Tag Archives: Asia

272 Steps of Piety (Batu Caves – Selangor Expedition)

Do you ever wonder who this golden statue is? The shrine itself was constructed in honor of Lord Murugan, who is the Hindu God of war and victory. Lord Murugan is one of the important deities being worshiped by Tamil people here in Malaysia.

Visiting Batu Cave demands no payment; no entrance fees and the like. You just have to be there and be fit to climb the 272 steps to reach the cave; but no worries as it is not that steep as it seems (still manageable). You’ll encounter a lot of long tailed-macaque monkeys as you head up; on one note, you can actually buy foods for them at the base of the hill, don’t know the price though.

Annually, they celebrate the Thaipusam festival (January/ February) wherein devotees practice their religious rites. The festival commemorates the occasion when Parvati gave Murugan a “spear” so he could vanquish the evil demon Soorapadman – – – an occasion which I am not really familiar with =) Anyways, Batu Cave is a network of limestones that was formed due to the fact that it is situated near the Batu River. Let the pictures speak for itself. =)

How to go there?!
From KL Sentral, take the KTM Komuter train (red line*) that leads directly to Batu Caves. It will cost you RM2 (roughly PhP27) one way and it will take around 30 minutes before you reach the end of the trail. It is the cheapest and easiest way to go there via public transport. The exact address of Batu Caves in case you’ll go there via private vehicle/ cab is Jalan Batu Caves, MRR2, Selayang, Selangor.

* Railways in Malaysia are colour-coordinated depending on your desired destination.

External Links:
http://www.mycen.com.my/directions/batu_caves.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thaipusam
http://www.malaysiasite.nl/batucaveseng.htm

 

Unfortunately, we were not able to see the Dark Cave which is just few steps away from the top.  We even bought raincoats for RM5 a piece because of the non-stop rain – – – hours well spent with the girl who is fond of lights.

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Empress of the Sky (Thean Hou Temple)

Tien-Hou, the Chinese Goddess of fishermen, used to be a mortal woman named Lin Moniang with four brothers who were all sailors, each with their own ship. One day while at the sea, Tien-Hou fell into a coma. Her mother tried to revive her and eventually succeeded, but Tien-Hou protested that she had been awakened too soon. Later that day, three of her brothers returned home, saying that their ships had nearly been destroyed in storms at sea, but that a vision of Tien-Hou had appeared to them and led them to safety. The fourth brother never returned, for Tien-Hou had been awakened before she could save him. From the time she died, people named her Princess of Supernatural Favor.

Tien-Hou means “Empress of the Sky”, but she is known by many names throughout China. This syncretised temple with elements of BuddhismTaoism and Confucianism is a grandiose structure and represents a successful combination of modern architectural techniques and authentic traditional design featuring imposing pillars, spectacular roofs, ornate carvings and intricate embellishments.

How to go there?!
If you do not have any private vehicle with you, I highly recommend that you take a cab since the place is not accessible by train. You also have the option to ride the city rapid bus that stopped at the main road leading to Persiaran Endah, but the problem is that the Thean Hou Temple is situated on the top of Robson Hill, which means that you have to walk the steep initial ascent for about 5 to 10 minutes.  The exact address of the temple is 65 Persiaran Endah, off Jalan Syed Putra, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

External links:

http://www.goddessaday.com/southeast-asian/tien-hou
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thean_Hou_Temple

Game Over

As part of shoti’s birthday celebration, we took a ferry from Hongkong to the mainland of Macau.

Ferries run from the (a) Shun Tak in Sheung Wan in Hong Kong Island and from the (b) China Ferry Terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui (TST) in Kowloon. From TST, ferries run every thirty minutes from 0700AM until 1200AM with travel time between 60-75 minutes depending on sea condition. For economy one-way ticket, prices range from HK$133 (around PhP700) to HK$175 (PhP900) depending on the scheduled day and time.

Macau is a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China which is located across the Pearl River estuary from Hong Kong. One of the world’s most densely populated spots, Macau is best known as Asia’s largest destination for gambling taking in even more revenue than Las Vegas. – source: http://wikitravel.org/en/MacauAlso check this site for additional insights http://www.macautourism.gov.mo/en/index.php

We spent the day trailing the busy streets and hopped to different casinos via shuttle buses; take note that these buses offer free rides. It was actually my first time to enter a casino and tried my luck in the spinning wheel of fortune where you have a chance to win an item (don’t know if it’s the right term, not really a gambler =).

It is worth to watch City of Dreams’ Dragon’s Treasure as it’ll take you to a ‘totally immersive 360 degrees multimedia journey’. You will be transported to another world as the four Dragon Kings explore the mysterious powers of the Dragon Pearl and introduce you to their magical kingdoms.  https://www.cityofdreamsmacau.com/entertainment/dragon-treasures for show times and ticket information.

Steps to the Ruins of St. Paul’s (Sao Paulo) Church Facade and made our way to the Senado Square.

We concluded the trip by going to The Venetian Hotel, which was opened in 2007 with a distinctive inferior that resembles the beautiful city of Venice, Italy. I’ll definitely go back here in Macao as I have not yet fulfilled one of my things to do in my bucket list: Bungee Jump at Macau Tower (just waiting for time to heal).