Sunday, August 26, 2007

Hopping On and Off in KL

Reading through the long list of places to go to with Cebu Pacific's Piso Fare, KL was roughly 22 stops that will cover over 40 of KL's major picked in our quest to find out if Michelle Yeoh was telling the truth. Well, actually, "I haven't been there" is the reason but you won't believe how many people just can't help asking:

Hey, so where did you go this time?
Malaysia. In KL.
Ah, pause) it truly Asia?

Since what we considered "the list" of must-see places in KL didn't really progress after "1. Petronas" and "surprise me!" is the impromptu battlecry, taking the Hop-on-Hop-Off for RM38 was a life-saver. The double deck bus goes th
attractions. They run 12 hours daily starting at 8:30AM. Tourists may board and get off at any of their designated stops. Part-lazy, part-"creating a plan", we went through all stops without going down during the first round, which took around 2 hours. Well, except for when the bus waited for 5 minutes at the National Palace stop to give everyone a chance to take pictures.

I'm sure we missed out on the other must-sees but in the interest of time, we picked the following:
1. Stop 8 for KL Tower where we found our inner drama queens;
2. Stop 9 for Chinatown which was a bit disappointing since I was expecting so much more plus the fact that we ended up eating in McDonald's and satay was nowhere in sight;

3. Stop 14 for the parks and the gardens where we found our inner "Supermodel on a day-off";
4. Stop 15 for the National Mosque where we attempted to take a picture while we were in mid-air only to realize jumping was quite inappropriate;
5. Stop 16 for the Merdeka Square where we thought we will be arrested for "excessive overacting during picture-taking". Turns out, they wanted to watch us entertain ourselves taking goofy shots;
6. and of course Stop 1 for Petronas.

Ah, Petronas. There was a reason why it was the only one which made our list initially (and it's not even because Catherine Zeta-Jones frolicked on it in Entrapment). Skybridge tickets are free but you have to get up early and line up to get one. The waiting area was like a UN Convention with every continent represented. After excitedly taking my first five shots on the bridge, I found my knees shaking the rest of the ten minutes realizing the free fall awaiting me if the floor caves in. The towers are connected to the Suria KLCC, a high-end shopping mall where one of us resisted having her picture taken in front of the Jimmy Choo store. With shopping farthest from my mind having been to HK just 2 days before, their food court was my Disneyland -- so many choices, so few meals!

Our hotel, despite the borderline crappy frontdesk service and leaking bathroom ceiling (ahem *Radius* ahem), was not so bad since it boasts of a nice view of KL Tower and Petronas.

So, was Malaysia, truly Asia? Well, let's just say unprepared as we were for this trip, KL, with its clean streets (shiny cars included!) and intricately designed structures, was quite a pleasant surprise.

Parting shot: Hop-on-hop-off services are offered in several cities/countries (I found a website which covers Turkey, Greece and Egypt) including Manila. Last Friday's episode of Trip na Trip on ABS-CBN, featured WOW Philippines' version using a colorful van. I didn't get the details though except for the one-day fee of 500 pesos.

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