Set into the limestone cliffs just outside the city center, the Batu Caves are a must see when in Kuala Lumpur! Here’s everything you need to know for planning your visit to the Batu Caves.
Looking for another incredible cultural experience in Kuala Lumpur? be sure to visit Masjid Wilayah (also known as the Federal Territory Mosque)
How to get to the Batu Caves
Although the Batu Caves are accessible by public transit, we highly recommend getting there when the gates open at 7AM. To do this, you’ll need to take a taxi or a Grab. Grab is a reliable and cheap option when in KL and the app is easy to use. From the city center, our trip to the Batu Caves took about 20 minutes to go and 40 minutes to come back (KL traffic is killer). The total cost was 50MYR return or about 12 USD. Fares can vary and are usually more expensive during rush hour.
For us taking a Grab was worth it to be there when the gates open. If you’re not going so early, you can easily save money and reach the Batu Caves by train. From the center KTM Komuter train to Batu Caves will only cost you about 2RM each way. You can check exact train prices here. The only form of transportation to avoid when going to the Batu Caves is an unmetered taxi!
Dress code at the Batu Caves
The Batu Caves is a Hindu temple, so yes there is a dress code you should plan for. It’s known that this dress code is more severe for women than it is for men. Here is the Batu Caves dress code as of 2019.
Women must have shoulders and knees covered at all times. Men must also cover their shoulders but can get away with wearing shorts as long as they aren’t clearly above the knees.
Plan ahead and wear something lightweight and comfortable to the Batu Caves! To be safe, we suggest to just wear pants and a t-shirt.
How to get the best photos
Since they received an eye-catching makeover in 2018, the stairs leading up to the temple are now a prime photo spot. Here are some tips for getting the best photos!
- The earlier the better! If you don’t want hundreds of other tourists in your photos, get to the Batu Caves before 8AM.
- Bring a tripod: This will allow you to set your camera far enough from the gate to capture all the stairs. Then, put your camera on interval timer, allowing you to get high enough on the stairs for an awesome photo!
- Get creative: Don’t just take the same photos as everyone. There are so many different colours here to play with! On your way up to the top you can play with different angles. It’s a good way to catch your breath too! You can even grab a monkey or two in your shots.
The Batu Caves Monkeys!
You’ve probably seen the monkeys in photos and reviews of the Batu Caves. These permanent residents are cool to see up close but remember that they are wild animals. They only get close to humans because they associate us with food.
The monkeys at the Batu Caves are incredibly smart. We witnessed one steal a sealed bottle of milk, open it and proceed to drink it’s contents. That’s actually the reason we’re laughing so much on the photo below! They’ve also figured out how to get into bags to look for food. Keep your belongings on you at all times and don’t try putting you camera too close to them.
Speaking of milk, after visiting the Batu Caves you’ll probably be in need of some good coffee. Thankfully, we’ve compiled a guide of our top 5 cafes in Kuala Lumpur!
What to expect at the Batu Caves
Other than a whole bunch of colourful steps, we didn’t really know what to expect at the Batu Caves! When you arrive at the site, you’ll be greeted by the colourful stairs and massive golden Murugan statue. The statue stands at 42.7m and is the tallest of its kind in the world. Be sure to take some photos at the bottom of the steps!
Once you’re up the 272 steps, be sure to spend some time to go inside and walk around. The scale of the caves and the massively high ceilings are really impressive! There may even be a ceremony going on in one of the temples you can look in on. On your way down there will be many vendors selling souvenirs, snacks and full meals alike.
The heat and the mosquitoes: These were undoubtedly the two unpleasant variables of our visit to the Batu Caves. Remember that Kuala Lumpur is only 3.1° N of the equator and is hot all year round. This is also a good reason to go as early as possible. We definitely wouldn’t recommend climbing the temple steps in the midday heat. Also, there were SO MANY mosquitoes when we visited in early November. Avoid our mistake and be sure to bring repellant!
Where to stay in Kuala Lumpur
When staying in Kuala Lumpur, we recommend basing yourself out of Bukit Bintang or the KLCC districts. These are the most central locations with an incredible amount of choices of accommodation.
If you’re looking for a great budget option which still allows you to have incredible views of the city, definitely book on Airbnb. We stayed on the 36th floor of the Robertson residences and loved the location. Click here for up to 45$ off your first booking!
For those with a bigger budget, we recommend searching on Booking.com to find the best hotel deals!
Enjoyed this guide? Make sure to save it to Pinterest for later!