We finally got a weekend free to check out one of the most iconic attractions in all of Kuala Lumpur: the Batu Caves, a beautiful Hindu temple and shrine set in a limestone hill. Given the fact the none of our Malaysian friends have ever been to the Batu Caves, I knew it was definitely a “tourist thing”, so we got there super early in the morning to beat the crowds, not to mention KL’s extreme heat. Outside the entrance to the caves stands a gigantic gold statue of a Hindu God, which is even bigger in person than it looks in photos. The statue took three years to build and was unveiled in 2006 as the the tallest Hindu deity in Malaysia, the second tallest in the world, and we were told it was constructed with the purpose of attracting more tourists. Behind the deity, there are precisely 272 steep steps to climb to get into the cave (got my booty workout for the day), but I couldn’t complain after seeing a worker carrying a heavy rack of sodas on top of his head all the way from top to bottom! Inside the caves, we found beautiful Hindu statues and paintings, and got to witness an intriguing Hindu ceremony that reminded me of Bali. The experience was especially unique considering Malaysia is a predominantly Muslim country.
Upon beginning our descent down the steps, we saw a monkey (Michael’s favorite), which then turned into two monkeys, then five, and before we knew it we were literally surrounded by a gang of monkeys. It seems they were all sleeping when we first got there and then suddenly woke up for the day to start running amuck. It was like the Ubud Monkey Forest in Bali all over again. I don’t trust those creepy little things one bit, no matter how cute they may be,
The Batu caves are definitely worth checking out if you’re ever in Kuala Lumpur. I’m looking forward to going back for to experience Thaipusam, an extravagant Hindu festival held in January or February.