At last we were on a flight to Malaysia.There has been some heated exchnages and fiery discussions about the trip,but finally it took off in late September 2012.Our flight from Chennai was at 10pm,an Airasia flight,but we reached Chennai around 10am.Settled on a hotel at Pallavaram,near the Chennai airport,and tried to imagine what was in store for the next 3 days.
A New Dawn in Malasia.Kuala Lumpur as seen from the hotel
For many it was a first trip abroad and first time on a flight.For those who are a first on a flight wouldn’t be disappointed,as there was much in strore for them,eventhough it was not planned that way!
Kuala Lumpur’s Monorail….Cheap and Fast
So we were all ready for the show and reached the Chennai airport very much on time and collected the passport and tickets which was kept by the tour operator.The immigration formaities took about an hour to be completed and we sat at the waiting lounge.The cameras were already clicikng and most of us wanted to record everythng.
Petronas Towers….Most Popular
Since we were a large group,getting tickets direct to Kuala Lumput was an issue and as a result our group,a strong “Men only” pack of 44,weere going to Bangkok first.The Airasia flight to Bangkok took off just a bit late and we were in the air soon.Chennai at night looked beautiful and since it was a first for many there was a little bit of noise.Some where even whistling when the flight took off!
But all settled dwon soon and it was time to have some dinner.Some of us had a ghee roast just before boarding the flight and that was a good decision which we would find out soon!
There was not much on the menu offered by Airasia,to our liking that is,and we had a tough time what to choose.Vegetarian stuff was really less in number and I settled for a veg cup-o-noodles.It was horrible and after somehow finishing it, leaned on the window and closed my eyes.
We reached Bangkok,Suvarnabhumi airport around 3am(local time) and proceeded to ‘Visa on Arrival” section.After finalising the formalities boarded the Kuala Lumpur flight and it took off at 715am.The Suvarnabhumi airport at Bangkok is a huge one and it was most modern.All of us clicked quite a no.of pics and enjoyed our few hours at the airport.
Tallest Statue of Murugann…Batu Caves
The flight to Kuala Lumpur from Bangkok took 2 hours and we arrived finally at the LCCT airport.(Low cost carrrier terminal).The airpost is less shiny as compared to the more famous KLIA(Kuala Lumpur International Airport).We immediately boarded a bus arranged for us and reached our hotel right in the middle of Kuala Lumpur.But before that we had our lunch at a North indian special restaurant.The food was “ok” to my liking.
We checked into the hotel and I got a room overlooking the Petronas towers.There is no doubt the twin towers of Petronas is the most popular structure in the whole of Malaysia and here is my oppoutunity to wake up looking at the towers for 2 days!
After having rest for 2 hours, we started a short city tour of Kuala Lumpur.The King’s palace was the first stop over.We spend a few minutes in front of the palace and proceeded to the next location.The “Independence square” was the next site and the beatutiful green ground was wonderful.The colonial secretariate building was on the other side of the ground.
Genting Sky way….Cable cars
Then we proceeded to a photo session of Petronas towers.The tallest twin tower in the world today.The towers were built by two separate companies and the entire construction was completed in about 4 years.Most of the offices are located in Petronas and tourist entry is restricted.
The Petronas looked beautiful and everybody took pictures to their heart’s content.Then we went to a chocolate store and purchased a few boxes.
At around 8pm we assembled for the gala dinner.It was a noisy affair with dancing and singing.The partying went up to 12 midnight.But more excitementt was in store the next day.
We retired to our rooms and the view again from my room was breathtaking.The Petronas looked awesome at night.Since it was past midnight all the lights were not shining on the Petronas.
We were infomed to have breakfast by 730am and proceeded to Genting highlands in right earnest.Genting hiighlands boasts of certain world standard attractions.It is nestled in the Titiwangsa Mountains with the highest elevation of about 2000m.
Getting to Genting is the most exciting of activities.We have to board a cable car to reach Genting(possible by road as well).The cable car system is known as Genting Skyway which is 3.8kms one way.About 8 people can sit in a car.It was an unforgetttable 20 minutes in the cable car and the forests down below looked beautiful.It looked similar to the Indian jungles.
