“That’s where the tourists go”

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.

Our cab driver dropped us off in front of the Sultan Abdul Samad Building and said, “There, that’s where the tourists go” while pointing at the Merdeka Square and the museums surrounding it.

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.

What the actual fuck. I’m not traveling with other people again.

Jakarta, Indonesia (2019)

After attending an academic event at Surabaya in East Java, I decided to sleep on a friend’s couch because I wasn’t feeling well and I can’t die alone inside my hotel room just in case (sometimes I play the ‘worst case scenario’ game like how Randall and Beth do it on This Is Us).

Naturally, I asked her for recommendations on where to go, and she told me that I can take the train to Kota Tua, and Cafe Batavia is “where the tourists go”. She added that it’s a very touristy cafe, therefore the food is expensive.

Jakarta, Indonesia
Jakarta, Indonesia

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.

How to Appreciate Kuala Lumpur

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.

Any visit to a major city will not be complete unless you get to see its iconic structure. For most tourists visiting Kuala Lumpur, a photo with the Petronas Towers at the background is something mandatory. I had the chance to have a glimpse of this beautiful architectural wonder when my friends and I walked around KLCC before going to Dataran Merdeka because the stunning view of this twin towers can be seen in so many angles. Also, we stayed in an accommodation with an amazing rooftop pool with a beautiful view of the Kuala Lumpur skyline, including the Petronas Towers.

kuala lumpur
Are you planning a trip to Malaysia a la Anthony Bourdain? Click the banner above to check where Tony went.

#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.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CLehIcEH-V8/

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.

SNAPSHOTS: Asia Photo Essay #17: BERJALAN DATARAN MERDEKA

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.

Dataran Merdeka
KLCC PARK. From our accommodation at ViPod Residences in KLCC, we took a walk around the vicinity to go sightseeing before hopping on a cab going to Merdeka Square. I was excited to take street shots because I’m more comfortable and more creative if I’m in another city making photographs than when I’m in my own homeland. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that since the Philippines is so familiar to me and I see all the usual sights every single day, I underappreciate their beauty and therefore not really give much attention to them. I’m always obsessed about traveling outside and seeing fresh destination, but I tend to forget that my own ‘backyard’ has its own beauty.
Dataran Merdeka
CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT. A detour at a bank for a small errand has led us to observe the vicinity of the corporate area of Kuala Lumpur. Just like any other business district in Asia, you will encounter workers dressed in a typical Western corporate attire because they are working in an airconditioned office in a high-rise building despite having a very hot humid Southeast Asian weather outside. Walking around her feels very much like walking around the Makati Central Business District in Manila.
Dataran Merdeka
THE INTERSECTION. Traffic officers are very well-dressed and controlling the flow of the vehicles at the intersection of the Merdeka Square area. Just like any other Southeast Asian big city, Kuala Lumpur traffic could get crazy with all the vehicles especially during rush hour. I honestly can no longer remember how I ended up taking this photo, but I love how it depicts a busy scene and lots of movements. I don’t know about you, but I’m also hearing the noise of the road in this photograph. The part of Sultan Abdul Samad Building by the background gave the photo an even more interesting texture.
Dataran Merdeka
THE FOUNTAIN IS OFF. Had they turned on this fountain, it could make a perfect shot with the Sultan Abdul Samad Building at the background, but it’s totally fine. Adding an element of people inside the frame can usually add life to a photo. Street photography is known to have lots of people walking inside the frame, but most of the time they are not the subject of the photo.
Dataran Merdeka
THE INTERSECTION, AGAIN, DESATURATED, THIS TIME. As the sun kept on moving the whole afternoon, one corner of the area is expected to look differently at a certain interval. Now that the sun is about to set in this time, I made it a point to go back to the intersection, this time in another corner, to take a shot of the possible new shadows and exposures that the current direction of the sun provides. It’s still a busy and noisy road.
Dataran Merdeka
A NOT-SO-CROWDED SQUARE. There were only a few people at Dataran Merdeka during the time of our visit — mostly locals, a few tourists, including our group. As I saw a lady just sitting quietly at the square, I can’t help but think about how come I find it so hard to slow down at life. I’m living life everyday exhausting myself so much and always figuring out the next big thing. I want to go to lots of places. I want to achieve lots of things. I want to buy whatever I want. I can’t even manage to try doing what this lady is doing. I feel like it’s a waste of time because I only have a limited time in KL, so might as well go to as many places as I can. But, the good news is, fast forward to the time you’re reading it, I already learned how to slow down in life. Thank you, COVID-19.
Dataran Merdeka
THE ICONIC FACADE. Across Dataran Merdeka is the Sultan Abdul Samad Building where you can literally see how the former colonial rule influenced the building’s architecture and how it defines the present-day Kuala Lumpur. The building looks very stunning! While I want to take a perfect shot of the building, my noob photography skills did not allow me to. But hey, I love this shot.
dataran merdeka
BLANK (AND GREEN) SPACES. We all know that the concrete jungle which is Metro Manila was not gifted with an open green space this wide, so having something like this in the city of Kuala Lumpur at the Dataran Merdeka is a huge deal.

