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RUPTURED BRAIN ANEURYSM: Living with a Broken Brain

RUPTURED BRAIN ANEURYSM: Living with a Broken Brain. A unique insight into the fragility of the extraordinary human brain. A true st...

Friday, October 8, 2010



If you are in Brunei and planning to have a day trip to Labuan, Malaysia, you can do it yourself!
We took the earliest bus from the bus terminal in Bandar Seri Begawan ( the capital and largest city of the Sultanate of Brunei) to get to the main ferry terminal in Brunei - the Serasa Ferry Terminal in MUARA before 7:30 a.m. Good thing that buses normally left at 8:00 a.m. because they usually wait for another 30 minutes to get more passengers. Yes, as many as possible but they sail even with only one passenger aboard. The terminal is about 25 kms. from Bandar Seri Begawan. 
Getting there: There are purple buses (No. 38) linking the ferry terminal with  Bandar Seri Begawan. Earliest Bus leaves at around 6:40 a.m. The shuttle costs B$2 per person and takes about 40 minutes to an hour to arrive at the ferry terminal from the bus terminal in Bandar Seri Begawan. Or you can just take a tour van / taxi. Bus leaves the terminal even if there are only (4) four passengers like in our case.
Please note that you need to pay a tax  or "cukai kepala" to get out of Brunei. Currently slated @ B$2 per ferry ticket. Inquire at the counter or travel agents if you didn't get the tax coupon when purchasing the tickets.
There are five (5) scheduled Ferries that leaves Brunei to Labuan, Malaysia everyday. With additional service on weekends. Ferries from Brunei to Labuan usually take about an hour to an hour and a half. The ticket price is B$15  for adults plus a B$1.00 terminal fee. Child is B$10.

Note: Always bring your passport with you. I am not connected in anyway to the above travel agents nor I was given any commission whatsoever. I just thought some of you might like to call to double check about the schedules. Please leave a comment if you like me to edit the picture so I could take out the name and contact # of that travel agent. Thank you.
Unlike the KK-Brunei direction, there is no two-ferry "package" nor can you book tickets in advance.

A single journey ticket from Labuan to Brunei will cost you 35 Malaysian Ringit.  There are two ferries on a daily basis. One leaves at 8 AM, the other at 1:30 PM.

The ferry is air-conditioned. It gets a bit cold inside the ferry so better bring a light sweater. There's a TV in front playing a comedy series in Bahasa language. 

At the arrival hall of Labuan are flyers and counters for renting cars or motorbikes which are popular choices for foreigners who would like to explore the city on their own. Rental of a motorbike costs around 30 ringgit per day. Rent for a Proton Gen-2 car would cost you some 70 ringgit, which is not bad for driving around Labuan in style. You will also see lots of paper ads for different guest houses in Labuan.
There's a lot of Filipinos in Labuan especially at the duty-free stores. They work there either as cashier or saleslady/ salesman.
According to a Pinoy who showed us around Labuan, some Filipinos are undocumented workers who arrived in Labuan as tourist. There is rampant forgery of work permits and identifications cards (ICs) in Labuan. The outflow of Muslims from Mindanao to Sabah was welcomed by Malaysia. Human smuggling become lucrative and corruption becomes rampant in recent years.
Please be warned that a lot of Filipinas ended up in prostitution dens in this little island town of Malaysia. Some even allegedly end up in drug trafficking. This is so sad. I hope the Philippine government would do something about this.
Going Back from Labuan Malaysia to Brunei:

The Labuan Ferry Terminal is an international port. So, you would have to go through the immigration counter if you are going to or coming from Brunei.
The terminal is small so getting lost is not an issue. The ticket counter is just next to the arrival hall.

Both ferries in our Brunei to Labuan and  Labuan to Brunei journey were not full. 

Lots of vacant seats are available. The toilet was pretty nasty though. It has a flush but the toilet looked so unsanitary. And the smell inside the ferry is not something you’d really like. It smells like crude oil.  The ferry ride lasts for just less than an hour and a half.

Upon arrival at MUARA Terminal in Brunei, you have to line up for the immigration again. And then you would have to have your things go through the Customs’ X-Ray.  I saw some Ferry Terminal police officer and security guards watching a Tagalog teleserye dubbed in Malay. They were watching Jericho Rosales. Lol!

