Whenever visiting a new place, chances are, you will end up asking people for recommendations on spots to visit where they will name a couple of them followed by “That’s where the tourists go”. Absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (2016)
After having lunch at the food court of Pavilion KL, my college classmates and I hailed a cab to Merdeka Square. We are staying in an Airbnb at the KLCC area, so it took us a while to get there, plus there was a traffic jam.
I remembered specifically requesting my classmates to visit museums because I need to get some information for a paper on Southeast Asian Art that I was then writing for grad school. I am pretty sure they don’t like it but said yes anyway.
We met another classmate for dinner at Jalan Alor in Bukit Bintang where a lot of street food stalls are located. He asked me, “Ano, Sher, okay ka na sa museums mo?” (“So, Sher, were you able to do your museum thing?) That’s how I confirmed it. Everybody wants something else that afternoon, but they went to the museums with me anyway.
This time I did not mind visiting the cafe. It has a colonial vibe, old, rustic interiors, and damn, the toilet is so selfie-friendly. The nasi goreng I had was one of the best. I also had the most expensive coconut juice, ever. It was a lovely day.
I know a lot of people who were ‘not impressed’ with Kuala Lumpur, saying there’s really nothing special there. I beg to disagree.
I had the chance to visit Malaysia when a group of friends came up with an idea of going there as a group. I honestly don’t have a lot of expectations going there, and I just want to catch up with friends whom I have not seen for a long time. I surely had a good time with them, but KL has exceeded my expectations. In my opinion, here are three reasons on how to appreciate KL as a city to travel to, despite a lot of people saying it’s not impressive:
#1: Kuala Lumpur is a cultural melting pot, therefore it is also a foodie haven.
Malaysia is a predominantly Muslim country, but like Singapore, it has a huge number of Chinese and Indians. Therefore, expect that Kuala Lumpur can offer you the best gastronomic experience of your life. Fancy some big Indian food? Kuala Lumpur has got you covered. Craving for Chinese food? There are Chinese restaurants all over the city. Want to have a local culinary awareness? There are night markets for that.
#2: Petronas Twin Towers is a unique world wonder.
#3: If you’re missing a piece of home, wherever you came from, Kuala Lumpur most likely has got you.
Kuala Lumpur is a cultural melting pot, but it is also one of the obvious manifestations of the globalization phenomenon. You can possibly find McDonald’s and Starbucks all over the city. If you want to go shopping for foreign brands, Kuala Lumpur has a lot of high-end malls for that. Just like any other big Southeast Asian city, Kuala Lumpur is a concrete jungle.
When I previously attended a conference in Surabaya, Indonesia, I met a lot of new colleagues from Universiti Malaya and University of Malaysia Terengganu, and they were the most amazing people I met. I love how kind and gentle Malaysians are, and I actually promised them I’ll visit them in Malaysia next time. Having more reasons to visit a place again apart from the usual sightseeing makes a more meaningful travel experience for me. Plus, who doesn’t want to see Kuala Terengganu? I’ve been Googling the place and it’s so beautiful there.
Also, since my friends and I only spent a couple of days in Kuala Lumpur, I never had the chance to visit other sites, such as Batu Caves, Cameron Highlands, and even the local markets. After this pandemic, I vow to go back to KL again this time to go around on my own like I usually did in other cities, visit more museums and art galleries, eat food I haven’t tried yet, visit restaurants and sites that Anthony Bourdain visited, and visit nearby cities like Cyberjaya, Putrajaya, Selangor, and many other. God, I miss traveling, a lot.
On our first day in Kuala Lumpur, my friends and I had a chill stroll around the Dataran Merdeka (Merdeka Square) area to observe the local city life, see what the tourists are up to, and visit a couple of museums.
Not so long ago, I had the chance to travel to Malaysia with a group of friends. Having traveled to a Southeast Asian city outside the Philippines is a dream come true for me since I want to visit as many of them as possible. If you’ve been reading articles in this blog from time to time, you might been getting the idea that I love Southeast Asia to death.
Kuala Lumpur did not surprise me so much, but don’t get me wrong, I had the best experience traveling with friends in this city. I love the food scene, I love the Manila-like cityscapes, and I love that it’s a melting pot of different cultures, just ike Singapore.
