Friday, April 14, 2017

SEA Backpacking Series: Guide to Batu Cave Malaysia

The third leg of our South East Asia Backpacking series brought us to Kuala Lumpur Malaysia! This was the shortest trip that we had since we arrived from the airport from Vietnam by 1 PM and we  had to leave for Bali the next day. So we literally had less than 24 hours to wander around the city.

Transportation:
Kuala Lumpur has a good public transportation system through their train which is accessible anywhere within the city. However, we decided to ride the taxi from the airport since the next bus (which was the cheapest option) will leave 1 hour from the time of our arrival and airport train was very expensive. Our taxi to hotel cost us around PHP 1,000 which was very expensive for a 40 minute ride.

Things to do in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia:
1. Hike up the Batu Caves
We went to Batu Caves on our second day early in the morning. Batu Caves is an iconic and popular attraction in Kuala Lumpur where you can see a giant statue of the Hindu God and you can climb exactly 272 steps to have a view of the entire city. 

How to get there: Go to any train station near you and go towards the Komuter train going to Batu Cave station (brown line). It will take around 20-30 minutes to get there from the city and ticket costs around PHP 60 per person one way.
Once you alight at Batu Caves station, you can go out the right and walk towards the giant Hindu God statue right in front of the entrance.

There are several Hindu temples and museum that you can enter in Batu Cave. We entered the Ranayana Cave first which was a museum that shows the story of the Hindu Gods. Ticket cost MYR 5 or around PHP 60.
You can go up the cave but beware if you're afraid of heights!
After visiting Ranayana Cave, we went to the entrance where you can see the giant Hindu God statue. This is where most of the tourists pause to take a picture!
There is a strict dress code to go up the cave. You can rent a scarf near the entrance but better to be mindful of the dress code before going there so you don't need to spend money. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes since it will be extremely tiring to go up the cave!
Monkeys everywhere!!! Make sure to hold on tight to your belongings since they have a tendency to snatch belongings of tourists.
Finally! We've reached the top!
We've bought a magnet on top of the cave where you can sell souvenirs.

2. Visit Masjid Jamek [Optional]
This is a famous muslim building you can go for viewing. We decided to skip and just took a picture from a far since there is not much to do in the area.
How to get there: ride MRT and alight at Masjid Jamek (Red 3).

3. Go up KL Tower
Not everyone may know this but there are actually two towers in Kuala Lumpur! The KL Tower is one of the tallest freestanding towers in the world. You can visit its observatory but we decided to skip it based on our previous experiences (e.g. Namsan Tower and Taipei 101) where it usually is all the same in the observatory. They also have a revolving restaurant at the top which we were not able to view since there was an event during that day.

How to get there: Ride the train and alight at Raja Chulan or Bukit Nanas then walk towards the tower. Since we had a lot of time, we walked from Petronas Tower to KL Tower which we regretted since we spent around 40 minutes walking uphill! 
Near the KL Tower, we saw an upside down house which was just a fun museum. Entrance cost was MYR 20 or PHP 250 per person but it was not worth the price since we just went around for 5 minutes taking picture inside the upside down house!

4. Go Shopping in Bukit Bintang or Berjaya Times Square
Bukit Bintang is a shopping district which contains several malls (Pavilion KL, Starhill Gallery, Farenheit 88, and Lot 10) while Berjaya Times Square is one of the biggest shopping mall in the city. The shopping malls in Kuala Lumpur are HUGE! They have more than 10 floors in some malls and they practically sell everything from local and international brands. We decided to take a peak but did not actually go on a shopping spree since most of the things sold there were similar to what we had in the Philippines and we only had a few hours left before the mall closes. If you're there for several days, you can spend a lot of your time by shopping through these malls. 
How to get there: You can reach Bukit Bintang through MRT and alight at Bukit Bintang Station. You can reach Berjaya Times Square through monorail and alight at IMBI Station.

5. Visit the famous Petronas Tower
Petronas Tower does not require any introduction as it is the most famous landmark in the country. A lot of people visit the city just to take a picture of the tower which is exactly what we did. There are a lot of people taking selfies below the tower and in fact a lot of people make money by selling selfie pods to tourists there! The observatory was closed during our visit but you can go to the 41st floor observatory skybridge that you see below. It's a bit expensive though which costs MYR 80 or PHP 1,100 for the entrance fee.
How to get there: You can take the train and alight at KLCC Station (Red 10). You can enter the Suria KLCC mall which is next to the Petronas Tower and walk towards the KLCC Park to get a good view of the tower.
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