We made it into the city by bus around 3:30 pm. The bus we rode was pretty spectacular and the upholstery (?) reminded me of the carpet in bowling alleys or skating rinks when we were kids:
We checked into our hotel, yes, hotel not hostel. We have our own bathroom! And a TV! (There are only 3 channels, but it's better than nothing amiright?) Actually, we haven't utilized the TV but there is something comforting about looking up on the wall and seeing the 20" of Hitec. The Paloma Inn is in a great location and offers quite the free breakfast with coffee, fresh fruit and roti. We walked to the Central Market (not like the ones in Texas :)) and perused the stalls. I got an awesome bag souvenir so I can fill it with more souvenirs. We then followed the advice of the receptionist at the hotel and went to Jalan Alor for dinner. This is one street with food stalls lining both sides. We were wary of possible food contamination and ensured that we were able to see where the cooking was being done before we ordered anything. We had some pineapple chicken fried rice, a grilled corn on the cob and some satay of different meat and vegetables. I had an okra satay! We turned in early because we were planning to get up early the next day.
Jalan Alor at night
Pineapple Fried Rice, Omm nom nom nom
We did, indeed, wake up early and exercised some before enjoying the free breakfast. The hotel is just down the way from a more Western style coffee shop where we fed our caffeine dependency with a follow-up latte after breakfast. Then we navigated the public transport system (we had to first get on a commuter train then take the monorail) to get to the Batu Caves (Batu means rock or stone in Malay). These are ancient caves set into a hillside where Hindus have built temples and shrines. Admission is by donation only and unfortunately it seemed as though tourists do not donate sufficiently to maintain cleanliness inside the caves. This is an instance that I wouldn't mind if there were two admission standards: 1. Free for Hindus 2. At least 10 RM per tourist entry (this is about $3 USD). This might also allow for some sort of audio tour or something that we tourists could use to further our knowledge of Hindu. Although I studied the religion and associated history in college, there is very little I can now recall. I would have LOVED some more information to give the shrines and statues some context (I guess I have some homework before we get to India).
Entrance to the Batu Caves- 271 steps- that's a lot
Hindu shrine inside the caves
Skylight in the Dark Cave (It is actually called the Dark Cave, that's not just me being clever)
There were lots of these lovely guys 'monkeying' around the caves (now, that is me being clever)
After the caves, we hopped back on the monorail to visit the National Mosque of Malaysia. We were lucky to arrive at a quarter to 4 as the Mosque is only open to tourists for an hour or so in the morning and then again for an hour in the afternoon. It was a beautiful Mosque and one of the volunteers explained some of the architecture to us:
These pillars are meant to look like palm trees.
The main prayer room is designed to look like an umbrella
In front of the Minaret
We had about an hour of downtime before we ventured out again towards Jalan Alor for dinner. Before dinner, we decided to semi-splurge for a foot massage at Chaang which was highly reviewed and on the way to the food. The place lived up to the hype on trip advisor. After all those stairs today and the miles we had logged, our feet and legs were thankful. We actually ate at the same places we ate last night (sans corn) since it was so delicious.
Fat Brothers Satay was yummy and fun!
Tomorrow the KLLC towers are on the agenda, we also decided to extend our stay in Malaysia by (at least) an extra day. Hello, freedom.
We made it to the top (almost):
View from the viewing floor of the PETRONAS Towers which is on the 87th floor and the highest a tourist can go. It was supa high.
Here we are on the skybridge:
Selfie on the skybridge! (selfie sticks were not allowed!)
We had a great morning tour. Shout out and thanks to Mark and Jo for gifting us the admission fee! We really appreciate the gift and all the support you've given us as we pursue this dream- y'all are awesome!
Kuala Lumpur/ Malaysia Summary
We really enjoyed Malaysia, especially all of the delicious and affordable food. Our 4th day here we spent mostly in a bus (it was not a fun one and smelled and was gross) and then stopped in Penang (Georgetown) for the night. We saw some of the remains from the British colonization, ate more yummy food and saw where Jimmy Choo started as an intern making shoes! It was a cool area but we were on a mission to get to Thailand for someone's 30th birthday so, we didn't spend much time here. I think we are both ready for the beach!