MALAYSIA SELF TOUR
Day 340… Kuala Lumpur, the cosmopolitan capital of Malaysia, is affectionately known as KL and I almost always hear people everywhere refer to it by its acronym. Communities of Indian, Chinese and ethnic Malay people mingle peacefully, combining the markets of Chinatown, Indian food and traditional Malay arts… and there you have the heart of Kuala Lumpur. I will be heading out of town eventually to visit the famous Batu Caves, but my evening is best spent at the night market sampling the many different cuisines on offer and bargain hunting amongst the many stalls.
Day 341… Todays festivities include 2 day tours of Kuala Lumpur, with its charming character. On this tour, i get to see the contrast between the old Indo-Moorish architecture and modern buildings.Thefirst stop on our tour is at a traditional Batik workshop where i get to see how they make beautiful batik designs using dyes and waxes… followed by a stop at a chocolate and coffee factory, which was quite nice! Afterwards we continue wherethere are photo stops at the King’s Palace (a symbol of Malaysian sovereignty), Independence Square and the famous Petronas Twin Towers – stage for so many movies and still the tallest twin-towers in the world!After that i got to visit the National Museum and view the National Monument, National Mosque (Masjid Negara), and the Old Railway Station.I manage to befriend 2 fellow travelling ladies and arrange to meet for dinner.Jump off for a quick snack lunch before I hop back on another bus for my next leg. I also get a re-visit to being a white guy in an Asian place celebrity status with 5 sets of people asking to be photographed with me, which is nice. 1 guy who was a seriously lovely guy… slightly disabled… wanted a photo and i happily obliged as he rested his head in the crook of my shoulder thengave me a hug in thanks and went about his business … so sweet!
This tour covers a short drive through Little India before we make our journey to Batu Caves.Before we get there, however, we have more craft stops to buy things and the first is aMalaysianpewterarts factoryattheRoyalSelangorVisitorCentre, followed by another batik place.I also befriend another lovely lady on the trip and ask her to join us for dinner later. Then we get toBatu Caves… a massive limestone outcrop, its interiors are home to a Hindu shrine lined with different deities. The shrine itself is located deep inside the high caverns which take 272 steps to reach. And lucky I made friends with Lizard as she has a quite serious phobia about steps… not necessarily heights… so I assist her in the climb. We have timed it quite well here as we get to see a Hindu blessing ritual in full swing, all the bells and whistles. .. literally!At the top we get to marvel at the 140 feet high gold-painted statue of Hindu god Murugan,as well as while we climb the stairway, we have to dodge vicious little teeth and ha do as the place is littered with sneaky macaque monkeys… one of which snatches a bottle of water from us and uses his evil sharp fangs to rip the bottle open for the water inside.
At night i meet up with my random 3 ladies for dinner and a monsoon shower at The Ship for some food and beer and then on to some market shenanigans until we finally find a whisky bar and chill till midnight, whereupon we brave the weather again to get back to our respective hotels.