Top Things to Do in Kuala Lumpur – Batu Caves
This year my travel theme is “Cuti Cuti Malaysia”, in line with the Visit Malaysia Year 2014. Plus I have Big Teddy now as my adventure mate, so it’s easier to explore some old and new places around Malaysia. First stop as a tourist spot in Kuala Lumpur apart from the Petronas Twin Towers, is Batu Caves which is quite a famous place to experience a different culture. It is a limestone hill with a Hindu shrine inside the cave at the top of hills. This site is also the home to the largest Lord Murugan statue in the world. During the annual Thaipusam festival, Batu Caves turns into a jam-packed placed filled with Hindu pilgrims from all across the country.
Our journey to Batu Caves started from downtown KLCC but it took us a long while to get there due to the traffic jam. Big Teddy had his 1st share of culture shock when we parked our car along the roadside and being extorted RM10 by some Indians on motorbike allegedly for parking fee when it’s just a normal road. Well, being Malaysian I told him it’s better to pay up rather than get my car scratched later. Unhappy thoughts aside, entrance to Batu Caves is free (except for a guided tour near the top of the hill). The 140 feet Lord Murugan statue was quite a scene as we walk towards the base of the hill. The main challenge of Batu Caves is the 272 steps to the top of the hill. My stamina is always quite shitty so I took a while to get to the top. The last time I came to this place was probably back in the high school and I remember there was a lot of monkeys. However this time around there’s only a handful of monkeys running around. Part of me was kinda disappointed as I was expecting more monkeys playing around to entertain the visitors.
Once we reached the top of the hill or better known as the Temple Cave, there’s nothing much to see apart from a shrine and limestone all over. The smell of birds’ discharge was all over the place and wasn’t pleasant so we didn’t stay long up there. Malaysia is never good at maintaining a tourist site but with the on-going Visit Malaysia Year campaign I was expecting better and cleaner ambience. Overall, I liked the 272 steps climbing up the hill and the extremely tall Lord Murugan Statue (magnificent sight to behold), but other than that, Batu Caves is for tourist and those who have not been there. I wonder how many people would ever return to Batu Caves (save from the faithful pilgrims)….
|Behold… the 140 feet tall Lord Murugan Statue
Some tips for first time visitors :-
- Get there early in the morning as the weather is cooler and less punishing compared to mid day or afternoon. Malaysia usually rains in the afternoon as well. Opening hours from 6.00am – 9.00pm daily.
- If you’re not hiring a car or using Uber/Grab, you can take a 30 minutes train ride from KTM Komuter Train from KL Sentral for about RM2.00 one way (≈ US$0.45) to Batu Caves Station. The KTM train service is not as reliable so some waiting is expected if you choose this mode of transportation.
- As Batu Caves is the holy site for the local Hindus, short pants and shorts skirts above the knee are generally frown upon and sometimes they might ask you to cover up with sarong (rental available).
- Bring a water bottle with you as you climb the stairs and replenish further with fresh coconut drink after descending from the top at the local kiosks located at the foot hill.
|This monkey is loving his snacks
|Half way up the hill