Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A one night affair in Malaysia

MJ came to Singapore and part of our itinerary was to drop by at Kuala Lumpur :D

Yup2! We went to Malaysia via Jetstar on an early Friday morning.  It was a new scene for both of us.  I have been to Johore but KL was more of a city.  It was crowded actually :D  The queue at the immigration was really2 long with so many tourists from the middle east.  I think they love KL so much!  Anyway, we took the KL express and so were like hungry and we arrived at KL around 11 at the KL central.  We looked for a place to eat and we found KFC =)) and we had porridge and coffee.  Our plan was to first go to Batu caves before checking in at our hotel.  After that really quick meal, we went down, ask the information counter and we were able to find the counter where we can purchase our tickets.  KL's metro is quite good actually but very crowded comparable to that of Manila.  Singapore's metro is also crowded but it's so well ventilated.  Anyway, the ride to Batu caves was less than an hour and the train was spacious enough.

We reached the Batu caves excited and the entrance was free.  Batu cave is actually an Indian house of worship for what seems to be a monkey god.  Before you could reach the cave which was situated atop from a rocky mountain you need to climb the stairs of hundred steps.  This was quite an adventure and not for the weaker knees :D  When we reached the top most and entering the mouth of the cave, we were surprised that it's really huge and from the ceiling came some sprinkles of water from the mountain.  I was actually careful not to be hit in my eye or mouth as the place was really full of bats (obviously).  Did I mention the temple is place of worship for some monkey gods? Oh yeah, there were lots of real monkeys along the steps, be warned.  The place was a first time for us and there were some priests doing some rituals for the visitors.  MJ and I were curious what it was about so we tried to actually go inside the temple and the priest began to pray in a different language - I assumed it was a Hindu ritual in Tamil or maybe Hindi.  Anyway, we donated 10 ringgits and the priest gave us a milk and a candle to offer to the monkey god.  I did not get actually what was the ceremony so I just went along.  I think MJ was thinking the same thing :))

Anyway, after the ritual the priest took out some thread and then tied it to my left wrist then he was like murmuring about money and donation and saying 10 ringgit which was really funny because I did not understand what he meant.  He began pointing to the 10 ringgit and then tried to point to my wallet =)) So I took 1 ringgit and gave it to him or rather put it in his mini basket. I did some research and found out that the god was not a monkey as it is Murugan and it's from the Tamil people. A war god who defeated the demon.  So I guess the ritual the priest performed to me is some sort of a prayer to defeat the evils or maybe protection from evils.  Anyway, it was an interesting experience.  When reading about this god, there is a festival for this god and the devotees prepare themselves by eating some kind of vegetarian diet and abstaining from self indulgence so like they do some form of fasting and on the day of the feast they are into a trance state and they pierce their body with some spear or some metallic or wooden sticks.  I think I have seen this in National Geographic which seems really horrifying but to these people its like a devotion to their god and it's quite interesting.  In the Philippines which is mostly Catholic, during holy week, devotees re-enact what Christ did to save it's people buy having procession of penitence where they perform flagellation to the extent of crucifying themselves.  It's actually bloody and scary and seemed painful.  I haven't tried it and I don't want to try it....  Anyway, we descended from the temple after some photo ops and that made it scary as I can feel my knees shaking.  Did I say that there were 272 steps all in all ? Yes, it was a huge relief after we set our feet on the ground.  While taking pictures, there was this creature which suddenly grabbed my water bottle and it was scary.  It was another monkey incident of mine.  Therefore I conclude I don't like monkeys.... After the Batu caves, we went back to KL via their metro.

We arrived at KL central and we looked for the lrt to go to Bunkit Bintang which was where our hotel. We arrived at the station safe but really hungry so went inside the Berjaya mall I think and ate at their food court.  The serving was quite big and so our starving tummies were satisfied.  After that, we trekked the whole Bukit Bintang looking for our hotel. It's a two star so it's not that known.  We asked people around and they do not know what it was and they don't even know the address.  It was hot and crowded and MJs camera was dead! Yeah she accidentally lose her hold of the camera so like it fell when she was about to take a photo :(  Anyway, our last resort was to buy a map. We paid the map for like 10 ringgit and it was a huge one.  We went inside the mall and looked for a place to sit.  As we were scanning the map some lady approached us and she then asked if where we were from.  I just told her that we were kind of lost and we are from the Philippines. She was wearing this Muslim scarf around her head and she was inside the mall so we weren't scared at all.  Then she began to speak in Tagalog and so we were relieved and she helped us find our hotel :) which was so kind of her.  She was actually from Zamboanga and I think she has a stall in the mall. I was trying to connect to her by saying that she's Chavacanno, but then she's actually Tausug :) We thanked her a lot (said in Filipino) for helping us and we bade good-byes :)

We again began touring Bukit Bintang and viola our hotel was found.  We checked in and and after that, we slept =))  It was so tiring waking up in the early morn and trekking around looking for our hotel.  we set our alarm at around 6PM or something and off we went to KLCC to see the very famous Petronas tower.  We actually took the lrt and good think it was a walking distance.  The Petronas tower is a must visit I should say as it is really beautiful :)  We took lots of pictures and since it was dinner time, we decided to eat at KLCC. MJ loved the food in KL =))

After our Petronas adventure, we headed back to Bukit Bintang looking for some night life party but couldn't find a nice one.  We were supposed to meet a friend, a former colleague but he was actually admitted to the hospital so we cancelled.... Anyway, we couldn't find a nice spot so we decided to just call it a night.

The next day was our last day =)) We haven't shopped and I heard shopping in KL is also fun.  Anyway, MJ wanted to go back to Singapore by bus so we had to be at the mall earlier to book our tickets and fortunately we got an early schedule.  We decided to take a bus because we wanted to do some sight seeing but it seems that the sight seeing was not that interesting as all the way, we just see palm plantations.  What else to do was to sleep, good thing we had the lazy boy type chairs in the bus so it was really comfortable sleeping in this moving vehicle.  It was a long 6 hour journey....

We arrived in Singapore just on time to attend a birthday party in our flat and it's another feasting/celebration ;) And yeah, after the party, MJ and I went to Clarke Quay to party together with Janice :D

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