A Monkey Stole My Drink at the Batu Caves


How many steps are these? Around 250 plus? Count me in.

One of the main sites being pushed by Malaysian tourism heavily is the Batu Caves. I can’t blame them. It’s quite a nice site to visit. But be warned: it is an acquired taste. After half an hour in the metro rail and another 15 minutes in a taxi from Greater Kuala Lumpur, you’ll reach the spot of one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside India.

Batu Caves

Upon arrival, you will be welcomed with the world’s tallest statue of Murugan (Kartikeya), the Hindu god of war (often mistaken for Buddha for rookie travellers).

Remember kids, Murugan not Buddha.

This 140 feet high golden statue stands beside the lengthy staircase which is also the entrance to the caves. On the feet of this limestone giant, there is an ornate usually a flock of pigeons, endemic to the area, I suppose.

Batu Caves Pigeons

However, the pigeons aren’t the star animal attraction of this place. It’s the monkeys.

Malaysian Monkey

Look at how cute these thieving things are. Of course, we didn’t know they had an agenda at first. They just approached us, whilst we welcome them with open arms and appear as though we’re extending our hands to the less fortunate. However, it’s quick for things to turn…

Batu Caves Monkey

Batu Cave Monkey

Please sir, can I have some more?

Be wary that these monkeys are completely aware of what you are – an energy-drink-mongering tourist. And they are after your drinks (and food.) Just look at these two anthropoids eyeing my sister’s drink predatorily like the bloody primates they are.

Batu Caves Monkeys

Howbeit, after a while, we succumbed to their adorable way of living. Besides, I rather have these little things harass us, since they don’t really know what they’re doing (or do they?)

Selangor Monkey

For instance, when we did give them our drinks, they didn’t drink them directly from the can. What they did was pour the liquid on the ground and drink it from there. What the heck? What a futile way of quenching your thirst.

Drinking Monkey

Just look at this one trying to drink the dripples that went on the narrow spaces on the staircase.

Monkey Drinking

However, in all seriousness, it is not advisable for travelers to give these monkeys food or drinks because it discourages them from honing their natural hunting skills, which can be detrimental to their survival in the future. Hence, should you visit this site, it is advised to just ignore them going up. Also, be wary of the fact that they do attack if provoked. Analogous to this, any loose items you have dangling around are just as likely to be taken from you by these creatures if you’re not alert.

Batu Caves Entrance

The actual Batu Caves are a great side destination when visiting Kuala Lumpur or Selangor in general. The stairs are a must – a bit grimy, but not dangerous at all. The actual caves are filled with statues and a Hindu shrine. The place has a distinct smell that may not be pleasant to sensitive people. It’s still worth a visit though.

Batu Cave