Our second week in Malaysia was spent in Kuala Lumpur and Malacca. We stayed at the lovely Invito Hotel in KL and The Settlement Hotel in Malacca. I had heard that KL was not that great a city to visit. I disagree, there is so much to see we decided to come back and spend an extra four days here after Malacca.
The Batu Caves are one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside India, and dedicated to Lord Murugan. The Batu caves are 8 miles (13km) from central KL at the end of a train line. It cost for the two of us RG8 for a return trip from KL Central station in air-conditioned comfort. The train ride takes around 25 minutes. On arrival, the caves are a short walk from the station. We decided to do the main cave first and after 272 steps reached the top. Not sure why people say it is so hard. At the top there are nice views back to KL and several small temples along with monkeys, pigeons and a couple of roosters. At the bottom of the steps is a Hindu Temple. We did not go into it. There is a Hindu music show ongoing all day and a small pleasant garden to walk around. I am glad we waited to see the Ramayana Cave last. The Ramayana cave is near the exit of the train station. It cost RM5 each to enter. The cave is relatively recent in being developed as an attraction and the statues were built only a few years ago and there are some interesting ones to see. An English translation of the meaning of the statues would have been useful. All in all we had a great morning spending around an hour and a half exploring the caves.
Islamic Arts Museum
The Islamic Arts Museum of Malaysia is an excellent museum. From the outside water fountains to the exquisite detailed models of mosques from around the world. The history and development in the Islamic world of textiles, glass, weaponry, calligraphy and clothes from different regions of the world. The two floors are well laid out with English translations throughout. There are also some nice views of the surrounding area. Well worth the 12 RG entry price. All housed in a beautiful air-conditioned building. The cafe was good to with the beautiful glass panelling.
Other Kuala Lumpur Activities
We ate at several restaurants recommended on tripadvisor including Opium and Black Forest. All were excellent including my trolls head at Opium or what they called black squid rice. Another activity we went to was a Japanese Magic Show. Highly recommended for a fun night, they serve a four course Italian meal which was delicious and the Japanese magicians come to your table and do card tricks as well as a stage show. It did cost us £52 pounds or US$76 and was well worth it for the food and entertainment. We also visited the centre of KL with views of Petronas Towers and surrounding area. The other great thing we did was go to Mud the musical in the centre of KL. This was a great show, it was only an hour-long with a passionate and talented cast. Highly recommended to go and see it in KL if you are there. They do a matinée show at 3pm and ideal to escape the heat of the day or in the evening.
Malacca was so easy to get to. We took the metro and train to arrive at Bandar Tasik Selatan bus station where you can purchase a one way ticket for 10 ringgets to Malacca. The metrobus we took was comfortable and it took two hours to get there. At the bus station we took a taxi to The Settlement Hotel our home for the next three nights. We certainly timed our visit to the hotel well at it was their grand opening and we got invited to the celebration which included meeting the Chief Minister of Malacca and partaking of some yummy food and great music. The staff at the hotel were brilliant and for the first time since I have been in Malaysia I found a place where they made drinkable coffee. We had several meals at the hotel and all were excellent. It is a little away from the centre of Malacca and the hotel provides a shuttle service three times a day or you can get a taxi.
In Malacca we visited all the well trod tourist sites, Jonker Street, the Malacca river cruise, St Paul’s Hill, Red Square and the lone Portuguese gate as well as once again eat delicious food.
What did our week cost?
I suspect we have crossed the line from backpacking to glampacking. We did manage to keep within our US$150 per day for both of us this week which was nice.
Kuala Lumpur accommodation cost £180 or US$265 for four nights at the Invito Hotel
Malacca hotel accommodation £125 or US$185 for three nights at the Settlement Hotel
Spending for the week for
food, transport, attractions £365 or US$538 or 2001 ringget
Total Spend for one week: £670 or US$990 which works out at US$142 per day for two people.
This week we are back in KL before heading to Ipoh to try out the food and the Cameroon Highlands to try out the tea.