So my trip to Malaysia was not only a much needed break for me but an eye opener in more ways than one.
To begin with I realised the power of Mr. Modis 1.25 billion Indians and how they are constantly on the move.
Honestly in the rarefied atmosphere of SOBO one is quite ignorant of the number of Indians who travel by air and how their profile has changed. Gone are the days when one spotted well suited travellers at the airport being sent off by beaming or anxious relatives.Today’s airport was teeming with passengers who trooped in unattended confidently waving goodbye to those coming to see them off at the main entrance of T2, Mumbai’s new International Airport even if they were first time travellers.
I had never before attended a sponsored trip so I was quite excited to be part of a contingent that was being shown the best of Malaysia by Tourism Malaysia. My co-travelers consisted of main stream journalists Vishnu who was representing the Navbharat times, Swati who was representing Pudhari and Sudipta who specialised in hospitality and travel at the Indian Express. Beinu who is the editor of an e-commerce website apnamoney.com is also a blogger. Our Team was led by Deepa who worked with Beehive, the PR agency for Tourism Malaysia.
Since our trip was sponsored by Tourism Malaysia it was natural that we travel by their national carrier Malaysia Airlines and it was equally natural that my friends and family were apprehensive about my trip given the tragic incidents that Malaysia Airlines had to face this year. However, we all know that lightening never strikes twice !
Our flight was uneventful and smooth and we landed in Kuala Lumpur early in the morning just after sunrise.
KLIA 2 is huge and we had to take an aerotrain from one terminal to the next where we had to clear immigration and collect our baggage.
As soon as we stepped out, we were welcomed by our guide Jeevan who sported a cheery Batik shirt and a wide welcoming smile.
He helped us with our SIM cards for those wanted to remain connected with home. Having had the terrible experience of being billed for a humoungous amount the last time I travelled overseas, I didn’t want to activate my International roaming but since I didn’t need to be connected with anyone at home at all times, I didn’t go for the DIGI SIM card that everyone bought. Sudipta, the seasoned traveller infact, told me that if we get free WiFi, there is no need to buy a local SIM as one can connect with What’sApp and email. Thanks Sudipta for this tip! The others bought a card for RM50 that helped them call home and which they could top up easily at any SIM card outlet.
KLIA 2 is a huge airport that is clean and easy to move around in thanks to the excellent signage. Taking every comfort of the passenger into account, the airport has travellators which make the long walk seem short and lots of toilets at regular intervals. There is also a Tourism Malaysia counter near the exit.
Getting to the city centre
Since Jeevan had a van waiting for us, we didn’t need to look for taxis to take us to the city centre as the airport is located an hour away from KL.
However, taxis and buses are aplenty but the easy and fastest way to travel , especially if you are more adventurous or better travelled, you could always go for the KL Express, for a half hour ride into town.
Duration & Fare
KL Sentral to KLIA – 28 minutes, RM35.00
KL Sentral to KLIA2 – 33 minutes, RM35.00
KLIA to KLIA2 – 3 minutes, RM2.00
The moment we got into the van, Jeevan began his traditional welcome which we were to hear many times that week :
A granny who always sees the humour in life and tries to do things differently. When others make cupcakes, this granny makes banana fritters. When she’s not busy chasing her grandchildren who love making her run around, she indulges in her passions of reading, writing, meeting friends and watching movies. And somewhere between all this she enjoys travelling and cooking!
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