St. Augustine once said, “the world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page”.
As a person who has gone to quite a number of places around and beyond our country, this particular saying breathes deeper meaning to me all the more. Truly, one must not be easily satisfied with merely being stuck in his/her own corner of the world, not caring about what lies out there in the distance.
Traveling, apart from the fun and excitement that comes with it, is a means to open one’s eyes to the world around us beyond what books and stories can ever do. This, among other things, is what prods me to explore further and to travel farther… to embrace every chance to go forth and see more of the world.
So, it goes without saying that when I was recently invited to go on a familiarization tour of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by Zest Air, AirAsia and Fleishman Hillard, I pounced at the opportunity immediately.
This tour, which took place just last May 10, 2013, coincided with ZestAir’s inaugural flights to three (3) new destinations in the region: Manila to Bacolod, Manila to Kuala Lumpur, and Manila to Kota Kinabalu.
“Tourism Malaysia is delighted that Zest Air is launching its maiden flights to Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu. This initiative certainly comes at the perfect time since Malaysia will be celebrating its fourth Visit Malaysia Year (VMY) in 2014 and this year has been designated as the VMY promotional campaign year. We seek to attract more tourists from the Philippines to Malaysia. I am confident that this enhanced connectivity will be able to boost tourist arrivals from the Philippines to Malaysia.”, said Ms. Fazdila Mansor, Director of Tourism Malaysia Manila.
I joined an awesome (and hilarious) group of cool fellow bloggers making the 3-day trip much more exciting – CA de Ramos, Alex Dizon, Ruth Floresca, Rey Belen, Jennifer Adams Juan, Enzo Luna, Mae Ilagan & Frank Ruaya, Ferds Bondoy and Azrael Coladilla.
I, personally, was excited to visit and know more about a country wherein last year, more than 500,000 Filipinos headed off to for work, business and tourism.
Notice that the flight attendants who accompanied us during the trip donned red uniforms instead of Zest Air’s usual green & orange. This is due to the fact that Zest Air presently has a strategic alliance with AirAsia. This partnership only means bigger and better things for both companies.
Another group of Zest Air guests were scheduled to fly to Kota Kinabalu at 9:35AM of the same day. This particular group was comprised of travel bloggers, passengers including celebrity singer, songwriter, and 1/3 of the my favorite APO Hiking Society, Jim Paredes.
So, off we went!
The flight to Kuala Lumpur was expected to take about 3 hours & 25 minutes. So, I made sure I had a ton of gadgets to keep me busy inside the plane. But, because I had to wake up unusually early for our flight, my body was still craving for sleep. I barely even got far playing a few rounds of Angry Birds when I eventually dozed off for most of the trip.
And so, at around 10:25AM, we finally arrived at the Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) of Malaysia. Even though we barely had enough sleep and were quite hungry already, you can actually feel the excitement in the air. Everyone was just ready to hit the city, have fun and make the most of the day.
And because bloggers like us love to constantly snap pics of just about anything that catches our fancy, the moment we landed, it was an absolute photo-fest – selfies, groupies, emo shots, dramatic angles, name it we’ve done it! LOL!
Good thing I subscribed to Globe’s Bridge Data Unli Roaming package before leaving for Malaysia. I was able to make sure that my roaming subscription was activated before the flight to avoid being charged outrageous fees abroad. The $40.00 I spent for the 5-day unli roaming package was well worth the cost! I was tweeting, Instagram-ing, Facebook-ing all the pics I was taking in realtime to my heart’s content. I was even making calls to my family back in the Philippines using Viber and Apple’s Facetime. Awesome! (Thanks, Globe!)
For those who aren’t really into roaming packages, we noticed a few prepaid cards being sold in the airport that offered a good number of minutes for international and local calls as well as a decent amount of Megabytes for mobile internet.
At the airport, we were met by the wonderful people of Tourism Malaysia. They were very warm and seemed very happy to see us… in fact, they even presented cute flowers to each of us. There, we met a kind lady by the name of “Marie”. She was assigned to be our tour guide during the entire trip. Marie was very jolly and was a joy to be with. She shared tons of stories and made it a point to make us feel at home at all times.
From the airport, we boarded our designated tour bus and headed off to Kuala Lumpur’s city proper which took about 40 minutes of travel time from LCCT. We all wanted to sleep but the urge to look out the window and see the country’s landscape was just too strong to resist.
NEXT: Day 1 (Part 2 of 3)
THANK YOU, Zest Air, AirAsia & Fleishman Hillard for the wonderful trip!
With three (3) new routes in one day, Zest Air is expanding its wings in the region. The airline recently launched its maiden flights from Manila to Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia and added a new domestic route, Manila to Bacolod, in its long list of local stops.
Zest Air’s daily service to Kuala Lumpur provides accessibility to the famous Petronas Twin Towers, multitude of shops, theme parks and art galleries. Those who are looking for some adrenaline rush may explore Kota Kinabalu’s lush jungles, wildlife and other natural wonders. Mount Kinabalu, known to be one of the most accessible mountains in the world and the highest peak in South East Asia, is popular among hikers and outdoor sports enthusiasts.
Zest Air flies to Kota Kinabalu every Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.
One-peso promo fares from Manila to Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu, Shanghai, Cebu, Davao, Puerto Princesa, Kalibo (Boracay), Iloilo, Tagbilaran, Tacloban, Bacolod, Davao, Cebu and CDO are still up for grabs now until May 12, 2013 only via www.flyzest.com and www.airasia.com. Travel period for this promo is extended from May 10, 2013 to April 30, 2014.
Follow Zest Air on Twitter – @FlyZest
Follow AirAsia on Twitter – @AirAsiaPH