Thursday, 19 March 2015

KL monkeys and KL towers


So, Kuala Lumpur, or as DA LOCALS say, KL, was definitely an amazing city and a very cool experience. But so what must one do? Well, if one has only two days, as we did, I will tell you...

  • - Visit the Batu Caves. A quick twenty-minute train ride from our local train station (finding that train station is another story then... and trying to find our way back to the hotel when getting back, after taking a different exit, is an even further other story...).

Around the train station thingy
Anyways, didn't know much about the Batu Caves beforehand except that apparently they are visitworthy if in KL. Now my good friend wikipedia is informing me that it is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside of India, and is dedicated to Lord Murugan, the Hindu god of war. 

Upon arrival
The Batu Caves are a set of caves (surprisingly) at the top of about a million steps, which I think was the best part. The steps were numerous and monkeyful, and them monkeys were definitely some posers! They were also nicer than the Thai monkeys, though I got my water bottle stolen off these Malay monkeys as well - I was videoing a (friendly) monkey fight when suddenly, out of the blue, another monkey had jumped up on me and stolen my bottle. This time luckily I was with a Water Bottle Saviour aka D who managed to get it off the monkeys. Thai Monkeys 1 - o Malaysian Monkeys hehe.
The golden guardian of The Steps
The monkey version of a coconut commercial 
This monkey moved with the tourists, just so he could maximise his photo posing opportunities
They were also generally friendlier (or at least less intimidating) than Thai monkeys 
The caves at the top were not the most magnificent, but on the other hand if we had had time to do the caves that required money payment and a tour, maybe my impression would be different. Completely worth it for the stairs and monkeys though. 
Caves (the less cool ones)
Just in case you felt tempted...
The probably awesome caves we unfortunately didn't have the time to visit
I am a statue
  • Find the Petronas Towers. We took the metro to the Petronas Towers, got out, and spent probably about twenty minutes following sign posts towards the Towers, it took ages. Then, when we finally found an exit, we didn't see the Towers anywhere. Strange! Until we suddenly realised we had just exited the towers...
And a bit later
Cool photos were taken and happy moments experienced. 
  • - Climb the KL Tower. 

I originally wanted to climb the Petronas, but further research changed my mind – firstly, Petronas are obviously the most popular and it appeared they needed proper booking in advance. And secondly, it's as they say with the Eiffel Tower, the main con is that you can't see the Eiffel Tower whilst on the Eiffel Tower! So, cool to see the Petronas from some other cool view point...

And I very much recommend the KL Tower. I followed our guesthouse's instructions to get there by metro/train/whatever it is there, followed walking signposts from there and finally got to the top of the mini hill upon which rested the KL Tower. My guesthouse people had neglected to tell me of the free shuttle bus that picks people up from the bottom of the hill, so I was nice and sweaty and dying to start off with.
The station to get off at

KL Tower was EMPTY. The staff were dressed in lovely colourful traditional suits, and they expertly and easily brainwashed me to choose the costly skydeck instead of 'only' the inside viewing point. I was in the lift heading upwards within five minutes of arriving. (Also had to sign that compulsory I-shall-not-drop-objects-or-myself-from-the-top-of-the-tower form.)

The views were cool though quite hazy as it was morning. What I enjoyed most though was just the relaxed ambiance. (Yes, posh.) I was one of the very few people wandering about this suitably windy view point, taking way too many selfies (according to my newly-appointed Algerian photographer, who kept finding me taking selfies and insisted on taking non-selfies of me. At the end I also got to pose in a picture with his wife. Not quite sure what caption my picture'll get in their holiday album. “The sad selfier”.) And I finally admitted to myself the need for a selfie stick... Had I had one, SUCH EPIC PICTURES would have been taken. Alas, no. Not yet. ;)


My new Algerian friend
But selfies are cool too........ right??
  • Visit Central Market and Chinatown. For cheap souvenirs and funky clothes – my fave are my baggy trousers (what are they called, anyways? Them Asian baggy backpacker trousers) I got from the market.

Chinatown, where stall keepers make special efforts to attract customers

  • Visit H&M. Because Malaysia has H&M. (As do many Asian capitals, though, to be fair. Just not Saigon...)
Prepared to shop...

  • Eat Malaysian Indian food. Malaysia is an interesting mix of many different cultures, and it definitely had far more Indian vibes than I expected. The food was scrumptious, and we ate many of our meals at these street-foody Indiany restaurants – curries and rice and rotis. 

This is a banana roti onto which I, with a brainwave of a lifetime, poured some chocolate milk onto. YES PLEASE
Malaysian eating culture is cute, in any case. Often people (who all happen to be men, btw) eat by themselves, not multi-tasking or anything, just enjoying their meal and their, ALWAYS, iced Milo (iced chocolate milk). 

And talking of scrumptious drinks: I also had the biggest coconut I have ever had.

  • Be on your best behaviour in the trains. 

Also, Malaysia has its very own female-only carriages. A bit of an awkwardness as we were sightseeing with D, a non-female, and our train was about to leave but we didn't dare board a female-only carriage with him... 

And that was KL in a nutshell. :) 

All in all, an epic city. I still prefer Saigon to live in, more because I generally feel safer in Saigon when it comes to being alone or out late at night. But KL is green, is cool, has amazing food, has sites, has H&M... 

Next: LANGKAWI. If KL was awesome, Langkawi was...... more than awesome.

Toodle-pip my marshmallows <3 



  1. Another one I missed! Your monkey coconut commercial pic is great, as are your adventures. Very sensible to climb a neighbouring tower so as to get the best view of the Famous Towers. All the forbidding signs on the KL train reminds me of HK airport... All kinds of things were forbidden there, although I didn't see one forbidding "indecent behaviour". Love Zapz