Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Our Low Cost Travel to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

I celebrated my 35th birthday at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia last week and I never thought I could travel to Kuala Lumpur at a relatively low cost! It was a great experience especially because it was our first time to travel together as a family out of the country.

We booked our flight via Air Asia last November 2009 and got two-way plane tickets for PHP 3,376.68. Nope, that's not per person but that's total for 2 adults and 1 child - cheaper than Wicked tickets. Me, my wife and 5-year-old son traveled to Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) in Clark early Monday last week (my birthday) and parked our car for three days. Park and fly service is available in DMIA for only PHP 90 per day and regular parking is PHP 35 only, so we spent a total of PHP 215 for the three-day parking (2 days overnight and one day regular parking).

Our flight to the LCCT (Low Cost Carrier Terminal) in Malaysia took almost four hours. There are two airports in Kuala Lumpur and they are the LCCT and the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). Airlines like Air Asia which are categorized as low cost carriers use the LCCT. Anyway, from LCCT, we took a bus to the nearest train station that will take us to KL Sentral station. KL Sentral is 45 to 60 minutes from LCCT via a short bus ride to the nearest station (Salak Tinggi) and train from Salak Tinggi to KL Sentral. I thought that taking these two rides was faster than taking a direct bus ride from LCCT to KL Sentral because of traffic and stops at bus stops and toll plazas.

We were advised against taking a cab by friends who have been to Kuala Lumpur because they said it could be very expensive. But a significant impression I had about Kuala Lumpur is that they had a very reliable and efficient transport system (bus or train). So in our three days and two nights stay in the city, we went around using the train and the bus which my son really enjoyed.

We stayed at the Holiday Villa (that's how it is popularly known in KL) which has a new name - D' Villa Residence. We booked this nice hotel which also has apartment-type hotel rooms (with a refrigerator, kitchen, living room, dining area, toilet and bath room and bedroom) via Agoda and it cost us only USD $120 for the 3D/2N accommodation. This hotel is located along Jalan Ampang about 2 km from is on the same street as the Petronas Towers.

Holiday Villa

Our first destination was no other than the Petronas Twin Towers. Visiting the Sky Bridge (the bridge that connects the twin towers) is free but you would have to line up early morning to secure your time slot for the visit. Visit time slots are every 15 minutes starting at 9:00 am. We arrived around 8:15 am and the line was already very long but it was a good thing we were still able to secure 3:15 pm for our Sky Bridge visit.

After getting our tickets, we took photos outside the majestic structure and then spent some time in Suria KLCC, the mall right below the Petronas Twin Towers. We then walked to Temple Kun Yam Thong which is a nearby Buddhist Temple and took photos.

From there, we traveled by train to Chinatown and went first to Sri Maha Mariamman Temple a Hindu temple founded in 1873. It is the oldest and richest Hindu temple in Kuala Lumpur and is situated at edge of Chinatown in Jalan Bandar.

After taking photos, we walked around Chinatown and did a few shopping. The tip that I read about shopping in Chinatown was that you must bargain about 50% than what was first given by the seller and this worked for us.

Jalan Petaling in Chinatown

Our next destination was back to Suria KLCC. We rested our feet and our tummies at the A&W restaurant in that mall and we each enjoyed a mug of A&W rootbeer float. Around 3:00 pm we walked to the Sky Bridge visit reception area for our 3:15 pm schedule.

We were showed an introductory video about Petronas and their mega structure and then were ushered to the high-speed elevator which took us to the 41st floor (where the Sky Bridge is located) in less than one-minute. Our batch of visitors was given about 10-15 minutes on the Sky Bridge which allowed us enough time to enjoy the view of Kuala Lumpur and to take photos.

View of Kuala Lumpur from the Sky Bridge

We then proceeded to Pavilion, a big mall in Bukit Bintang, via train from KLCC to Dang Wangi the transfered to the mono rail and traveled from Bukit Nanas station to Bukit Bintang station. We had dinner at the Food Republic, a place in the mall where they sold Penang street food. My wife tried the Prawn Mee and I tried the Pan Mee Curry Chicken. Each meal cost only MYR 8.50 and MYR 9.90 (around PHP 117 and PHP 140), respectively.

Prawn Mee

Pan Mee Curry Chicken

A mono-rail ride, a train ride and a bus ride were what it took for us to get back to our hotel,but not before taking some more photos of the Petronas Towers. It is quite a sight at night.

This was not a very expensive trip at all. In fact, it cost us a little more than PHP 20,000 (USD $465) for this whole trip to Kuala Lumpur inclusive of airfare, travel tax, terminal fee, hotel accommodation, city travel and food. Over all, it was a great birthday getaway with my family and a real budget travel to Kuala Lumpur. You can view our other photos here and here.



Ed said...

was this 15,000 for all you three?

Thanks for the useful information! Will be going to KL next month and I needed some tips on the budget. Great post! :)

Jeff Aspacio said...

Yes, Ed. That was for the three of us already! :)

Alex De Vera Dizon said...

Wooow! 15,000? Unbelievable! Love it!!! I enjoyed reading your blog. More pictures!! ;-)

Jeff Aspacio said...

Hi, Alex. I updated the post and provided links to the two FB albums for the trip so you can view the other pics. :)

earthlingorgeous said...

WOW! That's very inexpensive trip! Galeng!

Mauie Flores said...

Wow, low cost but fun indeed! Bookmarking this for future reference. Thanks for the comprehensive post on your KL travel. And belated happy birthday!

Jeff Aspacio said...

@Earth: Oo nga, it's a great blessing.
@Mauie: Thanks, Mauie. :)

MrsMartinez | xoxoMrsMartinez.com said...

It was a delight to read your family trip to Kuala Lumpur!
The cost is even cheaper than traveling around the Philippines ; )

lemuel said...

Great trip Jeff, I am sure you enjoyed a lot judging by the pictures you took, and at such a low cost. Galing ng Petronas Towers, did you consider visiting the F1 race track? Or is it too far away?

Jeff Aspacio said...

@Michelle, thanks!
@M, I never though about the F1 race track, but that sure would be very interesting. I'm not sure if it's close to the city. Perhaps we'll visit it next time we go there :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this info, its a nice tip for me , since ill be leaving this tuesday... But just wanna ask lang, does LCCT in malaysia charge you another terminal/travel tax?.

Jeff Aspacio said...

@Anonymous, thanks for your comment and visit. We did not pay any terminal fee or travel tax when we arrived at LCCT in Malaysia.

Anonymous said...

hi! great pictures and very informative. i just have a question regarding the park and fly at DMIA does it have a roof? :)


Jeff Aspacio said...

@Anonyomous, thanks for visiting and I'm glad that you found the post helpful. About DMIA, their parking is not covered but it is guarded.

Anonymous said...

hi! thanks for the useful information. i would like to ask about the DMIA. I have read a lot of negative comments about their immigration office. they said that the IO denies about half of the passengers going abroad regardless of the reason. did you experience the same dilemma? any inputs would be greatly appreciated. thanks in advance! :)