4 Malaysia –  Where East meets West

4 Malaysia – Where East meets West

Port Klang Cruise Terminal PKCL

It is always exciting when the ship docks in a new port. I found the covered walkway from the Viking longship across the waterway to the Port Klang Cruise Terminal (PKCL) an interesting feature. Twelve years after WW111, Britain granted Malaysia, then known as Malaya, independence. In 1963, the country adopted states like Singapore, Sabah, and Sarawak, and became the nation of Malaysia.

Tour motor coach in Malaysia


Our journey into the capital, Kuala Lumpur (Port Klang,) about 25 miles from the coast, was a delightful adventureThe decorative, scalloped, fringed curtains that framed the windows of the bus created a warm and inviting atmosphere. The bus itself was comfortable, and our guide, with his charm and informative nature, added to the pleasant experience.

Hindu god Murugan at Batu Caves


Our first destination was the Batu Caves, nestled in a limestone outcrop just north of the town. The word 'batu' means rock, and the caves live up to their nameA towering 140-foot-tall statue of the Hindu god Murugan commands attention, making it the tallest statue in Malaysia and one of the tallest in the world. The vibrant Hindu shrines, colorful statues, and intricately carved pillars add to the awe-inspiring atmosphere. Despite the crowds and the 'toilet' procedure where one had to get in line for tickets, the experience was truly unique.


Since I was still recovering from major surgery a month before, I opted to buy a few things at the gift store while Debby climbed the 272 colorful, steep steps to the Batu Caves. There are three main caves featuring interlocking temples and Hindu shrines. She also had to be aware of the long-tailed macaques (monkeys) causing mischief and adding to her adventure. 

Coconut water stall at Batu Caves





I noticed carts filled with coconuts. On closer inspection, I saw straws stuck into some shells. Hawkers sold visitors coconut water to quench their thirst and beat the heat. Coconut water or juice is the natural liquid found inside a coconut. It is different from coconut milk, derived from coconut meat. 

Kuala Lumpur Railway Station


We next visited one of the largest bronze statues in the world, the National Monument (Tugu Negara) created in remembrance of the valiant soldiers who fought for freedom and independence in Malaysia. Seven warriors carry the Malaysian flag, each one representing qualities of leadership: command, unity, strength, wariness, suffering, courage and sacrifice.

Kuala Lumpur Railway Station, Malaysia









We made a photo stop at the elegant, historic 1910 Kuala Lumpur Railway Station, a British colonial-era landmark. The design incorporates a mix of Moorish Revival, Indo-Gothic, and Mughal styles, reflecting the diverse cultures of the time. Opposite the Station is the imposing Malayan Railway Administration Building, built in 1917. Nearby is the National Mosque of Malaysia which, unfortunately, we could not visit.

Merdeka or Independence Square Kuala Lumpur MalaysiaOur last stop was at Independence Square, also known as Merdeka Square, where they lowered the Union flag and raised the Malayan flag at the stroke of midnight on August 31st, 1957. At 328 feet, it is the tallest flagpole in the world. Merdeka Square is a wide cricket green. The British-style Sultan Abdul Samad Building at the far end is quite a contrast to the imposing skyscrapers in the background.


Penang Chinatown George Town Malaysia
George Town, Malaysia’s oldest city founded in honor of King George 111, developed as an important trading post during the 18th century. George Town is the capital of the Penang State, a Malaysian island in the Strait of Malacca off the Malay Peninsula. This was a melting pot of British and Southeast Asian influences. We drove past Downing Street and a St. George’s Church and then walked through Penang Chinatown, the original area set aside for Chinese immigrants.


Rikshaw George Town, Malaysia

There were some quaint rikshaws waiting to take tourists around, the decorations of the one outdoing those of the other.











Ken Lok Si Temple, George Town, Malaysia

The motor coach took us up a winding hill to the Ken Lok Si Temple, the largest Buddha temple in Malaysia. The mosque itself accommodates 5,000 worshippers. A row of small stone statues of sitting Buddhas lined the perimeter of the parking area. The complex features many historical buildings and interesting sites, some resembling famous Buddhist temples in China, while others are locally designed. Beautiful sculptures, carvings and murals reflect the followers’ treasured heritage,inspiring awe and reverence. 

Lilies at Penang Botanical gardens George Town Malaysia

Our last stop was at Penang’s only Botanical Gardens, located at the aptly named Jalan Bunga, literally translated to Flower Garden Road. We entered through beautifully decorated, gilded gates and strolled along an avenue of tall trees. It was lovely to unwind far from the crowds and enjoy the beautiful shrubs and plants. I was delighted to see the huge lilies in the ponds and monkeys on the trails. We were exhausted, and yet exhilarated by our Malaysian encounters.


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