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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Discovering Kuala Lumpur Malaysia - A Filipino Travelers Perspective Part A

KL at night, seen from KL Tower. KL Trip 2013 Filipino Blog [click to enlarge]

Along the way...I've learned a little Malay ..Something to boast? LOL.. Crazy! hahaha.  Bagaimana akan anda pembaca? It means... "How are you readers?" haha.. Ok i hope you’re doing well. Good to know that! hehe. Welcome to Kuala Lumpur! It is one of the busiest and most populous cities in Malaysia. The sun rises at around 8am and sets at 8pm. Temperature? i think it must be something around 32-34 degrees. So hot! Don’t forget your sunscreen... Working time is flexible according to my friend who works there for quite some time. Some businesses start at 7am; some open at 9am, so when your body clock wakes you up at 6am then go back to sleep. It’s too early.... :)

First Impression

The people are approachable; the foods are great and yummy! The roads are wider. The environment is diverse, rare faces, cultures and religion. Less rubbish in the metro, they had MRTs; lots of sanctuaries, tourists are will be guided. There is lots of idyllic scenery, especially for photography.

Cheap Hotels

We booked at Mayview Glory Hotel at No 100 & 101, Jalan Pudu Lama, 50200 Kuala, Lumpur, which is next to Menara Maybank. We stayed for two nights there for RM 36.7 per night/person. In the Philippines, the room might cost like 1500 PhP or more. Eventually, they give us a very huge room good for four people. The location is ultimately at the heart of KL. Department stores and shopping centers are just a walk away. Furthermore, the hotel has a travel agency at the lobby which offers travel package deals inside and outside KL.

View from our room at Jalan Pudu Lama, KL.  [Click to enlarge]

Discovering Kuala Lumpur Malaysia - A Filipino Travelers Perspective Part B

In case you have'nt read the first part, please click HERE.

The 3 Week Diet

4. Dataran Merdeka or The Independence Square

Merdeka Square on top, Sultan Abdul Samad Building (below) [click to enlarge]
It plays a significant role on the Malaysian liberation from the British. August 31, 1957 marks the independence of Malaysia from the British colonizers. There are a few things you should don't want to miss here such as the Sultan Abdul Samad Building inspired in Arabic- Victorian architecture. It also contains a giant clock which is a bet similar to London's "Big Ben". It is furthermore said that the structure is made from 4 million bricks!  So it became one of KL's most loved landmarks.

Royal Club of Selangor, Dataran Merdeka.  [Click to enlarge]

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Inside Malaysia - Backpacking to Malacca

Collage Photo of my Travel to Malaysia.

Our 2 nights and three days in Singapore are over… weeew! So we need to move on.. And moving on means a new place to wander! Selamat Datang ke Malaysia (Welcome to Malaysia)! Wow…next stop is Malaysia - an interesting multi-cultural destination.

If you had more time while in Singapore, why not also visit Malaysia. Since, Singapore is just a small part of the Malaysia peninsula, and then it might be better for you to get there as well.

Getting there

There are two ways to travel across Malaysia it’s either by air or by land. On our part, we traveled by bus to see the country side, and it is much cheaper, more comparable to plane where you need to check-in for two hours prior to departure. Eventually, there are a lot of super VIP buses with at least 27 spacious seats and huge seating spaces. You can also incline to as much as 70 degrees while letting the automatic back- massager do the trick for the whole duration.

Starmart Express Air Asia Liner Bus bound for Malacca, Malaysia.
The 3 Week Diet
Head on to Golden Mile Complex (the express bus hub in Singapore), at 5001, Beach Road #01-16, Singapore 199588. There are a lot of buses to choose from, and it could be a rewarding experience to find a cheaper good air-conditioned bus bound for Malaysia. We took the Starmart Express Air Asia Liner bus bound for Malacca. StarMart Express operates daily bus service to Malacca, KL, Ipoh, Taiping, Penang, Butterworth and etc. The bus is equipped with a massage chair so you can relax all the way. Singapore to Malacca cost 25 SGD and some buses charge more than that.