One afternoon, we decided to walk around Merdeka Square (as our cab driver has described, it’s the place “where tourists usually go”). I was able to appreciate some remnants of the British colonial rule, the differences of its culture with the Philippines, and how Malaysia could be like any other city that responds to the demands of globalization.
Are you planning to explore the beautiful country of Malaysia? Here’s a Borneo Malaysia travel guide for you, which exactly traces the Borneo Episode of the travel show Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown.
Malaysia is one of the beautiful countries in Southeast Asia that I would recommend to explore outside the capital city Kuala Lumpur. Don’t get me wrong, Kuala Lumpur is a beautiful city, but Malaysia is way more than that. At the Malaysian outskirts, you have a lot of beaches, mountains, tea plantations, theme parks, you name it!
Malaysia is composed to two main land masses: the peninsular Malaysia which is attached to mainland Asia, is where the capital city of Kuala Lumpur is located. At the southernmost tip of this part, you will find Singapore. The other part of Malaysia is located in Borneo Island, where Malaysia shares with Brunei and Indonesia. This part is where you can find the states of Sabah and Sarawak.
Anthony Bourdain had a layover at Kuala Lumpur before going to his main destination, Borneo. This Parts Unknown episode is a sequel of his prior visit to the island around ten years ago for another travel series. The theme of his episode focuses more on his trip down memory lane and a reflection of how much he grew as a person since his last trip to Borneo.
TRAVELING TO MALAYSIA: My Experience
One of my first trips around Southeast Asia started with a short trip to Kuala Lumpur with some friends from college. I can write about my Malaysia trip in a separate blog, but I must say that I enjoyed the multicultural gastronomic scene in Malaysia just as how Anthony Bourdain enjoyed restaurant-hopping in Kuala Lumpur for this particular Parts Unknown episode. Just like Bourdain, we had a night market dinner experience at the iconic Jalan Alor and ate some local food.
I am looking forward to explore more of Borneo in my next trips to Malaysia, if given a chance. In the meantime, I am saving every item of this itinerary for later. And I insist, you should, too!
You might find these articles interesting as well:
5. Have an Alcohol-Free Karaoke Session at Kuching Waterfront
6. Have a Mini-Cruise at Skrang River
7. Stop for Lunch and Eat Bamboo Chicken by the River
8. Celebrate Gawai (Harvest Festival) with the Locals
8.1. Visit a Longhouse at Entalau and get to know the Iban community.
8.2. Shoot a pig for Gawai
8.3. Drink Tuak, Langkau, and more booze until you pass out.
8.4. Party, go to sleep, wake up, and repeat in the next three days.
9. Get inked with a traditional Iban tattoo.
BORNEO MALAYSIA TRAVEL GUIDE: An Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown Itinerary
There you have it! We all know that Anthony Bourdain’s main preference when traveling is to try the local food and talking to locals about life in the destinations they are in. Of course, you are always welcome to add and weed out some of the items here to have a more customized travel itinerary. In my opinion, though, I believe the things done by Anthony Bourdain during his travels are worthy of trying out. So, I wish you happy travels and wait for your photos on Instagram? Travel safely!
As I was going around Merdeka Square in Kuala Lumpur, I cam across a group of museums that are next to each other. As I was also beating the Malaysian heat at the same time, the museum enthusiast in me did not hesitate to check out these museums (which are free entrance, btw) and one of them is Music Museum Malaysia or Muzium Muzic. Below are some photos I took inside the museum which highlight the musical heritage and influences of the different federal states of Malaysia. Enjoy!
Music Museum Malaysia: Photo Gallery
I found out about the sad closing down of Music Museum Malaysia through the article from The Star Malaysia entitled The Day the Music Died.
It was a little sad for the museum enthusiasts community to know a museum is closing down because there will be a lot of missed opportunities to educate travelers and other people about the history of Malay musical heritage and influences. However, I am hoping I could see all the installations in other museums around Malaysia. Fingers crossed!
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You heard it right, a Kuala Lumpur trip just made me frustrated about traveling in group. I just want to travel solo.
I just feel like I had to write this down, because traveling with the wrong people can change your perception about traveling, a lot.
With “the wrong people”, I meant people who have different preferences than you when it comes to making choices when traveling, whether it’s which places to visit, what time to go out and go back to the hotel, where to eat, and all those basic trip-related decisions.
