This year was quite a very busy year for me. It’s my last year of being a university student and I had an internship that lasted 3 months. Being busy with school and with my internship didn’t really give me that much time to travel that much as how I used to the year before. Travelling has always been my getaway from school and work but with both taking over my life, it was hard to just go and travel.
My visa was about to expire and I was thinking of a place to go to when my visa expires. I was hesitating between Vietnam and Malaysia. Both countries that I had been eager to visit ever since I started studying in Bangkok.
I have always travelled to other countries for food. Food has always been my top priority when travelling. So this was the main factor on deciding which country to go to. I love Vietnamese food and I have eaten it a lot of times and my girlfriend loves Vietnamese food so we make it for our meal once in a while. On the other hand, I have always been intrigued with Malay food and not having that much access to Malay food here in Bangkok, made it easier for me to decide where to go.
I booked a ticket and my friend let me stay in her house during my 3 day stay in Kuala Lumpur. This will be my first time in Malaysia with just the stories from my Malaysian friends as my only perception of what the country is. It has also been a long time since I have travelled on my own as my travels have always been with my girlfriend but due to her exams coming, she can’t come.
I started my first night with my friend’s family taking me to an Indonesian restaurant named “Wong Solo”. My friend suggested that I take one of their specialty which is “Ayam Penyet” which is pressed fried chicken served with fried tofu, tempeh, eggplant and sambal on the side. I also ordered Avocado Juice with chocolate syrup. Avocado has been one of my favorite fruits growing up and this was something I could not miss.
Avocado Juice with choco syrup
The sambal were spicy but it was the spicy that I liked. It’s savory spicy, not the hurting kind of spiciness. The other thing I liked was eating using only our hands. No need for spoon and forks. Back in the Philippines, I always eat using my hands but coming to Thailand, I used spoon, fork and chopsticks more often.
Next day, I went to a garage sale that was organized by my friend’s mom’s friends. It was situated in an empty house in a village in KL. Though, I am not entirely sure where it was as my friend drove us to go there. There were a lot of good stuffs on the garage as I bought myself a body wrap. I wanted to buy more but I have limited baggage on the way back to Bangkok so I opted to just buy one item.
For Lunch, we went to Nando’s. I have always wanted to eat at Nando’s and they had it in Malaysia. I have heard the hype about Nando’s and the foodie in me was very intrigued to try it. This was the perfect opportunity to try them out for myself. My friend took me to the Nando’s branch in Publika. I ordered a quarter Peri Peri Chicken with Mediterranean Rice and Peri Peri Chips as my sides. I was excited to eat it and the food came. I took a bite and paused for a bit to savor the moment. I honestly was disappointed. The chicken itself tasted mediocre but the sauce was the one that made it delicious. Good thing we can get a bottle of the Peri Peri sauce as what they put on the chicken was not enough. I enjoyed the sauce quite a lot and found out that the sauces are sold in the restaurant if you want one.
Quarter Peri Peri chicken with Mediterranean rice and Peri Peri Chips
One of the highlights of my trip was my dinner for the first night. I ate at a restaurant named, “Fatty Crab”. This is where most locals would go to eat crabs. They come to celebrate with colleagues, friends and family. It was a 2-storey restaurant and it was an open air restaurant with ceiling fans to cool you down. Do expect to sweat a lot and eat with your hands. We arrived and there was a queue just to get a table. The restaurant was full of locals and the servers were really busy that night.
The sign that welcomes you when you get to Fatty Crab
The dishes that we got was their famous “crabs with gravy sauce” which is served with toasted bread on the side, chicken wings and fried rice. I’m used to eating crabs with rice so the toasted bread was kind of weird for me. I dipped the bread in the gravy sauce, it was very delicious and very spicy. I started sweating so prepare to not look your best when eating here. The crabs itself is just okay but with the gravy sauce, it was a perfect match. We each had 2 crabs and I can guarantee you, we were very full after the meal.
