Kuala Lumpur 8

I caught the train from Kuala Lumpur station (not KL Sentral) at half past 9 to Batu Caves. It wasn't nearly as busy as I'd been led to believe it would be. I first went inside the Ramayana Cave, 5myr entry. There was nobody else there, and distant dog howling added atmosphere and made me nervous. Brightly coloured and lit statues inside tell the story of Rama and Sita. There are also steps going pretty far up to unadorned parts of the cave.

Next I climbed the steps to the temple cave. Some ladies at the bottom were enforcing a below-the-knee dress code (only for women) which I hadn't read about during prior research, and may have been because they were peddling sarongs to rent. I had my own scarf in my bag for just such an occasion. There's no charge to enter the temple cave, but there's not a huge amount of interest. Maybe worth going up for the view. And besides, I can never resist a massive staircase.

Steps and entrance to Batu Caves View from the stairs Inside the temple cave

Just before that however is the Dark Cave. A conservation and research area, with educational tours for 35myr. I took one, and really enjoyed it. Over 45 minutes we ventured into the depths of the limestone mountain and discovered spiders, centipedes, millipedes, scorpians, snails, snakes, bats and crickets. And different rock formations, plus a few minutes with lights off in total pitch blackness. Our guide, whose name starts with 'Shy' and ends in 'a' and has a q in the middle, was super enthusiastic and knowledgeable. If you love bugs and dark slimy places, this is totally worth doing, and a nice change from the tourists and temples outside.

Batu Caves route on Runkeeper.

I had lunch at one of the several vegetarian Indian restaurants at the base of the steps. Idli, with dahl, coconut chutney and tomato curry. This is a small breakfast dish - 4myr - and pretty delicious. I also had espresso for 6myr. I wandered slowly back to the train station, just missing one and waiting 45 minutes for the next. During this time the skies clouded and then opened up ferociously.

Rice bread (idli) and curries on a metal tray Foamy espresso in a glass cup with a shiny spoon

During a gap in the rain, I went from the hostel to Coffee Amo. This place is super quiet... not even music playing. They specialise in fancy 3D coffee art according to google reviews, although I didn't get any on my soya cappuccino. Wifi, power, decent chairs; I worked here for a few hours. It was super peaceful. Lots of google reviews complain about the lack of music, but given every other cafe plays music I think the world needs at least one that doesn't. I stayed long after every other customer had left, and one of the two staff members also left, but I didn't feel unwelcome.

I went to Wan Fo Yuan for dinner. Along the same style as all of the other family-kitchen Chinese restaurants I've been to, with bleak lighting and plastic table runners, and stock overflowing into the dining area. Staff were slightly less sullen here. Previous reviews on HappyCow said people felt overly pressured to decide on something, so I made an effort to make a fast decision, but when someone came to take my order the first thing she said was "need more time?" I picked chicken and mushroom noodles, and Chinese tea. And... wow, that was everything I want in a noodle dish. Like, it tasted like it would if I made it myself. Except for the really large pieces of ginger which I couldn't stomach after a few and had to put them aside. I was even provided with a little dish of sliced jalapeno! And the tea came in a big glass mug. All for 10 myr. I was full afterwards, and proud of myself for not over-ordering.

Restaurant tables, open kitchen, bright light Noodles with vegetables and tofu, and tea in a glass mug

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