Malaysia

Exploring Kuala Lumpur, Day 2: Batu Caves and Little India

Day 2 of 3: Caves, Monkeys, Vegetarians, & Skybars

  • Climb the multi-colored steps to the Batu Caves
  • Explore the temple and stave off the cave monkeys
  • Sample some indian snacks
  • Get a henna tattoo
  • Grab a northern Indian-style vegetarian dinner 
  • See the city by night from one of the city’s popular skybars

I woke up pretty late on my second day in KL and was planning to relocate to a new part of the city. But before moving south, I realized the Batu Caves—at the city’s northernmost rail stop—was just a few minutes’ drive away.

Though I was feeling just a bit exhausted from day one, I couldn’t pass up the chance to see this colorful sight with my own eyes. Plus, monkeys! So I got a Grab to drop me off at the site, and trekked up the steps with my belongings on my back.


Things to Know about The Batu Caves

The Batu Caves features a number of attractions, from a colossal statue of Lord Murugan and 272 newly painted steps to a spectacular cave formation, the intricately fashioned temple it houses, and a feisty bunch of resident monkeys.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when visiting the caves:

  • No lockers. If you have bags, you’ll have to take them up with you. That being said, if you’ve done any backpacking at all, I’m sure you’ll find the steps fairly easy to climb.
  • Cheeky monkeys. If you have food anywhere on your or in your bag, they’ll come for it.
  • Free entry. It doesn’t cost anything to see the caves and temple, though I’ve heard you can pay for a flashlight tour of the dark caes. Also, you can apparently buy packets of food to feed the monkeys (though I wouldn’t recommend it).
  • No shorts. Women in shorts (or short skirts) are not allowed entry . Not to fret, you can rent a wrap-around at the bottom of the steps.

On a final note, remember to be a respectful visitor. This site is more than a tourist attraction: it’s a place of religious ceremony.


From the top of the steps, I could see the sky darkening. I made it down just in time to grab some tasty looking Indian snacks from a vegetarian canteen. I rushed them from the foot of the caves, through the first drops of rain, and safely to the nearby train stations.

The line that starts at the Batu Caves is the oldest one of the city’s rail system, and everyone complains about how slow it is. Still, I made it from there to Sentral in very good time.

Little India

If you’re in the neightborhood, this place is a must-visit. From KL Sentral, you can walk to Little India—which is especially alive around Diwali.

If you’re on your own, try some of the street snacks. If you’re with someone from India, they might not let you—because it’s never as good as how they make it back home. (Luckily, I’d already grabbed some at the Batu Caves.)

As an alternative to snacking, you can always get a henna tattoo.

For dinner, look around for a restaurant that serves northern-Indian food

When you’re all full up, why not catch the dancing fountain at KLCC, then grab drinks with a view?


The Best Rooftop Bars Near KLCC Park

  • Marini’s On 57. Walking distance from KLCC, with a straight view of the Petronas Towers.
  • Heli Lounge Bar. Only a kilometer from KLCC, and also reachable by train, this helipad-slash-bar is a great place to catch the sunset.
  • SkyBar. Right by KLCC Park; swimming pool included.
  • Canopy Lounge. Among the highest rated on Google Maps, only a few minutes walk from KLCC, and cheaper than the rest.

Now that we’ve wrapped up two days in Kuala Lumpur, I’d say we’re ready for a little change of scenery. Next up: Melaka!

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