Wednesday, October 12, 2016

[Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 2016] My Best Friend Visited Me In Kuala Lumpur!

Photo By: Elin Chow

I have been contemplating whether to blog about this because I have not taken much photos, but I ultimately still decided to write it down in this post just to preserve memories and remember things. Time will pass, memories will fade and feelings will change. Both my friend and I believe that writing all of the details down is the best way to keep our memories intact and help us remember the moments that we cherish. It would be fun to look back after a few years and remember all the great memories and laughs we shared.

I have never expected to see her so soon again after our Bangkok trip, which happened 2 months ago. In that little time we have shared, we have got to know each other better and created so much memories together. I love her fun-filled personality and saw her from a different perspective, which makes me appreciate her even more.

She said she has always wanted to see and know more about the city that I called home for the past 3 years. This was also what made me realized how much she really cares for me. So when she told me about her plans to visit me in Kuala Lumpur (KL) on a weekend, I was thrilled to pieces.

It is true that friendships are incredibly hard to maintain, even when we are living in the same city.  It just takes time and effort to message and to make plans to meet each other. I believe the key in maintaining long distance friendship is to stay in touch. Well, I understand that we are all busy and keeping in touch can feels like a lot of work, not to mention to make plans to meet. But it is not impossible. It just takes a little more extra effort to keep the friendship going.

My best friend is a person who I can go months without speaking to, and it is never awkward when we start chatting or reunite again. We speak both often and sometimes not for weeks, but when we did, there is always so much to share and talk about. We knew each other's stories, trusted one another with our deepest secrets and I believe, this is exactly what makes our bonds grow stronger.


For this trip, my friend booked us an entire apartment in the heart of KL through Airbnb, which is cheaper than a hotel room on the same street. After confirming and booking her air ticket with AirAsia, she proceeded to search for a decent apartment on AirBnb.

Since I do not drive, I specifically requested her to look for one that is located near to my office, so that I can go straight to work on Monday morning. As my office is centrally located, close to KLCC, prices of accommodations are generally higher.

After looking around, we found a fully-furnished cozy one-bedroom studio apartment at Binjai 8 Premium Soho, which was located just right behind Intercontinental Hotel Kuala Lumpur, a short walk away from Ampang Park LRT station and KLCC.

Upon arrival, Christina, the owner came over to pass us the key and show us around the apartment amenities. She has been waiting for my friend's arrival since 4 pm. But my friend was terribly late. She only managed to arrive at 6 pm and  Christina told us that she was really worried whether something bad have happen to her.

To cut long story short, my friend told me that she was stuck at the airport carpark for 30 minutes. She could not find her way out and when she finally left the airport, she realized that her mobile data plan was not working, thus she could not access to Google Maps. So she has to drive back to the airport again to purchase a prepaid SIM card before she continue her drive to KL. For some reason, Google Maps was not very accurate and she also do not understand why it took her an hour and 30 minutes to drive from the airport to KL when it is only supposed to take 50 minutes.

As she was late, she was stuck in the peak hour jams in the city of KL. Then she arrived at KLCC because she inputted the postcode of the apartment in Google Maps instead of the actual address. She called me and asked me why she ended up in KLCC. Apparently, Google Maps will direct you to the exact building or location in Singapore. But this is not the case in Malaysia.


The apartment was spacious (not really big, but bigger than what we expected) and fully equipped with everything we need for a comfortable stay. Fitted with wooden floorings, the apartment features a small living area, open-plan kitchen and a bed room with attached bathroom.

The living area comes with a 2-seater sofa, a coffee table and LED TV with satellite channels. Free WiFi is available as well. The kitchen is well-equipped with a decent-sized refrigerator, electric hob and hood, built-in oven, microwave, electric boiler, cookware and utensils.  However, there was no bottled drinking water provided in the apartment.


The bedroom comes with a queen-sized bed and a large built-in wardrobe, offering lots of storage space. Other than that, the room is also equipped with blackout curtains to shut the lights out and ensure total privacy. The bed and pillows were very clean and comfortable, allowing us to enjoy good nights sleep.

On the bed, there was two clean and thick towels provided for guests use so that you do not have to bring yours along with you.


Besides that, the apartment also comes with auto washer and dryer, which we do not how to operate. Both the living area and bed room features large floor-to-ceiling windows, allowing abundance of natural lights into the apartment.


The bathroom was small with little light. In fact, both my friend and I found the bathrrom a little too dark, boring and uninspiring. Even so, it is equipped with all the basics that you will need.

Overall, we have a really wonderful experience staying at Christina's apartment. It is a home away from home! Its location is very convenient with convenience shops, eateries and shopping malls located around the vicinity. I would recommend her apartment to anyone looking for a comfortable and affordable stay in KL.


