Khamis, 1 September 2011

12 di batu caves - Google Blog Search

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12 di batu caves - Google Blog Search

Kuala Lumpur&#39;s <b>Batu Caves</b> - -- LIMINAL CANADIAN -- negotiating <b>...</b>

Posted: 31 Aug 2011 09:04 PM PDT


Just 13 kilometers north of central Kuala Lumpur lies the Batu Caves, the most sacred and famous Hindu site in the entire country of Malaysia.  While Islam is the country's predominant faith, Malaysia is also multicultural, multi-ethnic, and has a diverse number of religions.



It is not difficult to find your way to the Batu Caves, since there is a train from central KL.  Upon arrival, we immediately were greated by the true stars of the site: the long-tailed macaque monkeys.  Not nearly as aggressive as the monkeys we encountered in Penang, they were entertaining nonetheless.  These monkeys anxiously wait for tourists to feed them bananas, potato chips, peanuts, or whatever other scraps that they might have on hand.  It is very entertaining to watch the monkeys squabble with each other over food.  At one point, Marco decided to feed them a bag of potato chips, and an alpha-male instantly claimed Marco as his.  The giant monkey, with its big pointy teeth, would squawk at any other monkey that approached while Marco was feeding him.

The bathrooms near the Batu Caves were, like many of the bathrooms in Malaysia, what I describe as a "full-bodied" experience.  We knew from the smell emerging from the doors as we approached that it was going to be a little bit extra crunchy.  Part of the problem here is that Malaysians do not really use toilet paper, instead opting for a bucket of water with a scoop.  The toilets, as a result, are always soaking wet.  In this particular facility, cleaning the bathroom seemed to consist merely of hosing the entire thing down.  So literally everything - the doors, toilets, sinks, floors - were soaking wet, and often time the water is mixed with human leftovers.  Because it is so humid, nothing dries.  Therefore the bathroom is a moist, festering shit closet.  Yum.


Finally, our group ascended the stairs and entered the caves.  The main cavern has a ceiling that is over 100 meters high. It is very beautiful, as the light poors into the cave.  Every year, the Batu Caves hosts the Thaipusam festival, where Hindu worshippers pierce their flesh in penance.  While this unique display happens only once a year, the Batu Caves are used to Hindu worship on a daily basis.



The Batu Caves were my single favourite excursion during our time in Kuala Lumpur.  The caves and the surrounding areas were beautiful to photograph, and certainly a unique, but as I have learned throughout my trip in Asia, the presence of monkeys is like extra cheese: it makes everything better.

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