Sunday, January 25, 2015
1/18/15 Day 367 The Natural Side of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Only a few kilometers north of Kuala Lumpur is the FRIM, Forest Research Institute of Malaysia; a huge 600 hectare piece of forest reserve with many hiking, running and mountain biking trails set aside for both leisure and research purposes. There is also a canopy walkway path built 30 meters high up in the trees and overlooking the whole expanse of KL. It is crucial to get to the ticket counter early in the day as they are only open until 13:30 to avoid those gusty afternoon winds. There is a controlled amount of people allowed on the walkway at one time and they only sell 50 walk-in tickets a day, conserving the remaining spots for reservations. Since we already managed to get this far north of the city, we also stopped by the Batu Caves. It is a beautiful Hindu shrine, the largest temple in the world honoring Lord Muruga, set inside of a gorgeous cavern, surrounding by meddling monkeys and more god/goddess statues and paintings than I could begin to count. With our short skirts we were unable to enter unless we purchased a 3 ringgit shawl to cover ourselves. Skirts covered we climb the 272 stairs to the top of the stunning cave. The site is famous for its importance during the Thaipusam Festival where Tamil Hindu devotees (mostly form Singapore) march in procession with kavadi (burdens), which can range from carrying pots of milk, to a more masochistic devotion of torso, cheek and tongue piercings a 48 day fast as an offering for Lord Muruga. The festival is held in January or February each year, unfortunately we missed it by a few weeks!