Don’t you just love going through old photo albums?

Don’t you just love going through old photo albums? Or is it just me?

We are a generation with a few printed pictures from childhood and a whole lot of digital photographs tucked away in some corner of a computer.

We have become so digitalized that nearly everything that has meaning to us is in Bit form. Instead of photo prints in albums we have digital pictures on our computers. Physical books have been replaced by kindle, Birthday cards have been replaced by gifs and letters by DMs and whatsapp messages.

May be I’m just old school but, don’t you miss the smell of a new book, or the joy a letter from a pen pal or a loved one brings you, or the inevitable smile that creeps up on you when you open up a birthday card from your cousin or best of all the feeling you get when you go through a physical photo album and the anticipation and excitement you get when you first bring the prints home from the studio? I surely do!

So guess who’s going to get a few pictures printed soon?

P.S- how is it that back in the “Film role” days we all looked good in one take and yet today we can hardly find a good click from the 10-20 clicks we take in the same spot in the same pose. Boggles my mind!

“Hop on Hop off” Bus Service, Kuala Lumpur- Review

Searching for an easy and comfortable way to get around the tourist attractions in Kuala Lumpur? Then the “Hop on Hop off” double decker bus service is the ideal option for you.

What this service offer is a unique, hassle free way to get around all the main tourist attractions scattered around KL with just one ticket. You can purchase a ticket from the bus or at any of their authorized centers. They offer two types of tickets, a) The 24 hour ticket which is valid for 24 hours and b) The 48 hour ticket, making it more flexible according to your travel needs. Once you purchase a ticket you can get on and off any of the buses from this service at any stop you desire within the period of the tickets’ validity.

According to their brochure there are 23 designated stops that cover 70 attractions across KL. All the bus stops at which the hop on hop off bus stops have been clearly marked, making it easy to recognize.


My personal experience-

Even though I had read about this service beforehand, we only considered this as an option once the kind desk clerk at our hotel insisted that it would be easy for us. Since we did not plan to stay for more than a day in KL and had plans to leave to Taman Negara the next day we opted for the 24 hour ticket.

We got on the bus at around 9.30 am and was only able to use the ride for a few stops (around 4-5), because the time you spend at each location will decide how far you will go with the ticket. And at the end of the day you can’t plan how much time you spend at the museum or the Bird Park around a bus schedule!. Most of the places that I went using the ticket turned out to be very close to where I was staying, many even walking distance from the hotel. This did make me feel like I could have walked or used the free “go KL” bus route instead of paying for this ticket (I travel cheap! because I’m broke as fluff :P), but that was just bad planning on my part. The 48 hur ticket seems like a better option if you’re staying in KL for 2-3 days as you have time to actually use it to its full potential.

But if you are a tourist who can spare a few extra bucks and is looking for a comfortable mode of transportation then this service is highly recommended for you.


Cheap and easy

Hassle free

Friendly staff who is more than willing to guide you if you need so

The two ticket option allows you to select the plan according to your schedule

Works from 9.00 am till 8.00 pm

Disable friendly

Works on public holidays too (A win!!)

An easy way to get to locations slightly away from the city center such as the National palace (The only real win for me)


Slightly more expensive than an “under a tight budget” person would like

The bus schedules can change due to traffic and other conditions

Sometime have to wait for 20-25 min till the next bus arrives

In some cases the attractions are so close that walking feels like a better option

Less interactions with the locals – I’m a sucker for experiencing the local way of life and traveling, so felt like I missed a bit of that since the service is “Hassle proof”. And since your getting on and off at specific tourist areas you miss out on the roads less traveled. (but you do have complete freedom to decide what you do- only a small voice will be constantly reminding you that you DID paid for the ride 😛 )

Have to plan around the bus schedule because whether you like it or not, the thought of the next bus being in 30 min is going to be in the back of your head. Especially when, if you miss one you have to wait 30 min for the next.

Overall I do feel like this bus service is a great way for tourist to go from place to place in Kuala Lumpur and I do recommend it as a very comfortable and easy travel option.

