The first time we visited the Batu Caves Kuala Lumpur was in 2010. We were on our backpacking honeymoon through SE Asia and had found ourselves on a 24 hour transit stop in Kuala Lumpur. We were drawn to a visit at these caves the first time because of how unique the site is. This time that was no exception, we were in Kuala Lumpur and we wanted to revisit the Batu Caves.
After spending 5 days living in the jungles of Bukit Lawang, Sumatra we were ready for some city life and were still in the company of one of our friends from the States. So this was a great excuse to revisit the caves, she had never seen them. We hopped on the metro and made it our first stop of the day.
Arriving at the Batu Caves Kuala Lumpur had much the same feeling as the first time, except in 2010 the metro station was brand new and not quite finished. Today, the station is completed and the entrance area is obvious for your visit. Everything else looked exactly the same. The only thing we noticed that had changed was the resident monkey population at the caves.
In 2010, the macaques were abundant and very healthy. They waited on the stairs carefully eying peoples belongings while you made your way up the stairs to the Batu Caves. On our return visit, there were very few of them. The ones we did see were not very healthy. They appeared to be either starving or sick, maybe a combination of both and they were aggressive. Not like the monkeys we remembered on our first visit that were tolerant of the people around them.
As animal lovers, we enjoy seeing local wildlife but also believe that you should keep your distance. So we are not the people you would see holding bananas and trying to touch them to begin with, but it was odd to see them being aggressive to people, even from a distance. Something has changed for the family of macaques that inhabit the entrance to the caves.
The caves themselves were exactly the same and the day we visited there were several religious ceremonies happening at the various alters. Many women were dressed in traditional clothing while they prayed to the figures on display. The Batu Caves is a Hindu shrine, so this means you will see many unique and colorful statues while you wander through the caves and observe.
I have to admit that part of fun when visiting the caves was a chance to observe the monkeys. Taking that away and it loses some of its allure. The site is still very impressive though, you can’t miss the extremely large golden Lorg Murugan that welcomes you at the entrance. If you are in to people watching, this is a great place to be a fly on the wall and just observe the different cultures that wander in and out of this place on any given day.
How To Visit Batu Caves Kuala Lumpur
Cost: Admission to this site is FREE.
Transportation: From KL Sentral, take the KTM Commuter Train to the Batu Caves stop. The ride takes approximately 30 minutes and when you exit the station, you will be at the entrance. Train tickets cost 4MYR ($1.25USD) for a return ticket.
Activity Level: Moderate depending on your fitness level. You will need to climb the 272 stairs to the top where you enter the Batu Caves. Inside the cave there are steps down and then another set of about 50 stairs to the top of the back area. Not something I would consider challenging, but several people were having a hard time with it. The weather is usually hot and humid in Kuala Lumpur and this adds to the level of fitness required for climbing the stairs.
Monkeys: There is still a resident Macaque family that resides on the steps and near the entrance to the caves. They are not as friendly as they used to be, but they will make themselves known and are still up for stealing things from you. Do not try to touch them or feed them. Do not get too close to them, they can and will bite you. If you are bitten by one, seek medical attention immediately as monkeys can carry rabies, even if they exhibit no symptoms.
Lastly, enjoy your visit and take lots of photos. It’s a beautiful site on the outskirts of a big and hectic city.
Batu Caves Dress Code
Although there is no enforced Batu Caves dress code, remember this is a place of worship. If you do not like being stared at or pointed at by locals be sure to cover your legs and shoulders; do not wear shorts, short skirts or low cut tops. Nobody will refuse you entrance to the site if you are dressed in those items, but you will be stared at quite intensely by the locals.