[Kuala Lumpur] ► KL Sentral to Bukit Bintang: My First Train Ride Outside PH

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"The monorail runs overground. I saw the city of Kuala Lumpur in a general perspective up close—the modern skyline, the lush parks, the mosques, the busy roads and the residential areas. I enjoyed it."

[KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA] ► After 5 years of traveling in the Philippines, I've decided to push my travel impulses outside my country. Since Malaysia was the first country I visited (outside the Philippines), it is where most of my many out-of-the-country first times happened including my first train ride.

KUALA LUMPUR

[KUALA LUMPUR] ► HELLO! WELCOME TO KUALA LUMPUR!

#KUALALUMPUR



After going through a series of challenges on my first day in Malaysia (if you read the previous episodes, you know them), I survived my outside-PH first immigration checkpoint at the ▼ FIRST NON-PH AIRPORT I'VE EVER REACHED

[SEPANG] ► Travel Drama in Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2)


TEASER ▬ My anxiety as a first-timer almost escalated to panic level. So there's no such thing as overacting because sticking to reality is the name of the game here.

, ▼ MY FIRST BUS RIDE

[MALAYSIA] ► KLIA2 to KL Sentral by Bus: My First Land Travel Outside PH


TEASER ▬ I was showing physical awestruck signs overtly while inside the bus because I was seeing different races. There are Malays, Indians, Chinese, black and white men. This country is so multicultural! This is my first bus ride in Malaysia!

and now, the next challenge was to survive my first train ride.

I've mentioned in my previous post that I'm not accustomed with train rides. Whenever I go to ▼ METRO MANILA

METRO MANILA


, I don't use the MRT or the LRT because I don't know where to stop. I prefer to use a cab or a bus. In my hometown, there's no train so I hope you understand how I feel now that I am going to ride a train for the first time outside PH.

The main issue here is my ridiculous unfamiliarity in operating the self-service machine to acquire a token which I discussed in the ▼ EPISODE 04

[KUALA LUMPUR] ► Reaching KL Sentral and How I Acted Dumb Stupid


TEASER ▬ You may not believe this but I felt so ignorant about this. There's no train station in our province so encountering a self-service machine like this in actual setting is new to me.

of this series. Anyway, I'm gonna push this.

My first train ride outside the Philippines

THE MALAYSIAN SKY TURNED DARK. I took a deep breathe as I waited for the arrival of the train that would bring me to the Imbi station. I chose to alight at the Imbi station because based on Google map, this is the station that is closest to the hostel I pre-booked online.

KL SENTRAL

[KUALA LUMPUR] ► FILE PHOTO: KL SENTRAL TRAIN STATION IN KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA


The train arrived. As a metaphor, the train was a volcano. A volcano explodes when it can no longer handle the pressure. The moment the train stopped, its doors opened and it spewed a multitude of commuters that seemed like very eager to go out the train as they alighted rushing.

The monorail runs overground. I saw the city of Kuala Lumpur in a general perspective up close—the modern skyline, the lush parks, the mosques, the busy roads and the residential areas. I enjoyed it. It was a rush hour. I was lucky that I was able to secure a seat inside the train given that I was carrying a fat backpack with other dangling bags hanging elsewhere on my body where my camera, phone and other essentials were packed. It was a helpful relief for me.

While enjoying the urbanscape, I was also constantly looking for the route guide illustrated inside the train. There's a recorded voice inside the train that informs the commuters about the next station in both English and Melayu. The ride was convenient and easy. I reached Imbi station and this was the start of my real adventure.

Looking for the hostel

THIS IS IT! I BROUGHT OUT MY tablet to check the Google map screen shots I prepared. It's time to test my skill in finding my destination using maps. However, the skill didn't work well this time. I was kinda lost soul. I was confused with the orientation of the map when I compared it on actual setting. 

I was near the Berjaya Times Square and this was the exact landmark that appeared on Google map. I walked around the Time Square to find the street mentioned on Google map but I was still confused. 

I was losing energy. I badly wanted food. My back was already aching because of this seemingly endless search for my ▼ HOSTEL

[KUALA LUMPUR] ► Irsia BnB: Review of my First Accommodation Outside PH


TEASER ▬ I stayed in a dormitory-type room with bunk beds. There are other guests when I entered the room. They were all white travelers. I was the only Asian inside our room.

. I ended up practicing my real expertise—asking directions directly from strangers.

I don't know but this may sound a little bit stupid. I love letting people know that I am not a local by asking directions from them. Blending with the locals isn't my thing. I stay myself. And when they ask where I came from, I proudly say I'm a Filipino tourist (If I'm traveling in the ▼ PHILIPPINES

PHILIPPINES

, I proudly say I'm from ▼ #VIGAN

#VIGAN


). I think it's safer to stay authentic. If you try to blend with the locals by making it appear you're a local as a mode to stay safe in a foreign land, there's always a chance you'll get caught and once you're caught, people will become curious why you're pretending. This could be the start of a suspicion and as a traveler, I don't like to be labeled someone I am not. Well, this isn't an absolute rule though and it may not work depending on the circumstances.

