We recently cruised from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur and back as guests of Royal Caribbean on one of their epic megaliners Quantum of the Seas. What I love about cruising is that you can do as much or as little as you like. When your ship docks in port, you have the option of staying on the ship or booking a shore excursion.
Having never been to Kuala Lumpur, I jumped at the chance to do a day of exploring. There was a whole range of excursions to choose from that included shopping, sightseeing and cultural experiences like the Batu Caves excursion we went on that also included essential city sightseeing at the Petronas Twin Towers and Kuala Lumpur Tower. I love a good view, especially in city full of palm trees – but the highlight of the tour for us was always going to be the incredible Batu Caves.
The Batu Caves are a series of spectacular 400 million year-old chambers beneath limestone hills just 30 minutes north of the city that are also the site of a Hindu temple and shrine. The first thing you’ll see is a huge statue of a Hindu God at the entrance and the steep 272 stairs that lead up to the top of the caves. The stairs aren’t just steep, they’re also super small – even my size 38 foot struggled to fit. Once at the top, the caves consist of three major caves and a bunch of smaller ones that house numerous Hindu statues and paintings.
The caves are also home to a bunch of really naughty monkeys who make the walk up the stairs both entertaining and action-packed. Don’t be tempted by the beverage and ice cream stalls and the bottom and top of the stairs – if you’re carrying any form of sugary treat, you’ll be a target. I saw a poor tourist have a monkey rip an ice cream out of her hand mid-bite and she wasn’t the only one. The monkeys were literally picking off every single person with a bottle or an ice cream in their hand. When you’re navigating the steep baby stairs in 35-degree heat in when feels like 100% humidity – a monkey jumping on your shoulder is pretty hectic and best to be avoided.
Batu Caves, Sri Subramaniam Temple, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Daily from 6am to 9pm.
How to get there:
The Batu Caves are 13km north of Kuala Lumpur. You can take Intrakota bus No 11D from the Central Market or the Cityliner bus No 69 at Jalan Pudu or jump in a taxi anywhere around the city.
We visited the Batu Caves as guest of Royal Caribbean. Royal Caribbean sails 21 of the world’s most innovative cruise ships to incredible destinations in the Caribbean, Europe, Alaska, South America, the Far East, and Australia and New Zealand. Quantum of the Seas identical sister ship Ovation of the Seas is currently being built and will be based in Australia from December 2016 for the summer season YAY!
To find out more, head to royalcaribbean.com