Pit stop, Malaysia

- Maximising my extended layover in Kuala Lumpur -

Hello, Kuala Lumpur! 🇲🇾 Follow #martharoundtheworld on snapchat: marthah

A photo posted by Martha Huynh (@marthahuynh) on

I try to avoid budget airlines whenever I can, because my flight to Seoul in January traumatised me for life. But this time I took a chance and booked a budget flight from China to Australia, via Malaysia.

One of the reason it’s called ‘budget' is because the transit from destination A to B is ridiculously long and they don’t feed you (so I had to buy food at the airport and ended up getting food poisoned, but that’s another story.) My flight from Shanghai to Sydney had a 17 hours layover in Kuala Lumpur, which might sound dreadful but that was exactly what I wanted. Who said I was going to spend all those hours at the airport anyway. I landed in KL in the morning and departed again at night, enabling me to get a whole day of sightseeing.

I looked for the cheapest ticket to Sydney that I could find (about 1300RMB) with the most ‘convenient' layover - and voila, two countries for the price of one. 
Prior to my journey I would of course make sure if I needed a visa etc, find out how long it would take me to the airport into the city, pre-purchase the tickets online to avoid queuing at the airport and so on. Little things like planning a bit a head really helped me maximise my time to explore the city.

During my time in Kuala Lumpur I got to see the Patronas Twin Tower, the KL Tower, window shop at Central Market, sightsee around Chinatown and eat from local food stands (risking more food poison but yolo), visit one Hindu and one Buddhist temple and two different mosques, get familiar with the city’s metro, eat Malaysian cuisine, get attacked by monkeys at Batu Caves etc. Great times! Although half of my time was spent wandering around alone, I felt so happy and content. 

They say that travel broadens the mind, and opens a person up to different cultures and new experiences. This is certainly true, and if you are a woman traveling alone, even more so. It takes inner strength coupled with a sense of adventure to travel solo, yet it can be one of life’s most rewarding experiences
— Victoria Cox