Day 2: Best Breakfast Buffet EVER and Batu Caves

Dinner the night before was at the hotel buffet.  It was deemed an international buffet with various stations, mostly Asian cuisine, and then Italian and American.  Breakfast was the same idea and boy was an international breakfast buffet the most amazing concept ever.  They had various stations set up with breakfast foods from various places.  This included Malay, Chinese, Japanese, American, Indian.  They also had some of the most unique buffet options I had ever seen.  Here are some pictures I took while deciding what to eat.

Gluten free section
Bagels with lox and lettuce
Juice bar...the green guava juice was AMAZING!
After making my way around, here is what I ended up trying out.  It's a bit of food and I felt bad wasting some, but I really wanted to try a little of everything.

Rice porridge
Quark and berries, eggs, bread, lox, cheese and nasi lemak (see below)
First up, this is called quark.  I found it at the yogurt bar, so it is apparently yogurt.  It was interesting and I can't say if I did or didn't like it.  I never really decided, but I only took a few bites before eating all the fruit.  According to the things I found on the internet it is made by heating sour that could explain it!
Here is my tasty green guava juice.
This is the nasi lemak.  Normally it has lamb in it, but I got lucky and the hotel made it with only anchovy.  It's a traditional Malay rice dish cooked inside a banana leaf.
Inside is rice, some veggies, chili paste, hard boiled egg and anchovy.  It was pretty tasty.
After all that I will still curious so I went back to look around a little more.  I discovered they had a local honey section, which was really neat.
It was right next to the yogurt station.  Another very cool idea!
More honey
Indian treats
Fruit smoothies
Yogurt and muesli
Healthy egg white omelet station
American breakfast items
Plus a toppings bar for the pancakes, waffles and French toast
I ended up with a piece of French toast, mattar paneer (peas and cheese, which is my favorite Indian dish) and a lychee danish.
Lychee danish up close.  It was delicious!
After that I did some work, taught a class and relaxed before my afternoon tour.  While I was waiting to be picked up I stopped by the cafe in the hotel.  They make these giant frog macarons.  Too cute!
Then it was on the bus and off to see some sights.  The first stop was at Thean Hou Temple, which is a Chinese temple.  Outside we learned a little about bamboo.
This coconut tree was also pointed out to us because the coconuts are a different color than the regular ones.
This temple was beautiful.  So many bright colors.

This was inside where people were praying.  There are 3 statues inside that you can pray to.

The ceiling was so ornate.

I love the detail and the paint.

Here I am at the temple.
There is a nice view of the city in front of it.

So beautiful!
Here is a better, unobstructed view of the city.
Me again!  Glad I found someone in my group to take pictures of me.
This is the front of the temple.

In case you don't know, I love dragons.
Then down below was a little garden and pond. 

Did I mention a lot of turtles?  Tons of them!

Here is a side view of the temple.
This was inside the Chinese zodiac sign garden.  There were statues for each of the animals.
I am the year of the monkey so I couldn't resist posing with them.
More fun stuff out from.  The colors were so vibrant.

The next stop was to the Batu Caves.  This is a Hindu temple built high up, inside a cafe.  Out front is a statue of Murugan, which is one of the Hindu gods.  I knew the statue was big but it didn't prepare me for how truly massive this is.
To get to the top there are 272 stairs.
At least I would get some good exercise for the day.
Oh, and there were monkeys hanging around too.  They are pretty much harmless.  We were told not to make eye contact and not to carry plastic bags and we would be ok.  I will get back to the plastic bag in a second.
They were really cute!

Looking back down
Almost there
Inside finally!
This is the temple prayer area inside.

On the way back down I spotted a rooster.
Remember that thing about plastic bags.  This is why.  People used to come and carry food in plastic bags so they learned that plastic bags have the good stuff.  They will grab them and run, which is just what this monkey did, much to the surprise of the girl that had been carrying it.  It wasn't food, but this monkey didn't care.  He was going to rip into it anyway.
Then he decided to carry it up a light pole to move further away from the people.
Here he is trying to get it open.  Eventually he just took off into the woods with it.  It was very crazy to witness this.  At least our tour guide warned us.
Here is another monkey.  He seemed to be washing his hands with the water.

One last photo of me before we got back into the van.  You can really get a good idea of how big he is when I am in the picture.
The final stop was to a Batik store.  We were given a little demo of this art.  It is made by drawing lines with a wax pen and then this acts as a divider between dyes that are used for the colors.
Here is the man drawing on the cotton to show us.  Malaysia is very well know for it's Batik crafts.  These can be made on cotton or silk.
Here are some of the pieces that were hanging on the wall.
Back to the hotel for a little relaxation, but first I had to eat something.  I was still full from the buffet but I hadn't eaten since 8:30 am and it was already 5:30.  I picked up a sandwich and some chips from the cafe in the hotel.
Next up for me was a nice, relaxing massage.  The flash was on when I took this picture so it is a lot brighter than it was in real life.  The lights were pretty dim.  It just looked so pretty in there that I had to take a picture.
That is a bowl of hot water and rose petals to soak my feet in first.
After the massage I walked over to Bukit Bintang, which is a huge shopping area.  I walked there since it was only a 15 minute walk.  I was able to get a nice picture of my hotel as I was heading out.
I also tried to get some night shots of Petronas Towers.

Dinner was at the shopping center known as Lot 10.  The food court was recommended to me.  He said it was the best food court he ever found.  I can see why.  This place was very impressive.  It was a giant food court in the basement and the vibe was very authentic.  I say that because even though it was in a mall I felt like I was in an open air market with street foods.  It was every kind of Asian food imaginable and there was also a grocery store down there.  I wanted to take pictures inside the grocery store, but to be polite I made sure to ask first and the security guard told me no pictures, to which I happily obliged.
I am glad they speak English in Malaysia.  They start learning it early on, even in public school.  It made it really easy to ask about ingredients in food.  So even though things were very foreign or exotic looking, the language barrier was removed.  I ended up getting dinner from this place.  Yes, I went outside my comfort zone and tried the fish head noodles.  
Ok, partially outside my comfort zone.  The fish head thing freaked me out a little so I ended up with the soup and fish cake.  Not super appetizing to some, I'm sure, but I eat gefilte fish, so to me that's like the same thing.  It was a broth that seemed coconut based and then had some ginger and lemon grass and noodles.  I ate a little of the fish, but mostly just enjoyed the noodles and broth.
For dessert I wanted to try something local.  I tried to get something here but the guy was taking a break.  I found him under the counter eating his dinner.  I decided to let him just enjoy it and I went somewhere else.
I ended up at a similar place serving the shave ice Malaysian style.  I believe it's called ice kacang.  I double checked on the internet but you never know!
I was not too keen on the idea of the traditional version which had kidney beans and some green jelly stuff, but I did go with the sour sop and tropical fruits.  Sour sop is a local fruit here and it is sweet and sour.  I had never heard of this until today.  Apparently it is also common in South America.  It looks a little like a spiky cherimoya.  It was really good and I am glad I tried this.
QUESTIONS: Have you ever been yelled at before for taking pictures somewhere you weren't supposed to?  Have you ever heard of sour sop? 

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