This is a long overdue post about my 3-day backpacking adventure that took me to Kuala Lumpur and Penang last February. I offer no explanation for the almost 4-months delay except for the oft-repeated “wine gets better with age” excuse (ano daw?).
We woke with a start when my cellphone alarm clock went crazy at exactly 6am. The next 30 minutes was a blur and we went through our morning rituals as if we were on autopilot. Next thing we knew we were already inside the elevator on our way to the coffee shop to have breakfast. The coffee and toast were a Godsend but the soft-boiled eggs were so raw I was quite sure I saw some traces of salmonella in it.
We grabbed our bags and checked out of the hostel soon after. We stored our luggage in one of those ultra-convenient lockers at KL Sentral so we won’t have to lug around KL with our heavy bags. And then we were off to Batu Caves, one of the major tourist attractions just outside of KL. And boy, whaddya know? We went right smack into a multitude of Malay Hindu devotees in all their finery! A festival of some sort was apparently underway.
For several minutes, we just stood there mesmerized by the style, color and texture of the saris worn by women who were coming in droves.
We also noticed that there were very few tourists in the area and we increasingly felt like we were intruders (I was wearing shorts and they were in their Sunday’s Best, lol). But WTH, we were there already so we might just as well do what we set out to do — climb those several flights of stairs leading to the temple inside the cave! So we pushed and shoved, only to be told to take off our shoes before we can even set foot on one of the temples at the base of the hill.
Like a meek schoolboy who knows his GMRC, I proceeded to take off my shoes. I managed to step on a couple of people’s toes before I was able to take off my left shoe and then I saw THEM — several piles of shoes haphazardly strewn about. The prospect of rummaging through these piles to locate my shoes once I’m done with my, errr, cave exploration, sent tingles down my spine (read: I will have none of it!). And so I did a U-turn. Batu Caves can wait, I told myself!
Our next stop supposedly was the Blue Mosque (Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Mosque) but we were running out of time so we did the next best thing — eat our second breakfast meal at a KFC branch in KL Sentral, haha.
Our next activity was the city tour. Fortunately, the KL Hop-on Hop-Off Bus has a pick-up point just outside KL Sentral so we proceeded there right after our meal which consisted of pancakes and hashbrowns.
To say that the tour (which ended at 8pm) was a feast of the sense of sight would be an understatement.
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You can also find my full-packed, back-breaking, ‘sulitin ang gastos’ kind of a travel itinerary here. I know, I know, sometimes it’s best to go with the flow. But I say, it’s better to come prepared (and what better preparation than a 6-page itinerary for a 3-day trip!).
Note: Destinations marked in red are those which we were not able to visit. This was PRIMARILY due to time constraints. Budgetary constraints came a very close second.