Monday, June 7, 2010

A Weekend in Malaysia

A big group of 18 people from my study abroad program took a 6-hour bus ride to Kuala Lumpur this past weekend. The bus ride was alright, we had huge comfy seats that reclined almost all the way. Holly and I brought our blankets to sleep on the bus.

I had never been to Malaysia before, so it was pretty cool. The weirdest thing about Malaysia was seeing all the street signs in Malay, but with English characters so all the words just looked long and completely unpronounceable with too many vowels. We got into Malaysia at like 2am, dropped our stuff off at our hostel and then immediately walked to the Patronas Towers to begin lining up for the famous sky bridge on the 41st floor.

After waiting in line for hours until the ticket office opened at 8:30am, I was pretty grouchy since I hadn't slept like at all. But the view from the sky bridge was awesome, and reminded me of the skyline back in Atlanta.

There was a big group of asian tourists taking a jumping picture, so our guys decided that they needed a jumping picture too.

And us girls tried to take a picture leaning over the railing but it didn't work out too well.

After the Patronas Towers, we took the train to check out the Central Market and Chinatown area. We stopped and ate at some indian place on the river, I had no idea what any of the food was and our server hardly spoke english. So I just told him that I didn't want anything that was spicy or had curry in it, and ended up with some kind of pancake with chicken and onions mixed in. And a curry dipping sauce. The water in the river was disgusting too, I am glad that I did the typhoid vaccine even though the water seems to be safe to drink in Singapore.

Then we went to Chinatown, where I felt right at home (don't laugh) and had fun bargaining with all the street vendors for knockoff brand name stuff. I got a sweet teal Longcchamp bag for $25 ringgits, which is about the equivalent of $7 us dollars. And it matches my teal shirt!

I also got a blue Chelsea soccer jersey and a teal Lacoste v-neck shirt for $20 ringgits each. Jason and Chris got super intense Transformer belts.

After Chinatown, we went to the Butterfly Garden. There were so many butterflies flying around everywhere, they landed on both Holly and Christine and one landed on my head (but no one was quick enough to get a picture of it).

On Sunday, we went to the Batu Caves. The Batu Caves are Hindu shrines built into a huge cave. This gate is where our taxi dropped us off.

There are 272 concrete steps to the top, and a 130 ft statue of a deity. The steps are very small and steep, I was barely able to fit my size 6 foot onto one of the steps.

Inside, the caves contain some different shrines.

They also hold prayers inside what looks like a temple inside the caves.

Coming down from the caves was a little bit scary since it was so steep, I was worried that I would misplace my foot and just tumble down the stairs.

Someone told us that there would be monkeys running around everywhere inside the caves, which kind of scared me because I declined to get the rabies vaccine shot, but we only saw 1 monkey and he was really busy digging through the trash.

A few people decided to re-hydrate with coconuts after climbing up and down all those steps to the caves.

And then we ate more Indian food near the caves.

So we had a really busy weekend touring around KL, but eventually we made it home to Singapore on Sunday night... just in time to cram for our 2nd quiz on Chinese history! Our professor is now going to cover modern Japanese history in just 3 days and then our final for the history class is 2 essays, due Thursday!


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