Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

28 03 2010

For Chinese New Year (Feb 10-14, 2010), some friends and I decided to take a road trip up to Kuala Lumpur (KL) in Malaysia. It is approximately a 6 hour bus trip to so it is quite common for Singaporeans to go to Malaysia for shopping etc.

The first “touristy” thing we did when we arrived to KL was to get up bright and early and try to get tickets for the skybridge at the Petronas Towers. The skybridge is essentially a bridge linking the 2 towers together on the 41st and 42nd floors which definitely provides for a cool view of the city.

Now what makes the Petronas Towers so special? Apparently they were the world’s tallest buildings from 1998-2004 until their height was surpassed by the Taipei 101. However, the Petronas Towers still remain to be the tallest twin towers in the world. After visiting the towers, we took a walk into the city to check out some of the shopping at Bukit and Times Square.

The next day, we did what I was most looking forward to — the Batu Caves!  The Batu Caves are located just north of KL on a limestone hill where a number of caves and cave temples have been built around. The focal point of the Batu Caves is the 42.7 m tall statue of Lord Murugan (who is a Hindu deity). To actually reach the caves, you need to climb up 272 steps! I was so surprised to see some elderly men and women climbing the stairs to reach the top of the temple! We even saw a Hindu function going on where a family was talking a baby up the stairs in a hammock-like thing for a ceremonial function.

On our third day in KL we decided to check out the Islamic Arts Museum where they had a special exhibition by world-renowned National Geographic photographer Steve McCurry. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the name Steve McCurry — well remember the famous photograph of the Afghan girl with bright green eyes from National Geographic? Yep, him! His exhibition was absolutely incredible! It featured over 50 photographs from the Islamic world and South Asian culture. This was probably among the most interesting things about our trip. The rest of the museum was really interesting also. There were a number of artifacts all relating to Islamic culture around the world, from Europe to the Middle East all thew way to Asia.