare to Dubai food and hotel in Kuala Lumpur is almost 75% cheaper. 1 meal in Dubai is ranging from 15 to 25 AED in the food court.  The value of money has small difference as of this time it is 10.00AED = 11.41MYR


    Transportation

    One of the good thing in Kuala Lumpur is the GOKL, GOKL is a free bus service than goes around the city, That is where I ride on my city trip, it is having several lines to cover most part of Kuala Lumpur. GOKL is free for all, for locals and tourists. You can ride in a designated loading and unloading area located in the convenient location of the city. They also have buses, MRT Train and Tram. For one ride it cost ranging from 1MYR to 3MYR. I never tried the taxi.

    Parks, Attractions and Malls

    Kuala Lumpur has a lot of nice Air-conditioned shopping mall and this is usually my destination just to eat in their affordable food court.   Perdana Botanical Garden is one of the place that is a must to visit, its big and a lot of things to see, there are monkeys roaming around, and squirrels too. Within the area, there are some museums and attractions that require an entrance fee and are expensive especially for the tourist. The prices of the attractions in Kuala Lumpur are different for the tourist and for the locals, the same as Thailand. There are so many places of interest to visit in Kuala Lumpur. I don't go if I need to pay the entrance fee.

    What to wear

    Like other tropical countries in Asia, Malaysia is hot and a bit humid city so expect that you'll be sweating if you stay outside, the temperature is around 20ºc to 30ºc in the daytime. The best time to walk outside is in the morning up to 9 am and in the afternoon from 5pm up to the night as the temperature is just right. Compare to Dubai during the summer. Dubai is very very hot and humid both day and night, but during winter Dubai is amazing. Remember that there are some guest houses and establishments that are not air-conditioned and having just electric fans. A jacket and sweater is okay to wear inside the mall but wearing it outside will make you sweat and will be uncomfortable. I see a lot of European people wearing just a tank top and shorts or summer trousers and a flip plop while walking around. Bring what you need depending on the purpose of your trip.  Remember that rain is also common in Kuala Lumpur so be ready also.

    What I bought in Kuala Lumpur

    One month before leaving Dubai I broke my slipper and decided not to buy because it is expensive. While traveling in Europe I realized that I don't need slipper because shoes are a must while walking around the city as it is cold. When I am in Kuala Lumpur the only thing that I bought there are slipper and hand sanitizer and both of those are cheap. When I left Dubai I brought with me my personal care, toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, shampoo, deodorant, nail cutter, shaver, cotton buds and for sure there are more if you're a woman. All these things are sure we need during our travel so bring it with you. We are sure that we need to pay for our hotel, food, and transportation and maybe laundry at least we save time and money for having our toiletries with us. Anyway, those are not heavy. It is most of the time finding a place to buy something take a lot of time.



    Travel Insurance

    I bought my travel Insurance from DNATA, it is one of the requirements when you are traveling especially in Europe. This is very important as it keeps you worry-free about money in case of any untoward incident. A travel insurance company does not cover pre-existing conditions.

    Kuala Lumpur

    Kuala Lumpur is a diverse city, the locals are Malay, Indian and Chinese looking people. There are some European ex-pats. They are using Malay or Bahasa, Hindi or Tamil, Chinese and English languages in most of the signboards and instructions. Almost everyone speaks English. Malaysia is a Muslim country but there are Churches and Cathedral, Temple and of course Mosque.

    Extra care

    We need to be careful while we are traveling. The weather, the food, the water, the cleanliness, and everything are not the same in our home. We don't want to be sick while traveling. Check if the local water is drinkable or can be used for brushing teeth. Drink a lot of water in the daytime, wash your hand and use sanitizer before eating. Be careful from bad people.

    Leaving Kuala Lumpur

    I left Kuala Lumpur going to Singapore using an Inter-City Train. It cost only 39 MYR for 10 hours trip on a night train with a double-decker bed. Compare to airplane that takes only around 4 hours including the waiting time in the airport.


    Day of Stop Over in Sri Lanka.

    I booked a  ticket going to Kuala Lumpur few days before our flight going to Europe, Momondo.com is the website that gives us the cheapest ticket flight and hotels in most of our bookings. Some of those are RyanAir flight that there are hidden charges that is not clear until you get to the airports. Hotels that gives you option to sleep without bed cover or rent a bed sheet from the hostels and etc.



    It is required by Sri Lankan immigration for tourist coming to Sri Lanka to apply for an Electronic Travel Authorisation prior to your arrival in their country, It cost around 30USD, but if you are just on a transit and will stay just in the airport there will be no charges. I applied for this ETA Transit.

