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Hola! Headed back to the capital city of Malaysia last month with my boyfriend (Wei Min), exploring cafes, searching for delicious street food and sourcing for the best massage places in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. I've always wanted to go cafe-hopping at different parts of KL, scrolling through my Instafeed and seeing how lovely the interiors look when visited the area. Got myself dressed up in this gorgeous piece by Opulence Label, the Sybil Asymmetrical Dress in Mulberry so that I was camera ready for that Insta-worthy OOTD shot. ;-) After my recent trip, I also realised there are some useful tips that would have really helped me if I would've known previously. And I'm here to share it with you!

1 / Get around easily with the Grab app

One thing in common that Singaporeans are wary of when travelling to Malaysia is wondering how safe it is to hitch a ride in a foreign country. There have been many cases of kidnapping and theft, and some even fear the thought of entering Malaysia. However, we've found great ease using Grab, because it's an affordable option (for our currency exchange rate), and most drivers we've matched with are rated 4-5 stars, so we were rest assured that we're travelling in safe hands. Of course, we still needed to be on our guard, but all our rides booked were convenient and fuss-free, even when we took a Grab at night.

2 / Save a driver's contact number

During my first trip to KL with my girlfriends, we were rather afraid because it was our first time travelling within KL, also without the company of any male friends. However, we were lucky we bumped into a Grab/Uber driver at KL International Airport when making our way to the pickup point. He's a Chinese, hence it was easier to communicate with him, and was a great guide at the same time, introducing us to places to visit and tips on the current weather forecast while taking us to our destination. We took his contact down, and ever since, I've been dropping him a quick WhatsApp message every time I head back. The distance from the airport to the central area is quite a distance (about 1 hour), hence they will usually make time to bring passengers around.

3 / Wear flats/sandals and carry a light sling bag/backpack

One thing I realised was, without the convenience of your own transport, you usually have to walk quite a bit when getting place to place, especially if you're planning to do some cafe-hopping like I did. Even though I took a cab down to a certain area, the cafes/malls are scattered about 10-15 minutes from each other. Therefore, it's always a great idea to travel light and wear something comfortable for you to walk in because you don't want to ruin your trip by getting blisters at the end of the first day.

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Ah... One of my favourite cafes! With great lighting for flat lays, interesting books for you to browse through and delicious desserts and mains, Wild Sheep Chase cafe was made really enjoyable, I spent a tad too long there just capturing photos and taking a chill. We're a huge fan of Japanese food and sashimi, so we can't miss out the Ciabatta Salmon and Cheese sandwich!

4 / Always have cash with you

Although it's quite a no-brainer, it's something that everyone should still note of, especially with the cashless movement that's encouraged nowadays with recent technology. Especially when you're going to certain cafes or the more rural parts of the city, it's a must to pay via cash and it'll be inconvenient to go around finding a money changer. Just ensure that your cash is in kept in different compartments, i.e. some in your wallet, some in your luggage, some in your bag. Why I keep this habit is because you don't want to lose your entire stash of cash your wallet were to go missing. At least you have some remaining cash stored elsewhere instead of all your eggs in a basket.
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Nothing like visiting the heart of Bukit Bintang for great eateries and shopping sprees. Having lots of fun twirling in my Fleur Ruffles Sleeve Dress in the middle of the city, just before sundown when the lighting was perfect. A bustling area and a great photo spot too, Bukit Bintang is a place where you shouldn't miss out on when travelling to KL.

5 / For a good massage, try the Blind Massage parlors

We've tried two massage parlors - a typical massage centre in Pavilion Mall that wasn't really the best and yet not exactly affordable, and a blind massage parlor called Shu Jin Therapy Zone among the vicinity of 20 other blind massage parlors. We were really satisfied with our 1 hour full body massage (RM45 - about SGD$15?!), and were really glad that we could help the visually-impaired with a tiny job opportunity at the same time. Service was fantastic, the people were really friendly and made you feel at home. It's amazing learning how some people don't have equal opportunities but are still happy and grateful for the little things in life, e.g. their workplace friendships forged. Remember to call in to book for an appointment beforehand, just in case!

6 / Shop til' you drop at Sungei Wang Plaza

Right next to Bukit Bintang monorail station, Sungei Wang Plaza is my favourite mall to visit for cheap food, apparels, and window shopping around tech/accessories stores. In my opinion, every shopping mall around Bukit Bintang have their clothes or items priced more or less the same as that of stores in Singapore. However, I found gems in Sungei Wang Plaza at really low prices, and they close about 9-10pm, so I still had time to roam and do last-minute shopping after dinner.

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Explored the many sides of Kuala Lumpur, from the photo-worthy alleys of Brickfields (it's their Little India) and old heritage hipster cafes, to pretty bookstores filled with stickers (Stickeriffic has three cats hopping around the shop while you go through paintbrushes and notebooks, too cute!), and even a Starbucks outlet in Bangsar Village II that provides job opportunities just for the hearing impaired. :-) It was a pity that I couldn't make a travel video because I lost one of my SD cards containing many photos and video clips taken there, but I hope you guys still took something away from this article! Special shoutout to Opulence Label for getting me photo-ready for the trip! x

Love,
Chelsea