This morning was an early start to get to the Batu Caves to beat the heat and everyone else. The Batu Caves is a limestone hill, said to be around 400 million years old, which houses a series of temples inside a cave. It was named after the Batu River, which flows past the hill, and is also the name of the nearby village. It is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside India, and it is dedicated to Lord Murugan. Some of the cave entrances were used as shelters by the indigenous Temuan people.
Local Hindus visit the shrine during the annual Thaipusam festival. Outside the shrine are a number of stalls selling flower garlands and milk as offerings to the God. I made the unfortunate uneducated traveller mistake of leaning in for a sniff of one of the garlands, only to be told that I wasn’t allowed to. When I asked why, the lady told me it was because it was an offering. I must admit that I just thought she didn’t want me to sniff them unless I bought one, but when I got back the hotel and researched it a bit further – turns out I was wrong. The garlands are supposed to be pure offerings and I had mistakenly taken all the sniff out of one of the garlands. I felt bad. Just for the record, the garland I sniffed had orchids in it and it smelt divine and yes they are real flowers.
There are 272 steps to the entrance of the cave and the way is littered with – well litter and monkeys. You need to be careful if you are carrying food or shiny objects as the monkeys are not adverse to frightening visitors by leaping at them screeching, should they be carrying items that they find interesting. One screeched at me just for taking its photo on the way down from the cave! Once upon a time (ahem, last year), I would certainly not have been able to walk up those stairs to the temple, but today it was a breeze.
While the cave is not mind blowingly exciting, it was well worth the trip and the hundreds of photos of entertaining monkeys.
Heading back to KLCC, I really wanted to head out to Putrajaya today, but I just couldn’t get into the groove of dealing with it. It just felt more like a shopping day, so I decided to head on out to find Lot 10 and the Pavillion. I was a few bags heavier by the time I decided to head back to Suria to search for Royce Chocolates at Isetan, but I was in luck. Unfortunately it was only a tiny store with not much stock, but fortunately there was one box only left of the chocolate covered potato chips – so PSU team, count yourselves lucky!
I stopped off for an average lunch at Limoncello before passing by the Masjid Asy Syakirin for a couple of photos. The mosque, also known as KLCC Mosque is situated near Suria and is considered the jewel in the park because of its strategic location and location facing KLCC Park. It can accommodate up to 500 people.
Heading back to my hotel room, I reflected on all my new wardrobe additions. I pretty much managed to get everything I set out to, though I really would have loved another jacket and always more shoes. I think I’ve done pretty well though, what do you reckon?…
Well, it will be enough until the next trip anyway!
I’d been sitting in the hotel room relaxing when it occurred to me that my hands and feet were a disgrace and I should see if I could get an appointment at the hotel spa for a manicure and pedicure. I was in luck, and hurried up to the 34th floor for some indulgence = a couple of hours worth it turns out. It was really relaxing and I sure am looking forward to the massage I have booked in for tomorrow!
Hands and feet revitalised I made it to Din Tai Fung at the Pavillion to catch up with Em, Jason and the boys for dinner. I’ve always wanted to dine at Din Tai Fung. It has been named one of the Top 10 Restaurants in the World by the New York Times and even has 1 Michelin Star and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Stuffed full of dumplings, other associated Asian specialities and Tiger beer, it was time to head home.