Kuala Lumpur: "The Batu Caves"
23 April 2010
Dear Family and Friends,
Fifteen kilometers (nine miles) north of Kuala Lumpur, the Batu Caves lie inside a towering limestone formation.
Standing 42.7meters tall (140 ft) the Hindu deity, Lord Murugan welcomes the devotees and visitors to the caves and the shrines.
To get to the main cave, I climb the 272 steps, while the resident monkeys eye my water bottle.
The cave complex is filled with colorful carvings of the Hindu pantheon and scripture. I recognize my old friends Shiva and Ganesha.
The main cave is a really a huge, open air atrium with sheer walls of rock and trees. In one corner of the cave is a Hindu temple where, for a small consideration, the priest chants a prayer and marks my forehead.
I had lunch on the grounds at an outdoor Indian restaurant – an assortment of rich and spicy stews and bread all served on a banana leaf.
The most fun for me is to chat with other visitors – many tour groups from Korea (good English), Japan (little English), and China (no English – somehow we talk). I also met a charming couple from Myanmar. And Kaori from China. We decided to correspond.
After an hour of wandering around and taking photos, (there’s a good spot for an ice cream snack; I avoided the henna tattoo lady), I found the taxi queue and bargained hard for the ride back to the hotel in downtown KL.
I will meet my friend Joowee for dinner tonight. I assume she will recommend a local Chinese restaurant.