This post is written by Katie about her second day in Kuala Lumpur during her second 2016 mileage run to Kuala Lumpur.
I slept in until 9am this morning. The dorm was surprisingly dark with the blackout curtains drawn.
This morning’s breakfast did not have pineapple, but it did have kaya spread (a local favorite!) for the bread. After breakfast I called JT over wifi before packing up my belongings and checking out. Backhome KL allowed me to leave my bag under the stairs and said I could shower when I returned if I wished!
I then headed out to catch the LTM to KL Sentral and then the KTM from KL Sentral to Batu Caves. I bought my KTM ticket – for just RM2.6 – at 11:39am and caught the 11:54 KTM train to Batu Caves. Trains were running every 30 minutes, so I was lucky to not have to wait very long.
|The KTM had female-only cars!|
While waiting for the train, I noticed that there was a female-only waiting area that was denoted with signs and pink tape as well as two (out of 6) female-only cars. As a female, I enjoyed riding in a female-only car as it provided a ‘worry-free journey’ as promised.
|The entrance of the KTM dropped you right here, near some of the smaller temples.|
The train arrived at Batu Caves at 12:24pm. It was easy to find the cave entrance by just following the crowds (or the line of vendors).
|The main temple cave us up these steps.|
There were many side caves and temples, but I headed towards the large statue and the adjacent temple cave. The climb up was not too bad, but some people were clearly struggling.
All in all, the temple cave (and the climb to it) felt touristy although I’m sure it is an important religious experience for some.
|There were many monkeys, some of which were aggressive|
The monkeys around the caves were cute – but some were really aggressive. Even though I had no food in my pack and nothing in my hands, a few reached out to swipe at me. Luckily – since rabies is a thing in Malaysia – none of them actually broke my skin. But it makes me reconsider getting the initial rabies shots before going on our long trip (to make it better if/when I do get bit or scratched).
|The Dark Cave ended up being the highlight of my trip to Batu Caves|
I opted to visit the Dark Cave on my way back down from the Temple Cave. I had read about it online, but hadn’t been convinced and went mainly because I had time and extra cash. At RM35 for a 45 minute educational conservation tour, I figured I had little to lose.
|I’m ready for my Dark Cave tour!|
I was put on the next tour as the 15th and final person – one of the benefits of traveling solo as the following tour was almost full as well! We all received flash light and helmets, as well as instructions on how to use them.
|The large opening at the farthest point on the Dark Cave tour.|
The tour was excellent! Adrian was an excellent tour guide who spoke perfect English. He was able to find many little animals in the cave, and seemed truly passionate about conservation. I’d highly recommend the tour – it was the highlight of my trip to Batu Caves by far.
|Adrian at the entrance to the Dark Cave|
I chatted with Adrian as we walked back to the cave entrance at the end of the tour. He studied environmental conservation in college, and was now working full time in the caves as a tour guide and researcher. Specifically he studies temperature differences in the cave. He wants to also study CO2 in the caves, but says they need funding to get the sensors. He said almost all of their funding comes from the tours, and they get nothing from the government. In fact, apparently Malaysia has been stripping forests and other areas of protected status so they can build roads through them! It seems like it is difficult to be a researcher in Malaysia.
I bought my return KTM ticket at 2:46pm, and boarded the waiting train. Trains were running every 45 minutes on the return, so I was happy when it left right at 3pm.
Once at KL Sentral, I took the LTR one stop past Majaid Jasmik to do the Lonely Planet Little India walking tour in reverse. Although the walk took me along an interesting shopping (mostly clothing) road, I wouldn’t go out of my way to do it.
Once back near Backhome KL I debated about what to eat for lunch. I opted for LOKL, the coffee shop next to Backhome KL (and that is owned by the same people) since I wanted a place that would be easy to navigate.
|Spanish frittata at LOKL|
I ordered a Spanish frittata since it was one of the cheaper lunch options. I came with a tangy Malaysian twist. It was really good, and the service was friendly and quick.
|The sink area in the upstairs open-air bathroom at KL Backhome.|
Backhome KL allowed me to shower after checkout, so I did so at 5:15pm. I left the hostel at 5:50pm and took the LRT to KL Sentral. JAL did not appear to be one of the airlines offering check-in and bag drop at KL Sentral, so I headed to the KL Ekspres boarding platform at 6:10pm. The KLEkspres arrived quickly and departed for its 28 minute journey at 6:16pm.