December 11, 2011

SELAMAT MALAYSIA: Batu Caves, Serangoon

We knew it was going to be hot and we still resolved to climb that 272 steps leading to the caves. But when we got there the heat was so insane that firm resolve quickly melted away with our sweats.

What would have been an awesome photo op inside the caves turned into a 10 minute monkey-stalking walk back to the train station and back to KL.

So what’s there to see in Batu Caves and was it worth the 45 minute travel from Kuala Lumpur? Yes, the monkeys alone made the trip worthwhile.

Aside from them monkeys, Batu Caves is the most popular Hindu Shrine outside of India and the most popular attraction in Selangor Malaysia. Located on a limestone hill, the caves are guarded by a giant statue of Lord Muraugan, the largest Hindu statue (and plated in gold!) in the world.

Another thing worth mentioning are the birds (not sure whether they’re doves or pigeons). Birds on this part of the world don’t seem to be too anti-social: they don’t instantly fly away when you walk past them, it was such an awesome experience feeding and chasing them.

Here are some of the useful tips if you plan to visit Batu Caves:

  • Do not take the cab. Yes it is more convenient but it’s also much more expensive. A LOT MORE EXPENSIVE! Take the train instead, it’s cheaper, faster and straightforward, it also gives you a chance to breathe in and out the local scene.
  • Try to visit at an early or later time of the day as the heat can get really bad midday or just bring an umbrella if you must. But if you don’t mind the uneven tan lines then a sunblock might not be a bad idea too.
  • Bring drinking water, there are shops in the vicinity but of course it’s got a tourist tag on it. Get your H20 at KL Sentral it’s much cheaper there.
  • Wear really comfy shoes and prepare to climb 272 steps. A big NO NO to heels and wedges but if you can strut your way up the caves with those, then you should be Americas Next Top Model!
  • Pay attention to your belongings and beware of thieves! Monkey thieves that is. Do not even attempt a tug of war with them, I've read somewhere that they consider it a challenge and almost every time they win and the loser usually walks away with head hung in shame all the while brandishing a nasty bite.

HOW TO GET THERE: from KL Sentral take the KTM Train bound for Sentul Station (the ride takes only about 40 minutes) from there it should only be a short walk to the caves.

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