Words & Images: Michelle Monroy
Michelle Monroy steps out of her comfort zone to travel abroad alone, and ends up having a rockin’ good time!
My flight from Manila, Philippines, to Kuala Lumpur (KL), Malaysia, last October was the first time I travelled overseas, solo. I felt nervous as the plane took off but thanks to the friendly AirAsia cabin crew who helped ease my jitters, I soon settled in and enjoyed the journey.
My cousin, who had graciously volunteered to be my guide and photographer during my two-day stay in Malaysia, greeted me at the airport. As my trip was such a short one, we zeroed in on all the best attractions.
Our first stop – the famous Petaling Street, KL’s pasalubong (souvenir) central. After a quick snack at a cafe to catch up, we made our way through the throngs as we passed rows and rows of shops selling knick-knacks of every kind. Clothing, bags, household and decorative items were offered at bargain prices. And just a stone’s throw from Petaling Street was Central Market, a well-known hub for arts and crafts created by local artisans. Needless to say, I found some lovely souvenirs for family and friends back home, within just a few hours of landing in KL!
On a roll from our Petaling Street/Central Market escapade, we decided to continue our shopping spree at Suria KLCC, the mall that’s adjoined to the world-famous Petronas Twin Towers.
After an hour or so of shopping, we were ready to collapse! Resting our tired feet at one of the mall’s numerous restaurants, we enjoyed delicious local desserts as we sipped teh tarik, the popular milky ‘pulled tea’. It felt good to unwind after an exhausting but fun romp. There was just one more thing to do though before we called it a day… it was a dream come true for me when we ventured outside for some snapshots near the majestic Petronas towers. I had admired the ‘twins’ in movies, even Hollywood films, since I was young, and standing at the foot of the iconic buildings was simply surreal – I was awestruck! There couldn’t have been a better close to my first day in KL. And according to my cousin, I didn’t stop smiling until I went to bed that night.
Following the hectic activities of the previous day, I was glad that my cousin had more laidback plans for my second day in KL.
After breakfast, we made our way to Batu Caves. The Hindu temple there, built for the worship of Lord Murugan (Hindu god of victory), is a popular pilgrimage site for Hindus, and a famous attraction. The resplendant 43m-high golden Lord Murugan statue at the entrance of the temple site is indeed mesmerising. The temple itself is situated in the caves at the top of a low-lying hill, and visitors have to climb 272 steps to get to the shrine. But your efforts will be worth it when you find yourself standing at the beautiful temple amidst the serene ambience of the magnificent caves.
With some time left on our hands after our Batu Caves visit, we returned to Suria KLCC for a late lunch and to enjoy some downtime before the grand finale of my trip later that evening – Taeyang’s White Night World Tour 2017 held at KL’s impressive Stadium Negara! I’m a huge fan of the South Korean singing sensation, and the concert was one of the reasons I chose to visit KL. The show was beyond my expectations, and my cousin and I had a fabulous time. It was no wonder that I went to bed for the second night in a row with a big smile on my face!
As I packed my bags the next morning for my flight home, I reminisced about my wonderful Malaysian adventure. It was truly an unforgettable holiday, and I was glad that I had stepped out on my own. This time as the plane took off, I wasn’t nervous. I knew that this many splendoured journey was only the beginning of many more amazing solo travels to come.
GETTING THERE AirAsia flies to Kuala Lumpur from various destinations. airasia.com
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