It sucks when to find out that your companions are not going into historical places and museums, and would rather go shopping and staying at the hotel most of the time. It sucks to find out that your companions are not into planning the days, at all. More importantly, it sucks that I have to find out these details when I’m already with them, on a trip.
My (not-so-colorful) College Life
I did not have the best college life that I wish to have. College has a lot to offer to a typical teenager – opportunities to learn more about yourself and the things you are passionate about with extra-curricular activities, opportunities to meet friends which could possibly be the most reliable people in your life, and an endless set of opportunities that you will never get hold of once you leave the University halls and officially transition into adult life.
But I was not your typical kind of student. I spent most of my college life inside the library, if I am outside the classroom. For one thing, I have a lot of limitations — having just enough allowance for the week (studying college in Manila is hella expensive, to tell you the truth, and I have to be cooperative with the people making ends meet just to send me to an excellent and expensive university).
Another thing, from my first day in college to the last class I attended, I was keeping the mindset that whatever I do in this university could determine what kind of future I will have. And I want the best version of future for myself and my family. I have a long list of ambitions, and being a little laidback will just not help. So, I hustled and strove to always get 4.0s in most of my classes, thinking excellent grades could land me to the best careers out there (but I was wrong, actually. Details to follow in another post.)
Given this, I did not have much social life back then. While most of my classmates would hangout somewhere in-between or after classes, I would go to the library and read. As far as I can remember, I only experienced one “Happy Thursday” in my entire college life. “Happy Thursday” is when students in my university would drink, party, or have dinner on a Thursday night because the university does not hold classes on Fridays. Other than that, I think I would occasionally go on random mall trip with my few friends to watch movies or eat.
I know, I know, sounds like a sad, boring college life. Half of me regretted not being able to enjoy it, but half of me is thanking myself for investing that hard for my future. In my last year of college, that’s when I promised myself to try to socialize with my batchmates and actually make friends with people (hashtag introvert, all caps!!). It wasn’t easy! Until eventually I found myself regularly hanging out with some batchmates, who weren’t the best group of people, but they became the most reliable people in my life that time.
Like most college friendships which tend to grow apart after graduating, we dealt with different life changes and our individual daily activities became more and more unfamiliar, therefore catching up and relating with each and everyone became harder. Sure, we still maintained that Facebook Messenger group chat, but it has became so random that no one would no longer talk about something because we were occupied with new chapters of our life — law school, marriage, moving to another country, getting new jobs, among others.
One day, one of my friends alerted the group chat that there is a seat sale promotion happening with a budget airline, and thought we should book a flight to Kuala Lumpur together, because one of our friends moved to Kuala Lumpur for work. Everyone was excited about the idea, including me, so we expressed our interest and he did the booking. The trip was all set.
And then. like most group trips, one by one, people started backing out, which was not a surprise to me. I myself was starting to lose interest about the trip, too. I was just holding to the excitement of seeing Kuala Lumpur for the first time and not caring about who I am gonna be with on that trip. So I did not back out, and there were four of us who pushed through with the trip, plus our friends who’s based in Kuala Lumpur.
The departure day to Kuala Lumpur felt like college all over again. The time waiting time before boarding and the 3-ish hour plane ride was not enough to catch up with several years amount of stories. We exchanged stories about our jobs, new relationships, past relationships, previous trips, and even reminisced about those crazy days from college. I was suddenly excited to be with this group of people in the next couple of days.
We happened to have rented a very nice accommodation with a beautiful view of Petronas Towers which made me more excited. Prior to the trip, I actually bought a travel guidebook and read about the nice places to visit in the city. On our arrival night, we had a street food trip just near our place and had a good time. However I suddenly remembered we do not have any plans for the trip aside from meeting our Kuala Lumpur-based friend.
Our Very Spontaneous Kuala Lumpur Trip
In an ideal world where I would travel solo and maximize my stay in another city, I would wake up very early to catch the sunrise somewhere or by my hotel window, would plan my day in a more detailed manner to weed out unrealistic and not-so-doable items, or maybe prepare and eat breakfast in a local breakfast place or something. Then I would proceed with my day, check out museums, walk around, take street photos, go to the local market, visit the usual tourist spots, and try to eat somewhere local.