Feel free to check out hotels in Kuala Lumpur at agoda.com.

SNAPSHOTS: ASIA Trailer

SNAPSHOTS: ASIA PHOTO ESSAY #17: BERJALAN DATARAN MERDEKA (PIN IT! 📌)

Dataran Merdeka

OTHER SNAPSHOTS: ASIA PHOTO ESSAYS

dataran merdeka
dataran merdeka
dataran merdeka
dataran merdeka

How to Travel Around Malaysia According to Anthony Bourdain: 9 Things To Do

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.

Borneo Malaysia Travel Guide: Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown
MALAYSIA TRAVEL MAP. Photo from behance.net

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!

BORNEO MALAYSIA TRAVEL GUIDE:
AN ANTHONY BOURDAIN PARTS UNKNOWN ITINERARY

***Of course, credits to CNN for all the screencaps I uploaded for this article. (We miss you, Tony!)

PART I: KUALA LUMPUR

Klook.com

1. Have Chinese food for dinner at Restoran Wong Ah Wah (WAW) at Jalan Alor, Kuala Lumpur.

Borneo Malaysia Travel Guide: Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown
BORNEO MALAYSIA TRAVEL GUIDE: Anthony Bourdain having dinner at Restoran Wong Ah Wah (WAW) in Kuala Lumpur
Borneo Malaysia Travel Guide: Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown
Black Pepper Crab
Borneo Malaysia Travel Guide: Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown
Char Kway Teow
Borneo Malaysia Travel Guide: Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown
Tiger Beer
Borneo Malaysia Travel Guide: Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown
BORNEO MALAYSIA TRAVEL GUIDE: Restoran Wong Ah Wah (WAW) in Kuala Lumpur

Restoran Wong Ah Wah (WAW)

9 Off, 7, Jalan Alor, Cheras Batu 2 1/2, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tuesdays to Sundays, 530PM – 4AM
+60 3-2144 2463
https://www.facebook.com/WongAhWahRoastchickenwings/


2. Eat at Restoran Seetharam Family Curry House

Borneo Malaysia Travel Guide: Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown
Anthony Bourdain’s Meal at Restoran Seetharam Family Curry House
Borneo Malaysia Travel Guide: Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown
BORNEO MALAYSIA TRAVEL GUIDE: Restoran Seetharam Family Curry House in Kuala Lumpur

Restoran Seetharam Family Curry House

237, Jalan Tun Sambanthan, Brickfields, Wilayah Persekutuan, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Open Everyday for 24 Hours
+60 3-2274 6722
https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/South-Indian-Restaurant/Seetharam-family-curry-house-809934245698517/
Foodpanda Page


