15
Apr 11

Malaysia 2010: Leaving Kuala Lumpur… and about going back

Date: 4th October 2010

Today was the last day of our trip, and what a trip it has been: 3 whirlwind days in Singapore, 6 full days in Malaysia (1 day in Penang, 2 in Langkawi, and 3 in the capital city)

We woke up at a reasonable time and since I was done with all my packing yesterday itself, after breakfast I headed to Times Square just to roam about and see if there was anything I could pick up for the last time.

Berjaya Times Square shops morning closed

Unfortunately most shops were still yet to open

Berjaya Times Square shopping mall floors

Most shops only post 11am

Exclusive Nikon centre Berjaya Times Square Kuala Lumpur

There's a fairly big exclusive Nikon store on the ground floor

I did go around looking for camera tripods but as mentioned earlier, most shops were closed.

Once all three of us were packed and ready, we checked out of Irsia and hailed a taxi. We initially asked him to take us to KL Sentral, from where we thought of taking the monorail to the airport. Then the taxi driver offered to drive us to the airport for RM60 (Rs. 875/$20/€14). The three of us looked at each other and wondered about all the luggage we had, sighed… and then said “fine” to the taxi driver.

Taxi driving to LCCT airport with luggageRow houses villas Kuala Lumpur outskirts airport highway

Taxi driving to LCCT airport highway

The journey was nice -- and long

Onwards KLCC Sepang circuit Malaysia

Sepang Circuit, home to the Malaysian F1 and MotoGP events, is close to the airport

We arrived at the LCCT (Low Cost Carrier Terminal) an hour later, and were among the first to check-in for our 3:30pm flight.

LCCT plastic baggage wrapping service

First, we had to shrink wrap our IKEA boxes; cost RM30

We had pre-booked for 20kg luggage (per person) and fortunately all our luggage came just under 60kgs!

Relieved everything worked out alright, we went through customs and made our way towards the departures lounge. There is a Duty Free at the LCCT but liquor prices weren’t that great (read: cost more than Bangalore Duty Free) but you get good enough selection of international brands and chocolates. I instead went to a store selling traditional Malay sweets and snacks, and picked up tea biscuits, chips, etc. Something different for a change I thought.

We had to sit a bit longer in the boring departures lounge because our Air Asia flight was delayed by 45minutes. By the way, there is a new LCCT set to open by the end of the year.

Once it was time, we made our way in. We pre-selected our seats as myself and Ramesh were keen on window seats.

Air Asia LCCT baggage handling laptops

Even laptop makers want to cut costs on flying

Petronas stations KLIA

Kuala Lumpur International Airport is all the way there

Petronas station KLIA take off runway

In case you wanted to fill up before taking off, there's a Petronas station here :)

Palm trees new LCCT construction Malaysia

We took off...

Palm tree farms near airport Malaysia from sky

... and flew over lot of palm trees

Palm tree farms near airport Malaysia from sky

Malaysia is the world's largest producer of palm oil, and you can see why

New LCCT airport construction site from sky

Guess that's the site of the new LCCT

Selangor river from sky planeMalaysia town from sky planeSelangor Malaysia from sky planeTelok Gong Malaysia river into Malacca Strait from sky plane

Port Klang Malaysia from sky plane

Port Klang

Power station Kang Malaysia aerial viewMalacca Strait sea Malaysia from sky

Pulau Selat Kering island Malaysia from sky

Selat Kering island

Malaysia shore line aerial view from airplaneMalacca Strait aerial view from plane

Ships Malacca Strait Malaysia aerial view

Container ships making their way to Malaysia

Air Asia plane wing aerial view from skyI took a break from taking photographs to reminisce about the last few days. I guess its always sad when a holiday comes to an end, especially when you think how fast time flies by.

We began planning for this trip as early as March. Booked our flight tickets in April. Made arrangements for stay in Singapore first, since we were going during F1 weekend. We made most of our booking via Hostels.com and Hostelworld.com, with only our Langkawi booking done via Agoda.com.

We flew Tiger Airways (one way) to Singapore (which cost Rs. 4500 per person) and our Air Asia one way journey from KL to Bangalore (with 20kgs luggage and pre-booked meals)  cost us Rs. 3600 per person. All in all, this 9 day trip (10, if you include today) cost us around Rs. 36,000 ($810/€560) — that’s flight, stay, food, commuting fares, and sightseeing expenses! :)

I didn’t do a whole lot of shopping, so I spent the least among the three of us.

If we had gone via a packaged tour, it would have easily cost us more than Rs. 50,000 per person and I doubt we would seen all that we saw the past 9 days. Sure, we didn’t check out Sentosa Island (and Universal Studios) but that’s due to lack of time in Singapore. It was either Sentosa or the Zoo — we chose the Zoo. In Malaysia, we skipped Genting Highlands as well because it was another theme park and casino — places subsidized package tours include so that they bring in droves of tourists in hopes the tourists will spend some money.

Indonesia shores from Malaysia aerial view

Looking at the world map, I believe this was Indonesia we were flying over

Indonesia shoreline clouds from Malaysia aerial view

Indonesia from sky aerial photography AirAsiaThe long wait at the airport made me quite hungry and I was looking forward to the meal I had pre-booked. Not that I had high expectations, I was just hungry.

