Kuala Lumpur is one of my favourite travel destinations in Asia. I don’t know whether it is the multicultural vibe, delicious food, amazing architecture or the fact that people are very kind and friendly, especially for such a big city. I think it is the mix of all of these factors. Or maybe the fact that it was my first destination to travel so far east in Asia, when I went there many years ago for a business trip from Europe. Anyway there are few places in the world when I feel almost like home when I am there, and Kuala Lumpur is definitely one of them. Oh, and one more thing, whatever your interests are, you are sure to have a good time here.
So please join me on a trip to visit just few of the countless attractions of KL.
It is a complex of caves turned into Hindu temples, laying about 30 minutes train ride from the KL Sentral rail station. Don’t go there by taxi. It makes no sense, as the fast air-conditioned KTM Komuter Train will take you directly under the entrance to the caves for about 5.6 MYR (1.3 $) per two persons. KTM trains are quite interesting as the middle section is marked with pink signs and it is meant only for women. It is the only one of various public transportation means in Kuala Lumpur that I noticed to apply such solution. Most of Malay people are Islamic, but in such cosmopolitan city as KL you don’t really feel the influence of any religion, so I was a bit surprised to see that.
Anyway, girls, if your husband or boyfriend is complaining that his legs hurt from all this sightseeing and he would rather sit somewhere and drink a beer, you know where to go to spend 30 calm minutes on the way… Joking of course 🙂
After you arrive at the Batu Cave station and get through the booths selling everything from souvenirs and bracelets to fried rice you will find yourself under huge green statue of a monkey god Hanuman. Be careful when you take the pictures under his feet, as from this point of your cave adventure on you will be accompanied by his wards – monkeys. I don’t know if it is my blind luck, or if it happens quite often there, but one of the monkeys didn’t quite like my presence under the Hanuman statue, and it expressed its discontent by charging and hissing at me. It stopped being funny when it got quite close and presented its sharp yellow teeth, but fortunately we managed to scare it away.
Behind the statue there is the entrance to smaller Ramayana Cave, which we found quite interesting and definitely worth seeing. The half-light of the cave combined with the vividly lighten colourful statues telling the stories from Indian myths, takes you on fairy-tale journey. Beautiful rock structures, stalactite and stalagmites give an adequate background to this peculiar mythological depiction, giving especially interesting subject to the photographers.
In order to get to the main cave you have to climb 272 stairs, and it itself is an adventure worth the effort. First of all, forget about buying a snack or drink to consume on the way, as you will enjoy it really shortly. The gang of constantly hungry monkeys is already waiting along the stairs to take advantage of unaware tourists. We saw them tear away the bottle of soda, ice-cream or pack or chips from the hands of startled people many times on our way up and down. Those little bullies are very fast and you have no chance to get back what they have stolen, so it is better to guard your camera too. They are mainly after food, but who knows what comes to their mind of a theft.
The temple inside the cave is under construction, so if you would like to do a good deed you can carry the brick or a bucket with building materials up the stairs. You will sweat on the way up anyway, so why not help?
When you reach top of the stairs look back to admire the panorama of the city over the back of the golden statue of Lord Murugan. The cave inside is impressive mostly because of huge rock formations, the sounds coming from the constructions site however take away a bit of the magic. Most likely in few years the temple will be equally amazing as its surroundings. After you rested a little inside the cool and damp cave you are ready to go down the 272 stairs and again watch the monkeys run after their victims.
BRICKFIELDS – LITTLE INDIA
Whenever we are near KL Sentral somehow we always end up in the Brickfields – the Indian district of Kuala Lumpur. And no, it has nothing to do with my affection towards Indian cuisine 🙂 Sometimes I just enjoy walking along the streets, looking at amazingly vivid and colorful stalls selling spices, cloths, fruits & vegetables as well as floral garlands. The last ones are especially admirable.
In the bigger shops you can also buy some souvenirs like incense sticks along with holders made of sandal wood, sets of spices, snacks or colorful bracelets. What is quite interesting is the fact that, something that looks like a souvenir shop for a foreigner is actually a shop with everyday articles for the local people.
The specific aroma which is combination of spices, incense sticks and flowers adds to the overall dreamy impression of the Little India. The pictures won’t give you the full experience of this place, but if you imagine that the fragrant is as intensive as colors and so is the loud Indian music, you will more or less get the idea what this place is about.
Well I guess there will be part two, as there is no way I can squeeze all the memories and pictures from this amazing city in one post.
Have you ever visit Kuala Lumpur? What are your favorite places in the capital of Malaysia?