3. Eat kampung-style food at Aunty Aini’s Garden Cafe

Borneo Malaysia Travel Guide: Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown
Aunty Aini, the Owner of Aunty Aini’s Garden Cafe
Borneo Malaysia Travel Guide: Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown
Roast Beef
Borneo Malaysia Travel Guide: Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown
Poached Egg
Borneo Malaysia Travel Guide: Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown
Beef Rendang
Borneo Malaysia Travel Guide: Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown
BORNEO MALAYSIA TRAVEL GUIDE: Aunty Aini’s Garden Cafe

Aunty Aini’s Garden Cafe

Batu 16, Kampung Chelet, 71800 Nilai, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia
Tuesdays to Sundays, 11:30am–2:30pm, 5:30–9pm
+60 6-799 1276
https://www.facebook.com/auntyainiexpress/
https://www.instagram.com/auntyainisnilai/
Foodpanda Page


PART II. BORNEO

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4. Have laksa for breakfast at Choon Hui Cafe

Borneo Malaysia Travel Guide: Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown
Anthony Bourdain having laksa for breakfast at Choon Hui Cafe
Borneo Malaysia Travel Guide: Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown
Laksa
Borneo Malaysia Travel Guide: Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown
BORNEO MALAYSIA TRAVEL GUIDE: Choon Hui Cafe at Sarawak

Choon Hui Cafe

34, Jalan Ban Hock, 93100 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
Tuesdays to Sundays, 6:30–10:30AM
+60 82-243 857
https://m.facebook.com/profile.php?id=200693226619277&tn=C-R


5. Have an Alcohol-Free Karaoke Session at Kuching Waterfront

Borneo Malaysia Travel Guide: Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown
BORNEO MALAYSIA TRAVEL GUIDE: Brooke Dockyard at Kuching Waterfront
Borneo Malaysia Travel Guide: Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown
Anthony Bourdain having an alcohol-free afternoon at a karaoke bar
Borneo Malaysia Travel Guide: Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown
Locals in Sarawak dancing in a karaoke bar at Kuching

6. Have a Mini-Cruise at Skrang River

Borneo Malaysia Travel Guide: Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown
Anthony Bourdain on his way to visit Entalau

7. Stop for Lunch and Eat Bamboo Chicken by the River

Borneo Malaysia Travel Guide: Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown
Bamboo Chicken being cooked
Borneo Malaysia Travel Guide: Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown
Bamboo Chicken after cooking

SEE ALSO

borneo malaysia travel guide

8. Celebrate Gawai (Harvest Festival) with the Locals

Borneo Malaysia Travel Guide: Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown
Anthony Boudain being welcomed at Entalau for the Gawai

8.1. Visit a Longhouse at Entalau and get to know the Iban community.

Borneo Malaysia Travel Guide: Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown
BORNEO MALAYSIA TRAVEL GUIDE: Entalau
Borneo Malaysia Travel Guide: Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown
BORNEO MALAYSIA TRAVEL GUIDE: A Longhouse in Entalau
Borneo Malaysia Travel Guide: Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown
BORNEO MALAYSIA TRAVEL GUIDE: Inside a Longhouse in Entalau

8.2. Shoot a pig for Gawai

Borneo Malaysia Travel Guide: Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown
Anthony Bourdain shooting a pig for Gawai
Borneo Malaysia Travel Guide: Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown
Anthony Bourdain shooting a pig for Gawai

8.3. Drink Tuak, Langkau, and more booze until you pass out.

Borneo Malaysia Travel Guide: Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown
Locals having unlimited booze to celebrate Gawai
Borneo Malaysia Travel Guide: Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown
Locals passing out after drinking so much during Gawai celebration

8.4. Party, go to sleep, wake up, and repeat in the next three days.

Borneo Malaysia Travel Guide: Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown
Anthony Bourdain drinking different kinds of booze in Gawai
Borneo Malaysia Travel Guide: Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown
Anthony Bourdain passing out after drinking during Gawai

9. Get inked with a traditional Iban tattoo.

Borneo Malaysia Travel Guide: Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown
BORNEO MALAYSIA TRAVEL GUIDE: Getting a traditional Iban tattoo
Borneo Malaysia Travel Guide: Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown
Anthony Bourdain gets 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!

