We went to the breakfast buffet at 7:00. It was largely set for Muslim, Chinese and Indian tastes. There was a small section of Western food which I used today. Jean likes to experiment with her breakfast food. We returned to the room until our pick-up at 8:30.
Yus drove us through the heavy morning traffic. We waited at one intersection for about five minutes. Instead of letting the lights control the traffic, a police officer was controlling the traffic. Yus pointed out that the Green Line and Blue Line buses are free to try to encourage the population to use mass transit.
It was still very hazy, and Yus told us that there are large forest fires in Indonesia and that is causing the haze we have been experiencing yesterday and today. As we drove out of the city, I noticed that there are nice clean sections and some that are dirtier just like what you experience in NYC when you go from neighborhood to neighborhood.
Our first stop was the Batu Caves. This is a series of caves that also house Hindu temples. It is dedicated to Lord Murugan, a Tamil God. It was made a temple in 1890. There is a large statue of Murugan in front of the caves that stands 42.7 m (140 ft) high. It is located next to the 272 colorful stairs that lead to the mouth of the cave which is 100 m (328 ft) up. After huffing and puffing, we reached the top and walked down into the cave temple. It was an interesting layout for the temple, and a huge cavern in which it resides. The cavern itself was beautiful. The temple took up one side of the cave. There were about six dioramas throughout the cave. Jean climbed the last steps to see the small temple at the top of the cave. We spent about 40 minutes at the caves before moving on.
Our next stop was the Royal Selangor Visitor Centre to see the pewter factory. We were first given a tour of the museum and learned about the founder, Yong Koon who started the company back in 1885. Then we walked through a demonstration area with 5 stations that enlightened us about the various process in crafting pewter pieces. This was followed by a quick walk by the factory floor where in one section they have a table of various items for businesses and trophies, including trophies for the Formula One race in Malaysia. Our guide then led us to the store area to pump up the economy again, which we did. Jean bought some items, and I purchased a money tree as a souvenir. We also looked at the other name brands, Comyns for sterling silver and Selberan for gold. There was a magnificent peacock display in this section. The. tail had such fine detail. It was gorgeous, the picture I took hardly does it justice. On the way out of the factory, I had my picture taken with the world's largest stein (it was in the 1987 Guinness Book of World Records).
We drove over to s batik store where Yus showed us how they make their items by hand instead of by a pre-made stamp. We saw an artisan drawing the pattern free-hand using wax, and another painting the beautiful colors by hand following the design done by the first artisan. A demanding job, you can't be making any mistakes. I purchased a small frame with a flower design for my souvenir collection.
We then headed over to the KL Tower. It was included in the tour, and we are leaving tomorrow, so this was our last shot. Yus parked close to the entrance and escorted us in. He bought the tickets, and then took us to the head of the tour group line, even though we were a tour group of 2. That move alone saved us 20 minutes or more waiting in the regular line. Yeah!
So we walked around the observation floor looking down and out on the city. Some of the sites that were pointed out on the signs were too far away and hidden by the smog from the fires. I am sure that they will not appear in the pictures I took. We were able to locate places we had visited yesterday, including the Hard Rock Cafe (they had the logo on their roof). There is one picture that has a circle in a field below. If you are a licensed parachutist, you can jump off the tower and that is the landing area! Unfortunately, you were only able to see the Petronas Twin Towers from the side. We then took a look at the historic Jelutong tree that is over 100 years-old on our way out.
We then returned to the hotel and said goodbye to Yus for the day. We will see him tomorrow when he transfers us to the airport. Jean repacked and readied her luggage for our next jaunt back to Korea. We will arrive at the hotel around midnight, and leave the next day on the train out to our temple stay.
About 4:00 we ventured over to the building across the street that is a mall. From the outside it is not very impressive, but inside is a different story. It spans 7 floors and is broken up into the East, West and Center sections with numerous stores, salons, 7/11s, restaurants and an amusement park on the 5th floor. Most of the businesses are cash only. Some of the stores looked liked upgraded stalls from the street market.
We found a Malaysian restaurant (cash only) where we enjoyed the local cuisine. We tried the shrimp & chicken dumplings as an appetizer, and Jean had a soup with chicken, noodles, cucumber and spinach. My entree was a seafood clay pot with octopus, prawns, eggplant and other vegetables. Mine was quite spicy and cleared my sinuses.
We then walked the mall for a while looking at the levels and seeing the amusement park before walking back to the hotel for the evening to watch movies, read and relax.