Anyway, without any hesitation, I approached two (as far as I remember) police officers. The one looked Indian. The other one was Malay. This method for me always worked. My Google map screenshot became just an extra tool. It never helped me independently this time around. 

When I asked them, they didn't understand what I was saying. They looked to each other and spoke in their language I didn't understand. I would like to mention that the place where I was this time was devoid of people. About 100 meters around the place where I was standing, there were no other people but us three. Since they seemed like they can't understand me, a good idea came—I showed them the location of the place I am looking for by using my Google map.

They checked the map. Unfortunately, they didn't know where was this street called Lorong 1/77a was. I got a little bit nervous. Oh, I thought I'm officially lost. 

After a few moments, I trusted my instinct. I checked again my map until I figured out that the west direction on my map appeared like it was an east direction in actual setting. I did the math and like a strategy video game app, the victory was mine!

LORONG 1/77A, BUKIT BINTANG

[KUALA LUMPUR] ► FINALLY! THE STREET I'VE BEEN LOOKING FOR!


I walked down Lorong 177/a with glee but it's not yet time to relax. I still had to find the hostel I'm looking for. The segment of the road I first saw was lined with restaurants. I could no longer withstand this hunger strike. Smell of unfamiliar food was stimulating my gastrins. Ahhhh! I'm hungry!

It's almost 09:30 in the evening when I found that elusive hostel. I entered the premises. "Hello! Anybody here?" | to be continued... |

[SOUTH EAST ASIA] ► TRAVEL BLOGSERYE 01: CHAPTER 01


STORIES OF TOWN EXPLORATIONS - BLOGSERYE 01: CHAPTER 01
"On the Road Outside My Comfort Zone"


▼ SUMMARY

[INDOCHINA] ► Thailand-Malaysia Backpacking + Motorbike Riding for the First Time Outside PH


TEASER ▬ As a millennial, this is not conforming to the 'trend'—doing it because your friend do it. For me traveling is a form of continuous education. No masteral and doctoral degree could ever teach you the way traveling does.

| ▼ EPISODE 01

[SOUTH EAST ASIA] ► Flying from Metro Manila to Kuala Lumpur with Drama in Between


TEASER ▬ I am shaking, quite speechless for outspoken words but the voice within me is speaking too much that it's so hard to handle...

| ▼ EPISODE 02

[SEPANG] ► Travel Drama in Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2)


TEASER ▬ My anxiety as a first-timer almost escalated to panic level. So there's no such thing as overacting because sticking to reality is the name of the game here.

| ▼ EPISODE 03

[MALAYSIA] ► KLIA2 to KL Sentral by Bus: My First Land Travel Outside PH


TEASER ▬ I was showing physical awestruck signs overtly while inside the bus because I was seeing different races. There are Malays, Indians, Chinese, black and white men. This country is so multicultural! This is my first bus ride in Malaysia!

| ▼ EPISODE 04

[KUALA LUMPUR] ► Reaching KL Sentral and How I Acted Dumb Stupid


TEASER ▬ You may not believe this but I felt so ignorant about this. There's no train station in our province so encountering a self-service machine like this in actual setting is new to me.

| EPISODE 05 | ▼ EPISODE 06

[KUALA LUMPUR] ► Lorong 1/77a: Of Ending and First Times


TEASER ▬ This street was where I ended my first day in Malaysia but it served as the rendezvous of my many first-time experiences and encounters so it meant so much for me.

| ▼ EPISODE 07

COMING SOON! LIKE THE EDMARATION PAGE FOR UPDATES



SERIES TEASER: FIRST TIME TO TRAVEL OUTSIDE MY COUNTRY, THESE ARE STORIES OF FACING THE FEAR OF LEAVING A COMFORT ZONE. WILL THIS MAN RELATIVELY AFRAID OF BIG CITIES SURVIVE HIS FIRST DAY IN THE BIG FOREIGN CITY OF KUALA LUMPUR IN MALAYSIA? JOIN ME IN THIS BLOGSERYE AS I SHARE TO YOU MY STORIES OF TOWN EXPLORATIONS.

16 FEBRUARY 2016: KL SENTRAL AND LORONG 1/77A, BUKIT BINTANG
KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA

BUKIT BINTANG

► FOOTNOTES, DISCLAIMERS, ACKNOWLEDGMENT, ETC

[1] This post is filed under the category "En Route Stories." This is a category here on my blog where I write my experiences, note down my insights and post photo essays about traveling from one point to another. There is a section below where you can see other related posts from this category.

[2] All maps I used on this post are from Google Maps.


[3] All photos are mine.

[4] The insights, condition and name of places or properties I mentioned here are based on the facts and situation on the day of my visit. Take note that you may have a different experience when you experience or see the mentioned places or properties herein. Names of places and properties may also change by time so it's not my responsibility to update all the information on this blog because once published, I already consider it an archive and I won't update my narratives because I want them to become my references of what have happened in the past. I'm very particular of the dates because I want my amazing readers to understand that I am writing stories based on my perspective and insights on the day of my visit. You can see dates almost everywhere on this blog. Exempted from this rule are my travel guide posts that need to be updated.

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EDMAR GUQUIB, Travel Blogger
EDMARATION #TownExplorer


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