But if you’re in to the more “Roads less traveled and among locals” way of travel like me, do check if you can catch the free “go KL” bus and also try to find lodging in a location that is close to the main attractions.

Until next time,

Safe travels.




National Textile Museum – Kuala Lumpur

Imagine unleashing a hyperactive kid inside a candy store!!…. Now crank up the crazy a few levels up!…  What you get is “me” inside the National Museum of Textile in Kuala Lumpur!!

I’m a fashion fanatic! I love everything that has anything to do with fashion, I live fashion! And I also love travel as much as I love fashion! So when I search for things to do or places to see at “where ever i’m shipping myself to next”, I never forget to pull up a few fashion related places/ or activities to balance the crazy in me.

whether it’s a museum or a workshop or even just a traditional authentic fabric shop, if its anywhere near where i’m at, you WILL find me there! Every time I end up coming home with a head full of ideas and a bag full of fabrics (so much for my minimalist travel goals!)

The National Textile Museum in Kuala Lumpur was one such precious findings of mine, while planing my trip to Malaysia. This museum is truly under rated compared to other tourist attractions in KL, as many don’t even know of its existence. But trust me when I say, visiting this museum was one of the best things I did in KL. It may only be appealing to a certain genera of crazy ( such as “me”) but I do feel it has something to make everyone happy. And if you are not as crazy as I am about fashion and textiles, you can just drop in for a swift glance through the galleries and you will be done in less than half an hour. Located in Merdeka square the museum is not that hard to find, nor is it off the normal tourist route so you won’t be making any detours. And best of all entry is free! (so basically its regret proof!)

To get to the museum you can ether directly take a taxi, use the rapid-KL bus route or the “Hop on Hop off ” bus (stop number 17).

The museum is housed in a beautiful heritage building of Neo- Maugal style architecture, which is a combination of  elements from Maugal – Islamic style architecture and British architecture. Just the building alone can give an art lover a rush!


The museum is mainly divided in to 4 galleries and one small gallery that houses special exhibitions.

  1. Pohon Budi gallery
  2. Pelangi Gallery
  3. Teluk Berantai gallery
  4. Ratna sari gallery
  5. Saindera Gallery- which houses special exhibitions.

From textiles, traditional dress forms to jewelry, the content of the museum displays the history and diversity of the textile industry of Malaysia in a very comprehensive manner. It also showcases how techniques from different cultures can influence each other to create a unique and beautiful culture of its own.

The most interesting aspect of this museum for me is that they have displayed many of the traditional processes in “step by step” form so anyone interested can learn and understand the process in depth.

Step by Step – Batik 


The Ratna Sari Gallery houses a collection of traditional jewellery and adornments that belong to the different ethnic groups of Malaysia. Ranging from head ornaments, crowns, beaded shoes to Kamarbands the pieces on display showcases the impressive craftsmanship of this ethnically diverse country.


Throughout the museum you will come across mannequins displaying the different traditional costumes of Malaysia bringing life in to the textiles.

Traditional hand embroidery techniques, Sarawak beading techniques, Baba and Nyonya beading techniques, traditional motif designs, gold thread embroidery, weaving patterns are just a few of the traditional textile related art forms that can be observed throughout the museum.

And as it turns out we were lucky to come across a special exhibition on ethnic head dresses that was on display in a small room on the top most floor of the building. The artistry of there unique traditional head ornaments were breath taking and mesmerizing.

If your curiosity towards Malaysian culture and costumes has  been awoken, a more comprehensive explanation can be found in one of my previous articles which you can read here.

According to the brochure, the museum is open daily from 9.00 am till 6.00 pm. I was extremely luck to be there at a time when there was hardly anyone inside the museum other than me,  the unfortunate souls i dragged there by force and 1 or 2 rushed visitors who couldn’t care less. This gave me all the freedom in the world to run around like a crazy kid to my hearts content!!

So if you are someone interested in learning about textile and fashion history of Malaysia do visit the National Textile Museum and be inspired by all that it has to offer. And even if you are not interested in such thematic museums do drop by just to get the feel of it, you never know you might end up falling in love with textiles.

