Dan & I visited the touristy Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia earlier this year on our honeymoon. The Batu Caves were pretty cool and definitely worth a visit for passing through Kuala Lumpur. While the caves were quite interesting and certainly worth a visit, I had trouble finding details about visiting online, so here you go – my thoughts on visiting the Batu Caves. Happy traveling!
WHAT ARE THE BATU CAVES
The Batu Caves are a series of caves and cave temples in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia that has come to be one of the largest Hindu shrines outside of India. The Batu Caves are dedicated to the Lord Murugan – a/k/a the Hindu God of War (i.e. the huge gold statute in the pics). Visitors, both Hindu and non-Hindus alike can visit the caves and the temples therein. The Batu Caves are, without question, one of the bucket list sites of Kuala Lumpur!
The primary attraction of the Batu Caves is actually their entrance – much grander than the interior – via some steep steps. Every tour starts with a walk by Lord Murugan, through the temple gates, and up the many, many stairs to the actual caves. This is not for the mobility impaired, as there are no elevators or ramps. But, in my opinion, a visit to the Batu Caves is just as good from the bottom.
Once you reach the top of the stairs (its a BIG WALK), you enter the “caves” which are not fully enclosed. There are a number of small temples dotted in the cave, as well as a large one in the back (up a few more stairs). Its very interesting and many people visiting actually come to pray at the various temples; its not just a tourist attraction.
There are also monkeys everywhere in the Batu Caves. I am not a fan of monkeys, but these were rather well behaved…
The Batu Caves are also home to what is known as the “Dark Caves,” which are located to the left as you reach the top of the stairs (to the right if you are looking down). We skipped this, but its supposed a 45 minute tour through, which leads you into a dark cave and discusses the caves and related ecological system. You need to buy an extra ticket for this, which I believe can be purchased at the bottom of the stairs.
HOW TO GET TO THE BATU CAVES
The Batu Caves are located outside of central Kuala Lumpur, but it was an easy commute. We took an Uber from our hotel and hailed a taxi on our way back (lots of taxis wait in the parking lot – rates definitely negotiable). As long as its not rush hour, this is probably the best way to get to the Batu Caves from Kuala Lumpur.
ALternatively, the KL Kommuter train goes from KL Sentral directly to teh Batu Caves at about 2.50 ringgit/ticket. Definitely go very in the morning to get the best pictures (i.e. without tourists!).
HOW LONG TO SPEND AT THE BATU CAVES
2 hours from arrival at the front entrance is plenty to see everything, except the Dark Caves. 1 hour if you are in a rush. I do not recommend less than 1 hour, because it takes a while to get up the stairs.
Entrance to the Batu Caves is free. Rental of a scarf to cover my sinner knees and shoulders was 25 ringgit. Entrance inside the “dark caves” are an additional few ringgit (between 10 and 40/person). No need (or ability) to buy anything in advance. I recommend bringing cash if you plan to purchase any of these things, as well as for water inside the caves.
WHAT TO WEAR AND BRING
You do not need to bring much to the Batu Caves, as most everything you could need is sold in or just outside the caves. However, ladies, your shoulders and knees have to be covered. If they are not, you will have to rent a dirty, smelly scarf at the Butu Caves and wear it for the duration of your visit. Big mistake on my part… Seriously, these scarves are most certainly never washed. Yuck.
Also, men and women should wear suitable shoes. The stairs getting to the top are small and uneven.
I also recommend bringing a bottle of water. There is water for purchase for purchase in the caves, but you will appreciate having a bottle on those stairs… Trust me.
Finally, a hat. There are tons of bats in the caves. Bring a hat if you want to avoid them…
FOOD, DRINK, AND SOUVENIRS
This may sound strange, but the souvenir shops and stands just outside of the entrance to the Butu Caves are pretty fabulous! I bought a few items, including the most awesome swim cover up (side note – it is not made to be a swimsuit cover up…) and some adorable earrings.
STEAL OUR TRIP
Batu Caves: Gombak, 68100 Batu Caves, Selangor, Malaysia. No website, free to enter. Shoulders and knees must be covered for women.
Dark Caves: Information on the Dark Caves, including price information.
Grab: Malaysia’s version of Uber, which no longer operates in Malaysia.
ON A BUDGET
The Batu Caves are an excellent budget traveler spot. Public transportation goes directly to the Batu Caves and they are free to enter. Bring your own water and covering for your shoulders, etc. to save money.