A Collection of Amazing Photos of Music Museum Malaysia Before It Closed Down

Music Museum Kuala Lumpur
Music Museum Kuala Lumpur

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

Music Museum Kuala Lumpur
Music Museum Kuala Lumpur
music museum malaysia
music museum malaysia
music museum malaysia

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.

music museum malaysia
music museum malaysia
music museum malaysia
music museum malaysia
music museum malaysia
music museum malaysia

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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After a trip to Kuala Lumpur, I just want to travel solo

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

kuala lumpur trip travel solo
After a Kuala Lumpur trip, I just want to travel solo. But first, a little background of my 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.

kuala lumpur trip travel solo
After a Kuala Lumpur trip, I just want to travel solo.

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?”)

kuala lumpur trip travel solo
After a Kuala Lumpur trip, I just want to travel solo.

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?

18 ART GALLERIES YOU CAN VISIT IN KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA

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

ART GALLERIES IN KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA:
ART GALLERIES IN KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA: Galeri Petronas
ART GALLERIES IN KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA:
ART GALLERIES IN KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA: Galeri Petronas

This museum in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is located at the third floor of Suria KLCC Mall, Galeri Petronas showcases several contemporary artworks.

GALERI PETRONAS
341-43, Suria KLCC PETRONAS Twin Towers, Persiaran Petronas, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50088 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tuesday-Sunday, 10AM-8PM
+60 3-2051 7770
https://www.facebook.com/GALERIPETRONAS/
https://www.instagram.com/galeripetronas/

2. KUALA LUMPUR CITY GALLERY

ART GALLERIES IN KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA:
ART GALLERIES IN KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA: KL City Gallery
ART GALLERIES IN KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA:
ART GALLERIES IN KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA: KL City Gallery

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

3. NATIONAL ART GALLERY

NATIONAL ART GALLERY
No. 2, Jalan Temerloh, Titiwangsa, 53200 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Monday-Sunday, 10AM-6PM
+60 3-4026 7000
https://www.facebook.com/nationalartgallerymalaysia/
https://www.instagram.com/nationalartgallerymy/

4. WEI-LING GALLERY

WEI-LING GALLERY
8, Jalan Scott, Brickfields, 50470 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tuesday-Friday, 10AM-6PM
Saturday, 10AM-5PM
+60 3-2260 1106
https://www.facebook.com/Weiling-Gallery-157878490904431/
https://www.instagram.com/weilinggallery/

5. ILHAM GALLERY

ILHAM GALLERY
Ilham Tower, 8, Jln Binjai, Kuala Lumpur, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Monday-Saturday, 11AM-7PM
Sunday, 11AM-5PM
+60 3-2181 3003
https://www.facebook.com/ilhamgallerykl/
https://www.instagram.com/ilhamgallerykl/

6. ANNEXE GALLERY

7. MAPKL @ PUBLIKA

MAPKL
Level G2-01, Block A5, No 1,, Jalan Dutamas 1, Solaris Dutamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Monday-Saturday, 11AM-6PM
60 3-6207 9732
https://www.facebook.com/mapkl/
https://www.instagram.com/mapkl_publika/

8. OUR ARTPROJECTS @ THE ZHONGSHAN BUILDING

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/

11. DIALOGUE IN THE DARK MALAYSIA

DIALOGUE IN THE DARK MALAYSIA
The Weld, LG-05-06, Jalan Raja Chulan, 50200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tuesday-Saturday, 11AM-6PM
Sunday, 2PM-6PM
+60 3-2770 6380
https://www.facebook.com/dialoguemalaysia/

12. ARTFORDABLE GALLERY

ARTFORDABLE GALLERY
10m, Jalan SS 21/35, Damansara Utama, 47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Tuesday-Friday, 1PM-7PM
Saturday-Sunday, 1PM-5PM
+60 3-7733 8538
https://www.facebook.com/ARTfordableGallery/

13. PELITA HATI GALLERY OF ART

PELITA HATI GALLERY OF ART
317, Lorong Maarof, Bangsar, 59000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Monday-Saturday, 10AM-6PM
https://www.facebook.com/phati1