There's a bus waiting for passengers outside MUARA Terminal, Brunei. We immediately boarded the bus that brought us back to the city center of BSB. Muara belongs to a different district. BSB is also in a different area, so expect around 40 minutes to an hour of travel.  Fare is B$2


Thursday, July 8, 2010

DO-IT-YOURSELF Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

DO-IT-YOURSELF Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Petronas Twin Towers (KLCC Towers)
On our way to the airport

We woke up @ 4 a.m. to be able to catch the air-conditioned Philtranco Bus bound for Clark International Airport @ the pick-up point at the back of Building A SM Megamall, in front of the mall's entrance near Surplus Shop ( think Toy Kingdom, The Soup Kitchen, Powerbooks near the entrance of SM Megamall A along Bank Drive/ St. Francis St.; it is also near St. Francis Square). 

The fare for a one-way ride then costs Php300. Travel time is approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. We had a reservation through e-mail so we boarded ahead of those who don't have a reserved seat.

At Clark International Airport, there were only 2 ATMs. Both died down on us, somebody's card got stuck @ Landbank ATM. That's why nobody could use it. On the other hand, RCBC's ATM has nationwide maintenance break! Talk about convenience eh! Ha ha ha! I was literally penniless. OMG!

Thank God my brother brought some extra money. Naku, if nagkataon mamalimos ako sa kalsada sa Malaysia. (Oh, otherwise, I would be begging in the streets of Malaysia.)

Our flight went a breeze. Congratulations Air Asia for making me feel safe in all the flights I flew with you. 

Going to our hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

After arrival @ airport terminal (LCCT) in KUALA LUMPUR MALAYSIA, we boarded the Air Asia Skybus, the passenger bus of Air Asia that goes to KL Sentral. We pre-booked our seats on this bus online.

We disembarked @ KL Sentral station and said our goodbye to our co-passengers Jonah & Michiko! They headed to McDonalds Restaurant whereas my brother and I had to look for a Rapid bus bound for Bukit Bintang area. 

Nobody understood us when we asked around at KL Sentral on how we can go to our hotel. Then an angel passed by.Hanna, a native of Sarawak, Malaysia. She helped us find our way to the Monorail train station where we can take a ride to Bukit Bintang. Taking the monorail train, she said, is better than taking the Rapid bus at that time in order to avoid traffic.   

Hanna is an avid fan of Claudine Barreto and Rico Yan. She watched the television series "MULA SA PUSO" over and over again and cried a bucket when she learned of the death of Rico Yan. She said she would love Rico Yan forever. She doesn't like Jericho Rosales (his teleserye was shown in Malaysia, too). She said no one else comes close to her idol RICO YAN!

I thought she gonna sing when she told me that she knows the theme song of MULA SA PUSO. He he he. Hi, Hanna! Oh, she's now added to my Facebook. I do agree with you, Hanna. Rico Yan is so handsome♥!

@ Bukit Bintang, we walked all the way from the Monorail train station and passed through Sungei Wang Mall and BB Plaza Mall and made our way to our hotel, RADIUS INTERNATIONAL HOTEL, just a few blocks away from KFC Restaurant in BUKIT BINTANG. 

Guess what? Our room was upgraded to a superior room at the hotel and we had a beautiful view of PETRONAS Twin Towers and other nearby buildings. Plus we get to swim @ its swimming pool and had a bubble bath @ the bath tub.

Since it's my brother's birthday, we looked for a Nando's Chicken outlet and ate its to die for Nando's Chicken Mild Peri peri and had bottomless Iced tea! It was a superb meal! You ought to try it too! I super love its iced tea. Ha ha ha! I had 5! Yehey! Bawi ang bayad! Ha ha ha!

PETRONAS Twin Towers (KLCC Towers)

In the following morning, we went to the 88-storey PETRONAS Twin Towers (also known as PETRONAS Towers) which the locals fondly call KLCC Towers. KLCC stands for Kuala Lumpur City Centre. At the base of these Twin Towers lies the Suria KLCC Mall.

If you tell your cab driver to bring you to Petronas, he will, most probably, bring you to the nearest Petronas gasoline station. Ha ha ha! 

Petronas, the national oil company, by the way, sells its petrol (gasoline) @ RM 1.2/ per liter times 14.1 = 16.92 / liter of gas. I am so jealous! Ha ha ha! And almost all of the cars in Malaysia are European cars and petite cars like KIA, TOYOTA AVANZA, SUZUKI PETITE. Tipid sa Gas!

