3 hours and 40 minutes. It was the longest plane ride I’ve had so far and you could just imagine how tense I was during the entire trip. Turbulent winds shook the plane every half hour but I know it’ll all be well soon. This was, after all, Airphil Express‘s maiden flight from Manila to Kuala Lumpur, and together with the Malaysian Tourism Board, I got the chance to experience my first international trip.
About a year ago, I didn’t even consider flying overseas due to my fear of flying, but I booked a ticket to Kota Kinabalu this August thinking that it would be my first trip out of the country. But thanks to Airphil Express, my chance to experience exploring in a foreign land came early. It was only a couple of weeks ago when I received an e-mail inviting me to be one of the bloggers chosen to tour around Malaysia for 3 whole days with a wide open itinerary! Who am I to pass up that opportunity, right? Naman!
Things didn’t go without a hitch as I was held in immigration at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport for a few minutes. I was confused since I was supposed to be part of a big group, but they pulled me out when the officer asked what my occupation was. I told her I am a Freelance Illustrator and apparently, that was an issue. Good thing the staff of Airphil Express assisted me through everything and I was able to get through after signing some forms.
So I guess being a Freelancer has more downsides, eh? Damn.
Kuala Lumpur is Malaysia’s city capital and from what my friends have told me, it is much like Manila except a lot cleaner. During our pre-meeting with the Malaysian Tourism Board, they handed us maps and guides about Malaysia and told us that we won’t be part of a fixed tour once we arrive in KL. Instead, we would be planning our own itineraries and will be exploring Malaysia on our own. We even have the option of traveling as one big group or individually. Awesome sauce.
Since I’m already planning to do a backpacking trip around Southeast Asia late in the year, I took this as an opportunity to practice going solo. 7 other bloggers came to KL with me but I’ll be touring the city on my own and I am a little anxious about the whole thing. Sort of like a test run. I’m even planning to head down south to the city of Melaka.
FROM KLIA TO KL
Estimated time of arrival is at 11:40 in the evening but we landed 30 minutes earlier. I started writing this entry midway through our flight since I had nothing else better to do. When the plane landed, we were greeted by Malaysians in traditional costumes and given these commemorative… hard boiled eggs tied to sticks. Yeah. According to Jojo, the eggs symbolizes fertility. (Finally! I’m gonna get pregnant!)
Since it was Airphil Express‘s maiden flight, there was a small press conference at the airport attended by Tourism people from Malaysia and executives from Airphil Express. It was a short event that led to a quick late dinner followed by a run through immigrations. I’ve been dreading about it due to all the nasty stories I’ve heard about immigration officers everywhere.
After going through immigration, a bus coach picked us up and drove us all the way to Bhukit Bintang in Kuala Lumpur city proper which was an hour away from KLIA. Alternatively, if you landed on LCCT, one can also take the KLIA Express train and pay up RM35 for adults and RM15 for kids.
Now I’m off to my solo exploration of Malaysia!