14. ORIENTAL ART AND CULTURAL CENTER

ORIENTAL ART AND CULTURAL CENTER
10 & 12, Yayasan Elken, Jalan 1/137C, Batu, 5, Jalan Klang Lama, 58000 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tuesday-Sunday, 11AM-6PM
+60 3-7785 6363
https://www.facebook.com/OrientalArtCulturalCenter/

15. KITCH-N-ART GALLERY

KITCH-N-ART GALLERY
Jalan Dutamas 1, Solaris Dutamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tuesday-Sunday, 11AM-8PM
+60 12-247 5284

16. TMS ART GALLERY

https://www.instagram.com/p/BXDZjL9lmoP/

TMS ART GALLERY
34, Jalan Mengkuang, Desa Pahlawan, 55000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
+60 3-4251 5154
https://www.facebook.com/tmsart.com.my

17. GALLERIA PRIMA

GALERI PRIMA
Balai Berita, 31, Jalan Riong, Bangsar, 59100 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Monday-Sunday, 10AM-6PM
https://www.facebook.com/galeri.prima/
https://www.instagram.com/galeri.prima/

18. A+ WORKS OF ART

A+ WORKS OF ART
d6-G-8 d6 Trade Centre, 801, Jalan Sentul, 51000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tuesday-Saturday, 12PM-7PM
https://www.facebook.com/AplusArt.asia/
https://www.instagram.com/aplusart.asia/

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! 🙂

For more travel articles about Malaysia, click on the banner below:

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Malaysia

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.

art galleries in kuala lumpur
VIPOD RESIDENCE APARTMENT, KUALA LUMPUR
art galleries in kuala lumpur

OTHER ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS IN KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA

Otherwise, you may consider these accommodation options instead:

Visa-Free Southeast Asian Countries for Filipinos (Philippine Passport Holders)

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? 🙂

ALSO READ:
THE BEAUTY OF LEARNING ABOUT SOUTHEAST ASIA

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!

SEE ALSO:
FREE INSTAGRAM STORY TEMPLATE: SOUTHEAST ASIA TRAVEL BUCKET LIST

Without further ado, here is the list of visa-free Southeast Asian countries for Philippine passport holders:

BRUNEI DARUSSALAM (visa-free for 14 days)

Omar Ali Saiffudien Mosque Brunei
Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei

Anyone up with seeing some beautiful mosques and feeling a legitimate sense of peace away from your home countries? Brunei is definitely the place to be.

ALSO READ:
A COMPLETE GUIDE TO 23 INSTAGRAM-WORTHY SPOTS IN BRUNEI DARUSSALAM

For more travel articles about Brunei, click on the banner below:

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Brunei Darussalam

CAMBODIA (visa-free for 21 days)

southeast asia visa
Royal Palace, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
southeast asia visa
Pub Street, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Temple run, anyone? You are entitled to roam around Angkor complex in Siem Reap and explore magnificent historical structures around Phnom Penh without a visa!

Oh, btw. Some sad news: Cebu Pacific suspends Siem Reap route

ALSO READ:
WHERE TO STAY IN PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA: KOLAB SOR HOTEL

For more travel articles about Cambodia, click on the banner below:

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Cambodia

INDONESIA (visa-free for 30 days)

southeast asia visa
Bali Museum, Denpasar, Indonesia
southeast asia visa
Mount Bromo, Probolinggo, East Java, Indonesia
southeast asia visa
Hotel Majapahit Surabaya, Indonesia
southeast asia visa
Bank Museum, Jakarta, Indonesia

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?

ALSO READ:
VILLA RECOMMENDATION IN BALI, INDONESIA: VILLA KORU

For more travel articles about Indonesia, click on the banner below:

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Indonesia

LAOS (visa-free for 30 days)

southeast asia visa
Haw Phra Kaew, Vientiane, Laos

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.

