Around the World 10 Kuala Lumpur

January 15th.
Somehow breakfast was not included with our room this time but we had the buffet anyway. Then we took the elevated train to what was supposed to be an area with colonial archetecture but we didn’t find much. Nearby was Central Market which was air conditioned and felt great and which sold lots of tourist stuff that I enjoyed looking at. Petaling Street was another shopping area which they were smart enough to shade. I bought a pair of white Vans tennis shoes which cost $10 and which lasted only until the end of our trip. It was really hot so we came back to our hotel to sit by the pool. Sitting by the pool and looking at all of the buildings, I had the deja vu feeling of being in Las Calinas, a development in Texas near Irving as many of the buildings were in the same style.
When evening came we walked over to the famous nearby twin towers which soar high above. We discovered a huge mall underneath the tower packed with people. Dinner was actually from a Californa Pizza Kichen. Hard to believe how many American establishments are here. There was a wonderful area behind the twin towers complex with a lake, fountains and a light show with spouting water with steps around it to sit on.
Malaysia is very different from Thailand. I think the native people here originally came from Indonesia and so they don’t look like those from Thailand. There are many Indians and many women with head coverings being, I guess, hindu or muslim. We’ve seen some women all dressed in black robes with only their eyes showing.
January 16
We booked a tour to take us to some nearby caves. Inside are Hindu temples in which are wildly, brightly painted sculptures of hindu gods or fairy tale figures. The lime stone walls soar up to a hole up above. There were monkeys everywhere and it was very smelly in places as we climbed the 272 steps to get to the top. A huge giant yellow god is in the process of being built at the base of the stairs. The caves and stairs weren’t very clean which made us wonder why the holy men manning the temples didn’t spend some of their time cleaning up the place. Maurice thought it was a bad reflection on Hinduism and he really didn’t enjoy it although I found the brightly painted figures all around fascinating.
Our tour guide was a nice guy, a former banker who retired early and then got bored. We had to stop at several places, always parts of tours, where they expect tourists to buy things. I don’t like that part of it but I did like the Batik place and we bought a beautiful scarf to frame for a wall when we return. Our guide told us that he was Catholic-10% of Malaysia is, in fact. The Chinese were brought here by the English to work in the tin mines and the Indians to work on the rubber plantations which went out of business when synthetic rubber was invented. There seems to be a good relationship between the various nationalities although the paper told of some racial incidents. It is also a very religious society, much more in some ways than America. Any nudity on TV is not shown. I noticed this in a movie on TV we watched that I had seen before where a sex scene was cut out. There was a photo of a nude statue in the paper-from the back-and his bottom was shadowed over. It seems like Malaysia is about 20 years behind the States. I wonder if that will change in time?

Some of the lovely batik we saw, hand painted onto silk using wax outlines to control the flow.

The stairs we had to climb to get to the top where the temples were.

Some gods to great you on a gate at the entry to the cave.

The steps were numbered. I don’t know if this helped or not.

One of the colorful gods inside.

There were monkeys everywhere. They came for the food, mostly bananas and coconuts that were offered to the gods.

The twin towers from underneath showing the bridge between the two.

The Twin Towers at night all lit up in silver and gold.