Exploring KL with the group

Trip Start Jun 20, 2007
Trip End Aug 29, 2007

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Flag of Malaysia  ,
Saturday, June 30, 2007

Today Professor Heng had arranged for the group to get a guided tour around the city.  We all met downstairs at 9:00 to get rolling for the day.  Our first stop was Selangor Royal pewter factory.  On the way there though, our friendly van driver Robert got into not one, but two accidents!  Both accidents were within seconds of each other.  The first accident was caused when both Robert and another driver met in the middle of a lane.  Apparently, that one wasn't such a big deal so the other driver kept driving.  As Robert was commenting on and distracted by that accident, he hit a motorcyclist and his wife!  Luckily, no one was hurt.  The motorcyclist stopped and had words with Robert, but left after Robert gave him MR10.  I guess people are paid off easily here.  Unfortunately for Robert though, the first car he hit saw that he was paying the motorcyclist and reversed along the highway to meet back up with our van.  Robert refused to pay him though, saying that the accident was mutual (a fact that I would disagree with).  Either way, Robert gave him his insurance information and we were on our way.
We did manage to make it safely to the pewter factory.  The factory is pretty impressive in that every piece is hand-made.  There are no assembly lines filled with robots; it is all hard-working Malaysians who create the pieces.  The factory honors any employees who have been working there for more than five years by putting their handprint in pewter on the wall on the outside of the building.  I took a picture of it.  It looks pretty cool.
The showroom had some beautiful stuff, but it was a bit pricey.  I bought myself a nice little MR10 necklace though.  A few other people bought things, like beer mugs, for their families.  I'll keep looking for a good gift for mine.
Our next stop was the Batu caves.  I can't even describe how beautiful these caves are.  The first thing that you see when you come to the site is the GIGANTIC golden statue.  It is so huge and beautiful!  The next thing you notice are all of the monkeys climbing around.  I had been warned in advance that the monkeys will sometimes try and grab your stuff, and if this were to happen you should give it over to him.  You can then get your item back by throwing something else (like a banana) at him.  I found this concept really funny, but hoped that I didn't actually have to do it.  Luckily, the monkeys were mostly well behaved.  They are everywhere though!  I loved it.  There were so many adorable baby monkeys.  I must have taken a hundred pictures. 
After looking around at the base of the caves, you then have to climb over 270 steps to reach the top of the cave, but trust me-it's worth it!  There are tons of Hindu deities carved out of the cave.  They are so detailed and colorful, it is really impressive.  A lot of people come there to pray too.  It was really just awe inspiring.  I took a bunch of pictures so you can see a little bit of what I'm talking about.  You really have to see it in person to appreciate the true beauty though.
After the Batu caves we headed over to the Chinese temple.  This too was gorgeous!  There was actually a wedding going on, which was kind of neat to see.  I absolutely love this type of design, so the building was really one of my favorite things I've seen so far.  The top of the temple also had a great view of KL.  I loved it there.
After that, we went to Putrajaya, the nation's new administrative center.  It is overwhelming.  The Prime Minister's residences cost MR200 million!  For this country (and even in America), that is a huge cost.  It is gorgeous though. 
Near the administrative buildings is a huge mosque.  Non-Muslims are not allowed to go in, but you can walk around the compound.  To do this though, guys' legs have to be covered and girls' everything have to be covered.  To help with this, the mosque provides lovely floor-length robes that come with a hood for the women.  We looked great in our pink polyester burkas!
At this point, we had been sight-seeing since 9 a.m. with a brief lunch break, and it was now 4:30 p.m.  It was time to head home.  We thanked Robert and had him drop us off back at the apartments.
After a quick freshening up, Whitney and I went to the Central Market (which was very disappointing), Chinatown, and dinner.  Chinatown was exactly like every other Chinatown in every other city, but it was still fun.  I found a nice little present for Dina at the central market, but she might be reading this so I can't say what it was :)
Overall, I saw some really incredible things today and I can't wait for Dan to come so I can take him!
P.S. It might be easier for me to upload my pictures to a web site and then just link them in this blog.  It was taking too long trying to do each individual picture otherwise.  So, here's the new link for my photos.  Check out all of the monkey pics! http://picasaweb.google.com/CalliSchiller/
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Hakim Hamzah on

An interesting article about your visit to Kuala Lumpur. You may want to consider posting it to www.blog4ft.com to win great prizes!

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