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Wonderful Malaysia

Touch ‘n Go

It was way back in 18 March 1997 that the first Touch ‘n Go service was installed and it was used at the Jalan Pahang Toll Plaza. Other toll plazas were soon installed with the Touch ‘n Go service such as the toll plaza in Jalan Cheras as well as the East-West Link Expressway. Towards the end of the year, the system was brought to the 848 km North-South Expressway; this was made possible when the northern sections of the expressway were fitted with the technology.

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Touch ‘n Go makes the electronic toll payment one of the longest in the world as travelers will be able to use the smart card and travel from Jitra in Kedah to Kempas in Johor or all from the north to the south without using cash. The launch of the services was held as the Sungai Dua toll plaza where Datuk Dr Ramli Mohamad the then chairman of Rangkaian Segar Sdn Bhd officiated the event.

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Today, Touch ‘n Go is not just for payments at toll plazas and public transport. A number of popular malls such as Sunway Pyramid, Subang Parade, Bangsar Shopping Centre, Sungei Wang Plaza, Tropicana City Mall and Mid Valley Megamall have started accepting payments by Touch ‘n Go for parking. Simply touch your card at the entrance point and your time of arrival will be captured. At the end of your visit, the time spent and subsequently the parking charges will be tabulated and deducted from your card.

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Your Touch ‘n Go is good for dining too. Have some fast food at AW, Japanese fare at Sakae Sushi, dessert at Baskin Robbins or a cuppa at Starbucks and pay with your Touch ‘n Go card. Your card is as good as a debit card now. You can also grab some munchies at 7-Eleven before catching a movie at Cathay Cineplexes, both retailers accept payment by Touch ‘n Go.

All in all, Touch ‘n Go still provides a convenient cashless system especially to those who travel daily on the highways as well as those who commute by KTM, LRT, Monorail and Rapid KL buses. Drivers and commuters need not carry around or store loose change and they also save time from not having to queue at the cash lanes. Touch ‘n Go is indeed convenient to use, on top of having numerous value top-up centers and banks that can perform the reload transactions.

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Travelers love using Touch ‘n Go because of its convenience. You don’t have to get in line for LRT or monorail tickets every single time. Just buy the card and use it throughout your stay in Malaysia. A new card without balance costs RM10. You can immediately add balance to the card, with RM10 as minimum charge. The card will never expire. After your holiday in Malaysia you can always make someone else happy with your card, or you just take it home as a souvenir.

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Read more at the official Touch ‘n Go website.

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Malaysia Travel Guide

Golden Triangle, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The Golden Triangle is Kuala Lumpur’s main shopping and nightlife district.

Located to the northeast of the Central KL, the Golden Triangle roughly covers the area north of Jalan Pudu, south of Jalan Ampang and west of Jalan Imbi and Jalan Tun Razak. It includes the ever busy shopping area of Bukit Bintang, the office towers of Jalan Raja Chulan, the Jalan Sultan Ismail five-star hotel strip, the Jalan P. Ramlee party street, and the entire Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) (not to be confused with KL’s traditional City Centre) which is home to the Petronas Twin Towers, Suria KLCC shopping centre, KLCC Convention Centre and the KLCC Park.

Getting There

The best ways to reach the Golden Triangle are by monorail and light rail transit, depending on which part of the district you want to get to. Monorail is best for the Bukit Bintang area and environs (including Jalan Imbi, Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Raja Chulan) while the LRT is the perfect way to get to the KLCC and Jalan Ampang areas.

The main monorail stations (and the adjacent shopping centres and important landmarks) in the Golden Triangle are Imbi (Berjaya Times Square), Bukit Bintang (Sungei Wang Plaza, Bukit Bintang Plaza, Lot 10, Star Hill Gallery, KL Plaza, Pavillion), Raja Chulan (offices along Jalan Raja Chulan and Jalan Sultan Ismail) and Bukit Nanas (Concorde Hotel, Rennaissance Hotel and Good World Hotel). Bukit Nanas station is also a short walk to the Dang Wangi LRT station.

The main LRT stations serving the district are Dang Wangi (for the area around the Jalan Ampang-Jalan Sultan Ismail intersection), KLCC (KLCC, Petronas Twin Towers, Avenue K) and Ampang Park (for Ampang Park shopping centre and Nikko Hotel).

Things to do

Petronas Twin Towers, KLCC, Jalan Ampang (Kelana Jaya Line: KLCC). Open 8:30AM-5PM except Monday. Until recently the tallest buildings in the world, they have since been surpassed by other buildings in height but remain among the most spectacular. Visitors may pick up passes to marvel at the view from the Skybridge (level 41-42), one of the highest suspended bridges in the world. Entry is now RM50 (December 2011) and limited to the first 1200 who show up, so get there early (best is 7:45 to 8:00 AM) because available tickets are usually snapped up by 11:00. In general you have about 10 minutes at the Skybridge. The view is not particularly inspiring and note that you are only permitted to spend around ten minutes up there.