ALSO READ:
WHERE TO STAY IN VIENTIANE, LAOS: MINI S HOTEL

For more travel articles about Laos, click on the banner below:

southeast asia visa

MALAYSIA (visa-free for 30 days)

southeast asia visa
Kuala Lumpur City Gallery, Malaysia
southeast asia visa
Sunway Lagoon, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia

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.

ALSO READ:
4 MUSEUMS TO VISIT IN KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA

For more travel articles about Malaysia, click on the banner below:

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Malaysia

MYANMAR (visa-free for 14 days)

southeast asia visa
Shwenandaw Monastery, Mandalay, Myanmar
southeast asia visa
Old Bagan Ruins, Myanmar
southeast asia visa
Yangon Zoological Garden, Myanmar

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.

ALSO READ:
15 (OF THE SO MANY) AWESOME PLACE TO VISIT IN MYANMAR

For more travel articles about Myanmar, click on the banner below:

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Myanmar

SINGAPORE (visa-free for 30 days)

southeast asia visa
Central Perk Cafe Singapore

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.

ALSO READ:
POSTCARDS FROM LITTLE INDIA, SINGAPORE

For more travel articles about Singapore, click on the banner below:

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Singapore

THAILAND (visa-free for 30 days)

southeast asia visa
Wat Pho, Bangkok, Thailand

From beautiful temples to happy people to nice beaches, Thailand is a perfect destination for almost all types of travelers. Drinking some Thai tea overlooking Chao Phraya River? Priceless.

ALSO READ:
BANGKOK, THAILAND TRAVEL: 11 AMAZING THINGS IN 24 HOURS

For more travel articles about Thailand, click on the banner below:

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Thailand

VIETNAM (visa-free for 21 days)

southeast asia visa
In front of Ben Thanh Market with a view of Bitexco Tower, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

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!

ALSO READ:
SHERLYN’S QUICK (AND HONEST) OVERSEAS HOTEL REVIEWS: TO STAY OR NOT TO STAY AGAIN?

For more travel articles about Vietnam, click on the banner below:

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Vietnam

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! 🙂

ALSO READ:
A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO TRAVEL PLUG ADAPTERS IN SOUTHEAST ASIA

Flying Around Southeast Asia: Direct Flights From Brunei Darussalam

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

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog 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:

Places to visit in Brunei Darussalam:

Omar Ali Saiffudin Mosque

https://www.instagram.com/p/B3yo6QEH9df/

Jame ‘Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque

https://www.instagram.com/p/BqNJbyvHUUv/

Kampong Ayer

https://www.instagram.com/p/BvrEqYqHZvM/

ALSO READ: A COMPLETE GUIDE TO 23 INSTAGRAM-WORTHY SPOTS IN BRUNEI DARUSSALAM

Where to stay in Brunei Darussalam:

So thank you, next! Where to? Did you know that you can actually directly fly to six (6) Southeast Asian countries from Brunei?

DIRECT FLIGHTS FROM BRUNEI DARUSSALAM: A COMPLETE GUIDE

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Indonesia

DENPASAR (DPS)

Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-DPS): 2 hours and 20 minutes

Airline that has direct flight from Brunei to Denpasar:
Royal Brunei Airlines Logo

Places To Visit in Denpasar:

Garuda Wisnu Kencana (GWK) Park

https://www.instagram.com/p/B4XHMXLnykR/

Bali Museum

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bv7-639Hk5X/

Goa Gajah Temple

https://www.instagram.com/p/By7hrZVntxG/

Where to stay in Denpasar:

JAKARTA (CGK)

Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-JKT): 2 hours and 20 minutes

Airline that has direct flights from Brunei to Jakarta:
direct flights from brunei

Places to visit in Jakarta:

National Gallery of Indonesia

https://www.instagram.com/p/BJkTUoPDmcn/

Wayang Museum

Museum Bank Indonesia

Where to stay in Jakarta:

SURABAYA (SUB)

Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-SUB): 2 hours and 10 minutes

Airline that has direct flights from Brunei to Surabaya:
direct flights from brunei

Places to visit in Surabaya:

