Tall statues compete with the natural wonder of limestone cliffs poking out of an urban jungle. The Batu Caves seem like a mini Hindu Disneyland. Just as well set up for tourists as Disneyland is…it’s easy to get to by train from KL Sentral, the journey only takes about half an hour each way, and the station is right beside the entrance to these grounds.
Those steps are steep. People are simultaneously trying to climb them and avoid or take pictures of the monkeys. Just before I started climbing, I witnessed one enterprising monkey knock a plastic bag full of bananas out of a woman’s hand. The woman starts shrieking and hopping away (you’re bringing bananas to a site known for the monkeys, for goodness sake!). A man rescued the remainder of the bag and bananas, which quietened the woman, and she subsequently stuffed them into her handbag (!). Honestly, that monkey could teach the local basketball team a few moves!
Temple Cave consisted of a massive cavern, with a couple of levels. Lots of little, colourful altars. Temples at which the faithful were being blessed. Chooks and roosters strutting about. Their cages, a water spout, privy and boxes tucked behind stalagmites, were reminders of the realities that men (holy, but still mortal) live here.