After settling down, I suggested we drove to KLCC for dinner. We decided to have Kyros Kebab at the KLCC food court.


The food was not exceptional and while we ate, we talked and made some conversation about various things in general. But our conversation mainly revolved around her friends' reactions when she told them that she will be visiting me in KL

"Are you sure you want to drive in KL? You must be crazy! Do you know how dangerous is it to drive in KL? There is a high possibility that you get your entire car stolen or get robbed while in KL. Furthermore, you will meet all kinds of crazy, reckless and law-breaking drivers. Do you want to get involved in a traffic accident? Well, good luck to you then."

This was generally how people around her warned her about driving in KL. In fact, most of them were surprised to learn that she was intending to visit me in KL. But she chose to ignore all their warnings. To drive in KL is something that she would like to experience.

So I told her that "if you have decided to drive in KL, then you will need to prepare a touch-and-go card and make sure you have enough data on your phone for GPS. Make sure you drive within the speed limits and follow the traffic rules. Just focus."

But funny things still happen - her newly bought touch-and-go card cannot be used, her mobile data cannot be connected and inputting postcode in GPS instead of exact address, resulting her to end up at the wrong place.


The next morning, we decided to head over to the Sky Lounge to take a look, and found the entire place completely empty - just perfect for relaxing.


The Sky Lounge features a small infinity pool that overlooks the surrounding office towers.

Besides that, there is also a well-equipped gym with full range of cardio machines and weights.


Christina told us that the Sky Lounge offers a full view of KLCC towers. 


So we made use of this opportunity to take a photo with KLCC.


After that, I brought her to visit the Sales Gallery of the condo that my husband and I bought. When she heard that we have finally bought our first property, she feel really happy for us.


Having no plans in mind, we decided to just make an impromptu visit to IOI shopping mall in Putrajaya, and according to Google Maps, that was about a 45 minutes drive away from the Sales Gallery.

We set off excitedly, not expecting that we will lose our way even with the help of Google Map. Apparently there are a lot of lanes and exits along the highway and navigating through the roads can get really confusing. We took several wrong turns and exits and found ourselves stuck in traffic jams.

After getting lost on the road for an hour, we decided to try using Waze. Yes, only after an hour. In fact I used both Google Maps and Waze side by side. Both gave us different directions for the fastest route, but we decided to trust Waze instead.

Comparing to Google Maps, Waze provides real-time traffic updates to other users on current route and is great at rerouting us to avoid traffic congestions. I prefer Waze to Google Maps because we are able to arrive at our destination at the shortest time. But unfortunately, both  Google Maps and Waze does not give clear instructions on which lanes to take, and that is main reason why we keep on taking the wrong exit.


In the end, it took us two hours to reach our destination. Yes, finally after two hours of getting lost on the road. That was a really great achievement for us!

I was worried that she will be frustrated or lose her temper because we keep getting lost on the road. Well, I admit that I was a bad navigator. But surprisingly, she remained really calm throughout the whole journey and even seems to enjoy every moment of it.

It turns out that she actually love driving very well and would not mind spending extra hours on the road. I did not know the roads in KL very well because I cannot drive. But I am surprised that she was quite a "nasty" and "aggressive" driver, So I guess there was nothing really scary about driving in KL for her.

Through this experience, I have learnt to make use of the road signs.and not to over rely on GPS. I specifically look out and asked my friend to follow road signs for Putrajaya whenever we were unsure on which exit to take. This was also how we managed to find our way to IOI City Mall.


While we were shopping, we came upon 2 camels replicas near the ice skating rink. I asked her to take picture of me with the camels because I think they are really cute. "Really? Are you sure?" she laughed out loud but proceeded to help me take my photo.


Feeling a little hungry, we went to Hui Lau Shan to rest and have some desserts. For something to drink, she ordered Peach Cider.


For me, I ordered Honeydew Yakult and it was delicious! I love everything with Yakult. It is one of my most favorite drink.

We ordered some Taro cakes as well because we were so hungry!



We chatted about all the stupid things we did and have so much to laugh about. It seems that every of our meetup is so eventful. But each time, we also gained experience and learnt something new from our mistakes. Frankly speaking, I feel really happy that she believes in me, no matter what others told her about KL. It is true Malaysia is not safe as Singapore, but it is not as dangerous as what most Singaporeans think. I think Singaporeans have to stop assuming that everywhere will be as safe as Singapore.


We decided to pack our dinner back to our apartment from Pat Kin Pat Sun Cafe because we were worried that we might lose our way on the road again Why Pat Kin Pat Sun Cafe? It was simply because it was cheap. Only RM 6.50 for a set like this.

