Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Greater Kuala Lumpur Day Tour

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Today was our third full day of exploring Kuala Lumpur, or K.L. as the locals all it.  Instead of walking all over, we opted for the Hop On Hop Off tour bus.  We are not much for tourist venues, but over the years these have proven their value over and over again.  For one fee we get transportation for the full day as well as discounts for admission at various stops.  In K.L. the whole day cost us $15 and because they shut down earlier than normal during Ramadan, we get a second day for free.  We road the circuit, got off at the museum, art gallery, and national palace.  We took some notes and plan to return tomorrow for other sites.

Opera House

Main Gate to the Palace

National Art Gallery
 National Museum

 Central Train Station
 Historic Mosque
 Little Italy

 National Monument
National Mosque
 Petronas Towers
Home of Last Sultan in KL 
 15 Story Shopping Mall
 Historic Train Station

Monday, May 28, 2018

Batu Caves

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We devoted a full day to visiting the famous caves of Batu.  A 30 minute taxi ride was $10 and got us to the entrance gate.  Once there we wandered the vistor area and popped into a local gift shop where we scored a few really great masks.  The entrance to the caves has a huge five story tall golden Hindu goddess.

 The climb is 300+ steps and it took a while.
 The entrance to the caves.

 More steps inside.
 The top of the cave long ago collapsed creating a natural light well.  It was quite amazing.  It had rained the night before and water was dripping everywhere...and thus adding to the magnificant stalactites.

 Several small temples...all being worked on in prepration for the big tourist season that starts in a few weeks.  This is a Hindu temple and there were tons of visitors of India.
 Skylights in one of the chambers.
 Many small statues depicting the Hindu gods were placed about the cave.

 This one was interesting.
 And then the long climb back down.

 We took the metro back and on the way spotted these really cool apartment buidings.
 The single tower on the right is actually two buildings side by side.  Very unique.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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It took us a full twelve hours to get from Jakarta to Kuala Lumpur...woof.  A one hour taxi ride, five hours in the airport due to a major flight delay, the two hour flight, a one hour time difference, and another one hour taxi ride...LOL...man, how we dislike transfer days!

We bought our taxi ticket at the airport...no haggling and no touts, visited an ATM and got a SIM card for the phone...$15 for 60 GB of service for a month.  The $18 taxi ride was pleasant and took us right to the front door of our apartment building where we were met by our charming host Helmi who escorted us up to the apartment and showed us around.  This was what we say when we first entered the unit.

We settled in, let our bag explode and got a great night's sleep.  In the morning we really appreciated what our $36 Airbnb had to offer.  Kuala Lumpur looks like San Francisco...lots of hills, cable cars, and modern.  Clean air, pleasant people, and a bit cooler...even though we are on the Equator.  We enjoyed a lazy morning before heading out for breakfast.  Our goal is that big tower in the photo above, a bit of wandering around, some grocery shopping and then it is Sunday night and great TV.

We set out on foot and headed toward that towering landmark.  On the way we stopped at a local restaurant for a late breakfast--got our fill for $4 each and continued our walk.  Our first stop was the canopy walk through the central park.  A climb up one tower led to a series of suspended bridges that allowed us to cruise the top of the canopy, see a few cool birds and enjoy the descriptive placards about the various trees.  The treetop stroll ended at the base of the tower.

 The Malaysian flag.

 The views from the top were grand.  We could see the entire city in 360.
 The new "tall" building.

 National Mosque
 Our apartment.  the church steeple is pointing to our unit in the tan colored building....smile.
 Petronas Twin Towers - seen in just about any movie that has Malaysia as a location.
 Street markets.