Dashing the Vibrant Merdeka Square and Batu Caves
Kuala Lumpur is a melting pot city with their evidently British colonial-era structures side by side with Islamic architecture buildings and Indian temples. We will definitely feast with these today! If you’re craving for diverse culture then Kuala Lumpur is the perfect place for you as it’s oozing with it.
Tired from all the activities we had on our first day, we had to wake up at 7AM to fill our empty stomachs for another exciting day. Luckily, the hostel offers free light breakfast which consists of bread, butter, jam, tea, coffee and cereals. If you wish to reheat or chill your own food and drinks, they have a microwave and a fridge as well! After we had our breakfast, we quickly got ready and checked-out but we asked them to keep our bags until we have to leave for the airport for our flight to Phuket.
Our hostel is about 15-minute walk from the Merdeka Square but before heading there, we stopped by this small Sri Mahamariamman Temple along the way and had to leave our shoes outside as a sign or respect. Dianne, being new to this kind of surroundings, found it peculiar seeing those ornaments and statues of Gods. There wasn’t much to see there so we left the temple after about a few minutes.
When we reached the Merdeka Square, we were the first few ones so we almost had the place to ourselves. The view was majestic as we normally don’t see this kind of Islam-inspired architecture in our country. Within just a short walk, we went to Kuala Lumpur City Gallery where the famous ‘I love KL’ symbol was.
We were lured by the “free” entrance poster at the Gallery but upon inquiring at the reception, the admission fee was 5RM (1.5USD). By mistake, we didn’t notice that the tour was only for free every Fridays (as much as we could remember). Having a limited budget we have for KL, we skipped it and went straight to KL Sentral to catch the train going to Batu Caves.
We took the KTM commuter and purchased a roundtrip ticket for 4RM (1USD) per person. The train ride was about 30 mins to reach the last station, which is the Batu Caves. The trains are not frequent so it is advisable to know the timetable ahead so you can work your trip around it. Upon getting off the train, a humongous statue surrounded by over-energized monkeys will welcome you to their turf! Beware of these monkeys as some of them were aggressive and would take anything that looks like food.
Now for the crème de la crème, the Batu Caves! It is a sacred place for the Hindu which is located in a limestone hill comprising three major caves and a couple of smaller ones. The golden Hindu God statue itself already makes the view stunning! Behind it is the 272 steep steps going to the caves. It may seem intimidating but it’s definitely a feat when you get to the main cathedral cave.
Dianne being not used to humid weather, she prefers to wear skimpy shorts (fresh and comfortable clothing in her defense) but unfortunately there were dress codes to be followed. She had to pay 5RM (1.25USD) for the sarong rental but 2RM (0.50USD) will be returned upon surrendering the sarong.
Getting excited (and exhausted) to reach the top, the real struggle was not the steep steps but the monkeys climbing and jumping up & down the stairs–at least for us!
As we go higher, the view was getting better and our hearts’ were pounding a lot faster! We were exhausted when we got to the cave’s entrance, but as soon as Dianne saw the wonderful cathedral cave, her flat face pumped up with joy and started snapping pictures as her souvenirs.
It was a beautiful sight for her that she wanted to climb another few steps to get to the farthest part of the cave. I wanted to catch my breath but I cant fault her, the view was simply stunning. Lucky these Hindu Gods for residing them in this eye-popping scenery!
We only had about more than an hour to cherish these amazing natural structures but we definitely left the place in awe. Knackered from all the energy-grabbing activity we had in just half a day, we doze off going to KL Sentral and chose the first Malaysian restaurant around the station. We had this sumptuous spicy noodles and spicy chicken rice meal which made our adrenaline rise up!
We still had a couple of hours left to explore the other parts of the city, but with the scorching heat and draining energy, we’d rather go back to the hostel to rest and finalize our packing.
Even if it was my third time in Kuala Lumpur, this city never fails to amaze me one way or the other. I was glad that Dianne felt the same level of happiness and satisfaction I felt the first time I step foot here. Without a doubt, Malaysia is truly Asia with its unique culture and we cannot wait to explore the whole country in our future travels.