Itinerary: Batu Caves, Central Market, Little India, Chinatown and Bukit Bintang Hawkers
Feeling much more rested and almost over my minor ailments and upsets, I felt confident to urge Gallowe to take a trip to the Batu Caves. These were one of the two ‘Must See’ sites for me on this trip, the other being the Butterfly Garden. Given the location of our hotel it was quite easy to reach the caves by rail. We walked to the monorail, debunked that mystery and then the even bigger mystery of changing to the KTM Komuter line. We were standing at the base of the cliff by 11 am and sweating every drop of water we drank.
Location: 13 kilometres north of the centre of Kuala Lumpur city
What are they? A limestone cliff face full of caves, three main and many smaller ones. At a length of 400m, some are 100m high.
Age: Discovered in 1892, and estimated to be 400 million years old.
What is so special about them? There are 272 very steep steps sets at the base of the largest and main cave. You see, it is very high up. Beside the steps is a large golden statue of Hindu God. Within the rear cave at the top is a small Hindu temple. This site is sacred to Hindu culture and so due respect must be given. To the left of the steps, perhaps 20 or 50 metres, is a decorated temple. A further stroll to the left reveals the entrance another cave, this one more decorated and scared to the Hindu religion. Given this is a religious site, custom and respect must be given and so no cleavage, shoulders, or women’s legs can be exposed.
The two hours we spent here were amazing but taxing. It took me a much longer time to overcome the stairs than Gallowe and many passersby stopped to offer help. In the end, I did it myself and survived with only a few minor mini stroke/ seizures. Coordinating my hand and foot movements the more I progressed along the incline really did my head in. Or perhaps that was my vasculitis. Thank rama (;-)) for handrails and baby wipes!
While we were there we saw a Hindu wedding in the temple farthest to the left. Even desecrated this Holy ground by accidentally walking on it with shoes one. I’m not sure how we missed so many NO SHOES signs, but there you go! Once our breath had been caught and the train was in the station we were ready to head back to town. At a last minute decision we jumped off the train at Kuala Lumpur Station and tried to work out how we could get to Little India and Central Market on foot. It took 20 minutes.
Location: Jalan Hang Kasturi, Kuala Lumpur
What is it? Originally a wet market built 1888, it is now the main centre for Malaysian culture, art, history and heritage. It includes smaller businesses and buildings that all showcase the rich heritage of Malaysian culture.
Age: The building is 127 years old, the market is 135 years.
What is so special about them? The building is Heritage Listed and is an exquisite example of colonial architecture. The Kasturi Walk accompanying it is highly acclaimed too, though we did not do that.
Gallowe was full of wonder at the various buildings around this area and we both enjoyed such a wonderful lunch only a short fifteen minute walk away in Little India. We don’t know what we ate but it was served in a Thali (small portions of various sauces, breads, curries) and it filled our bellies right up. As we strolled through Central Market and Chinatown we were both quick to agree that it was fascinating, but not a place we were keen to spend much time at. The afternoon thunderstorm that quickly followed decidedly sent us back to the hotel to shower and rest before dinner. After dinner we closed an exhausting day with a fish foot spa, in which the fish eat the dead skin and dirt off your feet and ankles.