Backpacking Malaysia and Singapore
July 28, 2012
On our second day in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, I woke up at 6AM not knowing when the sun would shine. By the time it was 6:30AM, I was already prepared and ready to start my day. I went downstairs to join Rhan while she was watching the Opening Ceremonies of the 2012 Olympics. I was surprised to see that it was still very dark outside. Here in the Philippines, the sun is already up that time but in Malaysia, it is still dark.
Since most of the people in the guesthouse were still asleep and we can’t obviously roam around because most, if not all, shops were still closed. We just enjoyed the sofa, the Olympics and Chot’s company.
We were all ready for our breakfast by 9AM. We went to a nearby grocery store to buy some milk and juice. It was a very pleasant feeling to see a fellow Filipino buying at the store. We can even hear her speaking to her family back here. Then we decided to buy Roti, a flat bread that looks like crepe. We brought the roti with honey and bananas back to our guesthouse and we had breakfast, al fresco.
It was already 10AM when we decided to check out of the hotel and go to the KL Sentral. From there, we would take another train to Batu Caves.
We took the Bukit Bintang monorail located a few minutes away from our guesthouse. It is a simpler train with small capacity for passengers and covers a small portion of KL. We bought our tokens in the cashier window and the fare was actually cheap. We had to wait for a while before the train arrived. The journey was so fun because I was able to see more buildings and parks in KL.
When we reached the KL Sentral train hub, we had a hard time locating the train going to Batu Caves. There were so many people that day and they had a couple of trains going to different parts of Malaysia. It is also a site for shopping and dining so it is frequently flocked by tourists and locals. Hopeless, we approached the Information counter in the middle of Sentral and asked which train was going to Batu Caves. Since my friends wanted to leave their bags, we also asked for lockers for rent. The person from the info counter directed us to the corner of the first floor where a staff will assist us. We rented one locker for RM5, I think. We just paid the guy and he gave us the locker key.
Then off we went to Batu Caves. It was like travelling from the busy streets of Manila to a more peaceful place in Laguna. I think the ride was about 30 minutes. It was fun because there were few people in the train and a special train was also designated for women. Another thing that we noticed was that some seats were facing each other – better for groups if they wanted to chat while travelling. We were able see buildings that were modern, Muslim-inspired, and even Chinese-like. We passed by schools, government offices, private buildings and parks. It was a good contrast of Malaysia’s culture.
Then we finally arrived at one of the popular tourist spots in Malaysia – Batu Caves. Even before entering the site, we were able to get a glimpse of the statues and small shrines.
Inside the Batu Caves, we passed by a huge green monkey statue. It was so ginormous that I felt so small below it. We also saw a lot of souvenir stores selling everything from the basic key chains, magnets and accessories to small figurines and Hindu ornaments. There were also some stores selling local Malaysian snacks. The coconut juice was a hit that time because it was a really hot and humid day.
We also saw little temples and a pond with small fishes. There were also monkeys and birds everywhere. Good thing the monkeys were kind and not scaring us.
We also saw the tallest Murugan Temple. It is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside India. On its back is a stair composed of 272 steps going to the Temple cave where monkeys and Hindu shrines can be found.
After visiting the cave, we went to a nearby souvenir store to buy some pasalubong for our friends. I was able to buy pencils with little dolls. Since my friends are also creative individuals, they tried the henna tattoo. Henna tattoos are used in the Hindu culture for their weddings. Ruby and Rhan had their henna on their hands while Jella on her arms. They paid RM5 each.
It was already 1PM and we still needed to buy souvenirs at Sentral so we decided to go back. Upon arriving at Sentral, we collected their bags and looked for a restaurant. There were McDonalds and Starbucks in the area aside from local restaurants. Since Ruby hasn’t tried eating at Secret Recipe, we decided to eat there.
After eating, we went back to the first floor to buy chocolates from the Beryl’s boutique. Beryl’s is one of the most popular chocolates in Malaysia. We intended to visit the chocolate kingdom, however we did not have time anymore so we just settled for the botique. I was able to buy boxes of chocolates for very affordable prices.
We took the skybus going back to LCCT very early since that would be the first time we will be departing from Malaysia with other baggage and we wanted to avoid any hassle. The travel time was only an hour and we reached the airport early. We checked in, went to the immigration, then finally waited at our boarding gate.
We were 4 hrs early for our flight so we took our time to rest, freshen up and roam around the airport. We were able to find a couple of nice stores including the small duty free section. There were also very decent restaurants. We were still full so we just decided to buy at Dunkin’ Donuts for our snack.
Aside from observing the tourists and locals waiting for their flights, I also saw for the first time some toilets that were actually on the floor so you have to squat to do some call of nature. I was not game to try it that time and the toilet was not that clean so I used the ordinary toilet.
It was past 7PM and the sun was still up. I knew I did not have a screwed body clock but gosh, it was still unusual for me. Haha. Arte lang.
By 9PM, our flight took off. It was a brief one hour flight but we really enjoyed it. What I will miss most about Malaysia? Probably the laidback life and the food. 🙂