But of course, it was all fantasy, because I just can’t tell these people that this is the kind of day I want for that day. It’s 10AM and they’re still sleeping. I don’t even know our plans. I don’t want to boss around them nd tell this and that. I’m starting to feel frustrated. Then I took the courage to suggest that we visit museums that afternoon. Since the group has literally no plans, they went with the idea.
We visited Merdeka Square, walked around, went museum-hopping. It was nice that I was able to visit a few museums and art galleries in Kuala Lumpur, until I got annoyed with my companions.
If you’re new in this blog, you might not be aware how much I love visiting museums and how I want to learn things about the place I was visiting. Therefore, I absorb as many information as I could, and therefore I move very slooooow from one exhibit/gallery to another.
Whenever the group was about to proceed to another exhibit/gallery, even if I was busy reading and taking photos, they would call me to go with them. “Sher, let’s go.” They did this to me a couple of times.
I don’t know about you, but it was frustrating.
We proceeded to have dinner at Jalan Alor where we met our Kuala Lumpur-based friend. It was a fun night, to be fair. We ate some local dishes and exchanged stories. My friend was able to talk about his life in Kuala Lumpur, his interactions with people, and how is Kuala Lumpur compared to Manila. It was a fun-filled night which took away my frustrations with the group.
Until my friend randomly asked me, “So Sher, ano, okay ka na sa museums? Nagawa mo na yung dapat mong gawin?” (“So Sher, are you already good with the museums? Have you done what you have to do already?”) It’s as if they only went with me to “get this over and done with”. I was furious but I did not say a word. I just nodded and smiled.
They were rude. I don’t want to be with them anymore.
The next day, I was not informed that we will be visiting Sunway Lagoon (or maybe I was, but I did not get the memo or something?). Sunway Lagoon is like your Splash Island plus Star City water theme park. I don’t know how to compare it with anything because I’m not a fan of these things. The idea of swimming in a big public pool is something I am not game about, and forgive my fuzziness. (But I believe parks like these are best enjoyed with friends.It may be weird if I would go there alone.)
I did not have the proper attire, so I planned to swim in a shirt and denim shorts. To cut the long story short, I was not permitted to enter in almost all attractions because I am not wearing the right attire. I just walked around and took some photos. I paid an Entrance Fee for almost nothing.
After the day, we hung out at the rooftop pool of our place and the Kuala Lumpur skyline was so beautiful. A lot of people tell me they were not impressed with Kuala Lumpur because it looks just like Makati or BGC in Manila, but I think they haven’t seen the city in a way that a cultural seeker would do it. It was, again, a fun night, to be fair. But what happens when the sun is up has always been awful.
Since I think they have already done what they came to Kuala Lumpur for (have fun with the group and meet our friend there), I tried suggesting we go to Batu Caves. They gave me hanging and uncertain answers and suggested we decide one more time the next day.
I was reading about Batu Caves from the travel guide I bought and felt more excited about visiting it the next day. The next day, I overheard their conversation while I was preparing inside my room.
One of my friends asked, “Ano bang makikita sa Batu Caves?” (“What are we going to see in Batu Caves?”)
One of them answered, “Wala, ‘yung malaking Buddha lang. Tsaka nasa labas na ng KL ‘yun. Sigurado kayo dadayuhin pa natin ‘yun?” (“Nothing, there’s just one giant Buddha statue there. Plus, it’s outside KL already. Are you sure we’re gonna go all the way there for it?”)
I don’t really know how to feel. I gave up. Plus, we’re flying back the next day, so I would just let them decide with what to do and where to go. I could just go back to KL on my own and explore the places I failed to explore on this trip.
Oh, and on our last day, the group went shopping. They shopped for clothes and expensive shoes. I’m not a fan of shopping, I’m not a fan of material capitalist bastards, so I don’t really patronize brands that much. We went mall-hopping. We ate in Western fast food restaurants. We did exactly what we could have done in Greenbelt or Glorietta, in Kuala Lumpur.
I was frustrated because I am not sure if I will have the chance to visit the same place again, so as much as possible, I always make it a point to maximize the trip. I just want to clarify that I don’t have anything against my friends. They were still the people whom I relied to the best back in college, they’re still my best people. I just don’t think we’re fit to be travel buddies. Sure, I could go shopping with them, I could go on a food trip with them, I could talk to them and exchange stories in a coffee shop.
