We arrived at KL Sentral at 8 in the morning and definitely spent a good amount of time wandering around trying to figure out which line to take to our stop at Bukit Bintang station. There are several lines that connect at KL Sentral, and they all have their own separate ticket booths and entrances, some of which may not even be in the station (the monorail and busses are about a block away).
After a quick shower at the hostel, we made our way to the Batu Caves. I had the misfortune of getting an upset stomach the moment we got on the monorail and puking the moment we got to KL Sentral. I did try to hold it in but I had been stupid and taken my antibiotic pill (cant have my foot falling off) on an empty stomach (bad move) and my stomach wasn’t having it. My puke was a lovely bright yellow with remnants of the blue pill, so I guess I’ve now learned what’s in those pills. After filling my tummy with some fries at KL Sentral (they have chili sauce in addition to ketchup!) we took the train to Batu Caves.
The first thing you see coming out of the station is a giant statue of a blue monkey ripping its chest open (you thought I was going to say clothes off didntcha?). On the way there are an assortment of smaller temples, food stalls (there’s a really good vegetarian Indian place where you can get the flat circle bread for 3 ringgit and it comes with an assortment of curries. Also fresh coconuts!), and random animals.
By random animals, I mean hordes of pigeons in front of the steps, hordes of monkeys up the steps (they will attack you), and a chicken and rooster pair pecking around in the temple. These monkeys have learned to eat human food, open bottles and bags of chips, and even wear clothes (I witnessed some monkeys fighting over a scarf). It’s actually quite fascinating, but made me wary of getting too close during the stairclimb.
Up at the top of too many steps, you get a great view of the city (and a statue’s buttocks). The entrance to the caves are worn down from dripping water, and you definitely get the whole cave/jungle vibe. Inside the cavern there are murals and statues placed into niches depicting what appeared to be life from way back when, and some religious stuff (obvi). There’s a second set of stairs you can take into a smaller cave that opens up at the top. There is a prayer area where people would stop by to pay their respects, while pigeons hopped around them. It’s worth visiting at least once, even though the caves themselves aren’t too extensive. There are other caves you can tour if you pay for a ticket, but we were satisfied with our adventure and decided to head back.
We ended our trip with fresh coconut juice (best idea ever). We tried really hard to get some of the meat with our straws, but it was too difficult so we gave up pretty quickly :(.
On our way back, something interesting that we noticed was that there were train carriages and waiting areas specifically for women (and children) only. It reminded me a bit of Taipei’s female waiting areas, but I’m pretty sure Taipei’s are for safety reasons (they specify there is a camera watching for late nights) and here, not so much.
It was nap time at the hostel after too many hours in the sun, then off to the KL (Menara) Tower. In Kuala Lumpur, there are two main buildings that people recommend seeing the view from – KL Tower and the Petronas Twin Towers (woo big oil companies). The twin towers are taller, but menara sits on top of a hill, so the view you get from the top is actually much better.
At KL Tower, the bottom floors are devoted to tourism, while the top floors are the observation deck, a restaurant, and the communications rooms (KL Tower is built specifically for communication purposes, and most radio stations broadcast from the top). The tourism area offered a mini rare animal zoo, pony rides, an aquarium, other fun things, and a little cultural village displaying the different types of houses of Malaysia, as well as a bazaar with goods for sale. There are also a number of shops (selling live bees and cordials..weird) and a theater that plays a 15-min video describing the history behind the tower and how it was constructed.
We decided to take the opportunity to be schmancy for a night and make reservations at Atmosphere 360, the revolving restaurant a floor above the observation deck. It was about $50 per person (not too bad considering the ticket to the observation deck is about $15, and you get a fancy buffet) and offered us a chance to enjoy the sunset and night view (with occasional flashes of lightning in the distance) of the city as well as try a variety of foods. It was all pretty delicious, though we stayed away from the giant platter of raw seafood just in case), and I discovered a delicious new dessert that I want to learn how to make. It’s called Babur Jalung, and is a warm sweet coconuty soup with corn that you pour on top of glutinous rice balls. There was also a variety of fruits and I’m pretty sure I ate more fruit than regular food. (I was super excited about star fruit and dragonfruit.)
We left with happy tummies and crashed from food coma after getting back.