Favorite City in Asia – So Far
From ancient Hindu caves to the (former) tallest building in the world, all with only one subway transfer.
We started out the day a little later than expected (which you think that we WOULD expect it at this point…), but finally got going just in time to see the beginning of the state of the union speech! It is uniquely strange to see this while in southeast Asia, sitting in one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world, in a hostel lobby with at least 20 other people who most likely speak 3 languages each, watching America’s first black president speak to one of the least culturally and gender diverse governments in the world (heads up folks, we are way down on the list of diversity in our government. Countries in the middle east are above us!) It was a surreal experience.
Off to the caves! Or should I say Andrea’s monkey photo shoot. We hopped on a train right by our hostel in Chinatown, and headed to the Batu Caves. They were pretty cool, giant caves full of (I think) long-tailed Macaque monkeys. There were 2 main caverns we saw: 1 main cavern at the top of the stairs with an open-air space after walking through it, and about halfway up you can pay to go into a dark cave tour (we chose not to do this). As you can see from the pictures, Andrea REALLY liked the monkeys.
After about 3 hours at the caves, we hopped back on the train and headed to the Petronas Towers. When we got there, we found an enormous mall situated at the towers’ base. Most of the mall was underground, but at least 3 of the 7+ levels poked up above street-level. Since we had already sweated through our shirts, and the tickets to go up in the towers were sold-out until after we left KL, we decided to wander and relax in the air conditioning for a bit.
The mall was amazing, and I don’t even like shopping. The words “I want to live inside here” actually came out of my mouth. We spent almost 7 hours inside the mall, including the movie we went to see. What struck me the most, and seems to really encompass KL, is how we could be shopping alongside one woman wear a see-through shirt with a sexy bra on AND a woman in a FULL burka (full full – she had eye holes cut out, not even just the strip that shows the bridge of the nose and eyes). This city is amazing, and hands down my favorite so far in Asia.
In true Vanni fashion, we ended the night by going to a movie at the mall. Andrea continues to love the fact that all theaters in Asia seem to have Carmel corn, and I have to say I really enjoyed my cup of mashed potatoes and gravy (something new to my theatrical experience).