However, I’m not sure if they’re the people I could drag to a museum to, or so see temples, or go see historical sites. Most of the time, I am up with these kinds of activities but if they aren’t, I think I’m better off traveling alone. No, I’m not unfriending them, like how I unfriend long distance friends like the one I talked about during my trip to Surabaya.
Traveling solo is something I have been doing for many years now. At first, some would find it weird, but eventually it became a thing that most people have already tried at least once in their lives. I will just talk about it in another post, but in the meantime, after this trip, I lost an appetite about traveling with anyone. I am more at peace with traveling solo. How about you?
Ater a Kuala Lumpur trip, I just want to travel solo. Your thoughts?
I’ve seen you’ve reached this far. After all, what’s travel without some drama, anyway?
I had the chance to visit Kuala Lumpur with some friends from college, and what we loved the most is the variety of food that we could try there! While we were there, I requested one afternoon to visit some museums and art galleries in Kuala Lumpur, because it is mandatory for me to learn something about any place I would visit.
Among so many art galleries in Kuala Lumpur, we were only able to visit two of them: Galeri Petronas and Kuala Lumpur City Gallery. For your reference (and my future reference as well when I go back to KL), I have compiled a list of art galleries in Kuala Lumpur all history and art lovers can visit when in this beautiful city.
But before that, you might wanna also visit other articles I have written about Malaysia:
So without further ado, here is the list of art galleries in Kuala Lumpur that you can visit, with important information such as address, telephone number, operating hours, and links to their social media accounts:
1. GALERI PETRONAS
This museum in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is located at the third floor of Suria KLCC Mall, Galeri Petronas showcases several contemporary artworks.
Located at the Merdeka Square, KL City Gallery showcases a lot of information about the history of Kuala Lumpur. The building is formerly used as a public printing office then a public library. The lower floor exhibits a scale model of Merdeka Square entitled “Old Kuala Lumpur” and the upper floor exhibits a scale model of the modern Kuala Lumpur entitled “The Spectacular City Model Show”. A photo opportunity outside the museum with the giant “I heart KL” sign is a must.
KUALA LUMPUR CITY GALLERY Dataran Merdeka, 27, Jalan Raja, City Centre, 50050 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Monday-Sunday, 9:30AM-6PM +60 3-2698 3333
OUR ARTPROJECTS @ THE ZHONGSHAN BUILDING 80A, Jalan Rotan, Kampung Attap, 50460 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Tuesday-Saturday, 11AM-7PM +60 16-660 2585 https://www.facebook.com/ourartprojects/
9. TAKSU KUALA LUMPUR
TAKSU KUALA LUMPUR 17, Jalan Pawang, Kampung Datuk Keramat, 54000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Monday-Saturday, 10AM-6PM +60 3-4251 4396
10. ART HOUSE GALLERY MUSEUM OF ETHNIC ARTS
ART HOUSE GALLERY OF MUSEUM OF ETHIC ARTS Lot 3.04 & 3.05, Level 2, Annexe Building, Central Market, 10,, Jalan Hang Kasturi, 50050 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Monday-Sunday, 10:30AM-7PM +60 3-2148 2283 https://www.facebook.com/ahg12345/
ART GALLERIES IN KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA: YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS ARE WELCOME! 🙂
There you have it! If you think any of these information needs to be corrected or edited, feel free to reach out to me. Also, if you think there are other art galleries that deserve to be included in this list, do let me know. In the meantime, happy art appreciation in Kuala Lumpur! 🙂
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LONELY PLANET TRAVEL GUIDES ABOUT KUALA LUMPUR AND MALAYSIA
WHERE TO STAY IN KUALA LUMPUR MALAYSIA?
During our trip to Kuala Lumpur, we stayed at ViPod Residence Apartment which is an amazing place at the center of KLCC. It is close to Pavilion Mall and has a roof top pool with an amazing view of the Kuala Lumpur skyline, including the Petronas Towers, of course.
A lot of Filipino travelers I know have expressed some frustrations on how less ‘powerful’ the Philippine passport is compared to other countries because we are only eligible to enter a few countries without the need for a visa. To someone who is aiming to visit all nation-states in the world, yes, it would be a struggle, but it won’t hurt if you start traveling to visa-free countries first, right? That’s also what I am currently working on.