    From Rome Italy going to Kuala Lumpur I had a more than 20 hours stopover at the Bandaranaike International Airport. I arrived in the airport at around 5 o;clock in the morning and my schedule flight is 01 o;clock the next day. If you think that time is too long you can ask the airline desk if they have the soonest connecting flight going to your destination, In my case I decided to stay and go inside the city. The problem is I don't have visa because my ETA is allowed only for transit so I ask the transfer desk If I can go to the city, There was a bit of confusion at first one of the guy in the transfer desk ask me to speak to the immigration guy he explain that maybe I need to pay 35USD fro the visa, Then the immigration guy refer me to the transfer desk. They ask me to wait.
    I waited and it's like there is no chance. I went to have my breakfast and then I went back to the transfer desk and in there is new lady that explain that maybe if I have a hotel booking to the city they will let me in. I went to the coffee shop, connect to the internet and booked a guest house in Negombo Beach. the guest house is very affordable for 1 night. I printed the guest house booking and take my passport and show it to the immigration officer and he let me in with a stamp of maximum two days stay in Sri Lanka. They didn't ask me any payment.

    From the Airport I walk around 200 meter going to the bus station, along the way there are a lot of Army or police for safety and security. I took a bus going to Negombo bus station and it cost 20 Sri Lankan Rupee. Again I took another bus going to Negombo which I need to get down to the Beach Road where I booked the hostel, it cost 15 SriLankan Rupee. I found the guest house with the friendly staff. He explain things and gives some advices and tips about the place. I went to the beach which is amazing.

    SriLankan people are naturally nice and friendly, most of them speak english so there will be no problem communicating with them. But the same like any other city, be careful that there are also some sort of taxi/van/tuktuk scam. Please observe the situation and don't be a victim.

    Whole Day Walking Around Rome to Vatican.

    Arriving in Rome

    From Milan I took a Train going to Rome Tibortini Central Station, Its a walking distance going to my hostel Rome Scout Center. The guy in the shop helps me with his google map to locate the location of the hostel. I stay in a room with 4 bed and I meet there one guy from Sardinia Italy a backpacker, and two guys from Spain one is a backpacker and one is there for work.



    I booked the hostel from booking.com and that was the cheapest based on my standard. The hostel is very clean and I would say this is the best hostel I've stay in Europe. They have facilities like a common room, restaurant, meeting room, etc. on y first day I saw a lot of students staying there for a night, and on the next day I saw people having a seminar on their function room.

    Roaming around the city

    It was still early so I walk nearby my guest house, there are restaurants around the place and noticeable people stay up late. I saw some small grocery staff with Bangladeshi. I will not forget I saw a lot of Condom Vendo Machine.                 The next day my plan is just to walk around the city but it is quite not easy as most people doesn't speak English. I ask several people until I found a lady who can speak English. Learning how to use the Train System is a must to learn. Like Milan, they have several train lines that will bring you to a different location. If you are a tourist it maybe takes a while before you learn how to get the ticket but it will be easy because there is an English translation on the machine how to get the ticket.

    The Colosseum Station was my first stop and I think this is the busiest station because when you get out of the station you will see already the very popular Colosseum. There's a lot of people walking and looking around. They have a charging station and water refilling station which is nice as it gives convenience to the tourist. There is an entrance fee if you want to get inside the Colosseum and for sure it's a good experience, otherwise, you just walk around because there is so much more to see within the area. I didn't go inside instead I just walk around and see those old structures and things from the old civilization. The place is very big and along the road, you will see the Forum, The Spanish Steps and there is also a different museum within the area but like always there is a fee.

    These buildings with very narrow roads that I see in the movie? I found it just a few distances from the Spanish Steps. You're not going to see it if you follow the big buses road. The place is hidden within the shops and restaurant, Try to find it because the feeling is different when you get there. The place is also commercialized with restaurants and shops but the outside appearance is preserved from its originality.



    I keep on walking and I see the high street where signature branded shops and restaurants are located. Just by walking and you will see the sign to see the other places of interest like The Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona, Piazza del Popolo and so much more. I actually get to see those things without having a map and not knowing the name of the Place. Most of this place is located between Colosseo and Piazza del Popolo, which is long and wide but full of excitement if you just walk.

    At the end of Piazza del Popolo, most of the buildings are the normal building and houses and still a lot of shops and restaurant, I keep on walking and when I get tired I stop in one bus stop. I met there a Filipina, we speak a bit and finally, she told me that the Vatican is near and can be reached by just walking. She even advises me to just walk because along the way I will see a lot of things. " so if you are lost in Italy and you see a Filipino try to ask him or her the locations or any Infos, because Filipinos speak English and most of these Filipinos lives and work in Italy. most Italians don't speak English.

    I reach the Vatican and it was amazing. The feeling is awesome. There is one incident of pickpocketing from a Japanese couple but the good thing is the Police catch the guy and recover the wallet of the Japanese couple.

    I was walking for the whole day and exploring the city, it was dark when I get back to the Colosseo Station and took trains going back to Tibortini Central station and walk to my hostel.

    The following days I used the trains several times to go and eat in ordinary places.