itchy feet cravings

KL Tower (first night in Malaysia)

Had I gone to Kuala Lumpur a year earlier, I’m pretty sure my itchy feet experience in Malaysia’s federal capital would end up unexceptional. Many times, close friends have asked me if I would bother joining them to a KL trip. I wanted to but somehow, I always end up putting off their invitation with a “next time, next time, I’d join, promise!” which never did materialize.

You, see KL is just one of the Asian tiger cities in my list of must see destinations. The reason is that I was captivated numerous times by the “Malaysia, truly Asia campaign I see flashed in our cable TV channels and print ads in travel mags. I remember I even suggested to a Philippine tourism official before to adopt a catchy slogan like what Malaysia was able to come up and which I think successfully stuck in the minds of tourists the world over. Around that time, President Aquino’s Cabinet was still unsure whether to vamp up the “wow philipppines” tourism crusade of the previous Arroyo administration or come up with a new catchphrase that would instantly captivate foreign visitors to our shores and attractive island getaways. Right now, I think we’re doing a mighty fine job with the “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” campaign. (Don’t we? Yes I think we do).

So when I received a call again from another friend if I am interested to join her in a KL trip, I decided to tag along this time to shake  the stress away after covering an impeachment trial that lasted for five (rigorous) months. And I’m glad I did! Because even if its just for a few days, my first foray to KL is just terrific, impressive and unforgettable.

We flew to KL via Air Asia which now has direct flights to KL from Clark International Airport and vice versa. After enjoying in-flight food (which was superb) and enjoying the comfy seat, I dozed off during the flight since air travel lasted for about three and a half hours. Honestly, I didn’t mind taking Air Asia even if it was slightly a long way off from Manila. Thankfully, there’s no traffic. First time in Malaysia, first time with Air Asia—and it was all worth it.

Thankfully also, we didn’t have to suffer jet lag since both countries run on the same time zone. Our tour guide, a fun and crazy Malaysian guy named Eddie Chok, gathered us at the KL airport when we arrived around 7 p.m. I was tempted to snooze again when we snuggled in inside the tour bus but Eddie’s witty humor, as he points to us iconic landmarks that we can see as we gaze at the glass windows, telling us about gorgeous finds in Malaysia (Yeah, I like his Lolek, where can I buy one?) and telling us just about crazy experiences eventually had us doubling in laughter.

But our first night was marked with a welcome dinner, where?—KL Tower! I had only read about this in travel literatures but never did expect someday I’d be able to come up here though I was able to try Seoul’s Namsan Tower and Tokyo Tower. When you’re in Malaysia, don’t miss this. Malaysia’s own version of a communication tower is really impressive, situated as it is atop Bukit Nanas, and is the world’s fourth tallest tower. On our way up the forest reserve where it’s nestled, I looked up at the tower in awe and immediately snapped photos while inside the bus even though I had difficulty getting a clearer copy.

As soon as we’re told to get off the bus, I took all the effort to take pics of the entrance. I thought dinner was all ready, but again we’re told we have to wait for awhile and that while waiting some of us were urged to try the F 1 Simulator at the entrance grounds. Some went inside, but I opted to stay out and just take in the surroundings of KL Tower.

And when I looked up to check out this edifice, I was bewildered to see it absolutely glowing, shining like a jewel in the night sky.

After 20 minutes, we started making our way up to Seri Angkasa Revolving Restaurant where we can take the sights of the city at night while having dinner. Oh how I just love that fact—I enjoyed every moment of it, including the food! Even though as a personal rule, I don’t eat food that’s remotely spicy. Malaysian cuisine is spicy. It has that kick renowned in the world. But as a foodie, I don’t want to pass up this chance to try authentic Malay dishes. I delved into the food, and as soon as we started to eat, we were treated to a cultural dance by our hosts.

On the table: Udang Masak Lemak Cili Padi (prawns and pineapple in spicy coconut sauce), deep fried fish fillet with chili, roasted beef with black pepper sauce , Ayam Kapitan (spicy chicken) Penang style, Sauteed Broccoli with Mushroom, and Asparagus Goreng Bercili (asparagus stir-fried in spicy prawn paste. Malaysian cuisine is a gorgeous savory mix of Chinese, Malay and Indian influence
dance performance by the Malaysian cultural troop

After a giving us a warm welcome and a short quiz game (unfortunately, I didn’t win) we then decided to put the next thirty minutes to good use. We went to entered a banquet hall adjacent to where we had eaten and there took pictures of KL’s city skyline where we can see another iconic landmark: the Petronas Twin Towers.

view of Petronas while at KL Tower

How I wish I could have taken a much better picture but the lights inside the restaurant is making it difficult for us to capture a perfect view. Nevertheless, we persevered and did our best to enjoy the evening here.

After our time here, I said a silent prayer thanking the Lord as we made our way back to our bus and prepared to depart for our hotel. Then, it started to drizzle, in a few minutes, the rain started to pour. Rain means blessing and I took it immediately as a sign there are more to come ahead of our momentous stay in KL.

And I wasn’t wrong. 😉

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