Nasi Lemak AirAsia in-flight meal

Microwaved Nasi Lemak for lunch. It was a bit dry, but alright.

So would I go back?

To Singapore, that’s a definite ‘yes‘! Mostly because the experience of being in Singapore during F1 weekend is just too good. The whole city really comes alive during the Grand Prix. The main lesson learnt from this Singapore visit is that 3 days isn’t enough, even for such a small city state. You can spend an entire day at the Zoo itself — go see the animals in the morning and then the Night Safari once it gets dark. You can spend an entire day at Sentosa, for which they have activities from daylight to sunset. Next time, I’m definitely going to Universal Studios Singapore.

Also, next time, I’m going to carry a lot more money. SGD$250 is enough to get by for 3 whole days in Singapore (which is what we spent on getting around, eating, some shopping, and the attractions we visited). But next time, I’ll probably triple my budget and stay for minimum 5 days. I want to have fun in Singapore!

Aerial photograph Tamil Nadu India

By now, we were flying over Mother India

Would I go back to Malaysia? Well, depends really. I felt I saw all that I needed to see and do in Langkawi. I also saw quite a bit of what I sought in Kuala Lumpur. The one place I do feel ‘incomplete’ about is Penang. Just one day in Penang was a bit of a stretch, plus I didn’t get to see what was on the other side of the bridge, which apparently has its fair share of attractions.

Funny thing though, until last year, I didn’t even know there are two ‘sides’ that make the nation of Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Langkawi are all on one ‘side’ — but there is more to Malaysia, on the Borneo side.

Malaysia territories map

(Map image taken from Wikipedia)

Sabah and Sarawak are famous for its wildlife, lush forests and serene coast line — offering an experience quite different from that of the ‘main land,’ so to speak.

But because they are far apart, and not as developed, most tourists to Malaysia are often oblivious to Sabah and Sarawak’s existence.

Air Asia has flights to Sabah and Sarawak, so if I do go back to Malaysia, I would probably hop over to ‘the other side’.

Bangalore village aerial view lake from skyBangalore Karnataka India farm land aerial photograph from skyBangalore highway ring road aerial view

Nandi Hills Bangalore aerial photograph view

Not sure if these are Nandi Hills

Bangalore outskirts aerial view from plane

The outskirts of Bangalore, from up above

As we descended, the nice and sunny outside suddenly turned dark and rainy.

Rain clouds plane landing Bangalore

Dark rain clouds from plane Bangalore

Rain

Rain airplane window BangaloreLanding at Bangalore airportBangalore airport dark clouds

BIAL airport Bangalore rainy day

Landed at 5:30pm

After picking up some stuff at the BIAL Duty Free, we were out in half-an-hours time. We hired a cab who agreed to take us to Srajapur Road (near Total Mall) for Rs. 650. We opted not to take the airport bus due to the luggage we had.

If felt nice to return to the post-rain, fresh air and experience Bangalore’s greatest asset — its weather. But 30 minutes into our journey, and into peak hour traffic, it didn’t take long for all three of us to get frustrated and say the same thing:

“Man, I wanna go back!”

P.S: I also didn’t get to have bread ice cream in Singapore!

Other posts in this series:

Singapore & Malaysia 2010: Planning and preparing for the trip

Singapore 2010: Day 1 – Little India, CBD, Clarke Quay, China Town… and a lot of walking

Singapore 2010: Day 2 – Orchard Road, mall-hopping… and already shopping

Singapore 2010: Day 3 – Singapore Zoo, Marina Bay Sands; leaving Singapore for Penang

Malaysia 2010: Day 5 — Langkawi (Ferry ride from Penang, Cable car & Sky Bridge)

Malaysia 2010: Day 6 — Langkawi (Island hopping tour, Pantai Tengah beach, Night market)

Malaysia 2010: Day 7 — Kuala Lumpur (Low Yat Plaza, Petronas Towers, Jalan Alor)

Malaysia 2010: Day 8 — Kuala Lumpur (Batu Caves, Petaling Street/China Town)

Malaysia 2010: Day 9 — Kuala Lumpur (KLCC Aquaria, Merdeka Square, KL Tower observation deck)

 


11
Apr 11

Malaysia 2010: Day 9 — Kuala Lumpur (KLCC Aquaria, Merdeka Square, KL Tower observation deck)

Date: 3rd October 2010

Today was going to be our  last full day in Kuala Lumpur, so we had to make the most of it. Some of us had shopping to do, and I wanted to see a bit more of KL.

But the first thing we did in the morning was get ready to go the Petronas Towers again. And when I say “we,” I mean Ramesh and I. Loi wanted to sleep in.

The reason why we were going back to the towers were to try and a get a ticket for the sky bridge/observation deck. Why “try”? Because that’s how the system is. You go there early enough, wait in line until the ticket counters open and whoever gets the tickets, gets to up at a pre-determined time. The earlier you are in the line, the sooner you get to go up. It’s free, but an inconvenient method. (EDIT: Turns out there is a much higher observation deck at the 86th floor for which you can pay RM40 and go. I didn’t know about it until much research after coming back from this trip)

When we did our research, we saw videos of the view from the 41st & 42nd floor and after having been to the top of Burj Khalifa, the view from the Petronas Towers wasn’t astounding or anything. Which is why I was more keen on going up Menara KL (KL Tower), something I was going to do later in the day anyway.

