The Batu Caves of Kuala Lumpur

The Batu Caves, located at the Gombak District north of Kuala Lumpur, is one of the most visited tourist spots in Malaysia. According to Wikipedia, the limestone hill forming Batu Caves is said to be around 400 years old.

Inside the Batu Cave, Kuala Lumpur

*The cave is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside India, dedicated to Lord Murugan. It is also the focal point of the Hindu festival of Thaipusam in Malaysia. (*Excerpt from Wikipedia)

From the Kuala Lumpur station of KTMB Railway, you can take a 30-minute train ride direct to Batu Caves for only RM1 (US$ .33 cents). The ride back is RM2 (US$ .66 cents).

Train to Batu Caves

A 42.7m high statue of Lord Murugan, the tallest in the world, greets every visitor to the Batu Caves.

Entrance to the Batu Caves

272 steps all the way up! Not really as bad as it looks.

 

Stairs going up the Main Temple

Beware of these mischievous monkeys! They grabbed a few snacks and made some children cry.

 

Wild monkeys guarding the steps to Batu Caves

It’s very cool inside the cave, a respite from the heat outside. It was two weeks before Thaipusam when we visited the cave. Since more than a million devotees visit this popular Hindu shrine during the festival, some temple staff have started to put metal guards inside the cave for crowd control.

 

Metal guards in preparation for Thaipusam

More photos inside the cave.

An old Indian lady sits and waits inside the cave. In exchange for a few ringgit, she would put some white or red powder on the forehead while whispering prayers of peace and blessings.

On the way down, we saw devotees carrying milk pots as offering to Lord Murugan. We were able to catch the Thaipusam Festival in Penang where devotees do more than carry milk pots. More on Thaipusam on my future blog post!

If you have a few hours to kill while in Kuala Lumpur, I would recommend visiting the Batu Caves. The train ride is so cheap, no entrance fee to the caves and you get a glimpse of the Indian culture up close.

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The Marble Mountain of Da Nang

Welcome to the Marble Mountain, Da Nang

On the 6th day of our pleasant stay in Hoi An, we extended our motorbike rental for another day to see the Marble Mountain. We dare not take the bus again after the annoying incident which happened the last time we went to Da Nang.

The street leading to the entrance of Marble Mountain

You’ll know you’ve reached the place when you see the street with the stalls selling all kinds of marble figures. Buddha, dragons, tigers.. name it! Everything you can think of, made of marble. What do you expect? Welcome to Marble Mountain!

Whew! Climbing the steps leading to the pagoda was tiring!

The entrance fee is 15,000 dong (US $.85). Be ready to climb cemented steps to see the caves and pagodas.

Steps going up the Marble Mountain

There were several vendors selling cold drinks if you get thirsty from your trek up the mountain. Thanks to sponsored concrete seats scattered all around, you can enjoy your drink and have a good rest too!

I'm not a Buddha but a beautiful and graceful apsara =p

It took us the whole afternoon to explore all the caves, pagodas and altars all around the sacred mountain.

I think I'll just wait outside..

Inside one of the caves

The temperature inside the cave drops a bit. A relief from the humid afternoon.

Natural light source brighten the caves

Buddhas were all over the place!

Round and happy Buddha

Buddha on a lotus flower

Meditating Buddha

More Buddhas!

A panoramic view of Da Nang from the Marble Mountain reward the one who sweat it out.

 

Da Nang from Marble Mountain

We saw China Beach from afar so we decided to drive there to see the beautiful beach up close.

On the way to China Beach, here’s what we saw on the main road.. Cows! We have to stop to take photos.

We saw local men collecting seashells when we arrived China Beach. They sell it for 3,000 dong per can.

A last look of Marble Mountain from China Beach before heading back to Hoi An.