Petronas by Night….
Genting has one of the largest hotels in the world with more than 6000 rooms!According to our guide all the rooms were occupied on all 365 days in 2011!There are several other hotels and all are owned by the same group.
There is a casino in Genting and some of us lost a few Ringgits(the currency of Malaysia. 1 Ringgit=Rs.17.8).Genting’s main attraction is the theme park with indoor and outdoor sections.We were on the outdoor sectiion and there were several exciting rides.The “Go-Kart” turned out to be very popular and as a result a long wait to get into the cockpit of one!
After the rides it was time to have lunch and we got out of Genting and reached Batu Caves.It is one of Kuala Lumpur’s most touristed attractions and some Soth-Indian restaurants serve good food.Batu Caves are supposed to be millions of years old and is made up of lime stone.There are 3 caves and a Murugan temple located on top.During Thaipusam many thousands of Indians and others throng the temple.The large statue of Murugan is the tallest in the world.
- The Sepang F1 circuit.Outside view
The bus also stopped at the Swiss Watch shop near the temple and few made some purchases.We had hot ghee rost at a restaurant near the Batu Caves.The coffee was good,tasting as good as it would taste in Tamil Nadu.
Yaksha Demon at Suvarnabhumi Airport,Bangkok
Then we stopped one more time to take some night time pictures of Petronas.The twin towers looked just as breathtaking as it looked during day time.Shopping time was next and few of us bought LCD/LED Tvs which were much cheaper than in India.A 32 inch lcd costs Rs.15000/- only.
Then we settled into our rooms and there was no official party for the night.It was time to organise a party on our own with a few of us, and it went on till 1am.Next day it was tim to leave Kuala Lumpur and catch the return flight.But little did we realise at that time that much more excitement was in store!
Our plan was to proceed to KLCC airport after having lunch at Putra Jaya.Our return flight also was via Bangkok.The flight to Bangkok took off at 4pm and we reached Bangkok on time.The “Visa on arrival was next and we faced one of the toughest few hours for getting that.
The Sepang F1 circuit.Outside view
Our tour operator thought the Visa on Arrival was needed only once(we took it while coming).This he said was the information he got from Airasia.Also from 1 Oct 2012 all the low cost carriers should operate from the new airport(It was in reality the unused old airport).Now we wanted to take the Visa on Arrival but to our surprise the guide was not having the 1000 Baht(Thailand Currency)each for the 44 members.Nobody is allowed to go out without completing the immigration formalities.Our flight was at 715 pm and it was getting close for departure and the visa formalities were not getting over.
We knew that the flight would take off without 44 passengers.The guide needed to get the Bahts required from outside from his collegue.No water was available at the visa section and everybody was getting tired.The situation was beginning to fall apart and more members started to vent their feelings.The mobiles were not working(Nobodywas having temporary Thailand SIM) and the only mobile of the guide was not having enough balance for all of us to talk.We wanted to inform home that we wouldn’t arrive on time.
After about 6 hours of waiting at the visa section the issue was resolved.The guide’s colleague never arrived on time and the authoirities allowed one of us to go out and use the credit card and get the required Bahts.
Now the next challenge was to get tickets on another flight and finally we were reserved on a New Delhi flight.The flight wa at 815am just about 5 hours from the time we left the visa section.We went to a hotel to have some rest(about 2 hours! that is).Nobody was able to have dinner and by the time we got out, the restaurants of Bangkok were closed.We had to rely on some cream biscuits and soft drinks for dinner,if one can call it like that.The time was 3am!
Sunderbans…As seen from the Bangkok-New Delhi flight
We were informed to have an early breakfast at 5am!After that we proceeded to the Suvarnabhumi airport.The flight to New Delhi took about 4 hours and we were booked to our respective destinations from there.Despite the unexpected difficulties faced all of us enjoyed the “Extra” stopover at Bangkok and New Delhi!
The entire Malaysia trip was a Roller-Coaster” ride
The trip to Kuala Lumpur was a “Roller Coaster” ride indeed.Nobody is going to forget this trip for a long time,for good reasons as well as for some not so good!