Until next time,

Safe travels

Exploring Taman Negara

Did I ever imagine myself checking the color of a scorpion under UV light in the middle of the night in Malaysia? Well .. Nop, not even in my wildest dreams!! but guess what that’s exactly what I did!!

Taman Negara was not in our original travel plan (hence the never plan policy- my plans change just like my mind does). But I couldn’t have wished for a better place to be exploring the color of scorpions or go hunting for different species of spiders than here.


The idea of going to Taman Negara was dropped on us by the friendly staff at the hotel we stayed in Kuala Lumpur. They suggested that going to Taman Negara is as good as going to Borneo Island (Is it? )and that they can arrange us a tour package for a relatively low cost.

Disclaimer- I’m someone who is not in to pre-planned package tours. I feel they rob me of the excitement of random plans, the good part of travel. I love the part where you have to figure out things in a new place, while interacting with the locals. But this time we were kind of sucked in to going on this tour because it sounded good enough- no regrets though!!

We left Kuala Lumpur early morning in the hopes of reaching Taman Negara in 5 Hours but… thanks (Not) to our reckless driver we made it in 3  (including a strictly  30 min stop at Batu Caves, read all about it here).

Even being a born and bred tropical girl, Taman Negara was different from all the tropical forests I’ve ever been to, it was a beautiful strange would.  After all, it is considered as the worlds’ oldest rain forest being 130 million years old!!!

The road leading to Taman Negara gives you pretty good idea as to what to expect!! You’re going in to the middle of nowhere!!


Morning of day 1, we reached the Taman Negara village and settled in to our cabana houses (2 people in one cabana). The cabanas were pretty good, a few little glitches here and there (hot water took bit of adjustments to work) but hey it is in the middle of nowhere so it’s completely fine.


Lunch and dinner was served on a floating restaurant on the river Tembeling, and breakfast at a hut near the cabana houses.

On the first day the only activity we were to do was the Night Walk. In the evening we had dinner and joined our guide and a group of people for the walk. We had to cross the river on a boat to get to the other bank where the trail starts behind the Mutiara hotel.

It was a simple walk through the jungle, the only noteworthy thing is that you don’t see anything other than what’s in the range of your flash light! Not the most comforting feeling, knowing that you’re in the middle of a rain forest. But fear not ! the trails are clear and demarcated so most probably you won’t stumble on any unwanted animal members. Our guide Andy showed us a bunch of small critters ranging from a few dozen species of spiders, scorpions, centipedes and he was super informative about their habits and habitat. He even showed us how scorpions look under UV light.. They look green!! Then he also showed us two centipedes mating.

Then we were marched on to a tall platform (Tahan Hide) from where you can look out in to a wide opening in the jungle which is a salt lick (A place where animals go to lick the salt from the ground – I didn’t even know they did that till now) where apparently on a good day you can view bigger wildlife such as sambar deer, wild boar but sadly we were not as lucky. So after spending a few minutes on the platform listening to Andy go on about the wildlife and really important nature- stuff we came back to the river bank and back to our cabana.

On Day 2 we were woken up by the screams of the roosters living around the cabanas.


Once we were done with breakfast we were chaperoned across the river to the starting point of both the hike up to the canopy walk and the hike to bukit Terisek …


We did the track up to Bukit Terisek before making our way to the canopy walk.  The hike was not that challenging since most of the way you have to walk on an inclining boardwalk.


But our guide took us off trail through the jungle to show and teach us about trees, spiders and amber. At the top there is a view point which overlooks the Taman Negara national park.



Once we got back from the hike we made our way to the canopy walk starting point. Make sure you go on the Canopy walk because A) it’s a really good experience B) you get official bragging rights to the longest and highest canopy walk in the world!! But you must know that there’s no turning back. After you enter in to the canopy walk you cannot come back. So if you have major fear of heights take a moment to think. But personally I loved it and it’s not that hard.

Once we were done with the canopy walk we were shipped back to the other side of the river for lunch.

In the evening we were taken to the Orang Asli village nearby, on the other side of the river. Orang asli are the aboriginal people of Malaysia.


