Dr. Chun
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

June, 2015


Bitten by the travel bug again this summer, I decided to take a backpack travel to three countries in Southeast Asia - Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand.  The first stop was Kuala Lumpur, which is Malaysia’s sultry capital packed with historic monuments, steel-clad skyscrapers, lush parks, mega-sized shopping malls, and bustling street markets.

013Air Asia dropped me at klia2, which is the low-cost carrier terminal.  I took a KLIA Ekspres train to KL Sentral station and then a subway train to the hotel, which is within a short walking distance from the Petronas Twin Towers. 023The city's modern skyline is dominated by the Petronas Twin Towers. With a pre-reserved Petronas sky bridge ticket, I enjoyed the panoramic view of Kuala Lumpur at night.
033Next morning, I took a local train to Batu Caves from KL Sentral station.  I found female-only cars on the train.  Due to religion or crime? The statue of Hanuman (Hindu monkey god) was waiting for me at Batu Caves station. 043Be aware! There are monkeys all over the place. Some are running around, while others are eating bananas. These monkeys can be very aggressive. A monkey snatched a bag of sandwich from me!
053A gigantic golden statue of Murugan, a Hindu deity, is standing at the entrance to the caves.  Cathedral Cave (or Temple Cave) is the biggest one and you have to walk up a steep flight of 272 steps.  You also have to be careful about the monkeys. They are running up and down the stairs and stealing food from visitors who walk by. 063The caves are formed by limestone that is about 400 million years old. It’s hard to imagine looking at, and not to mention touching things that existed 400 million years ago.
073The cave is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside India, dedicated to Lord Murugan (a Hindu deity). It is the focal point of Hindu festival of Thaipusam in Malaysia. 083Back to Kuala Lumpur by train and headed for Jamek Mosque, which is the oldest mosque in the city. The onion-domed mosque sits at the meeting point of the Klang and Gombak rivers, which is also the birthplace of Kuala Lumpur.
093Kept walking towards the Bangunan Sultan Abdul Samad building with a clock tower. A prominent feature of the public building is the red bricks with the white plaster lined arches, gaining it the "Blood and Bandages Building" title. 103The iconic "I Love KL" installation is right outside the Kuala Lumpur City Gallery. The gallery is an information center for tourists to learn about the city's history through prints, photos, and architectural models.
113The offline map on my smart phone led me to National Mosque of Malaysia. The mosque has a large capacity of 15,000 people and is surrounded by lush greenery. Around the compound are many reflecting pools and fountains. 123Within a walking distance from the mosque is Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia, which is an attractive blend of modern architecture and traditional Islamic design.
133Housed within the center is an impressive collection of Islamic art objects from Malaysia as well as other Muslim countries. There is also a library and research facility for public use.  Nice place to chill out in the middle of a hot afternoon. 143After getting re-energized, I headed out to explore KL Bird Park, which is the world’s largest free-flight walk-in aviary. It was pretty fun to watch birds flying around me. There was an amphitheater where you could see a bird show.
153On the way to Chinatown, I came across Memorial Tun Abdul Razak. He was a key figure in gaining his country's independence from Britain and the second Prime Minister of Malaysia. 163Planetarium Negara is the national planetarium where the journey into space begins. There is a replica of the Stonehenge, but made of fiberglass.
173I am not an architecture professional, but I love visiting cities with beautiful historic and contemporary buildings. It is like free art that everyone can enjoy. Kuala Lumpur is full of many beautiful buildings and monuments. 183Kept walking towards Chinatown and stopped by Sri Mahamariamman Temple. The temple is one of the most popular Hindu temples among worshippers and visitors alike. Be sure to remove your shoes before entering!
193Across the Hindu temple is a Taoist temple! Guandi Temple is dedicated to a historical Chinese general known as the Taoist god of war. 203Petaling Street is the center of Kuala Lumpur's original Chinatown.  It is a place where the hustling and bustling never comes to an end. The street must be a shoppers' paradise if you want to bargain your way to some cheap things.
213Took a Go-KL free tourist bus and headed for Bukit Bintang, which area is full of fancy shopping malls and restaurants.  Had dinner at a Korean restaurant and walked back to the hotel. 223Early in the morning, I took an express bus to Singapore from a bus stop located in front of the hotel. The 5-hour ride on the double decker bus was comfortable and convenient.
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