Crabs with gravy sauce
Aftermath of our meal
On my last day to tour KL, I went to check out the famous Petronas Twin Towers and see it for myself. Luckily, there was not that much people when I got there. I walked around the KLCC Mall and went to go check the Petrosains, The Discovery Centre. I have always adored going to museums and when I found out about this museum, I made sure that I will go there! Unfortunately, they were close every Monday. I had to change plans due to this.
I figured, I needed to do a bit of shopping and the perfect place to do that is in “Central Market”. The place was full of touristy items such as bags, magnets, clothes and even snacks to bring as a souvenir to your friends and family. I walked around the market and browse through the shops. I didn’t shop that much as some items can be found in Bangkok as well.
A peak inside Central Market
Since Chinatown was near Central Market, I decided to go there with my friend’s sister and walk around to see what they have. It was surrounded with stalls that sells fake designer bags, shoes and clothes. There were also some food around the area as what would Chinatown be if it didn’t had any food. I am not that much of a shopper so I spent only a few minutes around Chinatown and decided to head to a café to chill and rest from all the walking I did.
Chinatown in Kuala Lumpur
For dinner, my friend’s family took us to eat Vietnamese food on a restaurant called “Super Saigon TTDI”. They serve halal pho as majority of Malaysians are Muslim. The place was as we would say very “instagrammable”. The decors were very bright and it even had a neon light sign near the entrance. That night was very busy and was a full house. We each ordered beef pho and some fresh spring rolls. The pho broth is not as flavorful than I expected even with the hoisin and chili sauce but one thing I can say is that they were very generous with the serving. When the bowl arrived, I was shocked to see how big it is. If I was very hungry, I would have finished all of it. Was it worth it? I would say that for the price and the quantity, it is but taste wise, not really.
A statement that I agree with
On my last day, I went to eat the famous “Nasi Lemak”. My friend’s brother brought me to one of the best places to get Nasi Lemak in KL. My friend told me that this is available anytime of the day. My first experience with Nasi Lemak in Bangkok was not that great and I was hoping this meal could change that. First of all, Nasi Lemak is composed of coconut rice, chili paste, eggs, fried anchovies, fried peanuts, beef (can be any meat you like, I chose beef) and my friend’s brother ordered some fried potato for my Nasi Lemak.
Nasi Lemak in my tum tum
You can eat this separately but I mixed them all up as I like having a bite of everything in my spoon. I love how all the flavors from the beef, the chili paste, the fried peanuts and anchovies mixed in my mouth. It was spicy but it was spicy that I could handle. I have had way more spicier foods in Thailand anyway. After a few spoonfuls, I felt myself getting full. This dish is quite heavy and I was not hungry until I arrived in Bangkok which was around 7 hours after eating this dish. This meal experience will be the standard on all the Nasi Lemaks that I will be eating in the future.
The 3 day trip to Kuala Lumpur is not enough to explore the beauty and bustling city life in the capital. It has lesser traffic comparing to the city that I have known and love to live in, Bangkok. And the drivers are not as reckless as how it is in Bangkok. I love Bangkok but the way people drive here scares me. Another thing I loved about KL, they have so much trees! I arrived Malaysia and when I looked out the plane window, all I could see was green. Making the air fresher and more chiller comparing to Bangkok.
One of the good things about travelling in Malaysia is that everyone speaks English so the language barrier is already off the list. And with some similarities In my native language, Tagalog, made it easier for me to get around even more.
Would I go back to Malaysia? Absolutely YES! I wanna explore more of what the country has to offer and see what makes Malaysia, truly Asia. (And yes, I have seen the Malaysia’s tourism campaign a hundred times.)
Twin Towers standing tall
Terima Kasih Malaysia and to my wonderful friend, Roslyn and for her family’s very warm hospitality during my stay in Kuala Lumpur!
FUN FACT! The words “Terima” literally means receive and “Kasih” means care. This is how locals say thank you which I find very interesting as this is what I usually hear during my stay in Malaysia and to know the literal meaning, amazes me.