I took the directions I received from my Couchsurfer the old fashioned way (the back of a receipt) and strolled down to the bus stop. It was a beautiful morning in Kuala Lumpur; not too hot and certainly not too humid. Messages are being read out to the public via loudspeakers attached on nearby mosques. All of the words that I was unable to understand echoed off nearby buildings, turning them into a harmony of droning syllables. I eventually made it to my bus stop, and luck would have it: it arrived straight away! I boarded the bus and saw that the fare was RM1 (0.19p/¢0.30). Cheap! But alas I didn’t have any change and the bus driver tried to hurry me off the bus. Right at this moment, my knight in shining armour saved the day by proclaiming: “It’s only RM1!” and paid my fare. Lovely chap indeed.
The ticketing system at the train station was confusing. It was a local station so it didn’t have any fancy ticket machines, but rather a hole in a box where a man sat hugging his fan. I told him I wanted to go to Batu Caves but he said no. Hmm… I tried again and showed him the directions my Couchsurfer gave me, but again he said no. I looked up at a small TV monitor which showed the train schedule and sure enough, the next arriving train was heading to Batu Caves. I pointed towards it, and he scribbled something on a piece of paper and took some of my money. I was worried, but didn’t have much time as the train arrived so I jumped on board. Luckily for me, whatever he scribbled worked.
I finally arrived at Batu Caves, and saw that it was a major tourist attraction. Floods of confused looking people holding cameras walked around, looking as if they either lost their direction in life or that they were overwhelmed with the place. I walked past a small temple where they were holding a wedding. I’m no wedding crasher but I was curious so I took my shoes off and joined in for a little while, taking photos as I tried to blend in. A few minutes later, the party was too much for me so I moved on.
At the base of the steps stood a huge statue of Murugan, a Hind deity. Now I understood why all the other tourists brandishing cameras looked overwhelmed. This thing was massive and loomed over me. If this thing got angry, it could squash me like an ant.
Going up the steps was tiresome, but also amusing to watch hungry monkeys snatch flowers out of a woman’s hair. The view of Kuala Lumpur from the top was partially stunning, partially Murugan’s head. I went into the caves but was slightly disappointed. All that work up the stairs led me to souvenir shops and metal railings. There were things to see, but there wasn’t much else to experience. I walked around for a mere few minutes before heading down back the stairs to watch a music video being filmed.
You can take the KTM Komuter to Batu Caves station from KL Sentral station. It’s slow but cheap.
If you’re near a place called Titiwangsa, you can take a bus to Batu Caves.