Still, since we didn’t have a whole lot planned for the morning, myself and Ramesh thought: “What the hell, last day in KL. Might as well try and get a ticket”.

So we set out, took the monorail and got down at Bukit Nanas  station.

Malaysia Tourism Centre Kuala Lumpur

The Malaysia Tourism Centre

Petronas Towers in the morning Kuala Lumpur

We walked towards the KLCC Suria and when we finally made it to the ticketing counter…

Petronas Tower skybridge tickets sold out timing

... it was 8:55am when I took this

Sold out. Oh well.

Not that we were sorely disappointed or anything, but if you are one who is very keen to visit the Sky Bridge, be in line by at least 7:30-8:00am.

Me and Ramesh then just decided to check out the mall.

KLCC Suria mall inside six floors MalaysiaSuria mall mostly caters to high end brands and luxury designer wear, most of which are on the lower floors. We checked out a few electronics stores, Ramesh checked out the Harley Davidson store, and then we decided to find out where the Aquaria was.

Ryan Seacrest Fly FM banner Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Oh Ryan Seacrest, there is no escaping you is there?

Way to KL convention centre from Suria mallWay to Aquaria KLCC basement parking

KLCC Aquaria entrance Malaysia

It wasn't open yet

Ramesh was keen on checking out the Aquaria, the largest aquarium in Kuala Lumpur. I, on the other hand, wanted to see more of the city, so we parted ways. I inquired on how to get to Merdeka Square while Ramesh went in to Aquaria.

Here are a few photos from inside the Aquaria, all of which are from Ramesh’s camera.

KLCC Aquaria inside directory Malaysia

Entry is RM35 (Rs. 510/$11/€8) for adults

Inside KLCC Aquaria entrance MalaysiaKLCC Aquaria Piranha feeding show MalaysiaKLCC Aquaria piranhas Malaysia

KLCC Aquaria piranha closeup Malaysia

Wonder what they feed piranhas here

KLCC Aquaria electric eel Malaysia

Well, that's a bit harsh on the eel isn't it?

KLCC Aquaria Matamata Malaysia

This 'turtle+croc+weird' looking creature is called the Matamata

KLCC Aquaria coatimundi Malaysia

This one is called a Coatimundi

KLCC Aquaria fish tree glass cylinder Malaysia

Pretty cool

KLCC Aquaria diver fish feeding Malaysia

KLCC Aquaria diver playing around with tourist

Cheeky

KLCC Aquaria inside underwater tunnel

The Aquaria has the obligatory underwater tunnel

KLCC Aquaria sea turtle Malaysia

KLCC Aquaria Pincecone fish ikan Malaysia

Pinecone fish

KLCC Aquaria Jellyfish MalaysiaThe above are only a few of the photos Ramesh took. He took much more. There are sharks, lion fish, water rats and all sorts of other waterborne creatures. From his account, Ramesh said the experience was “okay” — so I don’t know how it compares to a similar offering I experienced in Dubai Mall.

When Ramesh stepped out, he saw a gathering of superbikes and stalls by Yamaha on the occasion of next week’s Malaysian MotoGP.

Yamaha superbikes booth KLCC Malaysia modelsYamaha superbikes Moto GP booth Petronas KLCCYamaha Petronas superbike display KLCCKLCC Petronas superbikes display parkedThat concludes what Ramesh saw.

Now back to me :)

When I left the Petronas Towers, I took the monorail to Hang Tuah station. From there I transferred to the RapidKL line, for which you need to buy another ticket/pass as the monorail card won’t work on this rail service. From Hang Tuah,  I headed towards Masjid Jamek station.

Stepping out of Masjid Jamek station Citin hotel

Once you come out of the station...

Jalan Melayu shopping Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

... you are on Jalan Melayu

Jalan Melayu restoran stores Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Jalan Melayu Endhiran poster ticket offer Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Luring customers with tickets to new Rajinikant film. Works wherever Tamilians exist :)

Jalan Melayu street market Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Nothing special in here. The usual street market stocking the usual goods.

Jalan Melayu entrance Kuala Lumpur MalaysiaI came here to go to Merdeka Square, which is a significant landmark in Malaysia’s independence from Britain.

Mosque Merdaka Square near LRT lineKementerian Penerangan Komunikasi Dan Kebudayaan buildingWay to Merdeka Square Kuala Lumpur

Merdeka Square lawn palm trees Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Merdeka Square literally means "Independence Square"

Merdeka Square film shoot Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

There was a film shoot happening

Merdeka Square film stars Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

No clue if this was a South Indian/Malay-Tamil/Sri Lankan or Bangladeshi production

Merdeka Square flag pole Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

This flag pole is nearly 312 ft high, one of the tallest in the world

Restoran Warisan Merdeka Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Merdeka Square is surrounded by old colonial buildings

Merdeka Square fountain Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Merdeka Square flag pole Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

It was here on August 31st, 1957, that the British flag was lowered and the Malaysian flag hoisted for the first time

