It was officially my last day of my two weeks trip around Laos. I can’t help but feel sentimental while I’m having my tea, toasted bread, jam and fruit breakfast at Lao Heritage Hotel. I was already awake by 5:30am just to get ready to go to the airport. Wattay International Airport is just less than half an hour away so I wasn’t in a hurry.
I took a tuk-tuk to the airport for 30,000 kip. The roads were wide open that early morning and the purple haze had that sober feeling enveloping the city skyline. Shortly I reached Wattay Airport only to find it teeming with inactivity. It’s virtually closed when I got there with all the check-in stations on hold. It was almost 8am and our flights leave at 10am. Now that’s what I call laid back.
There were a few unsecured wifi at the airport that I accessed from my mobile while I wait. One by one other passengers, mostly foreigners came in. I looked around the airport while waiting for the check-in to open. I noticed familiar faces in the crowd. The same people and groups I saw when I was in Luang Prabang. Lo and behold, check-in counters opened before 9am, just an hour away before our flight. I wasn’t really panicking because the check in was organized. I just wasn’t used to it opening so late like that.
I grabbed a breakfast nearby before proceeding to the waiting hall. There were still time so I bought a few souvenirs from the duty free shops to get rid of some of my Lao Kips. We boarded just in time. The AirAsia flight was ordinary and uneventful. I just slept through partly listening to music. And by 2pm Malaysia time we arrived in Kuala Lumpur Budget Terminal. It was really crowded. The most crowded I have seen of the place.
My next flight was after midnight so I had a big gap of time. Before I was planning to stay at the terminal but here in the Budget Terminal, there is nothing much to do. I decided I would go to Kuala Lumpur City Central. I left my big bag at the Luggage Storage at the airport for 10RM (ringgit). It was my first time to leave a bag at the airport and learned that I had to have it run through the xray and stamped before leaving it there.
I bought a round trip bus ticket from AeroBus for 14RM. It took around an hour to reach KL Sentral, the transportation hub in Kuala Lumpur. I had my late lunch there and decided to go to KLCC and visit the Petronas after. I have been to Kuala Lumpur several times and was already familiar with the transport system. So after a couple of train rides I reached the KLCC Petronas Mall.
The Petronas Towers as always is a sight to see. Formerly the tallest building in the world, it’s architecture, inspired by Muslim design is still impressive to ponder your sights at. I stayed there by the garden facing the Petronas Towers as the sky goes darker. In those moments I was looking back at my travel. I’m going home in a few hours. There’s this sad feeling that the trips going to end. It has been a great two weeks, though alone I met a lot of interesting people along the way and no doubt Laos has great sights, culture and places to explore. But at the same time as well, I’m glad I’ll be back home. The trip was a much needed escape and reflection on decisions that would shape me up on the coming months.
By 9pm I was already at the bus on the way back to the airport. I remember sleeping throughout the ride and the conductor had to wake me up. It was a red eye flight so I thought of getting enough sleep as I can. Claimed my bag and went to the waiting lounge for the flights. By 1am I was flying back to Manila. I had the whole row to myself and decided to just lay back to sleep. By the time I open my eyes, as if coming from a dream, I’ll be back in Manila.
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.