But hey, it is not the end of the world, guys! In fact, setting up a good and clean travel record to visa-free countries is a brownie point should you apply for a visa in the First World, like Europe and the US. After all, there is so much to explore in these visa-free countries which deserve to be visited first by us, Filipino travelers.
With “start traveling to visa-free countries first”, I meant the Southeast Asian region. In fact, Southeast Asian region is one of the most popular regions visited by travelers from all parts of the world and from all walks of life. There is so much to see in this region: cultural and historical heritage sites, natural wonders, cities, beaches, mountains, name it! Did you know that your Philippine passport entitles you to travel around Southeast Asia, visa-free? 🙂
Why can Southeast Asian citizens travel around the region visa-free?
The members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) signed an ASEAN Framework Agreement on Visa Exemption in order to achieve a lasting friendship and cooperation among ASEAN countries, hence as ASEAN Citizens, we Filipinos can travel around ASEAN region without a visa. How cool is that? You can have your own Southeast Asia visa free travel bucket list before exploring the rest of the world!
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INDONESIA (visa-free for 30 days)
Whether you’re exploring historical sights in big cities like Jakarta and Surabaya, exploring the countryside and natural wonders in Probolinggo, or having the vacation of your life in Bali, you can do all of these without the need to apply for a visa. How’s that?
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LAOS (visa-free for 30 days)
Laos is the most underrated Southeast Asian country!!! Please please consider exploring this beautiful country! There’s so much history and culture in here, and oh, it’s the most heavily-bombed country in the world (well, Vietnam War-speaking, because I know Syria feels the same way, too). Unfortunately we don’t have direct flights from Philippines to Laos, but hey it doesn’t hurt to include this in your itinerary, let’s say, when you go visit Thailand.
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MALAYSIA (visa-free for 30 days)
Malaysia is a melting pot of different cultures, and as a result, there’s just a variety of good food here! You can explore Malaysia if you want to go shopping (everything here is, for some reason, cheaper than Manila), have some food trip, or have some cultural immersion, Kuala Lumpur can provide them for you. If you want to have some amusement park-ish type of fun with friends, Petaling Jaya is the place to be.
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MYANMAR (visa-free for 14 days)
Myanmar is also one of the least popular Southeast Asian destination to Filipinos because there are no direct flights to here from Manila. But, I could attest that you will not regret going this far because Myanmar is so authentically uninfluenced by any external culture (I’m talking about Westernization hehe). It’s indeed the “Golden Land”, literally, because of the golden stupas all over.
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SINGAPORE (visa-free for 30 days)
Deemed as one of the best countries in the world, this small island nation never failed to impress everyone who goes here. From the vast number of museums, to hawker centres, to the very efficient transport system, and the very progressive economy, I could say that Singapore is really very utopian for me.
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VIETNAM (visa-free for 21 days)
Vietnam, being the second largest producer of coffee in the world, is not only home to the best coffee out there, but also to the healthiest set of green leafy cuisine! A legit banh mi sold by the street sides is a must-try!
For more travel articles about Vietnam, click on the banner below:
There you have it! To Philippine passport holders, Southeast Asia is literally visa-free! It can ease everyone’s travel hassle and more energy and money can be dedicated to this beautiful region. I just hope Southeast Asia visa requirements for all Southeast Asians will be lifted indefinitely because it can indeed contribute to the region’s economy as well as the awareness of ASEAN citizens about the region and the countries surrounding them.
So, I’ll just wait for your travel stories, then? Safe travels and prepare your passports to be stamped now! 🙂
Direct flights to Southeast Asia may have been limited before, but more routes have been opening to so many destinations connecting the East and the West every now and then. Flights to Brunei Darussalam, for instance, are increasing, hence Bruneians and other travelers have more options on where to go next. Brunei has direct flights to six (6) Southeast Asian countries. As part of my passion project to help travelers have a seamless navigation experience around Southeast Asia, I am writing a series of flight guides to help you have the best travel experience in this beautiful region of the world. The first of this series is this comprehensive article guide about direct flights from Brunei Darussalam.