Hotel Majapahit

https://www.instagram.com/p/B5oxtBknmeB/

Heroes Monument

House of Sampoerna

Where to stay in Surabaya:

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Malaysia

BINTULU (BTU)

Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-BTU): 55 minutes

Airline that has direct flights from Brunei to Bintulu:
direct flights from brunei

Places to visit in Bintulu:

Similajau National Park

Niah National Park

Taman Tumbina

Where to stay in Bintulu:

KOTA KINABALU (BKI)

Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-BKI): 40-45 minutes

Airline that flies directly from Brunei to Kota Kinabalu:
direct flights from brunei

Places to visit in Kota Kinabalu:

Mount Kinabalu

Desa Cattle Dairy Farm

Manukan Island

Where to stay in Kota Kinabalu:

KUCHING (KCH)

Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-KCH): 1 hour and 50 minutes

Airline that flies directly from Brunei to Kuching:
direct flights from brunei

Places to visit in Kuching:

Kuching Cat Museum

Fort Margherita

Bako National Park

Where to stay in Kuching:

KUALA LUMPUR (KUL)

Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-KUL): 2 hours and 20-25 minutes

Kuala Lumpur is known to have a lot of direct flights to Southeast Asia destinations, including flights to Brunei Darussalam, because of the presence of low-cost carrier AirAsia.

Airlines that fly directly from Brunei to Kuala Lumpur:
direct flights from brunei direct flights from brunei

Places To Visit in Kuala Lumpur:

Petronas Twin Towers

https://www.instagram.com/p/B2qY3ionRBw/

Kuala Lumpur City Gallery

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bt8cP5UHtjC/

Sultan Abdul Samad Building

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bled5AVnNLR/

ALSO READ: 4 MUSEUMS TO VISIT IN KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA

Where to stay in Kuala Lumpur:

SANDAKAN (SDK)

Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-SDK): 1 hour and 5 minutes

Airline that flies directly from Brunei to Sandakan:
direct flights from brunei

Places to visit in Sandakan:

Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Park

Turtle Islands National Park

Puu Jih Shii Temple

Where to stay in Sandakan:

SIBU (SBW)

Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-SBW): 1 hour and 10 minutes

Airline that flies directly from Brunei to Sibu:
direct flights from brunei

Places to visit in Sibu:

Tua Pek Kong Temple

Sibu Central Market

Sibu Night Market

Where to stay in Sibu:

TAWAU (TWU)

Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-TWU): 1 hour and 5 minutes

Airline that flies directly from Brunei to Tawau:
direct flights from brunei

Places to visit in Tawau:

Tawau Hills National Park

Teck Guan Cocoa Museum

Tawau Tanjung Market

Where to stay in Tawau:

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Philippines

MANILA (MNL)

Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-MNL): 2 hours and 35 minutes

Manila is known to have a lot of direct flights to Southeast Asia destinations, including flights to Brunei Darussalam, because of the presence of low-cost carrier Cebu Pacific.

Airlines that fly directly from Brunei to Manila:
direct flights from brunei direct flights from brunei

Places to visit in Manila:

National Museum of Natural History

https://www.instagram.com/p/By4xf0InBf_/

National Museum of Fine Arts

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bo_W05gnHH0/

Filling Station Bar Cafe

https://www.instagram.com/p/BuTkADZHiwO/

ALSO READ: A COMPLETE GUIDE TO 64 INSTAGRAM–WORTHY SPOTS IN MANILA, PHILIPPINES

Where to stay in Manila:

ALSO READ: TOP 10 PLACES TO STAY IN LUZON, PHILIPPINES

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Singapore

SINGAPORE (SIN)

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:
direct flights from brunei direct flights from brunei

Places to visit in Singapore:

ArtScience Museum

https://www.instagram.com/p/B3PhVfsnUIe/

Little India

https://www.instagram.com/p/BzqZs4RHQjz/

SEE ALSO: POSTCARDS FROM LITTLE INDIA, SINGAPORE

Kampong Glam

https://www.instagram.com/p/B3PleohHUCW/

Where to stay in Singapore:

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Thailand

BANGKOK (BKK)

Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-BKK): 2 hours and 45 minutes

Bangkok is known to have a lot of direct flights to Southeast Asia destinations, including flights to Brunei Darussalam. It is also a good transit point to many Southeast Asian destinations.

