Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Batu Caves - Kuala Lumpur

Friday, November 8 - Saturday, November 9

We spent the morning checking out of our guesthouse, making our way to the Malacca bus station, catching a bus for the one-hour journey back to Kuala Lumpur, and then finding our way to Ben and Kee's lovely apartment in the Bukit Bintang area where we had booked their private room for our last night in Malaysia. For dinner we strolled though Bukit Bintang's famous night market and ate bowls of delicious laksa at one of the stalls.

On Saturday morning, as our flight to Sydney didn't leave until midnight, we decided to visit Batu Caves, a short train ride from the city. At the station, we almost boarded the wrong carriage. In this Moslem country, two of the middle cars are reserved for women only.

We had read about the Batu Caves, a significant Hindu shrine, but even so we were not prepared for the vast size of the site and its accompanying statue.

With the usual temperature hovering above 30ÂșC, the climb up all those stairs to the cave entrance was daunting. At least we weren't doing it carrying cases of water like some of the other climbers.

The only ones not having a struggle were the ubiquitous monkeys who leaped easily from vantage point to vantage point, and watched us without sympathy.

 But the view from the top of the climb was worth it, even though there were still more stairs ahead, both down.....


.... and up again.

Returning to street level was less strenuous, but the steep and narrow stairs required some concentration to negotiate. One slip and you felt you would tumble all the way to the bottom.

However, I did have time to admire some of the smaller details of the temple.

We ate lunch in one of a row of restaurants adjoining the site, but compared with food we'd had elsewhere in Malaysia, it was expensive and disappointing. We made our way back to KL and spent the afternoon relaxing in the apartment before Kee drove us to the train station to begin our journey to the airport and on to Australia.