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Published: June 27th 2010
Batu Cave Temple
Cave roof opens up towards the back
So it was enough of beaches and island life for us. The plan now was to cut across the peninsula to the west side and the capital city, Kuala Lumpur. Just a quick note about the absolute worst thing about traveling here; the air conditioning. Outside it is consistently 35 degrees and humid, causing you to sweat like a mad-man. For some reason all buses and trains have the air con cranked to the mid-teens. The two extremes are quite unhealthy i believe and by the time we arrived in Kuala Lumpur, 5 hours away, we both got quite sick. Luckily a full day of bed rest cleared that up, meaning we didn't get some tropical disease or anything.
The bus dropped us off somewhere in the middle of nowhere on the outskirts of town. Having no idea where to go the best option was to jump into a cab and hope he can take us somewhere with hotels and other signs of civilization. It's not easy directing a cabbie who doesn't speak english to take you somewhere in a foriegn city when you yourself has no idea where you want to go. Eventually we got dropped of on Petaling
street in China town, and a quick look around made it obvious that this was where we wanted to be. We found a decent hotel at a nice price and settled in for a few days of site-seeing. The China town area is probably the most interesting part of the city that we saw. Lots of markets and street vendors selling brand name knock offs and cheap street food. Yumi tried her hand at some haggling shopping and did surprisingly well. her strategy is to lowball the poor guy and then instread of slowly haggling upwards she repeats the same offer in a childish voice a few dozen times until she gets what she wants.
We took a look around the city as well, some impressive buildings but nothing too exciting that sets it apart from any other large metropolis. Lots of shopping malls and office buildings. The Petronas towers offers the best photo-op in town and going up the KL tower gives the best view if the smog clears at the same time.
If you are ever here, the real highlight that we saw are the Batu Caves, which are about 45 minutes from the city center
by bus. This is the holiest place for Indian-Hindus in Malaysia, of which there is a large minority. Outside is a nearly 150 foot high statue of Lord Murugan, looking rather smug after just beating up on the demon Soorapadem. Behind him is a 272 step staircase leading to cathedral cave. Inside the cave are several other temples with ornate carvings and colorful statues. Also residing within are hundreds of monkeys that seem to have nothing better to do but climb around on everything and yell at each other.
After a few days here we had already exhausted all the city had to offer so it was time to push onwards. next stop, Penang Island and the UNESCO heritage city of Georgetown, is where we are currently. I'm still playing catch us a bit with this blog so I'll add an entry about this place soon. Just to say, this is one of the best places I've ever travelled. If your one of those people with a "100 places to travel before i die" list, just take my word for it and put it down.
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