Kuala Lumpur and Penang…

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Kuala Lumpur was another place i had heard bad reviews about, and another place i actually quite enjoyed!
Not as westernised as Singapore (unless you go to the main town) and very cheap.
Our hostel was right next to Chinatown and was the biggest we’ve stayed in so far. A dorm room of 20 people (10 bunk beds) and no air-con, of course it had to be my bed that was right next to the crazy lady of the dorm! She liked to laugh to herself…whats that you say? Laughter is a happy sound? Why yes it is, except when it’s pitch black, 3am and that laughter sounds like a creepy clown from a horror movie!!! I slept holding onto my torch the whole time we were there.

Chinatown here was just one big market of fake stuff, trainers, bags, jewellery, anything you could want really.
And guess what we found? Yep you guessed it, another reggae bar! This was a big commercial bar though not like the ones in Thailand that are small intimate bars owned by Rastas.
Nice though, good food, good music and cheap cocktails πŸ™‚

The next day we had planned to go to the Batu Caves, a Hindu temple inside a cave. As we were leaving we met 4 guys from our hostel with the same plan so we all went together πŸ™‚
One of the girls said she knew the way to the train station…this wasn’t entirely true so after a very long and dangerous walk we finally found it, all part of the adventure πŸ™‚
Seeing as everything worth doing on my trip so far has involved a climb of some kind i wasn’t surprised to discover that this temple was up lots of stairs, what did surprise me was how easy the climb was…must be getting fit!
At the top is a massive cave with a Hindu temple inside the formations of the rocks, the view looking up out of the cave was gorgeous

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What wasn’t so great was all the rubbish that had been thrown on the floor. Thats not nice to see anywhere but i really didn’t expect people to disrespect a place of worship in that way.

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After seeing the temple Me, Mike and Eashan – an Australian guy from our hostel – took a cave tour and i’m so glad we did, it finally felt like we were doing something different.
Helmets and flashlights at the ready we followed our tour-guide into the darkness and walked through pitch black bat caves, learning all about the animals that lived there and the rock formations.
Some of the rocks were gorgeous and they glistened like precious jewels

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We learnt about the spider that eats its young when there is no food, the cricket that eats it’s own leg when it’s hungry and the worm that can be cut into 20 pieces and turn into 20 worms – a good way to make friends!

At one point we were all asked to stand very close and turn our torches off while the tour-guide did the same and showed us just how dark the caves really are!
I’ve never been in such darkness! Usually when it’s dark your eyes will adjust and you can at least see shapes…not in this kind of darkness they don’t! It was just black, i lost all sense of where i was and it got quite claustrophobic.
I could feel my eyes opening wider and wider like a camera lens desperately trying to find some light to let in, but with no luck.
Now i understand why these animals depend so much on the sense of smell, touch and sound to survive!

We walked through a wind tunnel which was just what the name suggests, a tunnel in the middle of a cave that has air rushing through it.

Deeper into the cave we could hear noises above us. We were told to keep our torches low to avoid disturbing the bats but my curiosity got the better of me (as usual) and i aimed my light up to see hundreds of black wings hanging from the rocks above.
They’re not dangerous but all i could think of was the scene from I am Legend when he chases his dog into the house and finds himself in darkness with a bunch of zombies huddled together sleeping.

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My inner child got the better of me when the tour-guide was showing us some rock formations. Her torch was highlighting the rock and her hand was accidentally making shadow puppets, i couldn’t resist making my own puppet and reenacting the scene in Ace Ventura where he’s watching the projector screen…”ooooohhhh HONK HONK!” πŸ˜€ i watch far too many movies!

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Back in the daylight we go to a little indian restaurant that was recommended.
I ordered a banana leaf of different dishes and seeing as i’m trying new things i go for the traditional Indian way of eating with your fingers. Eashan tells us that you must eat with your right hand and don’t let the food touch your palm. I felt like a greedy pig but the food tasted so much better and it was a lot more fun πŸ™‚

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For dessert we have a coconut – drink the water and eat the flesh. It was very tasty and refreshing but i wouldn’t say it tasted like the coconut i’m familiar with, i was expecting it to taste like a Bounty bar…i got laughed at when i said this!

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Our evening started off with a visit to the Petronas towers, Kuala Lumpurs main attraction, they are the Twin towers of Malaysia.
Absolutely spectacular!

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So beautiful you forget all the boring office work that goes on inside!

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We wanted to go to the viewing bridge halfway up but tickets were sold out and there was a 3 day waiting list 😦
We attempted to make our own way up by sneaking into a lift that only took us up 4 floors, and the only open door we found led to a concert hall where we spied on a guy practising the trumpet πŸ™‚
When bribing the security guard didn’t work we gave up and went outside.
There was a beautiful water fountain that everyone was posing next to…i had the biggest impulsive urge to run through it…so i did πŸ™‚ gotta do these things!

Making our way back to the station i found…wait for it…Krispy Kremes!! I’ve been craving these for so long i thought it was a mirage! I happily bounced up to the counter where i was told the doughnuts only cost 50p!?! The staff were amazed when i told them how much they were in England!

As it was our last night we went for a few drinks with the guys from the hostel in a gorgeous roof top bar. Cheap drinks, great conversation and beautiful souls, what more could you want?

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The next day we made our way to Penang, i’m including this here as we really didn’t do much at all.
We spent 3 days relaxing at the beach, sampling all the local food and enjoying the hammocks and live music at the hostel.

Theres a lady that lives on the beach here. She used to be an actress but she gave it all up and sold her house to be ‘homeless’ and live in a tent on the beach.
Dreadlocks in her hair, tattoos on her skin, laying in a hammock between 2 trees on the beach that she calls home, ignoring all the stereotypes of what society says she should be…she is my inspiration!

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3 thoughts on “Kuala Lumpur and Penang…

  1. Love your blog. I’m of to SE Asia in April and will be going to so many of the places you have written about. Can’t wait.

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  2. A naturalist now. Great to read about the caves. People and rubbish go together unfortunately real pity they can’t take it with them. Really enjoyed this one looking forward to the next. I think you’ve found you’re vocation. Another town ???

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