We departed at exactly 1 pm in Singapore and arrived at Melaka Central Station at around 4pm after several immigration round-ups between the two countries. Buses will give 15-30 minutes allowance on each border for immigration check-ups.

Another important aspect of this journey is to find something that you can keep your luggage for a while and eventually there is a luggage center of the station! They are open from 7:00 am- 9:00pm. Leave all the burdens..he he..heavy backpack and etc.
You can see this sign.. Beg is Bag. :)


Malaysian paper bills.

Their money is called Malaysian Ringgit (RM). 1 RM is equivalent to 13.00 PhP. 13 times bigger than Philippine money at the moment. It doesn't matter…goods are way much cheaper in Malaysia... i could still recall during my childhood, my mom used to do some barter trading in Zamboanga City, Philippines because the prices of most Malaysian imported products are inexpensive. Now, i have experienced it first-hand! You can eventually haggle or negotiate on some products down to its cheaper prices here. 

First Stop - Malacca, Malaysia

  This new UNESCO heritage location is a melting pot of Malaysian history with influences from the British, Dutch, and Portuguese.

Our tourist guide in Malacca for less than 2 hours.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Singapore Travel on a Cheap Budget

There are a number of flights to Singapore from the Philippines. Your budget trip to Singapore would never be difficult nowadays. You could name a lot of low-cost carriers who will take you to your dream vacation spots especially to the country nicknamed as "the Little Red Dot". With a population of over 3 million and a total land area of 270 square miles, you'll be surprised how this country has become one of the best tourist destinations in Asia.
Merlion Statue at Merlion Park, Marina Bay Singapore

Singapore Visa Requirements

No visa is required for your stay in Singapore for less than 30 days. Filipinos can travel to Singapore for tourism or for some business, visa is not required unless you intend to study or work in the country. 

Exchange Rates and Hotels

On our way to the hostel.
Exchange rate at the time of writing is one Singaporean Dollar = 32. 48 Philippines Peso. The cost of living is a bit higher than neighboring countries. Hotels aren't cheap; the real estate price in Singapore is soaring high due to its limited land area. Foods lot high-priced as well as basic commodities ie bottled water (3 SGD).  Since we are backpacking with the lowest cost, I booked the cheapest budget hostel where most Filipino backpackers check-in in Singapore for as low as 16 SGD per night or 520 PhP at Ideal Backpackers Hostel, which is, which is located at 178 Tyrwhitt Road and alongside with it are a few backpacker's hostels like "The Little Red Dot" which I think is a bit expensive. Going back to Ideal Backpackers Hostel, we are welcome by this amazing front desk staff that helps us check and see our room. 


Loading the MRT Card

There are three common ways to check out Singapore, by Taxi, Bus or by MRT. I definitely recommend riding on the MRT (fast train). Taxi's flat rate is a bit steeper, and since i am on a budget journey, I would choose the cheapest rates possible.

Adding 10 SGD to the MRT Card

Luckily, at Changi Airport, you can buy an MRT Tap-up card which you can use during the trip. It is more convenient and fast on my own experience. Initially, the MRT cards cost something around 12-15 SGD, and you can tap any amount as soon as you are denied entry to the entrance and exits. hehe. Don’t worry if your card holds a bigger value at the end of your travel because you can eventually return it and get the remaining balance at any MRT stations.

Metered taxi cabs are available most of the time and mind you, evening flat rates are a bit higher.

Filipinos waiting at the Bus Station at Clark Quay.

Bus trips are frequent; we haven't ridden on it, and it might be a good idea to try one next time. However, if you want to experience the city, you can ride on this fantastic double dicker buses off to the place you wanted.

Bicycle Ride somewhere at Clark Quay.
You can spot some bicycle cab into the city during the evenings driven by locals. The cost is somehow cheaper. I can’t remember it..hehe You can bargain actually to the driver to bring you somewhere if you hate walking a long mile distance or just some tripping around the city.

