Sunday, 1st May 2011
It was great to be up and about by 9am today to kick-start our Kuala Lumpur campaign proper. After a forgettable KFC breakfast meal at Pertama Complex, we made our way to the Bank Negara KTM Station behind Sogo Departmental Store for our rail journey to the Batu Caves. With the completion of the Batu Caves extension line in July 2010, getting to the caves via public transportation was no longer a myth.
Located 11km north of Kuala Lumpur city, reaching the caves by KTM Train probably took us more than an hour due to the long waiting intervals in between the spartan schedules. But the wait was relatively fruitful as I spent the time taking random shots of the train station.
The train journey itself was comfortable as the modern cars were air-conditioned. For RM1, this would bring us right to the doorstep of the caves. My minor gripe was that the train announcements were only made in Malay. We probably had to stay alert in order not to miss our stops while catching a quick wink at the comfort of our seats.
Batu Caves pays homeage to the Hindu Gods and
this popular tourist destination is a mecca for devotees during the annual Thaipusam Festival. A huge golden statute fronting the main entrance and the 272 steps leading to the top of the caves were the major highlights of this visit.
KW and I took a good 30 minutes, with ample rests in between stops to reach the pinnacle. Afterall, as adults in our early 30s, our bodies were no longer as agile as compared to the 20-somethings during our National Service days. We were certainly glad to have completed our pilgrimage as our sweaty bodies felt refreshed from the uphill climb.
Next up, we continued our train journey to the historic Kuala Lumpur Railway Station. Completed in 1892, this grand old dame once served all the intercity train services to & from the city until the opening of the KL Sentral Station in 2001. The old station had since retired save for a couple of suburban train services.
Also within the station compounds is a mini museum which took us less than 5 minutes to browse through the displays. At one end of the station now lies the defunct Heritage Station Hotel with its shutters permanently down.
We certainly hoped that with adaptative reuses and conservative efforts in the near future, this would transform the historic relic into its former glory. Visits to the Batu Caves and the Train Museum are free of charge.
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