Bukit Bintang
Our experience in Malaysia started with a visit to Kuala Lumpur. We stayed in the Bukit Bintang area at the Park Royal hotel. Before we left for our trip, our Malaysian friends at 8 on Claymore explained that Bukit Bintang is a party area of the city and that we should definitely try Malaysian satay for dinner.

Lucky for us, our hotel was just a 10 minute walk from Jalan Alor - the food street. This street was crazy. Cheap, food-stall restaurants lined each side of the street, with cheap plastic chairs and tables spilling into the street. You would think with the tables and pedestrians that the street would be closed to cars... but it wasn't! We had to be careful not be run over by the cars weaving down the narrow strip of pavement.

The restaurant employees were very aggressive to get customers to try out their food. We couldn't walk by a restaurant without getting attacked with a sales pitch. We decided to try Yan's "restorant" - please note the spelling in the photo below - and ordered the chicken and beef satay. Satay is DELICIOUS! For about three dollars you can get 10 skewers. We ended up ordering 30. Joe says this is the best food he's had so far in Asia. Funny how the best things you eat often come from hole-in-the-wall places.

Jalan Alor
Yan's "restorant"
Beef and chicken satay
Drinks in bags
The next day we headed about 13km north of the city to the Batu Caves. Before getting on the train, we hit up the local McDonald's for a quick breakfast (nothing else was open). It was funny to have our drinks packaged in baggies - this is a popular thing around Asia. I will say, though, that drinks in bags is a convenient invention. You can carry so many more cups without having to use a difficult drink carrier!

Entrance to caves - 272 steps
The trains in Malaysia are nice and clean, and quite entertaining because they show Tom and Jerry cartoon episodes. Our ride out to the caves was easy and it took about 40 minutes to get there.

When we stepped out of the train station, the sights in front of us were incredible. At the entrance to the Batu Caves are a series of Hindu temples - they are huge, ornate and very colorful. From what I've read online, thousands of Hindu followers visit the caves each year to pay homage to the god Murugan (he's the gold statues in the picture).

To get to the caves, you have to climb 272 steep steps. Along the way, we saw a whole bunch of monkeys (I didn't get attacked this time). The monkeys weren't as aggressive as Singaporean monkeys, although I was still scared of them.

Inside the main cave
At the top of the stairs we had a great view of Kuala Lumpur. Then, we ventured into the main cave. Note: my pictures do not do it justice! It was really beautiful and quite a sight to experience. There are mini shrines throughout the cave, and it was cool to see the Hindu worshippers carry out their practices. 

The one thing that detracted from the holy environment was the army of monkeys. There were hundreds of them all around us. I provided some videos of them below... enjoy!

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