But guess what? Something stupid happened to us again. We have forgotten where we parked the car!!! I wanted to take a photo before we leave the car park. But my friend was confident that she would be able to remember where we parked the car. We spent 30 minutes searching frantically around the multi-story car park. At the end, it was our selfie photo that has helped us locate our car. It turns out that we were actually in the wrong wing!

It was a smooth drive back to our apartment, but we did lose our way once or twice.


While we were having our late dinner, I asked her how she feels about driving in KL. Surprisingly, she told that she love driving around the city. "I find that there is a lot of courtesy on the road. Most drivers in KL would usually give way to us whenever we need to change from lane to another, and they don't drive aggressively or recklessly. I wonder why some people say we don't have to follow the traffic rules in Malaysia."

She also told me that driving in Malaysia is simple and safe, though the roads can be quite confusing at times. Traffic is really bad and there are jams everywhere at any time of the day, which gets worst during peak hours. But road signs are frequent and clearly marked. There was nothing particularly frightening and I guess once you get familiar with the roads, driving is not really hard in KL.

Well, perhaps some people would think that we were just lucky. Maybe we were. But I believe that will not stop us from trying new experiences. To those Singapore drivers who think driving is impossibly hard in KL, I think it is time for you to hone your driving skills.


We chatted till the wee hours in the morning and woke up late the next day, around noon. It has been a long time since I slept until noon. We spent the next hour washing up and getting dressed before we went to grab a quick lunch at the nearest McDonalds.

After breakfast, we decided to check out Sunway Pyramid Shopping Mall located in Bandar Sunway, which is mere 25 minutes drive away from our apartment. This time, we managed to arrive at our destination without losing our way like the day before. It was a really great achievement for us!

The design of the mall is Egyptian-inspired and you will know that you have arrived at your destination once you see the huge lion replica at the entrance of the mall.


The entire journey was incredibly smooth, but not without hiccups. We decided to refuel the car halfway though our drive to Sunway Pyramid, so we stopped at one of the petrol station we saw along the way. I got down the car to prepay the fuel at the counter and I am really embarrassed to admit that we did not know how to pump gas. 

I thought my friend, who has more driving experience than me should know how to, but turns out that she did not. She did not even know where to open fuel door on the car, but luckily I know. Most of the petrol stations in Malaysia do not have an attendant to assist you to refuel. 

We insert the pump nozzle into the fuel cap and stupidly wonder why the petrol would not come out on its own. Seriously, we really did not know that we have to hold the pump trigger down for the petrol to flow out.

Eventually we still managed to figure out how to operate the gas pump on our own before we could get someone to help us out. We felt like fools, but at least, we learnt something new.



Sunway Pyramid Shopping Mall is connected to Sunway Lagoon Theme Park, which consists of a huge water theme park and an amusement park. My friend was really excited when she saw the water theme park, suggesting that we could visit the theme park next time when she is KL. But before that, I must buy a swimming suit first.


We took this photo because she found the crystal lightings very pretty. But unfortunately, the photo we took cannot capture it at all. I should bring a selfie stick along the next time.



With that, we ended our day at Sunway Pyramid Shoppjng Mall. The drive back to our apartment was incredibly smooth. I am proud to say that we did not lose our way!

Throughout the drive, we chatted. In fact, we could not stop chatting for even a minute. Well, I agree that true friendship is rare and difficult to find. But I am glad that leaving Singapore has helped me realize who my true friend is. Friends come and go, but true friends always stay and will support you no matter what circumstances are.

It is amazing how we managed to become best friends. She understand me and support me when no one else does. I could not believe how lucky I was to have met her. This is exactly the kind of friendship that I truly cherish.


We decided to pack our dinner back again because we enjoy eating at our apartment than outside. I have Clay Pot Chicken Rice while my friend has prawn noodles from Taste Enclave, a non-halal food court offering all your favourite hawker food.

We slept earlier on her last night in KL because we have to wake up earlier the next morning. After 3 days, it was time to say goodbye again.


Just realized that we always forgot to hug each other every time we bade goodbye. Most of the time, I could not properly say goodbye because I do not know how to say it to someone who I deeply cherish, Despite all the little hiccups, I am glad that we have an enjoyable time together and created many memories that are worth laughing at.

Thank you for always thinking for me and sharing all the good things with me. It is always not easy to meet someone you naturally click and I will always make sure that I will cherish this friendship. I look forward to seeing her very soon again next year, in our homeland where our friendship begins. It is good that we are constantly planning for trips and creating opportunities to meet up, so that there is always something we can look forward to keep our friendship alive.

Looking forward to see you very soon again, my dearest friend. I will always miss you.

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