Merdeka Sqaure old Dutch buildings lawn Kuala Lumpur

Not sure what these buildings were

Merdeka Square Sultan Abdul Samad building Malaysia

Plenty of tourist buses stop in front of the Sultan Abdul Samad building

Merdeka clock Wisma Lee Rubber headquarters Menara KL Malaysia

Merdeka Square Sultan Abdul Samad building bank headquarters Malaysia

Sultan Abdul Samad building in front, several bank HQs in the background

Merdeka Square Dataran Merdeka Kuala Lumpur MalaysiaMerdeka Square Sultan Abdul Samad building clock towerDataran Merdeka Square Kuala Lumpur panorama

Merdeka Square highest flag pole Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Merdeka Square is the venue for Malaysia's annual National Day Parade

Merdeka Square flag poles Kuala Lumpur MalaysiaMerdeka Square garden Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Merdeka square filming actress Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

The one on the right seems like the lead actress in this shoot; they were shooting with RED cameras (Yes, I'm a nerd, I notice these things)

It was time for me to move on.

Merdeka Square Rapid KL metro Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Merdeka Square bricked road Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Not that I knew where I was headed next

Kuala Lumpur city river stream banks

I just like to roam about and explore

Kuala Lumpur city river stream graffitiKuala Lumpur building art graffiti MalaysiaKuala Lumpur city river streamsKuala Lumpur old colonial building graffitiKuala Lumpur Medan Pasar junction ladyColourful old buildings Medan Pasar road Kuala LumpurRestoran Oriental Bowl Kuala Lumpur panoramaAfter passing by an area full of businesses serving Bangladeshis and Pakistanis, I found myself in an alley which housed what looked like a Chinese temple.

Sin Sze Si Sze Ya Chinese temple entrance Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

So I went in

Sin Sze Si Sze Ya Chinese temple Kuala LumpurInside Sin Sze Si Sze Ya Chinese temple Kuala LumpurSin Sze Si Sze Ya Chinese temple caretaker Kuala Lumpur MalaysiaSin Sze Si Sze Ya Chinese temple incense sticks Kuala LumpurSin Sze Si Sze Ya Chinese temple red letter Kuala Lumpur MalaysiaSin Sze Si Sze Ya Chinese temple worship Kuala LumpurSin Sze Si Sze Ya temple incense Kuala LumpurSin Sze Si Ya statue temple Chinese god Kuala LumpurChinese temple lamp Kuala LumpurSin Sze Si Sze Ya Chinese temple inside Kuala Lumpur MalaysiaSin Sze Si Sze Ya Chinese temple roof Kuala LumpurSin Sze Si Sze Ya Chinese temple door art Kuala Lumpur MalaysiaSin Sze Si Ya temple compound Kuala Lumpur

Sin Sze Si Sze Ya Chinese temple parking Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

As I left the temple, I found out the name of the place

Jalan Tun Tan Cheng lock yellow building graffiti

I walked a bit further out...

Jalan Petaling street main road entrance daytime traffic

... and I soon realized I was in China Town

There was a shopping complex right opposite the entrance to Petaling Street and so I decided to check it out. I unfortunately couldn’t take any photographs inside because the security guard asked me not to. But inside were stores selling essentially the same goods I saw yesterday night in Petaling Street, but at far lower prices.

So word of advice, just because you see bags on Petaling Street with it’s street market appearance, don’t assume the prices are low. There are plenty of other places, like this not-so-fancy shopping complex right outside Petaling Street selling the same stuff at lower prices.

In fact when I called up Loi to tell him about bag prices here, he told me he found similar prices in the shops on the higher floors of Times Square shopping mall.

I had lunch from a burger joint and continued my ‘walk around town’. I asked around for where “Little India” was and was directed to walk towards KL Tower.

Institut Sal Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Mydin Wholesale Reject shop Kuala Lumpur

I stepped in but quickly found nothing worthwhile

Restoran Makanan Islam alley Kuala LumpurColonial Government building Kuala Lumpur

Brickfields Indian restoran Kuala Lumpur

Yes, to the right is a 'chapathi house' named Restoran Santa

Menara KL tower afternoon trees Malaysia

Brickfields Little India Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

I came across this street which looked more like "Little Chennai"

There’s a slew of silk shops, and plenty of pure-veg restaurants on this street.

Pigeons on wire KL Tower Kuala LumpurLittle India Tamil shops Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Masjid Jema' Bandaraya entrance Kuala Lumpur

I found myself back to Masjid Jemak

Masjid Jema' Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur

Masjid Jema' (mosque)

Masjid Jemak dress code etika Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

I didn't qualify for any of the above, so didn't bother going in

It was time for me to head back to the room and catch up with Ramesh and Loi.

Kuala Lumpur apartments Malaysian flags outsideKuala Lumpur apartment building Malaysian flags National DayKuala Lumpur monorail line near mosque

Beauty show Berjaya Times Square KL

Some beauty show at Berjaya Times Square

Once I got back to Irsia, the three of us decided to go to Midvalley Megamall, one of Kuala Lumpur’s largest malls.

KTV lounge Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

To get to Midvalley Megamall from Berjaya Times Square, take the monorail from Imbi to KL Sentral. Then, you need to transfer to the Komuter train line, and Midvalley has a stop by itself.