You have to visit the village in a tour group. They told is to sit on a make shift bench and  an Orang asli gentleman showed us how the natives would make fire, hunt using blowpipes and how to make their traditional weapons.

Then he showed us to use the blow pipe and even gave us the chance to try our hand on it. Our target was a ragged Pooh bear perched on a stick.


Our guide told us quite a few interesting tales of the Orang Asli tribe. These tribes live a life style that is very much connected to nature. They would move from one place to another and the move is initiated when a fellow tribesman dies, they don’t stay in a place where someone has died at least for a few years. And the way they bury the dead is interesting. They make a platform on top of a tree in the jungle and leave the dead on it.

Once the intro and discussion was over they let us wonder around the village to meet the villagers and talk to them. Also they sell miniature blowpipes and accessories for quite a bit of Ringgits inside the village.

Go around the village and interact with the villages. Your there to meet them not just to see them. And you never know you might get gifts from them 🙂  (that’s how I came back home with a part of an actual blowpipe)

Once the meet up at the village was over we were taken upstream for a round of rapid shooting. I think I was expecting a little bit more adventure to this , so I was a bit disappointed that it was not as thrilling.

Take with you-

  • Mosquito repellent because, boy do they bite!!
  • Good hiking shoes (preferably water proof)
  • A pair of flip flops for Rapid Shooting
  • A flash light for the night walk
  • And a little less adrenaline and a buttload of excitement

Next day a van was arranged to drop us back to Kuala Lumpur, from where we made our way to Malacca.

All in all the days spent in Taman Negara was the best days in Malaysia for me. I got to experience nature in a whole new way, got to learn a lot about nature and along the way made a few good friends from different countries. And wholeheartedly I recommend it to anyone who’s heading off to Malaysia.

Now that you’ve read about my adventure, let me know in the comments below what you think about Taman Negara, let others know your experience if you have been there! Hope this post helps you to get an idea about Taman Negara!

Safe travels,


Batu Caves

Batu caves are a labyrinth of limestone caves located 17 Km from Kuala Lumpur, home to a world famous Hindu temple complex. It is without a doubt the most popular Hindu temple complex in Malaysia and is dedicated to lord Murugan.

On our way to Taman negara from Kuala Lumpur we decided to stop at Batu caves..because.. Hey you can’t be in Malaysia and not visit Batu caves!!!

Our driver only gave us 30 min at Batu caves !! 😦 😦 He was .. well let’s just say that Santa will give the Grinch more presents than him 😛

It was a bit frustrating that I didn’t get to spend more time at the caves but we did see everything there is to see in the main cave complex slightly under the time the driver gave us .. I had read about all the mountain climbing point located around and badly wanted to check them out but you can only do so much in 30 min 😦

A gigantic gold statue of lord Murugan welcomes you at the base of the cave. It is the tallest statue of lord Murugan in the world and is highly popular among Hindu devotees around the world.



Once you pass the Statue, you have to climb up 272 steps to get to the cave opening. The steps look steep and hard when you look from the bottom but once you start climbing its not that hard, but needless to say that the overly friendly monkeys sitting  around don’t help the climb. They are cute and fluffy but be a bit alert  because you can’t say when they will creep up on you without you noticing.

You can take this chance to help the construction going on in the temple inside the cave by taking up a bucket of sand for them. At the start of the stair way they will ask if you would like to participate. It’s a nice way to give back! 🙂

The cave structure itself is amazing with different shaped limestone structures hanging from the ceiling ..


Once you climb up the stair way and come to the mouth of the cave trust me you will be taken by surprise as to how big the cave really is .. In no way did I expect the cave to be this big..

The cave is in three levels , first is the mouth of the cave where there is one small temple. Then you have to go down a stair ways to enter the large middle part or the Temple Cave which has a few temple and a few statues of gods and goddesses. This cave is LARGE! The ceiling is easily more than 100 meter in height.


Then again you have to climb up a stair way to get to the last chamber. This chamber houses the main Hindu temple and the most amazing part is that this chamber has an opening in the ceiling.


