I woke up around 7am to find out that indeed it was still dusky outside, as Lorie, a classmate from college, had said that sun rises late in KL. So naturally, I lounged around the bed until it felt like morning already then started packing up. The morning started out great because I finally, by accident, learned how to turn on the water heater. LOOOL. Turned out it was a switch outside the room which I was figuring what was for because it doesn’t turn on any light haha.
I had to pack up and check out that day so that I’d be ready to just ride the bus in the evening to Singapore and not worry about packing. Well, but primarily so that I can get back my 100 RM security deposit and have enough for the day. Budget, budget.
My itinerary for the last day was Batu Caves (The cave is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside India, dedicated to Lord Murugan. It is the focal point of Hindu festival of Thaipusam in Malaysia. – Wikipedia). I had initially wanted to go to Kota Kinabalu but I know when I go there I want to climb so when I found out about Batu Caves I knew I had to go there. It’s the closest to nature + climbing + culture in one that I could get too. Then I planned to go to Bukit Bintang where the real malls are. Lorie and I were planning to meet up in the afternoon since she had driving lessons in the morning; we’ll see Petronas Towers and the light show in the evening.
So after getting my things ready and checked out. According to the map I was to take the KTM Komuter train which is actually what they call the tourist train since it runs along several tourists spots in the city, i.e. Chinatown, Central Market, etc.) I took the monorail to KL Sentral (1.60 RM), the main interchange hub, where the trains were connected. I was seated next to a Singaporean couple who got in from Imbi as well. I was taking photos using the GoPro and they joined in. Cute. Turned out they were going to KL Sentral also and taught me how to get to the next train. They’re on vacation as well and on their way to Indonesia. Thank you Doris and Mohammed! If ever you come across this blog, please do leave your hello. 🙂
The KL Sentral was much better plus it has all the fastfood chains! I was planning on having breakfast first but I was already running late as I planned on getting there by lunch time so that I can have my late lunch already back at the station. I changed trains and rode the KTM Komuter train to Batu Caves for 2 RM. This train is much bigger and newer than the monorail.
I finally reached the station from there you can see the big Hindu god of war. I read about the site and got my big scarf ready to wrap around from waist down since they do not allow skirts and shorts when going up. You can rent there also for 5 RM then they’d refund you 2 RM after you return. The ladies who were lending the sarong were kind enough to fix up mine for me.
They say it’s 272 steps up to the caves, I’m just not sure if that’s just the main steps you can see from afar or includes the steps you had to climb further upon reaching the cave. My guess is the main steps only since even if I was just up Mt. Batulao shortly before I left I was already panting as it was a continuously steep climb. I didn’t bother counting the steps anyway lol. I was already drenched in sweat by the time I got to the top. It was around noon that time also that’s why it was so hot. There are some souvenir shops at the top as well as someone selling drinks and even ice cream, of course a bit pricey. I already had a water bottle with me so I didn’t bother buying any snacks there.
The view was amazing. I’ll always be a fan of caves after experiencing the Sumaging Caves in Sagada. One can also go in the temples but there are entrance fees there and most tourists who climbed up didn’t go in anymore. There are 2 temples on top, I think. One can also do a Dark Caves tour which is really going spelunking. I think I was debating on going in for about 15 minutes or so but it cost 45 RM and I was again thinking it’s just the morning and I still have to eat and buy chocolates. LOL. I promise to check that out when come back!
They shot the photo I posted here. There would always one or two tourists who would be wanting to have their group shot taken and would always gladly take your also. 🙂
Turned out there’s a spot for ladies only in the train. I road coach this time! Buuuut… I left my sunglasses there. Huhu. You can see it from my photo that I left it at my other side. I was freshening up when I got to the train as I was so sweaty that I forgot to put it back on. I only found out about it when I was reached Bukit Bintang and it was so hot. Bye Max Mara.
Train to KL Sentral from Batu Caves (v/v) takes around 20-25 minutes I think. I arrived back at the station around 1PM I think? As I already had some Goya wafer snacks (this is not a paid ad lol) I thought I’d have my lunch either somewhere along Bukit Bintang or Back at Imbi at Time Square since I have to get off there anyway to purchase my bus ticket already. I dropped by this mall which I forgot what is which is connecting the monorail to the interchange hub. I purchased my SG ticket for 45 RM at Star Express in Time Square, it was a double-decker bus! And I got the top bunk, single-seater. Aweeesoome. (That bus ride is a totally different and memorable experience altogether. See next blog!)
I got to Bukit Bintang and searched for the malls where they sell branded items, you can go to Fahrenheit 88 and Lot 10 for cheaper choices. They have a big sale on going but again I managed to skip it. I went all the way to the Pavilion and the big Sephora place in front of it where I believe I spent a good 30 minutes or so just trying on makeup. I met a Filipino makeup artist there who gave me an instant makeover! Ta-da~
Make up by Givenchy!
Around 5PM I met up with Lorie and the rest of her Filipino friends who were visiting also. They met there in Malaysia as well. Ms. Juvy is a principal in Indonesia and Joraima was her co-teacher. Paul’s another of their friend who is Malaysian but works in the Philippines. Great to meet you guys!! We went to the Malaysian Information Center to get another batch of free chocolates then walked around Bukit Bintang-Raja Chulan in search of the well-known local restaurant called Lima Blas (translation for no 15). Thanks for the dinner, Paul!
Then around 8PM we went Petronas Towers and had a blast as we tire ourselves with all the photo-ops haha. There was a beautiful light show in the park at front as well, which ran every 30 minutes. We enjoyed taking pictures as well even if it was drizzling that time. After which, since I still got 50 RM with me and I’m leaving in a few hours. Lorie dragged me back to the KLCC mall to buy something for myself and chocolates as well.
I got a buy 1 take 1 big jar of Beryl’s chocolates white chocolate almond and dark chocolate almond (which my brothers managed to gulp down in less than a week!) and Lorie got me another jar of mix ones – milk chocolate raisins, almond and hazelnut because she said she didn’t get to treat me dinner. Thank you so much!
We got in time for my 11PM bus ride, got my stuff from the hotel, and changed clothes so that I don’t get frozen in the bus. Aaaaand the most exciting thing that time was we forgot my luggage keys at the hotel’s sofa where I was arranging my clothes and Lorie dragged my trolley bag as we hurried back to in front of Time Square where the bus will stop. They didn’t want me going back to the hotel as the buses were never late. Turned out, it was late for like 10 minutes. That’s just another plus in the experience level. LOLOL. Lorie waited with me while the others went back to their own hotels.
KL 2014 solo travel came to a close when I crossed the border. It was around just 5 hours bus ride to Singapore. Thank you to Lorie for meeting up with me for a few hours, for the tips in going around the city (she was the one who persuaded that I don’t take the Hop on bus which will take you all over the city, said I could already manage to do that using the trains) and for the chocolates! I’ll definitely be back and we could explore the other islands; to Ms. Juvy and the gang, I’ll see you in Jakarta hihi! Thank you, SS City Hotel, for the kindness in answering all my never-ending question on how to get to wherever. To all the strangers I met along the way, it was an enlightening experience. Thank you, KL, I may have left my shades and my keys with you but it was truly a humbling and grounding experience!