Part two of this travel story starts with leaving the Genting Highlands and heading towards Kuala Lumpur with a side serving of 272 steps at Batu Caves….
Genting, as mentioned previously, was K and Jerrods home for 3 years. He was involved with building the Theme park there and she decided rather than doing it FIFO (fly in fly out) she would move over too and they would have an adventure. Based on the stories I’ve been told, they absolutely did just that! Leaving there was bittersweet for K – there are still loads of people working and living there that remember them both very fondly, and it was really nice for me to see the impact that they had there – but we had other exciting places to go and see!
Our first stop was at Batu caves. A very famous monument for the Indian God Lord Murugan – a revered Tamil known as the god of war. The temple is guarded by a very impressive statue of Murugan with a height of 42.7m – it is the tallest statue in Malaysia. To get to the caves, you have a whopping 272 steps to climb (each painted in a different colour), keeping in mind that the humidity is at about 90% and temperatures are in the high 30’s, as well as the 100’s of monkeys that take up a lot of the handrails -they do make a good excuse to stop and catch your breath!
The view out from the top is spectacular, and the inside is also amazing (although there are quite a lot more steps inside that no one warned me about!). The limestone cavern is pretty epic, and it’s hard to know just where to look. There are shrines in several places inside and quite randomly also a lot of chickens! K was not able to make it to the top with me as she has very sore knees, but I am so glad I did it. My legs were absolutely like jelly by the end, and my clothing drenched from the heat and exertion, but it was absolutely worth it!
Next stop Kuala Lumpur and the one place we were both nervous to stay at – K’s best friend L’s friends (J) unit. She met us at the gate and was super proud and happy to have us staying in her space. We were much less sure as it a small unit (only one bed and a very strong smell of mothballs) in an area that felt quite uncomfortable for us. Lots of seedy looking men staring at us – and two blonde women definitely stand out in that area!
We kind of decided to park our discomfort and just moved on to checking out KL…. I think we walked about a million steps around the city, in and out of shopping centres, getting food and exploring. We got soaked with rain and laughed ourselves silly – We also avoided our accomodation as long as we could. We stayed up way later than we should have, repacking our suitcases for Langkawi as we were only allowed a 7kg hand luggage case.
Our morning flight to the island of Langkawi meant that we had to get up super early as the airport is an hours drive away… I made friends with some neighbourhood street cats waiting for our Grab to come, trying to avoid eye contact with random blokes.
On our arrival in this island paradise, we were whisked away by our pre arranged driver and taken to Casa Del Mar, our resort home for the next two nights. Our unit was a beach-facing bungalow and very luxurious! The view was amazing! L had very, very generously arranged all of this for us, and boy oh boy did he do good!!
We dumped our stuff and got changed into clothes more suited to the much hotter weather, and off we went up and down the Main Street shopping up a storm! When the shopping got too heavy, we headed back to the resort for cocktails by the pool… such a decadent way to spend the afternoon! Dinner that night also turned into an adventure!! K remembered a place that she had been to before, raving about how good the food was… it was not!!! We both ordered Pad Thai and we’re served bright pink, sloppy noodles that we completely inedible!! We tucked our money under the plates and hot footed it out of there! Room service for us instead!
Day two in Langkawi started with a yummy brekky by the pool which was just lovely, then a change of clothes into togs and a huge walk along the beach. The only thing I’ve been really disappointed with in Malaysia has been the amount of rubbish everywhere – and it was really evident along the sand! Another walk into town, more shopping and pizza for lunch- made by Iranian people in Malaysia at the beach, a very multicultural moment.
Dinner that night was at a market that we had been told would be at one end of town, but turned out to be in the opposite direction… a proper adventure! Loads of food stalls with very interesting offerings – I wasn’t brave enough for most of it, but I loved the experience!
A very long, dark walk back into town – and some nasty thigh chafing! We had another cocktail by the beach and a nice chat to some other resort guests (our neighbours in fact) while watching a beautiful marriage proposal. K and I got told that we should get into motivational speaking about our experience by our neighbours as they were quite moved by our conversation. I’m not sure that would be my cup of tea.. I don’t think I’m anything special, I’m just trying to figure out what my world is without Claytie in it – but I guess it is nice for people to realise that life can be very short and you need to live every moment.
Our last day in Langkawi saw us having another brekky by the pool and then packing our bags ready for check out. We did soak up some more sun both at the beach and pool before our driver came to pick us up. A delayed flight back to KL meant that we made a decision about where to stay – both of us agreeing that we wanted to finish our holiday on the same high note as every other moment has been.
I have loved every single experience of this trip and I am so glad that I didn’t let my anxiety stop me – I’ll always have it and I’m working out the best way to deal with it! I’m too young to not keep having adventures, and I know that Claytie would back me 100% with this. Stay tuned for part 3 of this epic trip!