If you know me personally, you must have seen how stressed I have been the past couple of weeks.
Events, write-ups for news sites I work for, marketing work, some freelance work with the United Nations (which I finished today, yay!), diplomat’s wife duties, and there’s also The Binge. ???? Of course, I’m not complaining. My career is on a pretty good roll, and I’ve never been this fit. Alvin has been constantly reminding me to slow down though since I’m quite overworked. He is kinda right.
My eye bags looked more like luggage and I’ve been experiencing some back pain despite my regular workouts. ???? My brain is constantly on overdrive that sometimes I even dream of work! I truly needed a moment of relaxation as my husband suggested!
EOS Wellness invited me over just in time and I swear, I made the right choice to squeeze it into my already-packed schedule. A lot of times, we just need to hit the pause button and just relax. I needed a full on reboot and I got it that day in the couple of hours that I spent there.
Kuala Lumpur is peppered with amazing places to get a good drink and hang out with your friends. Options are way too many and I often find myself in a new place with friends enjoying food as well as a good drink or two.
One of my best friends here in KL, Samia, moved to Canada last month. But before she left, I tagged along with her to a new bar and shisha place in Cheras.
Madhouse KL is located just a stone’s throw away from the new IKEA in Cheras. It attracts mainly a local crowd as this area of the city is not really on the touristy side. Although it’s a place that has lots of restaurants and bars.
Chairs that light up with different colours give the whole place a fun and eclectic vibe. Going up the stairs, you’ll also see beer pong tables, digital dart games, as well as pool tables. A humungous foosball set is also being built.
There’s loud music, something that I prefer not to have when I’m with my friends so we can talk more and I can enjoy my drink in peace. Man, I really am getting old. However, there’s something in Madhouse KL that will make people want to come back. Even if like me, you’re no longer into the whole noisy, party environment.
As a diplomat’s wife, I often get the fun yet daunting task of taking visitors of the embassy around KL. Fun, because I love playing tour guide. Daunting because sometimes, people I need to show around KL have already been here before so I need to find a new place to take them. I wouldn’t want them bored, repeating the same sights and activities they’ve done before.
This is where the Masjid Wilayah Persekutuan comes in. The husband and I actually saw it from afar months ago – during our first excursion to Publika.
It’s a gorgeous, imposing structure that really had us wanting to visit for the longest time. However, we never got around to doing it – until recently.
Right in the centre of Kuala Lumpur is its own Little India. The husband and I were able to walk around its main street during one of our weekend afternoons which we usually spend either sightseeing within the city or furniture shopping.
Brickfields is a neighbourhood near KL Sentral station. It’s easily accessible and is a place known for good bargains (from food, grocery items, to accessories) and a good mix of modern meets traditional architecture.
Just wanted to do a quick post on this neighbourhood (which we visited after our trip to the Planetarium) and share some photos taken along the area’s main street, Jalan Tun Sambanthan:
The husband and I are suckers for beautiful architecture – be it modern or more on the classical side. I’ve fallen in love with several European and Asian cities because of their skylines and the feeling I get when I walk around the city, surrounded by stunning buildings. They just add so much character (some even add to the city’s history) to a certain place.
So it’s no wonder that I enjoyed our short afternoon trip to Putrajaya, Malaysia’s seat of government, a couple of weeks back. We went with 3 of Alvin’s colleagues who were nice enough to drive us around.
It’s quite easy to get to Putrajaya from Kuala Lumpur – you can take the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) Transit (don’t take the express train as it won’t stop at Putrajaya station and will go straight to the airport!) or you can take a Rapid KL bus marked ‘E1’. It will pick up passengers in the Pasar Seni and KL Sentral train stations. However, once you actually get to Putrajaya, it’s quite hard to navigate without your own car. So some tourists opt to hire a taxi within the city and agree on a fixed price with the driver who will also act as your tour guide.
Though Putrajaya is now the seat of government, Kuala Lumpur remains to be Malaysia’s national capital and the seat of the King.
Malaysia only shifted their seat of government in the late 90s to avoid congestion in the capital.
Almost all of the ministries are now in Putrajaya except for the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, and the Ministry of Works which are still in KL.
