In the morning, I was still too hot. I felt better after a shower and breakfast (as much toast and jam and coffee or tea as you like). Everyone in the hostel seemed to know each other, they said some guest stay so long that it’s like a family. Someone told me about a nice waterfall near KL. I might go there tomorrow. Today, the Batu Caves are on my plan.
I walked through Chinatown for a while and tried not to go into too many shops because I rather wanted to do that in the evening. I tried to find out whether it was better to take a bus or a train to the caves and in the end they told me that the bus I needed to take only ran in the afternoon and it would cost 3 RM. So, 3 Belgian girls and I tried to find the train (not metro) station. It’s very close to my hostel and there they told me that I had to cross the road to get to it. But there were no signs (only to the metro). But once we crossed the road without knowing where we’d get, we saw the stairway to walk to the ticket booth. It only cost 1RM to go all the way to the last station. We just missed the train and had to wait for about 20min but there were benches and fans.
The train then was like heaven. The air-con is turned up very high but doesn’t make you freezing 🙂 That’s why, when we arrived at the Batu Caves, I’d almost have liked to stay on the train and just ride back and forth. But my sense for exploring was stronger. It was a 3 min walk towards this huge rock just towering in the otherwise flat surroundings. You can’t miss the big golden statue at the beginning of the stairs. It was mesmerizing, standing at the starting point of about 350 steps, leading into a big cave. There were three lanes you could walk in and then go up the stairs. I thought I’d have to buy a ticket somewhere but you could just walk up. I couldn’t believe this place is still free! Phew, it was HOT. Not a day to exercise. Just take your time looking at the monkeys (don’t go too close or they get aggressive) and enjoy the view of what you’ve already accomplished. I saw quite a few people not looking too well anymore because they were too hot. Luckily, I had a coke with me 🙂 At home, I don’t like coke but here it seems like “a coke a day keeps the dizziness away” :).
I finally made it up to the top and always kept bumping into the same people again. The girls from Belgium and an American and Chinese guy. I walked through the cave and up into the second, smaller cave, with a temple inside. Beautiful Indian girls were standing inside, waiting to receive a blessing from the monk.
I then slowly walked back down. The steps are really small and the stairway very steep. Anyone who doesn’t walk carefully really must like hospital tubes. I wonder whether people got hurt already.
Back down, I wasn’t really hungry but I thought I should eat something. Unfortunately, there was only Indian food around and so I thought I’d try that again. I came to the conclusion that I still don’t like Indian food. But I only managed to eat half a portion anyways, since I just cannot eat any warm food in this heat. I didn’t step on a scale but my pants start falling down, so I think I’ll have to do a serious weight gaining program when I get back 🙂 And I’ll just stick to ice cream and fruit for now.
I tried the bus again because it would have taken me directly to Petronas Towers but it was a waste of time and energy because it was still not running. So, I just walked back to the train station and took the train and then the metro. When you buy a metro ticket and you have to switch the train somewhere it’s different to any other city in the world with a metro system. You have to buy the ticket for the first train, complete the first leg, go out of the building at the place you have to switch trains, buy a new ticket to your final destination there. I’d have bought a ticket to my final destination at the first machine and would have ended up paying double if a Malay hadn’t pointed this out to me.
In my guide it said that you could visit the bridge between the Petronas towers for free if you get a ticket in the lobby of the 2nd tower. However, they just laughed at me and said it’s 80 RM to go to the bridge and the top. Later in the park, I met a friendly Malaysian woman who also told me to go to the bridge for free. She was very surprised to hear that it costs now. Quite a high rise from 0 to 80…
It didn’t seem worth it to me and so I just went inside the shopping mall in the tower. Wow, again. Huge, with many designer stores and of course food and cinema again. Here a 3D movie cost 23 RM. I didn’t go see one but the world in this city is so small, that I bumped into the American and Chinese guy from the caves again while they were waiting in line at the counter.
I walked around for over an hour, just because the cold air felt soooo good. Then, I went outside again, to the back side (ugh, now the heat was even worse than before I had the pleasure of being in an a/c room). There is a beautiful pool with fountains and behind it a park with rainforest trees and you have a really nice view on the towers. I wanted to see the towers lit up when it was dark, so I went for a walk to the KL tower. It looked like a really good area to go out in the evening, with pubs and restaurants.
When my feet began to hurt, I decided to go have dinner back in the Petronas towers. I sat next to a nice man from New Zealand who taught at U Mass and now at the university in Malaysia. Will be my first contact when I get a profile on a teacher’s network page he told me about 🙂 (I’m always on the lookout for a job at an international school in the US :)).
After dinner, the towers and other buildings were shining brightly against the dark night sky. It was beautiful! It’s impressive if you stand in front of such a huge building during the day but during the night it’s even more glorious.
I sat down to watch the fountains, when David (from Kuala Lumpur) started talking to me. He told me that there would be a fountain show with lights and music at 9pm and that I should wait for that. Somehow, the 50min passed really quickly while we were talking about the differences between Europe and Malaysia and beer. The show was nothing spectacular but I am still glad I watched it. Then, David insisted that he could be my guide the next day. I actually didn’t really want that since I already had some things in mind, which I wanted to do but no matter what I said, he wouldn’t back down on his offer.
He also made it clear that he didn’t have any wrong intentions. “Just pen pals and if I ever come to Switzerland you can show me your city.” He seemed nice and didn’t really look like he could hurt anyone, it was just a little weird that he WANTED so much to spend the day with me. I told him that I wanted to go to the waterfall because I thought that this way, we could just meet after breakfast and spend half a day at the waterfall and then both go our ways again. We set a date for 9.30 at the bus stop the next morning.
I took the metro back to Pasar Seni, passed by a KK market to buy water and then went back to the hostel. My feet wouldn’t let me stop at the Chinatown booths anymore.
I now had the room to myself, so at least I could point the fan directly at me. But it was still way too hot. I need a window. Before I went to bed, I wanted to get a tea in the kitchen. So I rode up to the 4th floor and there were so many hostel guests eating, cooking, talking, playing the guitar or watching tv. I’d have loved to stay up there for a while but I was just too tired.