The morning we spent at Batu Caves in Malaysia was the highlight of our time in Kuala Lumpur, and a must for any traveler venturing to the city. You’ll be immediately blown away once you arrive and see the massive Lord Murugan statue which guards the entrance. Batu Caves temple itself is made up of a series of caves that run through the limestone mountain, and is filled with incredible shrines to the gods. Once you pass the giant statue, be prepared to make the climb up 272 colorful stairs while dodging the packs of monkeys that protect Batu Caves steps. Don’t worry though! We’ll break down our visit, the dress code, and everything else you need to know before you go.
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7 Things to Know Before Batu Caves
1. Arrive Early for Sunrise
It’s important to arrive early if you want to beat the crowds and the sun. The walk up the Batu Caves steps isn’t bad. Yet, if you’re doing it in the heat of the day with the hot Malaysian sun blaring on you it might be a different story!
It’s good to arrive in the morning, but not too early. Check the sunrise time before going so you don’t make the walk up in the dark. We got to Batu Caves from Kuala Lumpur around 7:30am. By the time we were leaving at 9:30am the tour buses were just starting to roll in.
→ 20 Best Kuala Lumpur Tips For Exploring the Capital of Malaysia
2. Getting to Batu Caves from Kuala Lumpur
All around the city you’ll see signs for tours that run from the center to the caves. These tours are actually overpriced and not worth the money. For less (especially if you’re sharing a ride) you can use the popular car service called Grab.
This allows you to get there faster, cheaper, and on your own time. Our Grab taxi was around $9 each way, and we were able to be some of the first up the Batu Caves steps. If this is still out of your budget you can easily get to Batu Caves Malaysia by train as well.
3. Mind the Batu Caves Dress Code
Before you start your hike up the multicolored stairs, there will be someone scanning the crowds and checking to make sure everyone is dressed appropriately.
General rules apply with the Batu Caves dress code like at most other temples around the world. Honestly, if you’re questioning if you covered up enough you’re probably not.
Long dresses or pants for women, and make sure your shoulders are covered by the time you enter the Batu Caves temple.
For men t-shirts and shorts or pants will do. If you arrive at the temple and don’t have the right clothing (or length), you can rent a sarong for less than $1 USD
4. Climb the Colorful Steps
Now that you have the Batu Caves dress code down, it’s time to get to the top! To enter Batu Caves Malaysia you’ll need to climb up 272 steps.
The stairs were only recently painted these colors which was really cool to see! In reality 272 steps is not that much, but it can be a little exhausting depending on your age and fitness level.
There are big signs that it’s not advised for anyone with heart problems, so know your own limits. The Batu Caves steps will fly by as you take in the beautiful nature and stop for photos along the way!
5. Watch Out For Batu Caves Monkeys
On the walk up the one thing we weren’t prepared for was the packs of monkeys that call the Batu Caves in Malaysia home. Take care of your belongings as monkeys have a reputation of grabbing phones and bags away from people.
We did not find them aggressive, but we weren’t taking close up pictures like other tourists were. As a good rule of thumb, if they start showing their teeth and hissing it’s time to back away.
Dangerous Bites: Never ever feed a monkey or eat something in front of one. They won’t think twice about attacking you for your food!
6. Explore Inside Batu Caves Malaysia
The statue of Lord Murugan and the brightly painted steps might be what’s typically photographed at Batu Caves temple. However, don’t take what lays inside for granted.
Walking into the GIGANTIC main cave is a surreal experience. As soon as you step foot inside you’ll immediately feel the importance of where you are. Just be careful when you look up and see the bats flying overhead!
Dark Cave: On the day that we visited the dark cave was closed for renovations. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to do the 45 minute educational tour. If you’ve seen this part of Batu Caves please let us know in the comments at the bottom!
7. Respect Religion at the Batu Caves Temple
It’s very important to know that this is a place of culture and religion, not just a tourist attraction. Everyday hundreds of people make the trip up the Batu Caves steps to pay their respects and make offerings.
You will see locals carrying their offerings and dressed in traditional clothing. Please be respectful and do not disrupt their years of tradition.
Where To Stay In Kuala Lumpur
Ultra Luxury – Traders Hotel Kuala Lumpur – This ultra luxurious hotel sits right in KL park, and offers sweeping views of the Petronas Towers. From the beautiful breakfast to massive indoor swimming pool, you’ll have all the amenities you need to enjoy your stay.
Fun Vacation – The Face Suites – The suites apartments are making a huge splash in social media for their famous swimming pool that overlooks the Petronas Towers. Spend your day splashing around, and night in the comfort of your modern apartment.
Hostel Life – The Bed KLCC – This upscale pod hostel is a great jump off for the city. There is a large modern common area and single, double, or private pods available. Everything is just a quick walk or Grab taxi away!
Have any questions about Batu Caves Malaysia, or want to share your own helpful tips? Please do so in the comments below!
Brigitte & Jake
→ If you are traveling around South East Asia check out our articles on Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore & Cambodia!
Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar!
Malaysia Travel Planning
Flights: We always find deals using Skyscanner and Kayak. That’s how we got flights from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur for $40 USD, and Kuala Lumpur to Bali for less than $65!
Transportation: 12Go is what we use to book ferries, trains, buses, and transfers while traveling through Southeast Asia.
Accommodation: Compare competitive sites for hotels such as Booking.com and Agoda. Also, Hostelworld should be your go-to source if you’re traveling on a budget.
Tours: Check out Get Your Guide for activities all over Malaysia. You can book everything from a Cameron Highlands day tour to a Kuala Lumpur local street food night tour, and even a trip to the Batu Caves Temple!
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without being covered. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.
Packing Lists: Here’s all the inspiration you need with our Amazon packing lists! Including electronics and camera gear, must-have medical items, and long flight essentials!
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Can women’s can wear sleeveless dress for climbing stairs ? After entering to temple we can cover shoulders with shall,duppatta or jacket is that fine ? And long dress means it’s more than knee it’s ok to wear ryt ?
how much did it cost approx to visit?
Hi Kristin! It was actually free to enter Batu Caves. Let us know if you have any other questions (:
Yeah, grab a taxi, if the clean, safe, and reliable train is almost for free.
F the planet, am I right?
We completely understand where you’re coming from. However, to us this was a once in a lifetime experience and we wanted to make sure we were one of the first to arrive. Also, we were staying outside the city which made getting the train early in the morning difficult. We thought sharing a taxi between a group of four of us was a good solution. Have a great day!