Kuala Lumpur – Day 4

Woke up to the sound of chanting and the sight of men in long shirts streaming through KLCC park towards the mosque. Today was a public islamic holiday in Malaysia for the end of ramadan so we decided to go to see Batu Caves – which turned out to be very Hindu.

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After our usual awesome traders buffet breakfast we headed out to the monorail to take us to Sentral. Experts as we were now we made the long trek from the monorail to the real Sentral station. Bought some tickets to Batu Caves which cost 1 ringgit each but what was interesting was that it was one way. Turns out that leaving Sentral is cheaper than going to Sentral – for everything (monorail included). To get back to Sentral from Batu Caves would cost us 2 ringgit each.

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Our timing was great for the train as we only had to wait a few minutes for it. The train was super clean and modern, it had aircon, maps that lit up based on your stop and Tvs showing tom and jerry. We had a great time just riding the train and looking at the sights – like old central station that looked very Indian to the posters of Dallas the tv show which was coming soon. Everywhere we looked though there were Malaysian flags. We weren’t sure if that was because of the holidays or if they normally have them everywhere.

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When we arrived at Batu Caves we were shocked by how close the caves were to the train station. I mean we knew it was in walking distance but didn’t think it was right at the doorstep! I was glad Claire had done the research to train here as hiring a taxi or doing a tour would have been extortion in comparison to what we paid.

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At the Caves there were huge Hindu statues of Hanuman (looks like a monkey) and lord muruga (the gold statue). Even though it wasn’t yet 10am it was still stupid hot and we decided not to walk the 272 steps to the cave. Yes we were lazy but at 31 degrees (feels like 40) with a leg that struggles at 3 steps I wimped out. I’d much prefer to feel safe than sick.

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We wandered at the base for a while and took pictures of coupled getting married. There was much to see at that lower level just in terms of people watching. After we headed back to the train and made it just in time to get on the Women’s only carriage. It’s a carriage for Muslim women (and others) to feel safe from men, except that men were on it anyway! Nice idea in theory.

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Back at sentral we caught the monorail to bukit bintang where Claire had fun again in uniqlo and we bought some delectable sweets from Su. I know of Su from when she had a blog years ago when she started making really cool cupcakes for fun. She had been studying architecture in Australia but after graduating she moved back home to Malaysia and decided she wanted to pursue the cupcake thing. She blogged her culinary course in the USA and returned home to eventually open shops in KL. it has been fun to watch her grow and then finally taste the fruits of her labours, however we were too full to try the cupcakes (you can only buy 3 at a time) so went for a huge macaron and a peanut butter marscapone thing. We headed downstairs to pavilion’s amazing food court to scoff them down with a drink. I loved the food court down there – I only wish I’d tried some of it.

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Headed back to the hotel again to relax in the room and take advantage of club (yet again). We arrived later this day do didn’t have a great view and weren’t feeling it, so left and headed over to Suria KLCC again. Did watch a great storm though.

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We bought a celcom sim for the phone and tried to get 3gb of data but although he claimed we had it we kept getting texts saying our balance had run out. We went back to check but he claimed there was a system error and that was the reason for the texts. Not very helpful and I wouldn’t suggest using them, but at least we had Internet for langkawi. It was cool though to see them use a tool to cut down the phone sim to iPhone 4s size using a specially designed cutting tool.

We just wandered the shops again before they shut by hitting the sneaker stores. Took the buggy back to the hotel passing some Malaysian punks on the way who looked awesome. Our last night in KL was spent gawking at the towers and slept with the curtains open to see it.

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In summary we loved KL as a city and would happily return there again. Although the Traders hotel had a lot to do with why we liked it, it was also the shopping, the transport infrastructure and the interest in greenery they appeared to have. It’s not as hectic as hong kong or Bangkok which makes it a bit more relaxing. Next stop – Langkawi!

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