Travel diary of a traveler who went to one of the 6 best destinations in Asia in a homestay experience.
Day 1: Homestay experience in Kuala Lumpur
Before departure, I bought a round-trip Air Asia ticket for Ho Chi Minh City – Kuala Lumpur with a preferential price (carry-on baggage only). Last day, Tan Son Nhat International Airport crowded. I lost a queue check-in procedures, exit, and security luggage.
I arrived at KUALA LUMPUR AIRPORT 2 (KLIA 2 – KL International Airport for AirAsia) at 12:45 local time, and took an hour to queue in for entry.
Lum Victor picked me up at the airport. I know him through Facebook, sometimes commenting on pictures and this is the occasion we meet in real life. From the arrival hall of KLIA 2, we follow the arrow pointing to KLIA Express – the tram ticket to Kuala Lumpur center.
There are 3 vehicles moving from KLIA 2 Airport to KL Sentral Center: RM 10 bus, 65 RM taxi, RM 55 tram. I choose the third, average fare, but fast moving time 35 minutes and avoid traffic jams.
At KL Sentral, I bought a high-speed train ticket for the Kuala Lumpur trip to Ipoh. From the order number to completing the purchase, I have to wait 3 hours, because people buy tickets to visit the house. Train ticket from KL Sentral station to Ipoh station is RM 70, travel time is 2½ hours.
At night, uncle Lum took me to experience the city by subway. We visited Chinatown on Petaling Street. It sells items such as clothing, bags, shoes … I thought I was in Little India in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.
Then, we took the train from Pasar Sani station to KLCC station. Stepping out of the train station and going up to the ground, we took a photo of the Malaysian Petronas Twin Towers, the tallest twin tower in the world with 88 floors.
With a passion for exchanging and exploring indigenous cultures, I joined the Couchsurfing social network. Through that, I asked local people for advice on places to visit, how to move, stay in a homestay, or meet coffee to share experiences. travel.
On this occasion, Abbey Thangiah gave me a one night stay in Kuala Lumpur before I went to Ipoh. Every Friday, he organizes a gathering of couchsurfers from all over the country. Me, I have the opportunity to meet you from all over the world such as Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Australia, USA …
Day 2: Explore Ipoh – the land of white coffee
The next morning, Abbey drove me to KL Sentral. The express train departs for Ipoh at 9 am as printed on the ticket. After two and a half hours, the train arrives at Ipoh Station, which is located in the old town.
The place I stayed was a bunk bed hostel called Bed & Bike Backpacker Studio Ipoh, located in Little India, about 10 minutes walk from Ipoh station. Many Westerners choose bunk beds in a dorm room for cheap from RM30 a night.
Ipoh is the capital of the Perak state, including the Old Town and the New Town. The old and new streets are separated by the Kinta River.
The afternoon is the ideal time for my leisurely stroll along the old town. To Ipoh, no visitor overlooks the ancient Panglima alley, formerly known as Concubine Lane.
Ipoh resembles Penang in character, at some corner of the street and alley, visitors will find murals painted in visual deception. The famous paintings in Ipoh are only counted on the fingers but also good enough for the unique feature of the “white coffee country”.
To better understand the culture and history of Ipoh development, I registered to visit two museums located on Bijeh Timah Road: Ho Yar Hor and Han Chin Pet Soo. Ho Yar Hor House was built in 1941, where Ho Yar Hor initiated the development of tea and herbal family. Today, his family’s tea plant exports large quantities of tea abroad.
Next to the Han Chin Pet Soo Museum, 120 years ago was a high-end Chinese club in Ipoh (the owner of tin mines). From 2015, the museum is open to visitors.
Explore Ipoh, I also enjoy food at the old eateries. Lou Wong is located on the famous 60-year-old Bandar Timah Road with boiled chicken rice and roasted chicken served with delicious chili sauce, priced at only RM 5.5.
Along the way, Nam Heong Restaurant is known for its white coffee and desserts. In addition, there are many fine restaurants around the Old Quarter.
At the end of the day, I turn into a small alley next to Plan B. In that shop, Bits & Bobs shop selling delicious coconut cream ecstasy, is worth a try, 10 RM price includes 3 peanut ice cream.
Day 3: Visiting the ancient buildings in suburban Ipoh
In the morning, Simon Wong – a local Couchsurfing member – drove me to the suburbs of Ipoh to visit the ancient buildings. Ipoh is famous for its cave-built temples.
The first stop is Kek Look Tong, which is Malay, Kek means very, Look is happy and Tong is the cave. Thus the name of the temple means “very happy cave”. The entrance to the cave is two rows of stairs carved like a carp. Inside the cave represents the stomach of the fish – contains all the luck, fun and happiness.
The walls and ceilings of the cave are all stalactites. Over the centuries, they have made a variety of images that I could imagine, such as the rat’s nose, the rhinoceros, the horse …
It is a 5-minute drive from Sam Poh Tong Temple, which was established in 1912 as a Buddhist temple of the Chinese community in Ipoh, located within a limestone hill. Today, the temples are the popular sights and attractions.
Next, we visited Da Sen Ngan Pagoda – also built in the cave and outside is a large yard. The temple has been active for about 2 years, outside and in the temple, there are countless large Buddha statues.
At lunch, we drove to Kellie Castle. The castle is named after William Scott Kellie Smith, owner of the rubber plantation. In 1909, he built his first mansion, Kellas, with an architectural combination of the three cultures of his homeland and Marocco, India. All building materials are imported from India.
Day 4: Return to Kuala Lumpur and Ho Chi Minh City
I picked up 9h to move from Ipoh station back to Kuala Lumpur by speedboat. Arriving at KL Sentral station at noon, Lum picked up and took me to a shopping mall. KL Sentral sells everything from clothing, shoes, cosmetics to food. Then, I take the KL Express train to KLIA 2 (RM55) for a return flight.
Hope you enjoy your stay in Kuala Lumpur!
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