One of the most popular destinations for backpackers in KL is the Batu caves temple. As far as hindu temples go it is not that impressive, but what makes it special is the fact that it is inside a huge cave.
Getting to Batu caves couldn’t be simpler, Batu caves station is the end of one of the KTM commuter train lines and the station is just a couple of minutes walk from the entrance of the caves complex. A ticket from KL Sentral to Batu caves costs 2.60 Rm each way and the journey takes about 30 minutes. Be warned though, the trains are not that frequent with them going about every 45 minutes or so.
There are really three different parts to the Batu caves complex that are interesting, the main temple, the dark cave, and the Ramayana cave. Closest to the entrance from the train station is the Ramayana cave, this cave contains huge models showing the Ramayana story and also contains a natural lingam where a limestone stalagmite has formed. You do have to pay to visit this cave, but the cost is only 5 Rm.
A bit further on you come to a huge golden statue of Lord Murugan and the start of the steps up into the temple cave. After the first series of steps you come to the second interesting part of the complex, the dark cave. The dark cave has nothing to do with the temple itself and is in fact a nature reserve that is home to several species that are only found in the caves here. You can take a guided tour of the dark cave that takes about 45 minutes and costs 35 Rm, where you get to see the cave formations and learn how they were formed as well as learn about the cave ecosystem that is supported entirely by bat droppings. You also get to see some pretty mad creepy crawlies such as cave centipedes that are truly horrific looking.
As you climb yet more steps you come to the entrance to the temple cave, around these steps and in the cave itself are loads of monkeys that can be agressive as they think that anything in your hands is food for them. Right inside the temple cave is a small temple and it is free to visit this part.
After taking the train back to KL Sentral I planned to visit the Petronas towers and so took the LRT metro to KLCC, which is right next to the twin towers. It costs 85 Rm to take the tour over the skybridge and up to the top of the Petronas towers, but on this occasion all the tickets had been sold for the day and as I was leaving for Melaka in the morning I guess it would just have to wait for another day.
From the Petronas towers I took advantage of one of the GoKL free bus services back to Pasar Seni and spent a while exploring Petaling street market, pretty much everything for sale here is a knock off but you can find some great food.
Fed and watered, and with the tiredness from the jet lag kicking in it was time for an early night. Next stop Melaka…..