Kuala Lumpur – Big City Lights

13 12 2014

The fact that we caught our flight to Kuala Lumpur was sort of a miracle. I never left a hotel room faster. It went something like this:

Me: “Alex, what day is today?”

Alex: “September 12”

Me: “I think we lost our flight!”

… and we were suddenly in a running mode. Threw everything we could see in our backpacks, did the fastest check out in history, thank god we had the airport ride included, the driver was kind enough to speed for us and we went speeding through check in and passport control, all the time laughing like two crazy girls on the backpacking trip of their lives.

We were super excited. I’ve heard a lot of good things about KL and I was curious and eager to explore it in the very limited time we had available. We landed at 11:45 am and soon we were in the city. We were staying in a guest house,  who lured us with good backpacking prices, a double room with a “shower” and AC. Now when I look back, I feel like laughing, but when we arrived, the only thing we could say to ourselves was “we won’t stay here long anyways so it does not matter how terrible this room is!” I mean, I lived in quite some places, washed myself out of a bucket in my first days in Ghana, I don’t even want to remember how the first flat I lived in India looked like… so its safe to say I am a seasoned traveler, but that “bathroom”!?!…

We were out of there as fast as possible :), ready to meet the city. Food was the first thing on our minds so we stopped in a street corner, with red plastic chairs, cold beer available and yummy smell all around. The food was great, we really enjoyed it. I like eating street food everywhere I travel. I feel intimidated in fancy restaurants and I don’t see the point eating in places full of expats. The more locals I see gathered in a place, eating, the more I want to eat there.

After our meal, I also found Bakkwa. Rach always brought some for me from Singapore, and when I found it in KL, I was very very excited. It was delicious, so I was all set for a day of walking around. We had the right shoes, right sunscreen and the right attitude 🙂 We started in China Town and we made our way walking to the crafts market, the Sultan Abdul Samad building and a few other touristy places. Both Alex and I love walking but I wouldn’t say  KL is the right place for it. It is crowded and I forgot how much I dislike crowded places. The city just didn’t resonate with me. We left the Petronas Twin Towers for the evening, and now I don’t even remember why we wanted to see them. They are an important part of the KL concrete jungle. Lots of lights, lots of people taking pictures and trying to fit the tours in. We left in a hurry, as we wanted to have dinner and we spotted some really nice street corners with satay, fresh fruits and more red plastic chairs.

Next day we went to see the Batu Caves and the Botanical Garden. So much for exploring non touristy paths!

At Batu Caves Alex had a funny encounter with a scheming little fellow. He went really fast for her biscuits but left her the water bottle. I was quite entertained and so was Alex 🙂 We watched him running afterwards from his mates, trying to be selfish. He wasn’t very successful I’m afraid.

My favorite place was the Botanical Garden. Just my kind of place, green, almost empty, the perfect place to take a walk and forget that there is dust and traffic a few meters away. It was a perfect ending to our trip to KL, even if the trip did not end there. But I prefer to remember it this way 🙂

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The KL city sign – the touristy thing to photograph and then go home and edit 🙂

We had our first meal here... duck duck duck!

We had our first meal in this street corner… duck duck duck!

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A spot of green in the concrete jungle 🙂

Dinner Time

Dinner Time

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Our own Satay Corner

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yum

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Big City Lights

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Candles at Batu Caves

Steps to redemption maybe?

Steps to redemption maybe?

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We did not climb…

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Alex being robbed 🙂

I never did this in India... there's a first time for everything!

I never did this in India… there’s a first time for everything!

Women's wagon

Women’s wagon

Perdana Botanical Garden

Perdana Botanical Garden

And my favorite spot in the entire KL :)

And my favorite spot in the entire KL 🙂

One last tea before our departure

One last tea before our departure… in a bookstore of course 🙂





“I’m Going on an Adventure!”

9 06 2014

Again 🙂

This year has been all about traveling. 10 brand new countries to add to my growing list as I’ve been inspired by a friend to have a traveling objective before turning 30… yup, 30 countries before turning 30 in October… and it’s totally happening! And I am not counting Romania, as I was born there and lived in Iasi for a huge chunk of my life 🙂 But you… you must GO and visit Romania, it is absolutely beautiful and you will fall in love forever!

So about this big trip I am talking about… It will be epic: Brussels -> London -> Dubai -> Brunei -> Kuala Lumpur -> Melbourne -> Tasmania -> Sydney -> Great Reef Barrier -> New Zealand -> Melbourne -> Brunei -> London -> Brussels/Amsterdam (I haven’t decided yet).

The tickets are bought except for London -> Brussels/Amsterdam and it’s happening a couple of months from now, before I am moving back home in Romania for a short while, with the noble purpose of writing my master thesis, finishing my secret project and taking my driver’s license!!! Lots to accomplish by the end of January 2015 :), and EVERYTHING just makes me so happy.

My sister told me something on the phone the other day, after I told her about my epic adventure. She is worried because it feels like I am racing to do everything and see everything before I run out of time somehow. What she said made me think; realize most of my life I just felt sort of immortal. Yes, I know I am not. I don’t want to live forever, I also don’t hope to die young. But for sure, I do want to see everything!!! And I am a careful traveler and my partner in “crime” is smart and as careful and just great!

I started traveling around Romania in 2005 and in the summer of 2006 I left the country for my first trip outside. I felt in love with Vienna and Paris and Monaco and Cannes. Hated the smell in Venice and was too tired to like Amsterdam. I don’t remember anything about The Hague or Brussels. It was one of those super lousy bus trips. We were traveling by night and visiting cities by day… And then I entered Louvre for the first time… ❤

I swore off organized bus trips in those 3 weeks but my passion for traveling grew to be one of the few exclusive things that make me incredibly happy. I read travel blogs and write down lists with things I want to experience, places I want to see and food I just have to eat. And then I go! I am not talking about fancy traveling. I am talking about taking my backpack and exploring. And yes, sometimes taking the bus 🙂 I did it in India, in Brazil and in Thailand and in lots of other places… of course, not for 3 weeks in a row… We fly low-cost and use youth hostels and backpackers heavens… We eat delicious street food while we walk around with starry eyes.

I grew a lot as a traveler since spending 6 months in Ghana in 2009 without even having my own photo camera. I believe traveling changed me for the better and I cherish my photographs more than any other of my possessions. I don’t always have time to blog about my adventures and some moments are so precious that I don’t want to share them with anyone else… But if I were to give one piece of advice to a large group of people… I would say: Travel and see the world! And do it with respect for the people and the country you are visiting.

I hope you all found the things in your life that make you incredibly happy and I hope you enjoy these things as much as possible!

Me happy 😛

Ghana 2009, picture taken by Emma with Klepo's camera :)

Ghana 2009, picture taken by Emma with Klepo’s camera. Can’t believe it’s been almost 5 years!








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