Aquaria KLCC, KLCC Convention Centre Basement Levels 1 and 2 (Kelana Jaya Line: KLCC), A gigantic aquarium recently opened, housing 5,000 varieties of tropical fish. Has an underwater tunnel, various exhibits of flora and fauna, and multimedia kiosks. Aquaria “offers a unique underwater ‘edu-tainment experience”, as stated on the KLCC website. Open from 11 AM to 8 PM daily, including school and public holidays; last admission at 7pm. Entrance fee for adults: RM38 (RM28 with the Malaysian ID card – MyKad); Children 3-12 years old: RM26 (RM22 with MyKad); for those below 3 years old, admission free. RM25 for students. Make sure you carry student ID cards.

Petrosains, KLCC Level 4 (Kelana Jaya Line: KLCC) An exhibit of the science and technology behind the petroleum industry and more. A great place to bring kids, but not too high on the agenda for older folks. Adults RM25, teens RM20, children RM15; you must book your tickets at least 30 minutes in advance (expect queues on weekends).

KL Tower (Menara KL), Jalan Punchak. The viewing deck at 276m provides great city views, and you’ll be a few metres higher than the Twin Towers since the tower is built on a hill (also, the twin towers observation deck is 100m below at 170m). Entry to the viewing deck by express elevator costs RM38 and is open from 9 AM to 10 PM daily; this includes use of a PDA for a multimedia guided tour of the view and use of the binoculars. For a free bonus, check out the wonderfully bombastic free film on the tower’s construction, screened in a little cinema on the tower ground floor. It is possible to come up one floor higher to the revolving restaurant but only by dining there (between RM40 to RM140, including the ride up from the base). There is free shuttle bus service from the main gate to the base of the tower, though number of seats in the bus is very limited. There is also a Hackett Bungee ride and flying fox for RM30 which operates at the base of KL Tower.

Shopping

Bukit Bintang is the main shopping area of the Golden Triangle with many of KL’s most well-known malls. The main shopping streets are Jalan Bukit Bintang, Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Imbi. KLCC has the popular Suria KLCC mall while the adjacent Jalan Ampang also has several shopping complexes.


Sungei Wang Plaza, Jalan Bukit Bintang (direct bridge to Monorail Bukit Bintang), Bukit Bintang. A popular place among local teenagers where fashion clothes, shoes, accessories and other trinkets and local designer clothes can be found with affordable price. A great place to buy cameras and watches (discounts are given for cash payments, although credit cards are accepted). Sungei Wang also hosts a concentration of tailors of men’s and women’s clothing. This is a maze of a mall, take a compass with you to find your way out!

Lot 10, Jalan Bukit Bintang, (direct bridge to Monorail Bukit Bintang), Bukit Bintang. A favourite among Malaysians and tourists alike, Lot 10 is Bukit Bintang’s very own “Emerald City”, housing boutiques that will appeal to shoppers looking for goods in all price brackets. It houses the Isetan department store.

Fahrenheit 88, Jalan Bukit Bintang. Previously known as previously known as KL Plaza, major tenants include Uniqlo.

Starhill Gallery, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Bukit Bintang, adjoining JW Marriott Hotel. The nearest station to this mall is Monorail Bukit Bintang. Starhill is a literally an English translation of “Bukit Bintang”. An upscale, luxury retail mall that rivals Suria KLCC for designer goods, is worth a visit just to look at the different interior designs especially ‘Feast’ floor (Ground Floor). A must-visit for watch aficionados as the ‘Adorn’ floor (1st floor) houses the biggest selection of designer wrist-watch boutiques like, amongst others, Jaeger-Le Coultre, Roger Dubuis, Audemars Piguet, Breguet, Tag Heuer, Omega, Vacheron Constantin, IWC, Patek Philippe and Rolex, of course. Great if you have lots of cash to splurge.

Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, Jalan Bukit Bintang, opposite the Starhill Gallery. This KL’s latest luxury megamall is an anchor piece of the world-class urban development comprising two luxury residential towers, a corporate office. The mall has six distinctive precincts, Couture Pavilion, Bintang Circle, Gourmet_Emporium, Connection, Seventh Heaven and Home that contains approximately 450 stores, providing customers with infinite choices and the latest in fashion, entertainment, health and beauty, electronic, gourmet food and countless others. There is pedestrian bridge that links the mall to KLCC.

Low Yat Plaza, Jalan Bukit Bintang (Monorail Imbi, walk past Melia and turn left into an alley before Imbi Plaza or exit from Monorail Bukit Bintang towards Jalan Bukit Bintang south), Bukit Bintang. A good place for computer hardware, game consoles and handphones. A “must visit” for the tech inclined. All IT Hypermart (4th floor) is a good one-stop shop, but there are dozens of specialist computing boutiques for the enthusiast.

Berjaya Times Square, Jalan Imbi (direct bridge to Monorail Imbi), Bukit Bintang. A gargantuan ten-story shopping mall that houses the Malaysian department store Metrojaya, the Cosmo’s World theme park (see Do) plus an IMAX theater. The upper floors are still a bit sparse but it’s starting to reach critical mass and can get quite packed on weekends.