Komuter station Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Midvalley Megamall Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

The mall is pretty huge

Midvalley houses a Carrefour, JUSCO, Toys ‘R’ Us, Harvey Norman and plenty of other brands. It isn’t ‘high street’ fare like KLCC Suria mall in Petronas Towers.

Midvalley Megamall Toys r Us Jusco store

Jigsaw puzzle world Midvalley Megamall KL

This store had a whole bunch of cool imports from Japan

After Loi’s shopping from Toys R Us, Ramesh’s purchases from Carrefour, we headed up to the top most floor.

Midvalley Megamall centre court Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

They have an exclusive ManU store and an 18-screen multiplex up here

Midvalley Megamall Anime Tech store

Went in here as well

Midvalley has a few nerdy joints up here, including video arcades and a store dedicated to board games. But we couldn’t hang out any longer, it was nearing 7pm. There was one last thing I wanted to do for our last day in Kuala Lumpur — head to the observation deck at KL Tower to get a view of Kuala Lumpur city at night.

To save time, we took a taxi… and got a driver with some pretty good taste in music :)

After an enjoyable ride, we reached Menara KL, which is perched atop a small hill called Bukit Nanas. Thus making it ‘taller’ than the Petronas Towers. Myself and Loi bought our tickets and made our way up, Ramesh stayed below to check out an F1 Zone.

Menara KL Tower elevator observation deck

Tickets cost RM38 (Rs. 550/$12/€8) for adults

I was more keen on visiting the observation deck of KL Tower than the Skybridge at Petronas Towers, simply because the viewing height at Menara KL is much higher.

View from Menara KL tower night Kuala Lumpur

And I was right...

Menara KL tower view of Kuala Lumpur city at night

... the view was great!

Menara KL tower observation deck glass reflection

But there was one annoying problem

Menara KL tower observation deck souvenir shop

The bright lights from the shops up here!

The whole experience of the view at night from up here is marred by the lights reflecting off of the glass — which also made for tricky photography. And because I didn’t have a tripod, it was tough for me to get steady shots.

Menara KL tower observation deck jewelry shop

Why on earth would you want to sell jewelry up here? 'High' prices?

Menara KL tower top view Public Bank Petronas buildings

Menara KL tower observation deck view city lights

We went around the observation deck

Menara KL tower World's Tallest comparison

They have a display showing you the other tall telecommunications towers around the world

Menara KL tower observation deck Petronas Towers at night

Menara KL is the fourth largest telecom tower in the world

Menara KL tower World's tallest towers comparison

The tallest is still the CN Tower in Toronto

Menara KL tower observation deck Times Square view

You can see Berjaya Times Square from up here -- also 'cos it isn't that far :)

Menara KL tower observation deck view at night

I took one final shot of the Petronas Towers before heading back down

Menara KL tower observation deck restaurants

There are two 'sky high' restaurants at KL Tower

Menara KL tower inside lift lobby chandelier

Menara KL tower elevator lift lobby

This is the elevator lobby

Menara KL tower ticket counter

Timings are 9:30am to 9:30pm

Menara KL tower Malaysia cultural village

Your ticket also includes entry to the Cultural Village, which was closed by 8pm

Menara KL Tower F1 Simulator zone dummy cars

So we used our ticket to avail the one free ride around the (virtual) Sepang circuit

Menara KL F1 simulator zone dummy BMW car

In the small cars though, you have to pay to sit in one these life-size replica cars

Menara KL F1 simulator zone Sepang game

Ramesh paid to sit & play in the Ferrari car

Menara KL Tower F1 simulator zone Ferrari store Kuala Lumpur

There's an F1 store here as well

Menara KL Tower R&D F1 Simulator Zone Kuala Lumpur MalaysiaMenara KL Tower pink lights underneathMenara KL tower at night pink lighting

Menara KL tower pony ride Malaysia

You can opt to use your ticket for a complimentary ride as well

Menara KL Tower free shuttle service

We waited for the free ride down to the base of the hill

Once at the base, we walked towards Bukit Nanas monorail station.

Menara KL tower lit up night

One final look

Hard Rock Cafe Kuala Lumpur bikes parked

Walked past the Hard Rock Cafe Kuala Lumpur

Hard Rock Cafe Kuala Lumpur Harley Davidson Club

Which saw a gathering of Harley Davidson owners that night

Kuala Lumpur Petronas Towers surrounding buildings panorama

One final look at the beautiful twin towers

Kuala Lumpur monorail network station map Malaysia

This is the monorail network map

Inside monorail train Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

The monorail trains aren't very big

Once back in the room, we decided to enjoy our final dinner of this trip, and sit somewhere nice. There are a few cosy eateries behind Berjaya Times Square, where we were and so, we sat down at Wings musicafe.

Wings musicafe Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

They have a live stage where artists perform every night

Wings musicafe Kilkenny beer Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Had Kilkenny Irish beer for the first time

It was a relaxing dinner to end our last day of sight-seeing in Kuala Lumpur. The musicians were mostly local artists, aspiring singers who performed mellow acoustic fare. Much needed for us tired souls.

Once back in the room, we packed up. And when I mean “we,” I mean myself and Ramesh…

Loiyumba bed Irsia

... this guy was too lazy to do any packing -- and he had the most luggage!