Airline that flies directly from Brunei to Bangkok:
direct flights from brunei

Places to Visit in Bangkok:

Grand Palace Bangkok

https://www.instagram.com/p/B4PJKFmHda1/

Wat Arun

https://www.instagram.com/p/B4ATGnlnWM9/

Soi Nana (Chinatown)

https://www.instagram.com/p/B5K4FMbH6pU/

ALSO READ: BANGKOK, THAILAND TRAVEL: 11 AMAZING THINGS IN 24 HOURS

Where to stay in Bangkok:

ALSO READ: 5 REASONS TO CHECK-IN AT THE JOURNEY HOTEL LAKSI BANGKOK

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Vietnam

HO CHI MINH CITY (SGN)

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:
direct flights from brunei

Places to visit in Ho Chi Minh City:

Bitexco Financial Tower

https://www.instagram.com/p/BlzLffWnr7_/

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?

ALSO READ: THE BEAUTY OF LEARNING ABOUT SOUTHEAST ASIA

Sherlyn’s Practical and Honest Overseas Hotel Reviews: To Stay Again or Not to Stay Again?

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!

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Brunei Darussalam

STAR LODGE, BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

Star Lodge Hotel Brunei
Image from agoda.com

Will stay here again? YES!

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.

TIMES HOTEL, BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

Times Square Hotel Brunei
Image from agoda.com

Will stay here again? Why not?

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.

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Cambodia

KOLAB SOR PHNOM PENH HOTEL, PHNOM PENH

(CLICK HERE FOR A DETAILED REVIEW OF KOLAB SOR PHOM PENH HOTEL)

Kolab Sor Phnom Penh Hotel Cambodia
Image from agoda.com

Will stay here again? YESSS!

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.

NEW ANGKORLAND HOTEL, SIEM REAP

hotel reviews

Will stay here again? Haha! Please, no.

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.

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Hong Kong

AH SHAN HOSTEL, HONG KONG

hotel reviews
Image from agoda.com

Will stay here again? Sure.

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.

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Indonesia

DTEGALE HOMESTAY, BALI

Dtegale Homestay Bali Indonesia

Will stay here again? YES.

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.

VILLA KORU, BALI

(CLICK HERE FOR A DETAILED REVIEW OF VILLA KORU)

Vills Koru Bali Indonesia

Will stay here again? DEFINITELY, YES!!!

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!

SIGURAS LIVING GUEST HOUSE, BALI

Siguras Living GuestHouse Bali Indonesia

Will stay here again? Uhm, okay.

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.

HARRIS HOTEL RESIDENCES, SUNSET ROAD, BALI

Harris Hotel and Residences Sunset Road Bali Indonesia
Image from agoda.com

Will stay here again? Yes.

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.

hotel reviews

MINI S HOTEL, VIENTIANE

Mini S Hotel Vientiane Laos

Will stay here again? OMG YES!

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.

hotel reviews

MACAU HOTEL S

Macau Hotel S

Will stay here again? OMG YES!

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.

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Malaysia

VIPOD RESIDENCES, KUALA LUMPUR

ViPod Residences Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
Processed with VSCO

Will stay here again? Yes yes yes!

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!

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Myanmar

OWAY GRAND HOTEL, MANDALAY

Oway Grand Hotel Mandalay Myanmar
Image from agoda.com

Will stay here again? Yes.

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.

GOLDEN CROWN MOTEL, BAGAN

(CLICK HERE FOR A DETAILED REVIEW OF GOLDEN CROWN MOTEL)

Golden Crown Motel Bagan Myanmar

Will stay here again? Yes!

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.

EAST HOTEL, YANGON

East Hotel Yangon Myanmar
Image from agoda.com

Will stay here again? Okay.

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.