Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Malaysia Photo Diary: Walking Around KL

So it was our first day to go around Malaysia and all was swell. We walked around the city and took the train and bus to reach different parts of the city. So after going to Batu Caves in the morning, we had lunch then headed to the Freedom Square where the big "I Love KL" can be found. Taking photos was very easy and organized. There was a line and each group was allowed a few minutes for picture taking. Adjacent to the "I Love KL" spot is a huge field (Dataran Merdeka) where people can have picnics. And across the field was the Sultan Abdul Samad Building, which houses the Malaysian Ministry of Information, Communication and Culture. The architecture of the building was really impressive. I could just stare at it the whole day. At the other end of the field was the fountain and across the street was the Cathedral of Saint Mary (which we did not visit anymore). We then headed to some malls in the city and then to the Central Market to get some souvenirs. It was a very tiring day since it was also unbelievably hot but it was also a nice way to experience Kuala Lumpur.

And oh, we went to the Petronas Towers as well. Will have a different post for this one. :)

Sultan Abdul Samad Building

Dataran Merdeka

Empty train station

We were lucky this train was quite new

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Malaysia Photo Diary: Thaipusam Festival

It was very timely that the Thaipusam Festival (last weekend of January but the actual holiday was February 3) of the Hindus coincided with our trip to Malaysia. Of course, one must visit the Batu Caves, which is about an hour away by train from Kuala Lumpur. Thaipusam is a Hindu holiday where the Indians pay homage to Lord Subramaniam (also known as Murugan). Some carry jars of milk on their heads and they climb over 200 steps to reach the temple in the caves.  They do this as a form of penance to cleanse away their sins. We didn't go up anymore as the line was extremely long and it was really crowded. The whole area were full of Hindus and tourists, several tents were erected on the sides that sell various Indian snacks, art works, accessories, clothes and other stuff.

On the square in front of their god, people just left their footwear everywhere since they have to climb the steps barefoot to keep the temple holy.

It was interesting that we were able to visit the place with all the hustle and bustle but I think it would also be nice to go back on a regular day where there's peace and quiet.

Hanuman, the monkey god

The tallest statue in Malaysia: Lord Muruguan 

The stairs behind the Lord Murugan has over 200 steps that will lead to the cave.

See all those slippers? And the ones in the plastic bags are not garbage, they're more footwear!

Some Hindus with jars of milk atop their heads.


If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home.
– James Michener