Thursday, June 22, 2017

Playing the Role of Tour Guides to our Moms in Kuala Lumpur


Kuala Lumpur has always been our gateway to our dream destinations in Asia. Being a hub for low-cost carriers, we make sure that we have a night or two to spend here, every year, just to savor our favorite mee goreng sold on the streets. We’ve been to almost every touristy spots in the city and already got lost a number of times. And although it became our second home in Asia, backpacking with our respective moms for the first time felt everything was new to us.

It was our annual two-month summer backpacking trip, Same Same Summer Trip 2017, when me and my buddy realized that we needed to spend more time with our moms and thought of bringing them along on the first two weeks. Because we’re too familiar with the country, we chose Malaysia to be our first stop and went directly to Melaka before heading back to Kuala Lumpur; both of them were first-timers in these cities (check here for discounted tours, transportation and activities in Kuala Lumpur).

Kuala Lumpur Tour
Famed icon of Kuala Lumpur City
Coming from Melaka, we took a cab from TBS (the main long distance bus terminal in Kuala Lumpur) to our home in Kuala Lumpur, Lanson Place Bukit Ceylon Serviced Residences. After we settled on our two-bedroom residensi (check discounted rates here), we walked our way to Bukit Bintang and went to Pavilion KL.

We did a little walking around the mall and unexpectedly, I bought a new camera on one of the famous gadget stores in the city. I’ve been itching to buy a new one as my six-year old SLR was close to retiring anytime soon. The price was way cheaper than in Manila and we could ask for a GST refund as well. I was happy with this new purchase as the shift to handy mirrorless camera literally took the heavy load I needed to carry every time we travel.

Kuala Lumpur Tour
Elevated pedestrian walkway to KLCC from Bukit Bintang
Moving on, we walked towards the elevated pathway that led us to KLCC Park. It was seven in the evening, almost sundown, and we were just in time for the musical fountain show. We found the perfect spot along the steps and comfortably sat there. We all enjoyed the synchronized water display as well as the light show but our moms seemed to be in a hurry. Later on, I realized that they wanna see the twin towers up close.

Petronas Twin Towers
Petronas Twin Towers
The moms were too excited as we exited the mall and saw in all its grandness the Kuala Lumpur’s famed icon. Gleaming brightly into the night sky, our moms gazed at the Petronas Twin Towers with big smiles on their faces. I could remember the same exact feeling when me and my buddy saw it for the first time. I dunno but Taipei 101 in Taiwan didn’t excite me that much compared to the twin towers, but I digress.

KLCC Park Kuala Lumpur
Nightly musical fountain show at KLCC Park
We took endless selfies with them and found, again, a nice place to sit and chill while still gazing in awe to this great marvel.

We took the GoKL free shuttle bus and hopped off at Bukit Bintang. Walking along the famous street of Jalan Alor brought back memories of our greatest food trips in Kuala Lumpur. My buddy had mee goreng on our favorite hawker food stall while the moms tried some Chinese dishes. They both enjoyed their non-spicy food in Malaysia. Haha.


The next day, we brought our moms to Batu Caves. Well, it was my buddy’s idea as we’ve been there before but I didn’t join him on his climb up ‘coz the monkeys freaked me out (just like my crazy encounter with them four years ago in MacRitchie Reservoir Park in Singapore).

Batu Caves Kuala Lumpur
Batu Caves
As much as I wanted to avoid the climb, my mom asked me to assist her in climbing, so there, I endured the 272 steps up and explored Batu Caves for the first time.

Batu Caves Kuala Lumpur
Me too afraid of them monkeys
We went to the first chamber and then to the next. The cave itself was beautiful, I just didn’t like how commercialized it is. Souvenir shops were everywhere and the pathways are paved. I dunno, but I didn’t enjoy it that much.

Batu Caves Kuala Lumpur
The cave itself is nice, but the souvenir shops inside are not :(
Moving on, we took the train out of Batu Caves and found ourselves on the familiar streets of KL’s Chinatown. We had a quick lunch on a hawker center and went on with window shopping. The moms got hold of numerous trinkets for souvenirs to take home (yeah, I know, it’s a Filipino thing). The rain poured hard for minutes while they were still rummaging each and every shop like they were going back home the next day, the rain poured harder.

Batu Caves Kuala Lumpur
Backpacking with our moms for the first time
If our moms were the grouchy types, we would’ve probably gone home at that moment. But no, we had coffee on one of the cafés in the area and exchanged stories of whatnots. After an hour or so, the sky cleared up and there we were, like hardcore Manileños, crisscrossing the flooded paths going to our next destination.

Chinatown Kuala Lumpur
Lively Chinatown
Oh, have I told you that our moms are obsessed with plants and cactuses that they could be mistaken for botanists? So while we were battling with the subsiding floodwater, they found a plant shop and both were surprised to find some rare cactuses. They freaked out some more when they learned that they’re selling those hard-to-find stuff for a very reasonable price.

They asked us, like kids wanting to buy a toy or something, if they could buy two huge barrels of rare cactuses. I would wanna say no right away but that moment was so precious for them (you can see it from their eyes) that I just said, Just don’t get upset if they confiscated that at the airport eh? They cheered like they won something (fast forward, we had problems on packing it but they brought it back home safely).

Merdeka Square Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur's Merdeka Square
Tugging those heavy green stuff, we walked our way to our next stop, the Merdeka Square. Me and my buddy have been there twice and this time, we let them explore this important landmark in the city on their own. They had fun taking endless selfies while I sat on a shed guarding the big boxes of spiny green stuff. It was fun, seeing them having fun.

We had a nice dinner that night, again, at Jalan Alor and went back home earlier than usual as we have to pack again for the next day’s adventure, in the historic city of Penang.

Jalan Alor Kuala Lumpur
Crispy noodles at Jalan Alor (MYR10)
Jalan Alor Kuala Lumpur
Chicken satay at Jalan Alor (MYR5/pc.)
Traveling with our moms proved to be a challenge in itself. We would always consider what they want and need more than ours which is more likely the way to let them truly enjoy the trip. Nevertheless, it’s really a blessing to spend time with them and letting them see what we usually see whilst they still can. And all the fun surprises we had at Kuala Lumpur is just icing on the cake, it’s actually the time we have with them that is more valuable.







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