Kuala Lumpur: Part 3

Pull up a pew, grab a cuppa and settle down because you won't even need to visit this place after reading this blog post!

On our third day, we jumped on the Komuter train and headed 13km north of KL to explore the Batu Caves.

These limestone caverns, said to be 400 million years old, offer incredible sights, a huge variety of flora and fauna, and religious meaning, having drawn Hindu pilgrims for more than 120 years.

We just had to soak up some of that history...quite literally! Take some good shoes and a waterproof - it can get veeery slippy up in there.

At the foot of the Temple Cave, is Lord Murugan.

The jaw-droppingly golden statue of Lord Murugan, the God of War, is the tallest statue of a Hindu deity in Malaysia, the second tallest statue of a hindu deity in the world and, standing at 42.7 metres (140 ft) high, is the tallest statute in Malaysia full stop.

A building feat, it took 350 tonnes of steel bars, 1500 cubic metres of concrete, and 300 litres of gold paint to put this structure together.

Drawing hundreds of pilgrims and with great religious symbolism, maybe don't pull a Danny (middle finger) when taking photos...

After Danny nearly pooing himself after accidentally pulling out the middle finger and me nearly pooing myself after being attacked by a gang of pigeons (can't get away from them even in Asia!), we braved the 272 steps up to Temple Cave.


Huffing and puffing all the way to the top (note to self: go to the gym) we finally entered the huge cavern and were faced with yet more stairs...

....and MONKEYS!

Hold on to your hats, ladies and gents (and your bags, and your water bottles, and your cameras, and your coats, and...you get the picture) because these naughty little creatures are out for whatever they can get. We saw people have water bottles ripped from their hands, food pulled out of bags and my mid-day coconut was soon a goner when a gang of macaques rounded on me coming out of a temple. Worse than a mugging, I tell ya.

GAME TIME: how monkeys can you spot throughout this post? Answers on the back of a postcard.

The gang

The stormy KL weather

 Who else is a Rooster? It's our year!

After a wander round the Temple Cave, we'd killed enough time dodging the thieving monkeys that it was time to enter the Dark Cave. We donned our hard hats and really worked the geek chic look before switching on our torches and adventuring onto the windy, slippery pathway through a series of complex caves.

From that smile you'd never guess I was afraid of the dark, would ya?

I didn't take any pictures inside this cave because, as the name would suggest, it was really rather dark in there. In fact, at one point, we all switched our lights off and stood in total, complete, pitch black darkness. It's incredible to think that most of us have and may never experience that undeniable black nothingness.

Other than being really blaaady dark, the Dark Cave is a conservationists dream. It's home to huge stalactites and stalagmites and millions of years of geological history. This place has also been home to some incredible animals for over 100 million years. You may spot a bat, a centipede, or even the rarest arachnid in the world - a Trapdoor Spider.

It really was something quite special.

For anyone afraid of small spaces, have any mobility issues, or any other cave related worries, I believe we walked on a dedicated pathway the entire time and there was no squeezing through tight spaces. However, there were quite a few stairs and the path was rather slippy in places so it might not be suitable for everyone. Have any kids? If they're not too afraid of the dark, it felt extremely child-friendly and one little boy on our trip loved it. 

45 minutes later we emerged into glorious sunshine. The rain from earlier in the morning had disappeared and we took a gentle stroll back down the stairs to see what else was about, dodging monkeys along the way. 

This lady's bottle was literally ripped from her hands before she knew it!

Around the bottom of the two biggest caves is a lovely garden/lake walkway. We didn't have time to enter but we stayed for a while outside and overlooked the calm waters.

We caught sight of a man collecting coconuts and the desperation to try one became too much.

So we went on a hunt for some local delicacies.

One iced coconut please!

Quite honestly the most refreshing thing I have ever drunk. Danny wasn't as keen but that just meant all the more for me. Slurp. 

After a little refreshment, we carried on round the place and found some more temples and some smaller caves to visit.

Below is the scene of an attempted crime.

A coconut stealing crime. 

Having left my shoes at the bottom of the stairs, I sat on the bottom step and did up my laces. Before I knew it, a wild gang of macaques were circling me, getting closer and closer. They bared their teeth and jumped around me, using each other to ramp up the intimidation factor. I took a couple of deep breaths, pushed my feet deep into my trainers, grabbed my coconut and made such a run for it I could have given Usain Bolt a run for his money. 


Having managed to escape that lot, imagine now trying to navigate through here.

It was not fun, let me tell you. 

Our last stop of the day was the Ramayana Cave, a temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman, Lord Rama's aide, as you could probably guess from the huge statue leading up to the cave. 

The story of Rama and Sita is one of my favourites (anyone remember The Little Princess telling this story?!) and tells of how Ravana, the demon king, heard of Sita's beauty and decided he wanted her for himself. Through his magical powers, he created a golden fawn and asked Rama and Lakshman to hunt it down. The men drew a circle round Sita in the ground to protect her and made her promise to never leave the circle or the magic would be broken but Ravana was too clever for them and managed to kidnap her. 

Rama and Lakshman enlisted the help of Hanuman, the King of the Monkeys, who could fly, to help them find Sita, who was imprisoned on Ravana's island. A great battle ensued but the gods lent Rama a special bow and arrow to defeat Ravana. He rescued Sita and the people of the kingdom lit oil lamps, known as divas, in their windows to help Rama and Sita find their way home. 

Today, this story is remembered through Diwali, the festival of lights. 

Walking around this cave, the story comes alive. A great one if you have inquisitive children. 

A visit to the Batu Caves is well worth it if you're in Kuala Lumpur. 

Things to note: 

 - There are different admission prices for each cave although the main temple cave is free to enter.
 - Opening hours of each cave varies so plan accordingly.  
 - Get there as early as you can to avoid the crowds and the heaving tourist buses. We got there at about 9am and even by around 10am the amount of people there had already tripled. 
 - Wear sturdy shoes. There's a lot of walking and the steps and inside the caves can get really slippy. 
 - Try a coconut - you won't regret it!

Have you been? Are you going? Let me know all about your trip!


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