The blog is not finished! But after the Theft (yes, capital letters), the want/need to update the blog took second fiddle to dealing with the Theft and just finishing the trip sans computer. Since being home, it's been hard to get that motivation to complete it. But I will. Ever so slowly. Please be patient!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Hanging in KL

Days 421-428, January 20-27, 2012

Ah, Kuala Lumpor, or KL as most people end up calling it. Home of the [once] tallest buildings in the world. Also home, briefly, to Dani and Jess of the Globetrotter Girls whom I had last seen up in Chiang Mai around New Years. My arrival in KL coincided with the ringing in of the Chinese New Year and a small gettogether of a few local travel bloggers the very night I arrived.

Photo via Lash Lash Travel407098_10151208455050327_749295326_22614193_1831964249_n

My lack of a booked hostel became my undoing at the start though as the first place I tried was fully booked up and the second only had room for one night. I would have to move to a different place for one night before coming back. That’s ok. It’s not that bad.

Meeting up with the Girls and the other travel bloggers that night was an interesting experience. Once again it’s really something to think that something as simple as blogging or journaling your trip can create so many connections around the world.

When it was discovered that neither myself or the girls had yet to try Durian, the fruit that smells so bad that it’s banned on buses and trains, the local bloggers would not let us leave that night without trying it. I have to say though, it really didn’t small that horrible. Perhaps the slight cold I had was helping me, or else it just wasn’t a bad one. Who knows. As for the taste, well, it was creamy and kind of had a nutty/seseme flavor to it. I quite enjoyed it. It’s not something I would have all the time, but I certainly wasn’t repulsed. I can’t say the same for Jess though. If you check out my Facebook Fan Page, there’s a link to a youtube video one of the locals uploaded. There’s me, chowing down, and then there’s Jess.

My time in KL, even though I spent a full week there, was actually really laid back. I did a few walks around the city to check out the sites. There’s the obvious choices of the Petronas Towers, and the not so obvious choices of the National Monument and the Botanical Gardens. Both of the latter two are hard for tourists to get to as the amazing underground metro doesn’t head to that corner of the city. It’s either walk, navigate a few bus routes, or grab a ticket on the Hop-on-Hop-off sightseeing bus.

Petronas Towers. Photo via geocaching.comd6993ecb-4939-456d-9329-aecd83509324


National Monument – Photo via geocaching.com6b871bdd-80fa-42a2-9e8a-a65af397baf9

Botanical Gardens – Photo via geocaching.combacfca69-75d3-4ba2-b6ff-bed3fbd9218e

One of my other destinations I had been wanting to go to was the small town of Melaka, a short two hour bus ride from KL. After some planning and research, I decided to do it as a full day trip rather than head out there and spend the night. With the Chinese New Year, many of the communities outside the big cities were still completely swamped with local tourists who leave the big cities. I’m glad I did do it the way I did. It was a long day, but I managed to see everything I wanted, despite the huge crowds of tourists.

Melaka. Photo via Jan GonzalezIMG_3660

The town of Melaka itself is a mix of Dutch, Malaysian, and Portuguese influences, having been conquered by the Dutch and Portuguese before the british took over. Wandering around the town, you can see these influences in many of the cities architecture. The Portuguese influence is a bit harder to find as much of it had been destroyed or left in ruins by the time the Dutch came to build it back up. And because it is a sea port town, much of its history is linked to how it developed as a port and was used as an inroads to the inner Malaysia.

All photos via Jan GonzalezIMG_3659



Back in KL, I met back up with Dani and Jess and a local ex-pat blogger for a quick trip out to the Batu Caves, the largest, and most important, hindu site outside of India. The train ride from the city to the Caves was very cheap and didn’t take all that long to get to. And the best part of it all: it was completely free to go in. When we arrived at the site, I was completely expecting to see an admission vender. Not so. There was one area that seemed to have an admission price, but it wasn’t the main cave.

Batu Caves. Photo via geocaching.com9b2e021e-8841-4c4a-a3c7-4cf7a8688776

Speaking of the cave, to get to it one has to climb over 281 steps to the entrance. We saw many tourists, and just as many local worshipers walking up the stairs. At one point, we saw some people rolling up to the stairs on their sides in a sort of ritual as others walked behind them pouring a constant stream of water on them.

This cave was huge too. There could’ve been 500 people in the cave and still seem empty. And there wasn’t just tourists and worshipers there. There were also monkeys. Lots of monkeys. They weren’t too shy, but they still wouldn’t come right up to someone. You could walk right up beside one and, as long as you don’t make a move to touch it, they’ll sit right there beside you. Probably expecting food. When we finished taking pictures we took the train back into the city where we enjoyed a coffee at Starbucks and then went for an amazing, and cheap, lunch at an Indian banana leaf restaurant.

Inside Batu Caves. Photo via geocaching.com42d36aab-0cce-4871-8ab5-b930c6b5a6f3

That would actually be the last time I saw Dani and Jess before we once again went our separate ways. A couple days later I was hopping onto a bus to Singapore, my official last stop in Asia. The trip is nearing the end fast.

1 comment:

  1. Ah, this Durian :) Still makes me laugh! Good times :)))

    Well, we didn't see each other the very last time in KL, am sure our paths will cross again :) XOXO