To the Batu cave Batman!!

What a sleep!! My hotel was so quiet and peaceful, temperature was perfect, I slept like a baby. I didn’t want the morning to come!! But alas I woke up before my alarm.

I showered in my awesome shower and packed up my things. I checked out and shortly after my taxi driver showed up. Loaded my things up and off we went….into traffic. I had expected traffic and I was right. But it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Took about 25 minutes instead of the 15 without traffic.

But I made it!! The Batu caves in front of me, along with a whole lot of stairs!!

Like a whole bunch. But I was ready. By the way, this place was free. I don’t know how they do that. They take donations, but no demanded prices. I started my climb and encountered my first monkey!! And she had a baby!! Ugh so cute!! Many people were barefoot (as some believed the whole site is sacred) and others just removed them before they entered any of the temples at the top. Lots of people were also stopping multiple times, smart people they are. I stopped once to take a picture of the monkey.

Once you arrive at the top, after a ton of stairs, you are greeted by some stairs that decend into the cave to a wide open area, followed by some more stairs up!!

The place is just a marvel. More than the beauty, the sheer energy required to build and maintain this site is incredible. And they are currently working on it. I can’t tell if they are just completely redoing the temples inside or if they are building new. But regardless, bricks, sand, tools, etc need to be lugged up all those steps.as do the snacks, gifts and beverages available at the top.

I spent some time at the top, enjoying the caves, watching the guys work on the new temple. They have to work barefoot as it’s considered sacred. That would just never fly in the states and yet, I just feel like they were probably safe and used to it. I also watched monkeys interact with each other and humans. Very demanding animal, and yet so smart. And also cute.

At 10am the Dark Cave opened for tourists. It’s about 4/5 of the way up to Batu cave. I was watching all the monkeys enjoy the litter left by tourists and any crumbs they could find inside. One monkey grabbed a sour cream and onion Pringles tin. He carried it up the light pole with him and then chucked it down to the ground. As I passed the monkeys I got a quick selfie, and headed to the Dark Cave.

The Dark Cave wasn’t on any “to do” list I saw, but it was in the side of the “mountain” so I figured why not. What I didn’t know was how educational and interesting this would be, and also a bit creepy.

I paid 35 ringgit (~$9) for a 45 minute tour of this Dark Cave. While waiting I read some of the signage around and found out There is a 4 hour tour, sounded like spelunking, and it was so intense they provide showers at the end so you can get cleaned up before you go back into public!! Sadly this wasn’t an option for me. There were 8 of us in my little group. We were given hard hats and flashlights and a guide to head into the very, very dark cave.

There was a 1 meter wide concrete path leading through the cave.

Our guide was very good, humor, learning and being social – great traits of a good guide. She told is about how the caves came to be, the history of them, the 200,000 bats that live in the (yikes!!), spiders, bugs, etc.

You couldn’t use flashes or point your flashlight on the ceiling, as not to bother the bats (fine with me!!)

It was about a 45 minute tour and after I had to race back down the gazillion steps to my taxi driver. He was right there where he dropped me off and we headed to the airport.

He had a natural gas vehicle (lots of then in KL), and since we were early he stopped at the airport gas station to fill up before he dropped me off. There was a Dunkin Donuts at the gas station – I couldn’t believe it!!

Once at the airport I took my time checking out the pre-check in area. I ventured back to Garretts popcorn (yes, The famous Chicago popcorn) and got a Chicago mix.

I checked my bag and headed through customs. Literally easiest thing ever.

Once through I got some food (chicken curry, it sucked) And realized my plane was boarding and had about a 10 minute walk to my gate. What I didn’t know was that I also had to go through security. So that aded to my time. They instructed me to take off my watch and bracelet and I was shocked. But in my normal I-dont-follow-rules-well attitude I just put them in my pocket. No alarms, as I assumed. They also let me pass with a 50% full water bottle.

I hustled to my gate, just to hear it was delayed 45 minutes. All that rushing for no reason. So I headed back to spend the last bit of money I had. They had a fresh Famous Amos cookie company, and duh, I had to get them. Yummy!!

I got the “hot seat” again, nice final Air Asia flight. Middle seat was open again !! Woohoo!! Quick 1 hour flight to Singapore. Uneventful.

When I got to Singapore, I was just in awe. Like the airport was gorgeous!! Immigration was super easy, 1 minute queue. I got my bag and just left the airport. I grabbed a Grab and headed on my way. It was about a 25 minute ride to my hotel. Once we got here I realized this ride needed cash, and I didn’t have any!! I was in such awe at the airport I didn’t even think of getting cash. My driver was a bit upset, but I had a $20 bill from the states and he accept that and gave me change. I was so lucky.

I’m staying at the Hilton Garden Inn here, its in little India. And it’s no joke, it’s like India!! Smells of curry and flowers.

I ventured out to find food. The sky looked like it was going to open any second.  I found a little food alley and in true Laura fashion managed to find an Italian place. So I had pizza again.

After dinner I headed back to my hotel. Ate some Garretts and relaxed. Gotta figure out what to do tomorrow – they have a universal studios here, it’s only $40 to get in. I may go. Not sure yet. I’m meeting Lam tomorrow for drinks, looking forward to seeing my friend in another country!!

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