Welcome to Kuala Lumpur (KL), the national capital of Malaysia and the largest city in the country!
KL, also known as the Klang Valley, is among the fastest growing metropolitan regions in South-East Asia, in both population and economic development. But there’re different sides of KL, I would say it’s so various.
Meeting huge KL. Trip Cameron Highlands -> Kuala Lumpur took around 4 hours, but the time passed quickly. I went out from bus and felt warmth (remember, it was cold in Cameron Highlands 😉 I reached KL and was sooo impressed! Huge metropolis, very modern, big roads, nice buildings, reminded Bangkok in the city center.
We agreed to meet with my host in the train&bus station. I found out that I’m in a wrong location and started searching for Wifi. (Note: in many countries I made the same fail, which shouldn’t be repeated: I didn’t buy local SIM, thinking like “I will be here 1-N days, not that long, why would I need it”. Always having no Internet connection was really problematic from time to time. So next time I’ll buy a SIM!)
We met with my host and went to his place, which was located almost outside of Kuala Lumpur, near Batu Caves.
Caves and crazy monkeys. Since it was middle of the day, it was decided that I need to visit something today. So me and M (my host) went to Batu Caves – a limestone hill that has a series of caves and cave temples. Before I was only in the caves which are going downside, into the ground, so it was unusual to see ones “going upside”.
It was very dirty around the caves, trash everywhere on the floor and plenty of monkeys, having party hard in food leftovers.
The Ramayana Cave was interesting, there were many statues telling Rama’s story (from Hinduism).
Wouldn’t call it something exceptional, but nice to see.
After that I went to the “main” cave, the entrance is free, however you need to overcome many stairs and have a “cultural” lookup (women can borrow a shawl in the entrance for small amount of money).
It was dirty and not tourist-friendly inside, there were some building processes happening, Indian religion actions and songs and even cocks walking around!
Disappointed I went to the Dark Cave. You can enter only with a guide, they also give helmets and flashlights. It was a nice experience, a bit scary from the beginning. It’s so hella dark there and a lady guide was so inspirationally telling about different insects living there, showing pictures of them D: But after she told to turn off flashlights and just stand in total darkness, my fear went away and I was searching for creatures around 😀
My walk downstairs from the caves was quite epic. Plenty of monkeys are walking around, they looked small and cute. There were many baby monkeys as well.
One of those “kids” I met on the stairs, I stopped to take a look, however, didn’t come close (wild monkeys, yeah). Then a mother monkey came, took a kid and went away, I went further downstairs.
Two steps down I saw another baby monkey on the stairs, but decided now to stop near it. Well, it didn’t help… The same mother monkey ran towards me, loudly screaming. Even though it was a small monkey, it acted really aggressive. I stepped out from it, but the monkey was running after me, screaming more and more. I felt really scared, tried to imitate picking up a rock (works for dogs), but didn’t work either. Finally one men came towards me and scared a monkey. Gosh, I was so afraid that monkey would bite me (first day in KL and welcome to our hospital 🙂. Luckily everything was Okay, but my sympathy to monkeys decreased rapidly. Still have no idea how to scare them in such situations. So note: don’t mess with monkeys! 🙂
When I went downstairs M was laughing at me, as he saw the situation with monkeys. He told that he has no idea how to scare them, but seems like they’re generally not aggressive if you wouldn’t disturb them. That one however found me a maniac trying to take it’s baby -.-
Bad sides of Couchsurfing. Here I wrote about CS and my bad experience in KL.
During all my travels in Asia, when I stay at somebody’s place, I try to find people who can arrange me a separate room. Yeah, generally for backpackers it doesn’t matter, either sleeping on the floor in the entrance of an apartment or inside a huge villa with a pool. I can understand that. But I want to feel safe about myself. Having a separate room gives me a bit of freedom (easily change clothes, for example).
Of course I don’t sit silently in a separate room if my host is up for talking. Mostly I try to find people with many references and much personal information filled. Maybe a bit of paranoia, but as an alone-girl-traveler, I prefer to feel safe. Luckily I didn’t have that bad experience, almost all of the people I met before now in Asia were extremely friendly and helpful, some strangers helped me in the unexpected situations and it was cool, I will definitely write those stories later 🙂
About my host in KL. M is a nice African guy, friendly and hospitable football player. He gave me a separate room, told to feel like at home, even prepared some local food. We listened to African songs and were speaking about life. We agreed that I can stay at his place for 6 days (during all my stay in KL), however, after on the 4th day I went to the hotel.
Next 2 days I explored the city by myself, so I was back home only in the evenings. Once I came home and was extremely tired. So I took a shower, wished good night and went to sleep in “my” room.
In the middle of the night I woke up and found out that he’s sleeping on the same bed! I was like WTF is happening??! Time was 3-4 AM, I felt really scared. I wanted to take my stuff and go away, but as the place is located almost out of KL, it would be very tricky. I decided to move to living room and “sleep” there till morning. In the morning M was acting like nothing happened. I asked him about the situation, he told that he was tired to sleep on sofa in the living room and wanted to sleep “normally”. When I told “You could tell me before I went to sleep, so we would change. Or even wake me up at night, so I would move” (yes, it wouldn’t be hospitable, but still much better). M didn’t understand the problem. I explained him my position, I wasn’t aggressive or angry as it’s not my house and maybe it’s normal for his culture, however I was scared. I left him a “wouldn’t stay again” reference, but still had a bad feeling about the situation.
Again, luckily nothing that scary happened, and it was my only negative experience from CS. Generally community is great, people are friendly and open, up for helping and communicating. But yeah, different situations can happen, different people can be met, it’s a life 🙂
Lyrical part finished 🙂 Next time I’ll write about one colorful beauty of KL, full of interesting birds, cozy surroundings and just a place for relaxation – Birds Park! See ya soon 😉