From the little England that was the Cameron Highlands, we moved onto Malaysia’s metropolis, Kuala Lumpur. It took about 5 hours on another comfortable CS Travel & Tours bus, and was a very pretty journey. We arrived, hopped in a cab to the hostel, checked in, and set out to explore KL. In 35-degree heat, this was a fairly sticky experience. We went first to the Batu Caves, about 10km north of central KL. It’s an easy monorail journey from KL Sentral on the Kelana Jaya line, right at the end. This was actually partially closed when we were there so we ended up getting a cheap Grab taxi on the way there.
We arrived and were greeted by an enormous golden Buddha on the ground below a cliff, next to a steep set of steps up to the entrance of two caves. I was actually quite surprised at the expanse of the caves; the ceiling is incredibly high and there are two temples within the first cave, with a music performance going on in one when we arrived. The second cave is called the Dark Cave, and you can only go in as part of a 45-minute guided tour (for 35RM) – which we annoyingly just missed. There are several species of bat and even some snakes in there, so maybe one for another visit to KL!
We stumbled our way back down the steps, avoiding the hyperactive monkeys being fed, and headed for the monorail station. Half way back into the city we were turfed off the train to get a replacement bus service the rest of the way – so it was just like being on the London Underground at the weekend! When we arrived back in the centre, we made our way to the famous Petronas Twin Towers. It’s quite pricey to actually go up (85RM each), so we just joined the small crowd of people struggling to get a photo with the top of the towers in it. I think we managed it, albeit with a very unflattering angle…
We walked an hour or so back to the hostel from the Petronas Towers, through the central district which was jam-packed with shiny shopping centres – one of the main things to do in KL is shop… We managed to resist the urge to part with any cash, but wandered through one of the centres to absorb a little air conditioning and have a snack before heading back to the hostel to socialise. We had some dinner and a few beers to alleviate the heat, which was still above 30 degrees even at 11pm… Luckily, contrary to expectations, our little dorm was quite cool so we did manage to get some sleep that night!
We weren’t in Kuala Lumpur very long, but felt like we got a good feel for the city. It has a nice vibe and is much cleaner than most big Asian cities, but unless you’re there to splash some cash, the city centre doesn’t have a lot of ‘activities’ to offer. If you venture further out of the centre, some of the districts like Chinatown sound quite interesting. It’s also worth bearing in mind that alcohol is heavily taxed, so it’s an expensive night out…
Until next time,
Number of strangers I’ve spoken to today: 4, including a British guy younger than me who quit his job to trade in crypto currencies as he was making so much more money doing that for 3 hours a day than his 9-5. I didn’t understand most of the words he used.
Interaction was: a slightly bamboozling reminder that I need to get with the times and start understanding more about the virtual world…
One Woman and her Backpack x
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