I woke up from the faint light emanating from the window. It was already past 5am. I looked out beyond the frosted glass and it was completely blue. The ship seems to be approaching Port Klang, Malaysia slowly through an overnight cruise. Aside from the disjointed snores inside the room, I barely noticed the movement while I was sleeping. We got ready for breakfast as we’ll soon disembark for a short tour around Kuala Lumpur.
On the cruise, guests have the option to go for a shore excursion. Star Cruises offer several itineraries to choose from though this is an additional cost from the cruise itself. For our group, we took the “Asian Melting Pot” tour where we would visit Thean Hou Temple, The Independence Square, KL Tower and Suria KLCC.
By 9am we were already making way out the ship towards Port Klang where the tour buses were waiting. Port Klang or Port Swettenham is the largest and busiest port in Malaysia. Our guide told us that Klang is also known for its crabs and rich mangrove area.
In less than an hour, we reached Thean Hou Temple on top of a hill at Robson Heights, Kuala Lumpur. It’s a temple built by the Hainanese Community in 1987 and opened in 1989 which is dedicated to the Goddess Tian Hou. It’s funny finding myself part of a tourist bus and a group as I’ve always tried to avoid them. But hey, it’s nice to try to be on the other side of the coin once in a while.
We only got 15 minutes to roam around the temple. We had to climb 2 flights of stairs to reach the roof top where the main temple can be found. It’s not as age old as I expected. I have poor distinction whether this was a Buddhist, Taoist or Confucian temple. I was told that the temple have combined elements from all of them. One interesting I learned also from our guide is about the Chinese dragons having all the qualities of all the animals in the Chinese Zodiac. I didn’t notice that before. But one thing I noticed from this temple are the intricate designs and ornaments it has.
I had to leave my footwear on the steps to reach the floor of the worship hall. There are three Gods there, Tian Hou in the center, Guan Yin and Shui Wei Sheng Niang on the sides. I watch how some people would get their fortunes told by picking some sticks which they had scrambled. Each stick has a message or word which I don’t know what means. The temple was also known to have fortune tellers and is a popular place for wedding registration.
Other attractions were the life-size statues of the 12 animals in the Chinese Astrology. We saw some tourists just having a grand time having their pictures taken. I made my way back to the bus to enjoy the air-conditioning. Boy was it humid that day. I didn’t take much photos when we got to Independence Square as I took photos there already and the light at that time was less than ideal.
At the KL Tower, I gave in to our guide’s prodding to the the touristy thing of taking a pin-hole like photo of the Petronas Towers from the Nikon scopes at the tower. At Suria KLCC, what I really enjoyed was our lunch. Those special Hainanese Chicken and Creamy Blueberry shake dessert. There was little time to roam around so by 2pm we got back to our bus to make our scheduled return to Superstar Virgo. It was a pretty quick tour and we found out there were no Malaysian stamps in our passport. So that’s how this works. It’s like we didn’t leave the ship.
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.