Second day of our KL trip was all about the Petronas and making sure we get to go up the Skybridge and experience the view from there. It was a Sunday and since we were to leave on Wednesday morning and the Petronas is closed on Mondays, we had to book those tickets and reserve our slots either for that day or Tuesday, our other free day, in case there were too many people lining up that time. Good thing it was Ramadan, and good thing I was such an OC packmaster, we arrived at KLCC around 5 in the morning. There were about 6 people already waiting in line when we arrived and while the rest of the guys were lining up, I decided to go out with Althea to find the stop for the HoHo tour bus (this is another story, the amazingly disappointing HoHo experience). After more than 30 minutes of asking and walking around KLCC, one security guard pointed us to the bus stop, which was just located in the bus stop in front of the Petronas. There were no signs so we got confused as to where it really was.
We went back inside the Petronas and around 8AM, we all went down to the concourse level to fall in line for the tickets. Since only 2 people per group are needed to buy those tickets, the rest of the guys waited on a nearby mini-cafe, just a few steps from the ticket counters, while me and Mona lined up for our tickets. One of the lady guards asked us from what country we were and how many tickets we’re going to buy. The monitor showed the available schedule and since we wanted to take advantage of the complimentary breakfast in our hotel, which ends at 10AM, we decided to go for the 11AM schedule instead of the 9AM one. We were all craving for the tasty and delicious nasi lemak from our hotel and we were so hungry that time as well, so choosing that 11AM slot was the right thing to do. We paid RM80 each for the tickets. Looks like they’re really taking advantage of the “glamour” that is the Petronas since a few months back, it was only for RM50 and a year ago it was for free! Still, it was all worth it. I was just shocked as to how much the difference of pricing would be and how fast it would skyrocket.
After buying our tickets, we went back to our hotel to have breakfast and to rest a bit. While me, Mona and Kimchi tried to take a quick powernap before returning to the Petronas, the rest of the guys went to visit the Chocolate Factory, which was being promoted by the taxi drivers outside the hotel in a hardcore manner. Methinks they’re getting a cut every time they refer and bring some tourists to that place. At around 10:50AM, we were all back at the Petronas to lineup for our schedule.
The people there are very strict about being on time. While we were lining up, one lady was being very pushy about getting in line with us even when her schedule was for 11:15AM, not 11AM. But the guy manning the entrance was really very strict and told the lady to wait for their turn. At the same time, one Indian lady, who was dragging her 2 sons and her husband right behind, was late. They were supposed to be on the 10:15AM schedule, but arrived in line at 10:50 already. We were all trying to control our smirks when we saw and heard Mr. Poker-Faced Petronas Guy say these lines in a slow, firm and expressionless manner: “You’re ticket has been (slight pause) forfeited”. I can still remember the look on that Indian woman and the way her jaw opened in shock, realizing that she just threw away RM320 for being tardy for the party.
At exactly, 11AM, we all went up to the 82nd floor (I’m actually not sure if it’s really the 82nd floor), and enjoyed the view from there. The feel inside the Petronas was very much futuristic, with holograms welcoming us to those barcodes that can be scanned to reflect some designs onscreen, showing some info about the Twin Towers. We weren’t really paying attention to the info on the screen, we just loved playing with the barcodes and taking silly pictures of each other there. After a few minutes, we all went down to the Skybridge, which connects the two towers on the 41st and 42nd floors. We all had a blast doing some photo ops and crazy stuff on the bridge with everyone else watching us like we lost our minds or something. Just take a look at our pics and see for yourselves. Haha!
We went down at around 12PM and decided to line-up for the HoHo tour just outside the Petronas. As I’ve mentioned earlier, it was definitely the most disappointing part of this trip. HoHo, which means Hop Off Hop On, is a special tour that would allow its passengers to drop on and off a tour bus at various designated tourist spots around KL and ride back again at the next available bus within 24 hours. I really don’t want to talk about it that much because I hated the HoHo thing. It was sooooo boring, I actually slept inside the bus! And I’m not really the type who would endure listening to the guide, sounding in a sleepy monotone manner, telling us about the history of such and such. I’m seriously not into that. Honestly, not only was it a waste of money for me, it was a waste of our precious time there. We could’ve easily done that tour ourselves. Seriously, it was such a disappointment. When the bus stopped at KL Sentral, we all decided to get out of that limbo bus and go next to our planned destination, which was the Batu Caves.
Located in the Gombak district and approximately about 18 miles north of KL, the Batu Caves if one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside of India and is the focal point of the Hindu festival of Thaipusam in Malaysia. After having lunch at KFC in KL Sentral, we all took the KTM Komuter, bought a one-way ticket for RM1, which was around P13, and arrived at the Batu Caves 30 minutes later. There were a number of food stalls, souvenir shops, and a whole lotta pigeons everywhere, once we stepped into the area. And oh yeah, don’t forget about the monkeys as well.
The Batu Caves temple complex actually consisted of three main caves and the biggest, known as the Cathedral Cave, has a very high ceiling and features ornate Hindu shrines. We all had to climb the steep flight of 272 steps to get there. But not after we took some photo-ops with the statue of Murugan. The other main caves, the Art Gallery and Museum Cave, are all filled with Hindu statues and paintings, and a number of devotees praying and gathering in groups. It was such a unique sight for me to see those people go with their usual routines of worship, and probably the nearest I could experience a little of India’s Hinduism.
I’ve heard a lot of people complain about the garbage and the stench inside the caves, but I actually did not mind it at all. I was more engrossed with the beauty of the caves and was pretty much busy clicking shots here and there to even be bothered by the trash and monkey poop. As if we don’t have that here in the Philippines. It was all about respecting and admiring these people and their way of life. A lot of the tourists there were actually Indians. I guess it’s very important for them and for their religion to come and visit this place at one point in their lives.
After reaching the end at the top of the caves, we decided to go back down and along the way we saw a bunch of monkeys on the stairs. One of them actually grabbed the ice cream of one of the Chinese tourists while she wasn’t looking. Kimchi and Althea decided to try the henna art being offered by some Indian girls on their hands, which lasted for a few minutes before we took the KTM Kounter train back to KL Sentral. Once we were back in KL Sentral, we then decided to buy some tickets for Genting. Right beside the ticketing counter for the Genting bus tickets, was a taxi service offering rides to Genting. They gave us a really good deal for a van to fit all seven of us and included roundtrip transfers from our hotel to Genting for a total of RM350 all in all. We had scheduled for the driver, Mr. Tan, to pick us up at Bintang Warisan the next day at 9AM. Once we’ve settled everything, we then took a taxi back to our hotel and had dinner again in our favorite street in KL, which was the Jalan Alor.