Heading to Malaysia via Philippine AirAsia
A little introduction is in order.
When I received the email invitation for AirAsia's Ten Places Campaign (Featuring Perak), I was still getting the hang of La Union, enjoying the beach bum life while resting in Kahuna's colorful bean bags after swimming the whole morning. I knew my mom will disapprove, or maybe I should take this as a sign that I needed to go home and not continue on with my original plan of staying for 7 days? But in the end, I was also quite sure I can do both travels without compromises.
And so I said yes, without thinking twice, hit the send button to confirm my attendance.
When I look back, I realized that this Malaysia engagement is my very first sponsored out-of-country trip. Thank you AirAsia! I was super thrilled to be part of this, and go someplace I haven't been to or haven't even heard before, learn new things, and be with people I will be meeting for the first time.
When I reached the airport, I met the two guests I'll be traveling with for the next five days: Jaypee Swing, an Instagram Travel Photographer at @jaypeeswing, and Jolo Luarca the videographer. Erica of Philippine AirAsia arrived later on, and we went about the usual getting-to-know, "follow me on Instagram" while we swiftly checked-in for our flight.
It was a 4-hour night flight, so we had plenty of time to sleep, eat dinner, and chat. Erica and I agreed that it's so hard to read a book during a long flight, she prefers watching series from her phone. I also introduced her to my mirrorless camera, thus this selfie:
My dinner: Cheetos, Pasta Arrabiata, a cup of coffee, and Pocari Sweat:
When we arrived in KLIA2, Erica told us that we're staying in Tune Hotels for the night. I asked how far away it is from the airport, and she told me I'll be surprised that it is just walking distance! We passed by several stores, had our money exchanged to Ringgit, went through different twists and turns, and a covered walkway leading to, surprise-surprise, the entrance to our hotel's lobby!
The concept behind Tune Hotels is to provide a comfortable, clean, and secured place to stay at minimal price. Basically you get a room with 5-star beds and poweful hot showers. Tune Hotels offer a "pay as you use" system so you don't have to avail anything that you won't need. They also eliminated the usual frills from a hotel stay like a swimming pool, spa, and the gym since it's not targeting staycation goers, but more of to accommodate travellers.
During our check-in, we heard from other walk-in guests that rooms were already full so make sure to have online reservations if ever you plan to stay here.
Which luckily, we did, so off we went to our rooms:
I find the room very spacious for two, has nice air conditioning, an in-room safe, satellite / cable TV, and a good WiFi connection.
The well-maintained toilet and bath:
They only provide one small tube of shampoo and a bar of soap, but it's okay for an overnight stay:
A full length mirror right next to the door:
Although the beds were luring me to sleep, I headed out with Erica who went back to the airport for work. I decided to take photos of the cute lobby, and check out the nearby minimart for their local snacks (my travel tradition, haha).
There's a 7Eleven just outside Tune Hotels:
My stash for the night:
The next day, I was up early before my alarm. It was also time to check-out Tune Hotels since we will be transferring to a hotel located in Perak.
We availed the free breakfast at Tune Hotels' artsy restaurant called The Glasshouse:
The order is ala carte, so I had the big breakfast which consists of this combination. You can refill your coffee as much as you want.
Then we met our tour guide Paul and driver Lim, and completely left Tune Hotels for Perak:
Perak is the fourth largest state in Malaysia, situated on the west coast of the Malay Peninsula. Its capital city Ipoh is known for its distinct British colonial influences in architecture, attractive art walls and districts, and great food. I can attest to this as I think I gained several pounds after the trip!
Aside from the city, Perak also offers beautiful nature tours from caves, mountains, jungles, and beaches. Basing on the itinerary sent to us, our activities have good variety. And unlike the more popular Penang and Kuala Lumpur of Malaysia, Perak is still yet to be discovered by tourists -- making it an even more attractive destination for me.
Travel time from KL to Perak is around 2.5 hours, enough time to recharge before the long day ahead...