Our first port of call on our cruise on Mariner of the Seas was Kuala Lumpur. When I started looking into going on this cruise, one of the first things that worried me about this port was the fact that the actual city of Kuala Lumpur is quite a distance away from the ship’s port (called Port Klang), it’s at least a 90 minute drive, and traffic could hamper this.
I looked at the shore excursions on offer. With 2 adults and 2 kids the cost was going to blow out to over $A400 and I just couldn’t justify the cost. My husband was not keen to go to Batu Caves at first, I had to do some real convincing.
I was reading a review of the Mariner on another website and the lady had hired a driver for the day for much cheaper prices than the ship, so I investigated further. I found a recommended drivers thread on TripAdvisor and decided to book a local driver who could drive our family around for the day. This ended up costing around the same price as it would for ONE person to do the ship tour. (around $A150 for 6 hours). It was a risk, because if we were late the ship wouldn’t wait for us (whereas they would have waited if it was a ship tour). I took the risk. It paid off for us.
Our driver’s name was Gopi and he was lovely. He was waiting for us at the dock. We got away before all the buses did and the drive into the city was about 90 minutes. First stop was Batu Caves, which is actually past the city from the port.
My eldest and I at Batu Caves.
Batu Caves is a limestone cave that is also a Hindi temple. There are 272 steps up to the top of the cave. At the top there is a shrine to Lord Murugan. The statue at the bottom is the tallest statue of Lord Murugan in the world.
The girls didn’t whinge too much about the many steps because they were distracted by the fact that there are wild Macaque monkeys everywhere wandering around the steps. As cute as they look, be careful because if you have any food in easy reach they go for it.
The monkeys at Batu Caves are everywhere!
At the top!
Batu Caves was interesting. The girls found the place intriguing and kept taking pictures of the monkeys. They seem to be renovating/rejuvenating the caves so maybe this will help conserve it more as it was a little run down in places. It was good exercise and interesting to see the Hindu people worshiping and making offerings etc.
Next stop was the Petronas Towers. These are the tallest twin towers in the world. Gopi our driver took us for a quick photo stop first at KLCC park:
I had pre-booked tickets online for us to go up the towers themselves. The ship’s tour had not included this so we were really lucky! I am so glad I did this! If you do this, pre-book your tickets or buy online because they apparently sell out early in the day.
The whole towers “experience” goes for about an hour. First stop is the Skybridge, which is a double-decker structure 42/43 floors up that connects the two towers together.
KLCC park from up above.
We were on the Skybridge for about 15 mins before we went on up to the Observation Deck on Level 86 in Tower 2.
Views from the Observation deck. You can see Tower 1 in the foreground.
Underneath the towers/next door is a shopping mall called Suria KLCC. We popped in there for a little look. I wish I had stayed longer (it looked cheaper than Singapore and had more of my kind of shops!) but we were conscious of time and that we had to meet our driver.
We decided after that to go back to the ship. We enjoyed our day in Kuala Lumpur. We only saw a taste of what is there, but who knows maybe one day we will visit again!