Things to Do in Singapore - The Top 5 things you won’t Miss!

There are a lot of things you can do and sites to visit while in Singapore. This Little Red Dot on the tip of Malay Peninsula is one of the biggest economies and most modern in South-East Asia. Its culture is a mixed of distinctive races, and if you are a food fanatic, you can examine a wide array of different and sumptuous cuisine from the Malay, Arabic, Indian, English, and Chinese. Leisure and shopping are a common denominator when visiting Singapore. Look at my top five list below of the best things you can do and enjoy in Singapore. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

How to Travel to Singapore - Cheap Airfares

In the advent of low-cost airline carriers, the percentage of frequent Asian travelers has gained a tremendous hop. Backpacking to Singapore is popular nowadays. A lot of factors and instances that made such ordinary folks not able to pursue their endeavors. However, airline companies are bringing cheap airfares to Singapore, and that means...its travel time! ;)

Heading to Singapore from Clark taken at 6:38 AM Phils.time.

How to Travel to Singapore from the Philippines. 

First of all, Singapore is open to at least 80% of all the countries around the world requiring NO VISA! Unless you belong to the 20% then you may refer to The travel time ranges from 15 days up to 90 days. So if you plan to stay longer than you may need to visit the Singaporean Embassy.
Areal View of Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.

Conferring about cheap airline tickets to Singapore, there are a lot of low-cost carriers who offer promos- some could even get to as much as ZERO ALL-IN flight cost. This is rare; however, if you are lucky, you could get one. As a Filipino backpacker, traveling has been a sort of a drug for me - a way of relaxation and getting into new things and perspective. Tiger Airways, Cebu Pacific, Zest Air, Air Asia, AirPhil is some local airline carries in the country that offers low cost fares to Singapore. I was lucky to get a chunk of the promo from Air Asia, which cost me 1800 PhP excluding the travel tax and terminal fee to more than 2070 PhP if I could recall. Please check out for more info.

Air Asia is operating at Clark, Pampanga. I'm from Mindanao - southern part of the country, so the traveling cost is a bit steeper than from those in the north. Depending on the carrier, you could choose your pt. A from Cebu, Manila, and Clark bound to SG (If you are from Mindanao, it is best to check promos for domestic airfares to be further lower your expenditure). On our experienced, we took a taxi from Manila to Clark where we haggle over the payment to as much as 400 PhP. We missed the bus bound for Clark (the usual bus that takes Air Asia passengers). It was already 1 AM, so we took the taxi and evenly divided the cost.

We arrived at Diosdado Macapagal International Airport, at Clark, Pampanga past 4am. So we had like less than two hours to check-in for our 6:10 am flight. It was really a relief! wheew! :)

Waiting for our flight at the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport.

Arriving at Changi Airport, Singapore

Welcome to the city nicknamed as "The Little Red Dot". Warm climate greeted us at exactly 10am! We are almost screwed up the in the past 9hrs, so we had that sunny smiles after we set foot on the beautiful garden city of Singapore. We don't miss any pictorials at the Changi Airport where I see it with extensive duty-free products as well as dining and leisure facilities.

Touch Down at the Airport
Having fun taking pictures with the Angry Birds at the Airport.

Going to Skytrain- Inside Changi Airport.

Fitness Goal 2013

MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

Places I've Been

Dakak Davao Cebu Bohol Cagayan De Oro Pagadian Zamboanga Del Sur Zamboanga Del Norte Misamis Occidental Tangub City Surigao Butuan Davao Del Norte Davao Del Sur Iloilo Bacolod Dapitan Dipolog Manila Subic Samal Compostela Valley Gingoog City Bukidnon Marawi Xiamen

Running Records

Milo Marathon CdeO 2012- 21k@2:18mins
Timex Run 2012 Cebu -10k@57mins
Tangub City Unity Run 2012 -10k@54mins
LSU Run for the Priest 2012 -5k@28mins
Ozamiz City PDA Run -5k@27mins
MU Fun Run 2012-3k@18mins