Tomorrow morning, all we had to do was check out and head to the airport in the afternoon for our after Air Asia flight back to Bangalore.

So, it’s not over yet… there’s one more post left! :)

Other posts in this series:

Singapore & Malaysia 2010: Planning and preparing for the trip

Singapore 2010: Day 1 – Little India, CBD, Clarke Quay, China Town… and a lot of walking

Singapore 2010: Day 2 – Orchard Road, mall-hopping… and already shopping

Singapore 2010: Day 3 – Singapore Zoo, Marina Bay Sands; leaving Singapore for Penang

Malaysia 2010: Day 5 — Langkawi (Ferry ride from Penang, Cable car & Sky Bridge)

Malaysia 2010: Day 6 — Langkawi (Island hopping tour, Pantai Tengah beach, Night market)

Malaysia 2010: Day 7 — Kuala Lumpur (Low Yat Plaza, Petronas Towers, Jalan Alor)

Malaysia 2010: Day 8 — Kuala Lumpur (Batu Caves, Petaling Street/China Town)

Malaysia 2010: Leaving Kuala Lumpur… and about going back


04
Apr 11

Malaysia 2010: Day 8 — Kuala Lumpur (Batu Caves, Petaling Street/China Town)

Date: 2nd October 2010

Today we needed to be out and early as we had to head far out to reach Batu Caves, a famous Hindu temple site — and one of Kuala Lumpur’s must-see sights. Since I was up and ready first, I decided to take a few photos of the place where we were staying.

Irsia, according to the Iranians who run the place, is a fairly new hostel/bed-n-breakfast/budget guesthouse.

Irsia hostel shoes Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

You have to leave your shoes downstairs as no shoes are allowed into rooms

Irsia hostel ground floor rooms Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

The place is quite clean though. These are the rooms downstairs.

Irsia hostel dining room Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

The dining room is downstairs

Irsia hostel kitchen Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

The kitchen is where you can make yourself toast and coffee/tea

As was the norm everywhere we stayed on this trip, once you are done with breakfast, you wash the dishes yourself and keep it back from where you took them.

Irsia hostel bed & breakfast lobby Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

The lobby/reception/living area has books, a TV and two computers with free internet service

Irsia BnB lobby KL Revive Isotonik

They sell bottled water lower than what the 7-Elevens charge

Irsia hostel verandah Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

This is the sit-out area. Smoking is not allowed inside the rooms.

Irsia hostel sit out area Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

This is where we sat yesterday night and had our dinner

Irsia hostel rainbow stairs Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

No elevator. You have take these stairs to go up.

Irsia hostel upstairs rooms Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Upstairs, where our triple room was (Photograph by Loiyumba, taken yesterday)

Irsia BnB F1 triple room Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

How appropriate our room number was 'F1' for this 'F1 trip' of ours

Irsia hostel upstairs bathrooms Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

These are the bathrooms upstairs

That concludes our tour of Irsia hostel/Bed-n-Breakfast/guesthouse/budget hotel :)

Given that our triple room cost us around Rs. 4300 (RM297/$96/€68) for 3 nights, we couldn’t have been more happier with Irsia, given the location. Yes, the walls are a little thin and ventilation isn’t great, but if you are going to be spending more time inside hotel rooms, you best look at proper hotels. By the way, that is Rs. 4300 for all three of us — Rs. 1400 per person, for 3 nights in KL!

Once all three of us were ready and done with breakfast, we stepped out. We decided to take the monorail to get to KL Sentral.

Imbi station monorail Kuala Lumpur

The monorail station in front of Berjaya Times Square is called Imbi

Imbi monorail station Kuala Lumpur morning

At 9:30am, the station wasn't all that crowded

Monorail view to KL Sentral

KL monorail view city river stream

The ride takes around 15-20 minutes with all the stops

Once at KL Sentral, we asked the information desk how to get to Batu Caves and were instructed to head downstairs to the train platforms.  We bought our tickets (RM2/Rs. 30/$0.60) and headed down.

KL Sentral train station platforms

KL Sentral train station Batu Caves

There are frequent trains to Batu Caves

Unfortunately, in the confusion of which train to get on, I accidentally stepped into the wrong train but was too late to step out as the doors closed with Ramesh and Loi still on the platform.

Kuala Lumpur city train station

I got down at the old Kuala Lumpur Railway Station, which was the next stop

But by then, Ramesh and Loiyumba were in the right train and already ahead of me.

Kuala Lumpur train station

I soon got the next train and was on my way

Kuala Lumpur houses on outskirtsKuala Lumpur outskirts by trainThe ride took nearly 30 minutes and by the time I arrived at the station (which by the way is the last stop), Ramesh and Loiyumba were already at the temple.

Getting to Batu Caves Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

There is no entry fee for Batu Caves

Batu Caves Hanuman green statue

Hanumanji's presence isn't the biggest here

Batu caves Venkatachalapathi temple Kualu Lumpur

Sri Venkatachalapathi temple

Batu Caves Venkatachalapathi temple no shoes

Batu caves Sri Venkatachalapathi temple devoteesBatu Caves temple diyas KL MalaysiaBatu Caves landscape KL MalaysiaBatu Caves Sri Venkatachalapathi temple stepsBatu caves murku mixture shop Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Batu Caves Chinese garden Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

This is a Chinese garden; I believe entry wasn't free

Batu Caves pigeons Murugan statue KL MalaysiaBatu Caves kids scaring pigeons KL Malaysia

Batu Caves pigeons kid Malaysia

Pigeons must hate kids

Batu Caves adult scaring pigeons KL Malaysia

Scratch that. Pigeons hate humans.

