Malaysia Part Satu (1)

So just in-case you missed it across my social meeds, time week I was in Malaysia!! That's right me who, this time last year had just gone back to work for a mere eight hours a week after my surgery was actually having a real life proper adventure half way across the world! Jenny and I headed out there to see my little sister, Emma who has been interning at Lang Tengah Turtle Watch (more on that in another post).
So here's a little re-cap of m first couple of days , spent in Kuala Lumpur...

Day 1 Began on a plane for 7 hours a quick stop off in Dubai and another 7 hour plane journey, and ended in a roof top bar.Leaving Gatwick at 10am we arrived in Kuala Lumpur (KL) 9am the next day despite the flights travel time being just 14 hours (F-yea! Time Travel!).

Time travel!

So we arrived at our hotel, The Aloft in KL Sentral and hooray, we managed to go straight into our room, before heading our for food (Ramen at the local mall) and then back for a much needed nap.
Later we hit the rooftop pool and bar while we waited for Jo to arrive before heading out for a walk in search of food and then for a walk around Little India, the area right next to our hotel. While walking around I got the first sense of adventure that I've been craving, and luckily for me that was just the start.....

Little India

Torana Gate

Day 2, Up early and greeted with rain, undeterred we headed over to Gombak, Selangor to visit the Batu Caves. Dedicated to Hindu Lord Murugan., this is one of the most holy sites for Hindu's outside of India, and plays host to the annual festival of Thaipusam.
At the top of the bottom of the 272 steps there is a 50ft statue of Lord Murugan and at the top there are stunning views of the city and beautiful shrines dedicated to various Hindu deities. It really is an incredible place.

After a brief monkey attack (he tried to steal my bag when I was getting water out) I eventually made it to the top and it really was magical (despite the building work) The views, the caves and simply seeing how much it means to people to be there was amazing. I spoke to a man who told me how important it was for him and his family to have made the pilgrimage to the caves and why it was so important to them. Standing in the caves, under the spray falling in from the earlier rain was a perfect moment. I felt like I was on top of the world, and looking out across the KL skyline, I pretty much was.

On the way down we headed to The Dark Cave, which is a conservation site made up of 2km of passages across 7 chambers of cave. You can take a tour into the caves and learn all about its eco-system, unique and rare wildlife and rock formations. Or if your more adventurous you can book a longer more extreme tour taking you further into the darkness.
Led by our guide we trundled into the blackness like a group of proper explores with our torches and hard hats (assuming proper explorers have selfie sticks) into the first two chambers of the cave. It was great fun, listening out for the bats, seeing mice scuttle past and some pretty big spiders. Unfortunately we didn't get to see the snakes, as they are only seen once every couple of months when they need to feed on bats, but despite that it was an incredible experience and felt like a proper adventure! Next time (yea I'm coming back to you Malaysia) I hope to go even further into caves and see the rare trapdoor spiders!!!

A little bit of light at the end of the second Chamber of the Dark Cave

Our final cave of the day was the exact opposite of the Dark Cave. We went to the Ramayana Cave, which is filled with bright lights and statues that tell the story of Ramayana, features a giant statue and Kumbhakarna and at the top of (even more) stairs has a naturally occurring shrine to Shiva.
I'm not going to lie, without standing and reading all of the notices that tell the story throughout the cave I wouldn't have known what was going on, and even with reading the story I had to have a little google to really understand the story. But totally worth the 5MYR (£1) it cost to get in, which I assume they have to charge to try and make some kind of dent in the electricity bill – its seriously lit up!

Raymayana caves

Inside the Raymayana cave


After another monkey encounter, where he grabbed hold of my trousers and I wanted to take him home because he looked at me with big eyes and I felt instant love, it was time to head back to rest and change. 272 stairs in that heat causes a lot of sweat.

Here's a top tip for you when visiting the Batu caves- Check the train times, they seemed to only come once every 45 minutes and 40 minutes is a very long time when you're hot, tired and a bit smelly.

Once we got back (after sitting in the Ladies on carriage on the train, which is actually a really nice idea, hint hint, Southern Rail/London Underground) w wandered further around our local area, looking for local Chinese Temples and a Mosque then we made it back with all the intention of going to the pool really quick before getting ready to go out....

We failed at the whole going out thing. We ended up hanging out at the rooftop pool and bar (did I mention that our hotel had a rooftop infinity pool and bar yet? Haha), got some great food (BBQ Quail FTW) and took advantage of happy hour and our hotel discount cards and the fact the pool is open late.

All in all a pretty awesome start to our holiday!
Check back tomorrow for more tales of our KL adventures, with added birds and fountain shows!

*For some reason my camera has time stamped (and incorrect date and time) on most of my pictures. I'll possibly edit them at some point.

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