DIRECT FLIGHTS TO SOUTHEAST ASIA: FLIGHTS TO BRUNEI DARUSSALAM
Are you currently in Brunei and planning your next Southeast Asian destination? But wait, I do hope you were able to visit this beautiful places during your stay in Brunei:
Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-SIN): 2 hours and 5 minutes
Singapore is known to have a lot of direct flights to Southeast Asia destinations, including flights to Brunei Darussalam, because of the presence of many routes by its flag carrier Singapore Airlines.
Airlines that fly directly from Brunei to Singapore:
Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-SGN): 1 hour and 55 minutes
One of the nearest destinations to Brunei outside Borneo, Ho Chi Minh city also operates a lot of flights to Brunei Darussalam and other destinations to Southeast Asia
Airline that flies directly from Brunei to Ho Chi Minh City:
Places to visit in Ho Chi Minh City:
Bitexco Financial Tower
Ben Thanh Market
Cu Chi Tunnels
Where to stay in Ho Chi Minh City:
See? I told you there is a lot of flights from Brunei Darussalam! There are so many direct flights to Southeast Asia and direct flights from Brunei is just one of the many destinations to choose from. Are you ready to draft your ultimate Southeast Asian itinerary covering these amazing destinations and hop on that plane to take one of the next direct flights from Brunei?
To be honest, I have been planning on writing hotel reviews of all the hotels and hostels I I have checked in during my overseas travels (meaning outside the Philippines, because I’m based in Manila). However, I never had the time to actually take photos to help my readers appreciate my reviews. Most of the time, right after checking in, I would jump in the bed and throw away my stuff all over. I am either very tired, had no sleep, or just not in the mood to do the effort of taking photos.
But don’t worry! Here I am, and I will try to make use of the limited photos that I took from the hotels I stayed in, together with a very quick review. I will also tell you if, based on my standards (which are not really so high, believe me), I will consider checking in again in these places. Also, feel free to click on the hotel names for more info and booking. Enjoy!
The hotel is a little far from the airport, but don’t worry too much about road distances in Brunei. You can get there in no time. The hotel is located in Jerudong area, a very quiet and peaceful part of Bandar Seri Begawan, and you will definitely enjoy your time there. The rooms are beautiful and elegant. When I stayed there during the Christmas holidays, I saw that they were preparing a backdrop for the New Year’s Eve, so I guess they were planning an event then. I wish I was able to witness it. There was just one morning when I woke up to the sound of the mass at the mosque, but it was really calming and I did not really mind.
This is a hotel within a mall. On the Ground Floor, you will find restaurants and shops, and there are a lot of restaurants to choose from! Above the hotel are more shops and the cinema. You don’t need to go out of the building and it has got everything you need. It’s also very close to the airport. I stayed in a room with a window but no view, and if you got assigned to a room close to the elevator, you will hear the noise of the people. I did appreciate their complimentary newspaper, though. Breakfast buffet was a little meh.
I love Kolab Sor! The design was very minimalistic and the lobby was super big and beautiful! They have desktops that can be used by guests at the Ground Floor. The rooms were so minimalist and cozy. The shower was very spacious, and I remember clearly that they have a good set of toiletries. It is also near establishments like restaurants.
To be fair, this hotel is near Pub Street, but I had a lot of issues. The hotel is old and I feel like dusts are everywhere. The oldness of the hotel is like more of ‘woods and red carpets’ type. Elevators and hallways are a little creepy, but the rooms were surprisingly okay. They have a big pool but the water is dirty and mossy. Breakfast was served outdoor by the pool, but it doesn’t even look good, I did not trust its cleanliness, and they lack so many utensils and necessities.
They have a mini-outdoor gym but the equipment are just dumped in one side and accumulating rust. Oh, there was a power interruption exclusively in that hotel only for two nights and it scared the heck out of us! I feel like the place used to be very elegant (like Manila Hotel-type) but it just lost its former glory. Our shower’s ceiling also has a huge hole and we had to cover it in a plastic just to make sure nothing bad will happen.
Don’t trust the photos of this hotel you see in Agoda.
This place is located right at the heart of Mong Kok area and very close to the Mong Kok MTR station. There are so many establishments and big malls around and it is a busy area. The rooms resemble a typical Hong Kong tiny apartment, but it was clean and the view outside was great. They provide hot and cold water in a dispenser outside the room. The price is good for a private room in a hostel.
