From Singapore I went over to Malaysia by bus. I know a lot of people fly to Kuala Lumpur but I thought it be more fun by bus which takes about 7 hours. This way I got to see beautiful sceneries along the way and let’s face it, it was a whole lot cheaper. I paid 10 Singaporean dollars which is about 8 USD. When you go by bus you first check out of Singapore and about 3 minutes later you cross the Malaysian border. When at the border it’s quite hectic and you can already sense the culture difference. When I got there I did not know exactly what was going on and the person viewing and stamping my passport did not speak a word of English. However it all went fine, my advice is to just go with the flow. Just make sure you head straight back to the bus when your done. We had people who did not, and ended up missing the bus. This is not uncommon from what I’ve heard and I don’t know how I would feel if that happened to me…
The capital city of Malaysia Kuala Lumpur was not at all what I expected! From what I’ve heard previous to arriving was that it’s a dangerous place, don’t walk alone at night and always wear full coverage clothing unless you want to get grouped. So when I arrived at about 10 pm I was nervous, quickly trying to find out how to get to my hostel without making eye contact with anyone.
Haha, I did not get an accurate picture at all! It’s pretty safe, I can easily walk by myself at night (of course you need to be caustions but not more than normally) and people wear whatever they want here.
Kuala Lumpur is the typical metropolis with people from over the world. You can expect high buildings, busy streets and constant noise of traffic. The Malaysian flag can be seen everywhere and there is a nice mix between majestic mosques and colourful buddhist temples, big shiny malls with commercial stores and small local shops, street food stands and fancy famous restaurants.
For a person who’s not a fan of big cities I ended up extending my stay in Kuala Lumpur. I can’t quite put my finger on it but something feels very comfortable here. Probably that it’s easy access to everything, diverse and interesting attractions and the cheap living (for a big city it’s super cheap both housing and food).
So what is worth seeing while here? There are two stunning mosques in the CBD. One of them is famous apparently. I’m not sure for what simply got that impression from the large amount of tourists taking pictures on the outside if it. I actually had no idea about the mosques but happened to walk pass them by mistake while getting lost looking for a train station.
Walking distance from my hostel was Chinatown, market with all kinds of clothes, shoes, electronic stuff and food. I would say the best part of this market was how respectful the sales people where, not even one bothered me. So you can easily have a nice look around in peace (wohoo!).
The obvious “must do” while inKuala Lumpur is to visit the KL tower of course. It’s the seventh highest tower in the world with a clear view of the capital city of Malaysia. I got there about an hour before sunset to capture the view by daylight, sunset and by night.
The best attraction in my opinion is definitely the Batu caves! Batu Caves are about 30 minutes by train from KL sentral and will take you straight there. On the way to the main cave you pass by a temple and a huge greenish figure, not sure exactly what it represents but it looks pretty cool 😀
The cave itself has by far the coolest entrance I’ve seen to a temple! The stairs are painted in different shades of red, blue, green, red, yellow, gold and so on and so on. Walking up those stairs in the heat was not a walk in the park but it was so worth it! While getting up the stairs to get inside the cave, you’re surrounded by monkeys on the handrails wanting to be fed. For some people monkeys are cute but since I’m scared of them, I took my pictures and rushed up!
Once I at the top, I walked into the huge and high cave. Inside are more colorful temples. I saw one of them up close. There was also a soothing ringing sound from the temple. I think the combination of all the colours, the sounds and being inside the cave felt very calming and I couldn’t hold back my tears. It felt like there was a some kind of healing taking place. I went there pretty early (around 9) so there were not many tourists, simply locals and a few foreigners which probably helped capture the true essance of the atmosphere.
If you look at the first picture below you’ll see stairs in the background. If you walk up those there is actually another temple there as well. I did walk up but to get to the temple you had to passa large group of monkeys and you probably know by now my reaction to that 🙂 I passed.
Some pictures from when I exited the cave on the way down.
I think what made my stay in KL aslo special was the people I met at the Icon hostel where I was staying. I talked to some amazing people and had plenty of deep conversations about psychology, culture, business and A LOT of laughter. I can deeply recommed the hostel, it was clean and the staff very friendly. It’s also walking distance to a night market were you can get delicious food for around 1 USD.
Ok, some unneccassary facts about KL: when taking the subway you don’t get a ticket. What you get is a token that you scan when entering and return when you’re exiting your final stop. Another thing I noticed was that the motorcyclists wear their jackets the other way around. That is, the back part of the jacket in front and then they don’t zip it so the backside is open. A not so pleasant thing are the rats in KL. They are extra special due to their insane size (I will not post a picture)! Don’t let that scare you though, you barely see them 🙂
All in all, I had a great stay! Time to continue on and see what more Malaysia has to offer!