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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Batu Caves

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

If you take one of the KL
train lines to its final stop,
you can visit the Batu Caves.

It is a limestone hill said to
be 400 million years old.

It is one of the most popular
Hindu shrines outside of India.

To reach the caves you must
climb an extremely long
series of concrete steps.

At first you will admire the
statues, like this gathering
of Ganeshas.

Very quickly though, the intense
Malaysian heat begins to overcome
you.  Don't worry about that though,
you will have a new distraction.
Notice the little figure on the
5th step in this picture.
Yup, monkeys.

At first glance, you will think
awwww, how cute is this
monkey with his coconut.

All too soon you realize the monkeys
get most of their food by stealing
items from unsuspecting visitors.
We know this from experience,
one of them snuck through an
opening in the railing and grabbed
a bag Rob had in his hand.  Rob
held tight and pulled it back but
we have heard tales of the monkeys
stealing cell phones and purses too.

Eventually, you reach the top
of the steps and enter the cave.
Since "Go Spelunking" is never
going to be on my Bucket List,
I was happy to see there was
an opening in the cave and we
could still see the sky.

Inside were a variety
of shrines

and cave temples.

And more stairs and monkeys.
Figuring the acoustics would be
quite interesting inside the cave,
when a monkey started to approach
me I didn't want to disturb the
other visitors to the shrine.
So, I stamped my foot at the monkey,
he sat back, gave me a long look and
rolled his eyes.  Imagine the attitude
of a 14 year old American teenager...

As we were exiting the cave,
someone said, "Hey, who wants
to go to the dark cave now?"
Yeah... that's me, in the pink shirt,
just about running down the steps.

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