Batu Caves hindu temple Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Batu Caves Murugan statue steps Malaysia

It was time for me go up, Ramesh and Loi were already in the cave

Batu Caves Hindu gods pigeonsBatu Caves base temple hall no shoes

Batu Caves steps Murugan statue height

This statue of Lord Murugan is the biggest of its kind in the world

Batu Caves 272 steps hill climb KL Malaysia

272 steps to climb

Batu Caves monkey stair pillar KL Malaysia

Along the way (as was the norm on this trip), you'll encounter plenty of monkeys

Batu Caves monkey grabbing banana from tourist

And as usual, monkeys will try and grab stuff from you

Batu Caves monkey by steps looking KL Malaysia

Batu Caves monkey silent KL Malaysia

But they are generally well behaved here

Batu Caves monkey steps Brazil touristBatu Caves monkey on steps shoesBatu Caves Gua Gelap dark cave entranceBatu Caves monkey looking Kuala Lumpur cityBatu Caves entrance to highest templeOnce I reached the top, I met up with Ramesh and Loiyumba who were done and were ready to head back down. They said they would wait for me down below and so, I went in for my photography.

Batu Caves view from top KL cityBatu Caves entrance god statueBatu Caves inside stalactitesBatu Caves inside pigeon stare

Batu Caves inside view

Batu Caves inside main cave area

It only got better once inside

Batu Caves roof gaps in rocks

There were gaps in the ceiling through which water was dripping down

Batu Caves inside steps to second temple

There are two temples in side the cave

Batu Caves inside main temple Swami Sannathi

This. apparently, is the 'main temple'

Batu Caves inside steps to other temple Batu Caves inside monkey looking at people

Batu Caves inside cave open area water drippingBatu Caves inside monkey climbing stairs

Batu Caves inside monkey begging food

This monkey was a spoilt one. When this Indian couple gave hims some food, he dropped it and picked up a burger instead.

Batu Caves inside limestone rock

Batu Caves inside temple vertical shot

I was glad I had my wide angle lens with me

Batu Caves inside main cave open airBatu Caves inside limestone formationBatu Caves inside monkey eating coconutBatu Caves inside three monkeysBatu Caves inside templeBatu Caves inside Indian statues

Batu Caves inside temple writings on wall

Apparently they should have also mentioned 'No Scribbling'

Batu Caves inside temple rock colours

I liked the photos I clicked in here

Batu Caves inside temple designBatu Caves inside monkeys on rocksBatu Caves inside staring monkeyBatu Caves inside monkeys on limestone rockBatu Caves inside monkey praying eyes closedBut even with a wide-angle lens, trying to capture the scale of the caves from the inside (without distortion) was near impossible, so I took a few multiple shots and merged them into one using Photoshop.

Batu Caves vertical panorama

Vertical panorama comprised of 10 shots

Batu Caves inside monkey on lightBatu Caves inside limestone rocksBatu Caves inside monkey on steps

Batu Caves steps dark inside vertical panorama

Vertical panorama comprised of 11 shots

Batu Caves worship temple

Batu Caves stairs inside lighting panorama

Vertical panorama comprised of 8 shots

Batu Caves opening light coming inBatu Caves limestone walls

Batu Caves water dropping on steps

I was trying to capture water dropping on to the steps

Batu Caves steps way out

After nearly 20 minutes inside the cave, it was time for me head down

Batu Caves tourists posing Indian godsBatu Caves stepping outBatu Caves steps down

Batu Caves view of Kuala Lumpur

It was a cloudy day, so I couldn't see the Petronas Towers from here. Actually, I'm not even sure if they are visible from up here.

Batu Caves large Lord Murugan statue Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Vertical panorama comprised of 5 shots

Batu Caves entrance to steps

Once down, I caught up with Loi and Ramesh and we decided to have lunch from here itself.

Batu Caves Dhivya's Cafe jain food Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

This is where we ate. There aren't too many options actually.

Post lunch, we just sat outside for a while and observed the crowds. We were even approached by some PR team for Sony, and asked to pretend we were using Sony camcorders. In return for doing so, we asked them if we could keep them — but they said no. :)

Batu Caves wedding couple photography

Not sure if this couple were shooting for their wedding album or not

Batu Caves large Murugan statue steps Malaysia

I took one last look at Lord Murugan before leaving (This is a single shot)

Batu Caves Indian Swami Malal Thiru ThaniBatu Caves pigeons on top

Batu Caves train Komuter station

This is the Batu Caves train station

Batu Caves inside station

(Photograph by Loiyumba)

Batu Caves train station public sign Malaysia

In case you wanted to know the Malay words for public signs (Photograph by Loiyumba)

Batu Caves Tandas Lelaki

Tandas = toilet (Photograph by Loiyumba)

We bought our tickets (RM2) and boarded our train.