The climb down offers you a great view of the surrounding with the Kuala Lumpur city dotting in the horizon. Mid stairways you will see a sign to the Dark caves which was closed when we went. According to other travelers it’s a cave tunnel that is home to many animals that are only found in this region.

Also at the base of the cave there are many shops offering food and beverages. Specially great Indian food.

And if you would like to try your hands at feeding pigeons you can buy a bag of pigeon treats at these shops.

Batu caves is definitely a must if your in Kuala Lumpur or anywhere around.. its really interesting to see how natures structures and man made structures co-exist.

Happy Travels..

Malaysia- Culture and Costumes!!

Malaysia, being a multi-cultural country is a true example of how different cultures can live and thrive together in harmony. The many cultural groups present in this country complement and influence each other to create a unique Malaysian culture. Each cultural group has their own traditional food, costumes and festivals that distinguish them from each other.

During the few days I was in Malaysia I got to experience and learn about the Malaysian culture as a whole and also about the different cultural groups that live in Malaysia. Being a fashion addict my main focus was to understand and get inspired by the traditional costumes and related art. I must say other than what I got to learn from interacting with the locals I found a lot of information about this topic from the National Museum (Malaysia) in Kuala Lumpur, the Malacca Sultanate palace Museum and also from the National Textile museum in Kuala Lumpur. So if you want to learn about traditional costumes and art definitely visit them and you will be surprised as to how much this country has to offer.

As the first in a series of articles (Hopefully!!) about Malaysian culture, this article will give you an idea about the different ethnic groups and their traditional costumes.


  • Orang Asli

Orang Asli is a term used to refer to the indigenous people of Malaysia. Their traditional costume is made out of natural materials such as the bark of the tree Ipoh and Terap and grass. They also adorn accessories such as head dresses and shoulder sash made from the same materials.


  • The India Community

The traditional attire commonly worn by the ladies is the Saree and they are usually heavily adorned with jewelry. Also Punjabi suit, zalwar kameez and cholis are popular among them. The men wear a Dohti with a shirt and shawl or kurti with pants.


  • The Chitty Community

The Chitty community commonly found in Malacca and Singapore are known as Hindu Peranakan community and also as Melakan chitty. The Chitty women usually wear the Kebaya Panjung or the Kebaya Pendek with a sarong and Men wear dohti with shirt or sarong or kain pelekat with a head turban.


  • The Serani Community

This community is of Asian and European parentage. According to the information given at the National Museum (Malaysia) the older women of this community wears the long Kebaya and batik sarong and the men wear Kain pelekat at home. During festivals such as San Pedro men wear jackets and trousers with waist band and ladies wear front layered skirts. The traditional clothes of this community are dominated by the colors red and black.


  • The Sikh Community

The ladies of the Sikh community wears the Punjabi dress or Salwar kamees and the men wear Kurti with pants and a mandatory head turban.


  • The Siamese Community

Malaysian Siamese community is of partial of full Thai descent. The traditional attire worn by both women and men are of Thai origin.


  • The Baba Nyonya Community

This community is of Straits born Chinese descent. The women of this community wears a elegant, vibrant and colorful Kebaya with intricate embroidery. The Kebaya is long sleeved blouse with bottoms in the front and is decorated with three broaches. They pair this blouse with a batik sarong and wear the traditional beaded slippers called Kasot Manek.


  • The Malay Community

Originally the Malay women used to wear attire called Kemban where a piece of cloth is wrapped above the chest. Then it got modified in to the Baju Kurung which is a knee length blouse worn over a long skirt which is paired with a head scarf or a shawl. For men it is Baju melayu which is a loose tunic worn over trousers. A short sarong known as sampan is wrapped around the hip and also a songkok is worn on the head.


The Kemban


The Baju Kurung

  • The Chinese Community

Women wear the popular Cheongsam, a long high collared dress with buttons near the  shoulder. These dresses are made of shimmering fabrics such as Silk in mostly bright colors.

So this is what I was able to find out about the Malaysian culture and their traditional costumes. Hope you enjoyed this article and if there is anything you want to add to this article feel free to comment!! 🙂