Saturday, June 24, 2006

Kaula Lumpur

Finally after much excitement and counting days we had a nice vacation in Kuala Lumpur. We left our house at 8 in the morning and came out to find empty streets . The usually bustling place was empty . Well festivals are meant to be celebrated with family so no wonder the streets were empty, fortunately we got a cab till bus stand .

By the time we left Singapore it was 9:30 . Since it was long weekend the traffic jam was bad . After two stops in between for lunch we finally reached KL at 3 . Before going to KL I was told to brush up my bribing skills because it’s something like India .If you are not a local there are chances that everyone will try to dupe you .

We were asked to pay twice the actual amount to hotel but we were prepared so we took another taxi for half the price . It still might be more than local standards but that’s the best you get being a tourist .

KL looked like a ghost town maybe it was because we went there during Chinese new year . It is better this way ,less crowd less traffic .

I am going to write a brief account of all the places we visited during our stay in KL .

KL tower - This is the first place we visited . Minera tower is a tall lamp shaped structure which has a observation deck and a restaurant at the top floor . The restaurant turned out to be costly for us so we decided to go to observation deck . It cost 30 ringet per person . The lift shows the distance to the top floor in meters . So the top floor is 215 m about ground level .

The observation deck is covered with glass windows on all the side . The night view of the city is amazing . But after some time there is nothing new to see . The maximum time you would spend there is 10 min . But thanks to my camera we were there for one hour and I was frustrated because I was unable to take any good pictures from there . Firstly because of the glass which was reflecting on the pictures , Secondly because I dint have a tripod so the pictures turned out to be blurry . But as they say patience is patience is virtue . After many failed attempt we were able to get this beautiful view of the city.

Genting highlands - It is a amusement park located on top of Titiwangsa Mountains peak around one hour away from the city . There is a private bus called Go Genting which charges around 9 ringet to go till the sky train and charges for going up via sky train are also included . But since the rates are so cheap we dint get the tickets so we went till the sky train by taxi . Sky train is the most exciting part of Genting trip .

Some people advised us not to go in that because there will be huge queue but we decided to take chances . It was 30 min by the time our chance came . I think this is the most amazing sky train in this part of Asia. It is a 15 min ride up to the top . The sky train comes back to back and there is not much time to board on it so the staff hurries us to get into it . The doors were not locked till it was leaving the platform and it scared the hell out of me.

There were huge cables on top and steep valley at bottom . It was scary in beginning - one because we were so high up in the air in a box (literally ) which was hanging on cables , second there was another sky train just few meters away from ours . But then we relaxed and enjoyed the whole experience . Once we reached amusement park it was time for some fun .

We took tickets for both indoor and outdoor games which urned out to be a bad decision . Because of Chinese new year the place was so crowded that we had to wait in queue for one hour for games like go carting .

Indoor games turned out to be very childish and by that time we dint have the energy to wait in queues . We decided to go in sky train while coming back . That was a mistake because we had to wait for one hour in long queue . But everything was forgotten once our chance came .

The journey downwards is even more amazing and scary . Scary because it feels like a roller coaster ride in slow motion and I dont know for what reason the train stopped in mid air without any warning, for 5 min .

I thought we were going to die but then one more couple who were with us told that’s normal standard procedure . We were so relieved when we reached ground .
Despite the thick crowd Genting is a must visit .

Batu caves- It takes about one hour from the main city to reach this place . Inside the caves there is a Hindu temple . But the main attraction of this place is a huge statue of lord Shiva. There are steps next to the statue leading all the way to the caves .

I have heard from some people that this place is dirty , filled with monkeys and there is nothing in the cave except the temple . I agree the place was bit dirty with tin cans , chips packet scattered near the steps but there were no monkeys when we went . And you cannot take away the wow factor when u enter the caves .

There is a mystic quality about this place . The temple is right at the center and is surrounded by rock structures .

The sunshine falls right on the temple and we could see smoke like effect that is caused by the sun rays . It feels as if you have discovered some lost temple . I might be exaggerating but thats how I felt. It’s good to get carried away by such places once in a while amidst the concrete jungle that we are currently living in .

Petronas tower - We had visited this place on two evenings of our 4 day trip . First time we went our camera dint have the battery so we went back again the third day to take pictures . Then we went on the fourth day morning to get morning view of the tower .

I know this sounds crazy but how could we leave KL without a nice shot of world famous tower . It was the largest twin tower in world till burj khalifa came into picture . What makes the tower stand out well one of course is the height , second the way it lights up the night. It emits white color light and it stands out amidst all the other buildings.

I wonder from where they get so much of light to light it up because for sure the whole building is lit only for tourists . Now what do you do once you reach there - nothing much ! ! .

There are some high end designer boutiques inside the tower , some restaurants and few small attractions like aquarium which I will talk about later . Apart from that you are not allowed to go up . The twin tower actually is a office place . So tourist are allowed to go till the bridge which connects the tower . That too only in the morning for which I guess the tickets are free but you have to queue from early morning .

We decided to skip it since we had a bird eye view of the city from the KL tower . So the only thing you can do is take pictures and you will have company . Everyone will be taking pictures outside . We spent around one hour taking snaps of the tower .

Last day in KL - We again went to KL towers in the morning to get morning shots of the tower . I know sounds a bit crazy but how could we go back without having a nice picture of this iconic tower . We then went to aquarium which is inside a mall next to tower . I had never before had the experience of sting rays , shark , turtle etc move freely above my head .

It was nice experience for us . Ad yes I was so busy taking pictures . It was 1:30 by the time we finished everything and came back to our hotel . We had time left only for good food and a small nap .

The journey back to Singapore was horrible . Because it was Sunday and a long weekend we were stuck in endless traffic and it was 1 pm when we finally made it home .

KL provided us with much needed break from our busy schedule.

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