Kuala Lumpur Petronas Towers from far Malaysia

It was a cloudy day, but we could still see the Petronas Towers from afar

Loiyumba sleeping in train Malaysian flag glass

Dynasty Hotel Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

If you were looking for nasty hotel in KL. (J/k, it's quite fancy: http://www.dynasty.com.my/)

Ramesh Mithun train Kuala Lumpur

(Photograph taken by Loi)

Once we got back to KL Sentral, we decided to head to the IKEA store as Ramesh was keen on picking up some stuff from there. The outlet was located in the area called Mutiara Damansara and we asked around on how to get there by bus. We waited at bus stop outside KL Sentral and hopped on to one that went that way.

Kuala Lumpur city highway flyoverThe journey took us through a lot of residential areas in Kuala Lumpur.

Kuala Lumpur residential area highway MalaysiaPapparich Livingportal Kuala Lumpur Malaysia(These were taken on my Nokia E72)

Kuala Lumpur houses MalaysiaKuala Lumpur residential area MalaysiaAn hour long journey later, we were in Petaling Jaya. Even though it was a long journey, it was quite a relaxing one for me as I got to see residential areas outside of the CBD (Central Business District), something I wouldn’t have seen given where we were staying.

Ikano Power Centre mall Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

The IKEA store is right adjacent to this

Once we entered the IKEA store, we were hooked! There was soooooo much that we felt like picking up, but just couldn’t, because figuring out how to carry them home was something we couldn’t comprehend.

Regardless, we still picked up quite a bit of stuff and by the time were out, it was well past sunset.

Ikea store Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Technically, the IKEA store is not in Kuala Lumpur, it's in neighbouring district

Since we had quite a lot of stuff with us to carry, we decided to just take a cab.

Kuala Lumpur tunnel underpass Malaysia

Though bus only cost us RM2.60 for 3, taxi was much required to save time

And save time it did, the taxi took the highway from the IKEA store into KL  and we were back in our rooms in just half-an-hour. (IKEA store directions)

For dinner, we decided to head to Kuala Lumpur’s China Town, which was also accessible via monorail.

Kuala Lumpur traffic at night carsFrom Imbi, the monorail stop for getting to China Town was only two stops away, at Maharajalela.

Chinese Guan Yin temple night Kuala LumpurPawn shop way to Petaling Street Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Jalan Petaling street China town entrance Kuala Lumpur

If you ask locals around for "Chinatown" and they don't get it, just ask for Petaling street

Once inside, it was a just one street (probably covering two blocks) with a lot of stores and street shops. No vehicles allowed.

KL Petaling Street shopping handbags

You have the usual gamut of fake goods, pirated CD/DVDs and clothes

Petaling Street Chinatown crowds Kuala Lumpur

But I didn't really find anything particularly interesting about this 'Chinatown'

Petaling Street shops Chinatown KL Malaysia

Plus, the prices were quite high considering the stuff they sold weren't what you would call "genuine"

A lot of the t-shirts were from Thailand and so, cost a lot more than what I saw them for in Bangkok. Yes, you have to haggle, but even when Loi did so for a backpack, the price they came down to was still too high. We soon left Petaling Street.

And just as we left, it began to rain all of a sudden.

Plaza Warisan bricked streets rain night Kuala Lumpur

Fortunately we had umbrellas

We saw an Malay Indian restaurant and jumped in for a quick dinner.

Roti parota beef curry Kuala Lumpur

The place was run by Malay Tamilians; food was simple and decent enough taste-wise

Ramesh didn’t find anything on the menu that was pure veg, so it was just myself & Loi. Once we were done, we headed back to Berjaya Times Square by taxi (cost RM5) as it was still raining.

Berjaya Times Square Krispy Kreme Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

It was dinner at Krispy Kreme for Ramesh

Loiyumba penchant pose Kuala Lumpur night

It stopped raining by midnight

We headed back to Irsia, calculated our daily expenses, sorted out who paid for what, and who owes whom how much — pretty much a daily routine for us on this trip, before hitting the sack.

I was quite happy with some of the photos I took inside Batu Caves and rate the caves highly as one of the “must see” sights in Kuala Lumpur. It only costs RM 2 for the one way journey to Batu Caves by train and is a nice break from the city.

Tomorrow morning, we planned to get up early (again) and head to Petronas Towers to try and get a ticket to visit the observation deck. We only had one more day left in the capital.

Other posts in this series:

Singapore & Malaysia 2010: Planning and preparing for the trip

Singapore 2010: Day 1 – Little India, CBD, Clarke Quay, China Town… and a lot of walking

Singapore 2010: Day 2 – Orchard Road, mall-hopping… and already shopping

Singapore 2010: Day 3 – Singapore Zoo, Marina Bay Sands; leaving Singapore for Penang

Malaysia 2010: Day 5 — Langkawi (Ferry ride from Penang, Cable car & Sky Bridge)

Malaysia 2010: Day 6 — Langkawi (Island hopping tour, Pantai Tengah beach, Night market)

Malaysia 2010: Day 7 — Kuala Lumpur (Low Yat Plaza, Petronas Towers, Jalan Alor)

Malaysia 2010: Day 9 — Kuala Lumpur (KLCC Aquaria, Merdeka Square, KL Tower observation deck)

Malaysia 2010: Leaving Kuala Lumpur… and about going back

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