Although the Batu Caves are in Kuala Lumpur, they were so awesome, I decided these caves needed their own post!
The Lord Murugan statue is the second tallest statue of a Hindu deity in the world, and is also the tallest statue in Malaysia, being 140 ft in height.
There are 272 concrete steps that lead up to the caves. I was definitely out of breath by the time I got to the top.
Before I could walk up, I was told that I was not allowed to show my knees in the temple. So, I rented a shawl to tie around my waist for about $0.60.
After you climb up the stairs, the entrance is very majestic. The man made structure that you see is to protect any falling rocks from crushing your average hapless tourist.
When you come into the front entrance of the caves you come down stairs to the main floor of the temple cave.
The Batu Caves are actually a series of limestone caves, that are believed to be about 400 million years old. Once you cross the main floor, you climb up another set of stairs.
On top is another Hindu shrine.
Above this shrine in particular, is a majestic view of the sky.
It was very hot and humid in the caves. To put it nicely, I was “glowing”. (Translation: sweat was pouring off my body.)
As much as I loved these caves, I think the favorite part of this journey were the monkeys. They were everywhere.
They had no fear of the tourists. A couple times when I was walking up and looking at my feet, I almost put my hand on a monkey that was sitting on the hand railing.
In Canada, monkeys are found only in zoos, and you certainly are not allowed to touch them or be so close to them. It was strangely exhilarating to be up and personal with these creatures. On several occasions, I was mere inches away from them, as you can see by the following video.
The taxi driver warned us that they could open the lids off drink bottles and were prone to stealing food from tourists. My boyfriend bought a pop at the top of the caves, right before he started to descend. (Because there was, of course, a tourist kiosk at the mouth of the caves selling everything from ice cream to postcards.)
My boyfriend said that one of the monkeys started to stalk him. It held out it’s hands, as if to say, “I would like my drink now.” My boyfriend ignored it, until it got very grabby hands and eventually wrenched the plastic pop bottle right out of his grasp. My boyfriend said all my warnings about rabies went through his head so he just let go and let the monkey have the bottle. What he didn’t realize is that another money also took my unsweetened green tea out of the side pocket of his knapsack. I wasn’t too upset since this wasn’t my favorite drink.
This is a video of them drinking my green tea that they had stolen.
When I passed this bottle lying on the ground, I picked it up, with the intention of throwing it in the garbage. It had a little bit of green tea left in the bottle. Before I knew it, a monkey was running beside me on the cement handrail. He really wanted that bottle of green tea. You can imagine my shock, when my furry friend reached out and grabbed the bottle with both hands on the bottom and gave it a big tug.
Human nature (or my natural hoarding instinct) prevailed and I hung onto the top of that bottle. So much for taking my own advice. We had a little tug-o-war going until he bared his teeth at me. The people around me gasped. He won. I let go. I stood there and watched as he drank directly from the bottle.
After he tried the unsweetened drink, he gave a look of distaste and then he threw the bottle back at my feet. I said, “Yeah, I didn’t like that drink much either.” The crowd laughed. (Maybe my new friend and I should take our show on the road.)
The sight coming down was just as breathtaking. Although I spent quite a bit of time watching my footing on those uneven steps. With my shawl tangled around my legs, monkeys to avoid on the handrails and people walking up towards me, I wanted to avoid taking a public spill down 100 or so stairs.
If you ever have a chance to check out the Batu Caves, I highly recommend it. It was the highlight of Kuala Lumpur for me.