Other shopping malls in the Bukit Bintang area include BB Plaza, KL Plaza, a mini retail annexe known as Piccolo Galeria.

Suria KLCC, – Located beneath the Petronas Twin Towers (LRT Kelana Jaya Line: KLCC). An upscale shopping centre with plenty of designer labels and brands, KLCC has quickly become one of the top hangout-spots in KL. Some very good eating options too. You will see more tourists than locals here though. The LRT stops at another shopping mall called Avenue K. There is a tunnel from the train station which links to Suria KLCC.

Eat

You’ll find any kind of food that you ever wanted to try in the Golden Triangle. For budget streetside food, there is Jalan Alor (although the area is becoming a little too touristy), while expensive restaurants line Changkat Bukit Bintang. Jalan Imbi and the roads running off it have many Chinese restaurants. Jalan Bukit Bintang near the intersection with Jalan Sultan Ismail is becoming the focal point of KL’s Middle Eastern restaurants. All the malls in the Golden Triangle have foodcourts where you can try local and international fare in comfortably air-conditioned surroundings.

Drink

The Golden Triangle is the party heart of KL. Here, you’ll find many of the city’s entertainment spots, whether they’re dance clubs, karaoke joints or just watering holes. The main party drag is Jalan P. Ramlee near the intersection with Jalan Sultan Ismail, whereas the area between Jalan Bukit Bintang and Jalan Imbi are better known for its Chinese-style hostess nightclubs. For something quieter, Changkat Bukit Bintang offers a few pubs. Most five-star hotels also have clubs and bars.

The area also has its fair share of coffee places, mostly belonging to the usual international or local chains. However, Malaysians usually like to head to “Mamak stalls” to wind down after a night of partying. These can be found almost everywhere, especially where there are many clubs, and you can get teh tarik and other warm bevearage and food like rot canai at these stalls.

Sleep

Although better known for its collection of five-star hotels, the Golden Triangle also has a few budget places offering relatively cheap beds when compared with Chinatown in the City Centre.

Pavillion Residences
168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 55100
Superb location, awesome room! read more …

Traders Hotel by Shangri-La
Kuala Lumpur City Centre, KLCC, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 50088
Located right in the heart of Kuala Lumpur City Centre, next to KLCC Park and opposite the iconic Petronas Twin Towers, while the International Airport is a 45 minutes drive away. Furthermore, the hotel has direct access to the KL Convention Center and offers 24-hour business services, making it a firm favorite with business travelers. read more …

Carcosa Seri Negara
Taman Tasik Perdana, KL Sentral, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 50480
Originally built to house the first British High Commissioner, this luxury hotel is seeped in history. The two mansions that make up the hotel sit atop two hills, just 15 minutes from Kuala Lumpur. read more …

Prince Hotel Residence Kuala Lumpur
No. 4 Jalan Conlay, Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 50450
Situated between Kuala Lumpur’s Golden Triangle Shopping area in Bukit Bintang and the Convention Center. Its strategic location makes it very popular among both business and leisure travelers. read more …

PARKROYAL Serviced Suites Kuala Lumpur
No 1, Jln Nagasari off Jln Raja Chulan, Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 50200
Located in the heart of city centre and within an easy walking distance to the city’s main business, retail and entertainment districts. read more …

Crowne Plaza Mutiara Kuala Lumpur
Jalan Sultan Ismail, KLCC, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 50250
This landmark hotel is brilliantly situated among five acres of landscaped gardens in the heart of Kuala Lumpur’s business, entertainment and shopping district. Crowne Plaza Mutiara Kuala Lumpur is only a five-minute walk from the world famous PETRONAS Twin Towers, Pavilion shopping center, Aquairia KLCC, the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Suria KLCC shopping center, and the streets of Jalan Ramlee and Bukit Bintang. read more …

InterContinental Kuala Lumpur Hotel
165, Jalan Ampang, KLCC, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Located along prestigious Jalan Ampang in the heart of the city’s business, shopping and entertainment districts, and within easy reach of Kuala Lumpur City Center and the Ampang Park LRT Station. read more …

Ritz Carlton Hotel Kuala Lumpur
168, Jalan Imbi, Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 55100
Located at Kuala Lumpur’s most prestigious address in the Golden Triangle district, only minutes from all of the city’s exciting shopping malls and attractions. read more …

JW Marriott Hotel Kuala Lumpur
183 Jalan Bukit Bintang, Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 55100
Convenient to everything Kuala Lumpur has to offer, and is only 70 kms away from Kuala Lumpur International Airport. read more …

Hilton Kuala Lumpur Hotel
3 Jalan Stesen Sentral, KL Sentral, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 50470
Named as Kuala Lumpur’s Best City Hotel in 2011 by TTG Asia and Business Traveler as well as the Best Business Hotel 2011 by Expatriate Lifestyle. Only 28 minutes away from Kuala Lumpur International Airport by direct train. read more …