I initially planned on waking up really early to avoid the crowds that would be thronging Lal Bagh in the days leading up to 26th January (India’s Republic Day), but given the cold weather, throwing aside my cozy blanket and getting out of bed early morning seemed near impossible.
After concerts by Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd tribute acts, it was a time for another tribute concert organized by Gigbox. But this time, it was for a far more recent band — Coldplay.
If you are wondering “why Coldplay?,” well then, you probably aren’t aware of the slew of hits the British Band have produced since 2000. Coldplay (and Linkin Park) are undoubtedly two of the biggest bands to come out of the 2000s, and both are still going strong. Sales in excess of 50 million worldwide and hit singles from four studio albums — that is enough material for a tribute band to play in Coldplay’s honour.
I wasn’t expecting as many people as there were for the Breathe – The Floyd Sound concert, simply because Coldplay’s fanbase isn’t as big as a legendary band as Pink Floyd. Plus, April 2nd was the Cricket World Cup finals which India won, so most of the city was still reeling in the joy (and hangover) of last night’s match.
But being a massive Coldplay fan, there was no way I was going to miss this show.
For the final song of the night, since the reception this song got the first time was so good, Coldplayer ended their gig with an encore performance of Coldplay’s first hit single:
With that, Coldplayer bowed to the audience and finally left the stage — this time for real.
Gigbox’s third concert was yet another stellar show. Sure, the UB City amphitheatre wasn’t as packed as it was for Breathe – The Floyd Sound, but you really can’t compare the fanbase Pink Floyd has in the city to Coldplay. The crowd was a lot younger this time and as you heard from the videos, they were very receptive.
So after tribute acts for Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Coldplay… who is next?
Ireland’s biggest musical export — U2, played tribute by U2UK. May 7th, see you there 🙂
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.
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.
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.
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.
But by then, Ramesh and Loiyumba were in the right train and already ahead of me.
The 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.
Once 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.
But 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.
Once down, I caught up with Loi and Ramesh and we decided to have lunch from here itself.
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. 🙂
We bought our tickets (RM2) and boarded our train.
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.
The journey took us through a lot of residential areas in Kuala Lumpur.
(These were taken on my Nokia E72)
An 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.
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.
Since we had quite a lot of stuff with us to carry, we decided to just take a cab.
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.
From Imbi, the monorail stop for getting to China Town was only two stops away, at Maharajalela.
Once inside, it was a just one street (probably covering two blocks) with a lot of stores and street shops. No vehicles allowed.
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.
We saw an Malay Indian restaurant and jumped in for a quick dinner.
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.
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.