This is located in Central Bali (therefore far from the airport). It is situated in an area where a lot of farms are located, and it was really quiet there. I was told by the cab driver that the area is a favorite retreat spot of Westerners, so no wonder the vibe is like that. I rented a very nice rustic room for a very affordable price, and a healthy breakfast was served. The staff went the extra mile to help me with my broken luggage lock and even assisted me with my luggage upon check-in and check-out because the homestay was a few walks from the main road.
If you have been dreaming of a #thisvillalife Bali vacation, this place is perfect for you! Situated at the heart of Seminyak area, Villa Koru is a luxury 3-bedroom villa with a big and beautiful pool that can accommodate solo, couple, and family travelers! The staff were very helpful and efficient, and the owner was one of the kindest host I have met so far in all of my travels abroad! He will make sure you are provided with everything you might need: from floaters, to day tours, to airport transfers, and many more!
To be fair, the hotel has a relaxing vibe at the outside. There were trees, and the corridors are white. However,the room I stayed in was a little small, the AC unit was broken, there were no toiletries provided, and the water pressure was meh. The rooms have sliding doors and will not completely close, therefore you’ll hear all the sounds from the outside. I did not like my stay there hence I took back my payment for the next succeeding days I checked-in and went to another hotel. But, they have a big potential to improve.
You can literally walk from this hotel to the airport! It was a big hotel with many rooms, and I liked its swimming pool. It has a nice vibe with great music. The rooms are very clean, great, and comfy as well. The staff are very friendly and will give you tips on where to go around the area. Oh, they have free transfers to and from the airport, since it’s literally a couple of meters away.
Laos in general surprised me! And this hotel is part of all the surprises I had. The room I had is very, very cheap! The same quality in another country could cost 3 or 4 times I paid for Mini S Hotel. The staff, even though finding it hard to understand my accent, were very patient enough, and they were kind enough to help me out in terms of places to see. The small outdoor pool is also beautiful and every corner is clean and Instagrammable. I had the perfect chill vacation because of Mini S Hotel. they provided a porridge breakfast which was good and the hotel is near convenience stores, restaurants, and that al fresco restaurants by the Mekong River. They also provide shuttle services to the city center.
The moment I was looking for an accommodation in Macau for my very quick trip, Macau Hotel S caught my attention when I saw that it participated in a street art activity and its vicinity has a lot of beautiful street art (street art enthusiast here!). Macau Hotel S was not the cheapest deal, but it was the best deal.
The room I booked was so big and nice and I love their toiletries! I also love the complimentary jasmine tea they provide, and from my room window I have a nice view of the Macau Tower. It is also a few walks away from the bus stop which you can wait for a bus which could drop you exactly at the airport. It is a walking distance from tourist spots such as Senado Square. Lastly, I can’t stress enough that the hotel restaurant has a very creative interior and good food! I will definitely stay here again.
ViPod residences is a walking distance from Pavilion Mall and the KLCC train station, and it also has a club/bar just across, which also explains the presence of street food vendors around the area. Entering the building feels like you’re entering an Embassy or something. The security is a little tight, and there are several doors leading to the lobby. The room we stayed is very tidy and spacious and the price was really affordable. There is a convenience store at the ground floor (where I bought some Maggi Kari) and wait until you go to the rooftop pool and gym! The view of Petronas Towers is perfect!
This hotel is right in front of the Mandalay Railway Station which is very, very convenient! I love the whole ambiance of the hotel, from the reception area to the rooms. They serve a good breakfast, and the place is near many establishments, including a mall and the Ocean Supermarket. Staff are very friendly as well.
This hotel is just like a typical provincial home. The price is very cheap but you will be provided with a quality stay. It is located at the Old Bagan area which is near the market and the temple complex. They have bike and e-bike rental services. The staff are very kind and friendly. When we left our keys inside the room, one of the staff was kind and patient enough to climb the window just to get access to our room. We also saw squirrels through our windows and they are amusing.
What I love about this hotel is its interior design. They have a lot of artworks hanging around the entire place. Moreover, this hotel is right at the center of Yangon and everything is really accessible from there, from market to cinema, to the zoo, and the Sule Temple in particular. Their breakfast area and the way going to the rooms were a little tight, though. But if you are catching a flight at Yangon International Airport, I think this place is a strategic and practical one to choose.