Living in The Philippines > Travel: Countries to Visit from the Philippines

Kuala Lumpur

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Recently visited Kuala Lumpur.

Great place! Extremely clean. Very modern. The superhighways must have been built by American engineers.  :) The medians and toll booths look exactly like those in the U.S. They even have "Smart Pass" which allows users to drive through the toll booth without stopping.

I stayed near Chinatown. The hotels are many and varied in levels of comfort and/or convenience. No jeepneys! Yeah!!! That means no black diesel smoke. You can use taxis (I would not because they like to argue the price), buses or LRT. The buses are clean and air conditioned. The LRT system was my choice. You enter a station and purchase your token at a video kiosk. The token is swiped to enter and then deposited at you exit turnstile. The maps on the kiosk are easy to learn after one or two trips. On my first trip I missed the transfer station so I got off and the nice security person guided me back onto the train and told me where to get off. No extra charge for my error. The trains are very cool (cold) which I liked. They are clean and run on time.

Chinatown was nice to visit. I went early in the morning before the traffic was heavy. Be careful when shopping because cars, vans and trucks use the same street where the shops and stores are located. I found a nice breakfast buffet in a hotel. Take you time and shop. Compare prices because the same item will vary greatly in price at different locations. Wait until you get to Petronas Towers to exchange currency because the rates are much better!

Petronas Towers are very nice. I have been in other tall buildings so the tour to the observation was not the biggest attraction for me. I did go on the tour and it was well conducted. The tour goes to the connecting bridge first and then to the observation deck. It lasts approximately 1 hour. Reserve your tickets online weeks before you go. The first day I went to the towers it was 11am and they were already sold out for the entire day. The next morning I arrived at 7am and waited until they opened at 8:30am. Even then I was fortunate to get a ticket. By 9:30am all the non-reserved tickets were sold.

The best part is the mall. Five floors of shopping and food. Yippie! I had a nice salad at Chili's to satisfy my American taste buds. The frozen Margarita tasted just like the ones back home. Sadly, no one seems to know how to make a mixed drink in the Philippines.  :( The mall at Petronas has every upscale store you can imagine. Louis Vutton, Gucci, Prada, etc. Everything imaginable. I spent 3 days and did not visit every every place of business at the mall in Petronas Towers.

Immigration in Malaysia is nothing. Simply state the purpose of your visit "tourist" and they stamp your passport. Same thing upon exiting. No baggage check or declaration hassles. Only pass through scan as in any airport. They need to send all immigration personnel from Manila to Malaysia for training on how to respect the guests.  :D

One small problem in communication at the Cebu Pacific counter in Kuala Lumpur. The young lady asked me for "Exit" ticket. Hmmm. Is she talking about Exit Clearance? I have no exit ticket. Then she says, "I will keep your passport." Oh...wait a minute! Then I asked to speak to the manager. He used the same term: Exit ticket. Ok, I am leaving your country and here is my ticket back to the Philippines. So what is the problem? He says, "Mam, when you arrive in the Philippines you must have an "Exit" ticket." There is that word again! Grrrr. Finally, I determined the word he should be using: "Ongoing ticket"!!!! I had my "ONGOING TICKET" with me. Strange that they demand to see it in Malaysia, but no one has ever asked to see one in Manila. Oh well, communication problem solved. On the way home a nice flight attendant offered us better seating and the duty free menu. We ordered a bottle of Johnny Walker Black Label. It was only 100 pesos more than if we would have bought it in the Philippines. He brought us continual glasses of ice and we had a great flight home.

Art, just a re(tired) Fil-Am:
Nice to read about your trip to Kuala Lumpur, sounds like an adventure! I'm sure you have many other places to see and to share with us on here!
As long you have your confirmed return ticket back to the U.S., that will be your return, on-ward or on-going ticket when you travel outside of the Philippines and or upon your return to the Philippines.
Another question: Is your return ticket refundable and or an open return ticket? Some airlines are fussy about a return aka on-ward ticket return dated being out beyond the 30 day free entry permit or 59 days out of your visa, but a member on here, BI told him that the return aka on-ward ticket date doesn't matter!! It's just a hit or miss kind of question by the airlines who make up their own rules and policies and doesn't necessarily comply with the RP BI's rules and regulations, but to be safe, ask the carrier prior to your departure from the Philippines and if possible get in writing from them or from the airline representative of which carrier you will be on going to another country for a short visit! Never hurts to cover all the bases!     
Enjoy your travels and stay safe!
Take care!


Good point!

I never thought to ask about their expectations for an "on going" ticket.

In my case it was a Cebu Pacific counter agent and I gave him my "on going" ticket. It is Cebu Pacific ticket from Manila to Kota Kinabalu and the travel date is for June 2014. He just glanced at it and said, "thank you mam".

Moreover, I arrived here on a "one way" ticket from the U.S., but I did have an ongoing ticket that also had a departure date approximately one year after my arrival date here. Nobody at immigration asked to see the ongoing ticket. I even went into the airport immigration office to get my first extension and no one asked to see my "on going" ticket.  8)

I keep reading these newspaper articles about how they want to increase tourism, but they do everything possible to discourage people from wanting to travel here because immigration is not user friendly. They made me jump through so many hoops I began to feel like a trained circus dog.  ;) Malaysia made me feel welcome and it took only a few minutes to clear immigration. Here it can take days!

Art, just a re(tired) Fil-Am:
That's OK too going to the Philippines from the U.S. on a one-way ticket with an on-ward cheap (throwaway) ticket to Kota Kinabalu from Manila weather you use it or not to satisfy the airlines requirement of the on-ward ticket rule!
A member on here, Lee posted about that Delta Airlines in the East Coast are the ones fussy about about the return date going beyond the 29 to 59 days stay in the Philippines, but since they fly Balikbayan status, they got by the airline ticket agent. As I mentioned, another member on here also was informed by BI that the return ticket date doesn't matter, but it's a good idea to ask the airline you will be flying on just to play it safe if they give you any hassles about your on-ward ticket departure date, it does happen sometimes, because it appears that the airlines in every country have their own rules and policies and they do not always comply with the BI of the RP's immigration laws, rules and regulations!   
I know what you mean by your comments:
"I keep reading these newspaper articles about how they want to increase tourism, but they do everything possible to discourage people from wanting to travel here because immigration is not user friendly".
"They made me jump through so many hoops I began to feel like a trained circus dog".
"Malaysia made me feel welcome and it took only a few minutes to clear immigration. Here it can take days"!

Hi Vicky,

Welcome to our little group. My 16 month departure is approaching quickly. Kuala Lumpur is at the top of my list of places to go for a weekend probably in November. Can you private message me with your details about getting from the airport to hotels via MRT, where you stayed etc. Just some info would be nice.

Thanks a million,



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