A 650-hectare, man-mad lake is found in the middle of the city. The Malaysian government has said before that the main reason (aside from the obvious aesthetics and recreation opportunities it can bring) the lake was made was to act as a “natural cooling system” for the city. And man, do they need it. Putrajaya is way more hot and humid than KL. I couldn’t stand not having a roof over my head for 2 minutes. I cannot possibly imagine how hot it would be without that lake.
Okay, enough yapping. Let me show you the breathtaking view from the elevated Putrajaya International Convention Centre:
I haven’t posted anything in days as we have been busy putting the condo together. And now, I am quite glad to report that we’ve made substantial progress. We now have couches in the living room, the TV is off the floor and finally on its own chocolate brown stand, and our 6-seater dining set is now in place.
We even got curtains up on the sliding glass panels that open to the balcony yesterday and our cooker (with an oven!) was delivered today. I can’t wait to start cooking. Maybe we’ll look into buying pots and pans this weekend. I’ll share photos of the condo in a couple of days but for now, I’d like to share a fun activity we did here in the city a couple of days ago. It’s something I’d recommend to families with children. We don’t have our own – yet.
We’re more like children at heart (not childish, I hope) and we enjoy activities like going to theme parks and checking out toys like Lego Star Wars sets and robots. So for one of our weekends, the husband and I went over to the Planetarium Negara (National Planetarium). I personally love Planetariums and reading about space programmes in other countries (so is my husband but I honestly think he’s nerdier than I am when it comes to this).
I would pretend I was an astronaut or a member of the Rebel Alliance back when I was a kid. Yep, Star Wars geek through and through. We took the train to Pasar Seni station (Kelana Jaya Line) and walked towards the Kuala Lumpur Lake Gardens – a huge complex that houses several KL attractions such as the Bird Park (which we plan to visit when my Mom and her boyfriend come over), the Butterfly and Deer Parks (these are reserved for my grandma and my parents-in-law).
The National Mosque and Islamic Art Museum is are also in that area and we plan to visit them in the next couple of weeks. After getting off Pasar Seni, you would have to go through the Old Railway Station (which still works, serving a different line) and walk towards Jalan Lembah then Jalan Perdana.
Ah, so touristy of us! But you see, here’s my travel philosophy: Do the touristy stuff first, then do what locals do. Don’t you dare leave the country without doing both or else, the experience would be somehow half-baked. You see, I believe that touristy places are ‘touristy’ for a reason. (Read: When I say touristy, I don’t mean tourist traps!) They’re popular because they’re worth a visit. I’m a sucker for museums, national parks, and monuments as they are great places to learn more about the country’s history and people.
So – for my husband and I’s first free weekend here in KL, we went to Merdeka Square, the KL City Gallery, and the Central Market. Along the way, we were able to pass by beautiful vintage architecture as well as Masjid Jamek (This was around 3 weekends ago so I’m kinda late in posting this! So sorry about that – been rather busy). I haven’t been to Malaysia before and though my husband has been here a couple of times, he has never set foot in most of Malaysia’s historically important places. IMHO, going to KL just for shopping and not really appreciating the place is a complete waste of time and funds. The city is so rich with culture and diversity – it’s a must to get out there to learn and experience everything first hand!
Well, the husband does admit that his travels prior to meeting me were complete brouhahas and now, getting to visit new (and even old places) are more fun cos he now has better company. We’re cheesy like that. 😉
Where was I? Ah, our little field trip right smack in the middle of the city. We left the house at around 11 in the morning. The sun rises and sets pretty late here in KL this time of year so it wasn’t that hot yet but I still opted to bring a water bottle and stash it in my bag as we will be gone the whole day and I knew there will be lots of walking involved so I dressed for comfort.
We live within the City Centre otherwise known as KLCC and it’s pretty easy to get to our destination via the LRT (Kelana Jaya Line). For tourists, this is also the best way to get around the capital as traffic here can be pretty heavy. The best station to get off from is Masjid Jamek which is only 3 stations away from KLCC and 2 from KL Sentral (where a lot of the hotels are). The train ride costs RM1.60 (Php21.91, US0.50, EUR0.37) per person, one way. It’s a bit of a walk from the station to Merdeka Square which is our major destination but it’s the farthest thing from boring.
One of the fist things you will see after getting off the station is Masjid Jamek (Jamek Mosque) which is also known as the Friday Mosque. Yes, the train station is named after it so it’s easy enough to remember! 🙂