Touristy Stuff

Batu Caves

The Batu Caves are located just northeast of KL, being an age-old Hindu temple replete with shrines, statues, and various other attractions.

Two views of the steps leading to the Temple Cave, all 272 of them. Climbing these steps is an act of devotion performed both by faithful Hindus and insane tourists.  
The top of the stairs. It is said that the red colour of the steps is from the blood of countless overweight Western tourists who have collapsed and died of exhaustion, in a sacrifice to the dread Hindu gods. Or maybe not.
An Al-Qaeda operative, cunningly disguised as George W. Bush.
Some local Indian people who were rather bemused that a crazy foreigner wanted to take their picture.
There are many shrines and statues to various gods in the Batu Caves tourist trap temple complex. This is Ganesha, god of perseverance and wisdom.
Lord Vishnu, the Creator.
Lord Shiva, the Destroyer.
Krishna, the divine presence in the Bhagavad Gita.
Lakshmi, goddess of wealth and fortune.
Rama, hero of the epic Ramayana, and famed for his prowess as an archer.
The horse-man Kalki, one of the incarnations (along with Rama and Krishna) of Vishnu.
I'm not entirely sure who this d00d is. A Google search on "Ramalingaswami" turned up numerous hits on a famous scientist of that name who recently passed away in India. That could be him, but if anyone knows for sure, feel free to email me.
The end of the Temple Cave, which is open to the sky.


Malacca could be considered the birthplace of the modern Malay nation, being the first regional power to be based on the peninsula (as opposed to the Indonesian archipelago).

The Christ Church in the Dutch-built Town Square, the oldest functioning church in Malaysia.
The fountain in the Town Square, with the Stadthuys (state house) in the background. The Dutch never could spell.
A mosque on "Harmony Street", so named because temples to three faiths stand within a few meters of each other. The design of this mosque (influenced by Sumatran Hindu architecture, and lacking the usual onion dome) led me to think it was a Hindu temple at first. The loudspeaker calling Muslims to prayer at noon disabused me of this rather quickly.
The interior of the Chinese temple on "Harmony Street", which is dedicated to Confucianism, Buddhism and Daoism. The Chinese have never been very fussy about theological nitpicking.
Swarms of money tourists at the foot of hill that constituted the old town center. The ruined stone gateway is all that remains of the 16th century Portuguese fort, A Famosa, which was demolished by the British in the 19th century.
The steps leading up to the top of the hill. The stone building at the top, a church in Dutch times, had its roof removed by the British. Do you sense a pattern here?
The former tomb of St Francis Xavier, located inside the old church.
A typical street in the old part of Malacca, which hasn't changed at all since the 20th century. (But note the Kafe Internet sign.)
New developments on the waterfront. Malacca is still a working port, as can be seen by the cargo and cruise ships in the harbour.
My 15-year-old nephew, who is taller than me. Malaysians are eating well these days.

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