I bought a Coca Cola in can from a dispenser and paid RM1. When I checked, the price of water per bottle (small one) is RM 2.70. My golly! Gas is cheaper@ 1.20! Remind me to drink gasoline instead of water next time around. Ha ha ha!

@ 1:30 p.m., I inquired at the KLCC Twin Towers concierge if we could get tour the Sky Bridge if some of those who had their tickets reserved earlier don't show up. The manager on duty told us to wait @ 1:45 p.m. and try again. Luckily, 10 people did not show up @ 1:45 p.m., so we got our ID pass/ tickets and we boarded the elevator to the 41st floor Sky Bridge connecting the twin towers in 40 seconds FLAT! Amazing elevator!

[NOTE: When we toured the Sky Bridge, ticket was FREE!!! Starting 2010, however, tickets are sold for the amounts stated beow. The difference is that the ticket now includes tour to the Sky Bridge (Level 41) AND Observation Deck (Level 86). By the way, Level 42 of the Sky Bridge can only be used by tenants of the Twin Towers.]  

PETRONAS Twin Towers are built on the spot of what was once Kuala Lumpur Race Course. In fact, the road behind the structures is still named Kuda (Horse) Road.

At the Sky Bridge

Once you get to the Sky Bridge, an in-house guide will give you a short briefing about your visit. You get to walk and take pictures on this sky bridge for about ten (10) minutes.

From the Sky Bridge, you will see some parts of the city center of KUALA LUMPUR in all their glory. 

In the 1999 movie "Entrapment," actors Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones escaped from the authorities on the eve of Millennium celebrations by walking ALONG THE TOP of this Sky Bridge!

By the way, the Sky Bridge is open to visitors from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday. Some visitors line up early (some as early as 6:00 a.m.) to get ID passes/ tickets for the Sky Bridge. Sometimes by 9:30 a.m., all the tickets are sold out for the day.

Take note that the Sky Bridge is CLOSED to visitors on Mondays (and some public holidays) and from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Fridays.

Ticket counter is located at the Concourse Level, PETRONAS Twin Towers. This is at the lower ground floor level. Ticket counter is open from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Cost of ticket:            Adult                                          -  80 Malaysian Ringgit
                                   Adult (MyKad)                           -  25 Malaysian Ringgit  
                                   Child (12 years & below)         -  30 Malaysian Ringgit
                                   Child (MyKid)                            - 12 Malaysian Ringgit 

You can also try purchasing tickets on line at if your intended visit is not within the next 24 hours. This means that you have to buy tickets at the Concourse Level if you intend to visit within the next 24 hours. 

For the time being, PETRONAS Twin Towers Visit Operations does not offer online ticketing for MyKad and MyKid holders. To enjoy MyKad and MyKid ticket prices, you can present your MyKad/MyKid when purchasing the ticket at the Ticketing Counter, Concourse Level, PETRONAS Twin Towers.

For more information, you can call +60 (3) 23318080.

[NOTE: When we toured the Sky Bridge, ticket was FREE!!! Starting 2010, however, tickets are sold for the amounts stated above. The difference is that the ticket now includes tour to the Sky Bridge (Level 41) AND Observation Deck (Level 86). By the way, Level 42 of the Sky Bridge can only be used by tenants of the Twin Towers.]  

Terms and conditions:

1. Admission of children aged 3 and below is FREE of charge.
2. Tickets sold are not refundable or transferable.
3. An adult MUST accompany children below 12 years of age.
4. All baggage and personal items MUST go through the Security Scanning Machine.
5. Eating, drinking, chewing gum and smoking are not allowed during the visit.
6. The Management reserves the right to reschedule or cancel visits without prior notice.
7. The Management reserves the right to refuse any entry to any visitor(s).
8. Visitor shall at all times, adhere to and obey:
a. The signs and notices displayed in, on and/or around the premises;
b. The rules and regulations of the PETRONAS Twin Towers Visit;
c. The instructions of the officers in the PETRONAS Twin Towers Visit operation.
9. The Management may remove any visitor who is behaving in an indecent, unruly or disruptive manner or pose any kind of danger or discomfort to other visitors.

Tickets are limited to about 800 people a day and issued on “First Come First Serve” basis. There is also a limit on the number of persons (20) in each time slot throughout the day. Once you got your tickets, you have to return 15 minutes before the scheduled time to reconfirm your ticket.



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