The Batu Caves, located seven miles north of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside of India.
Renowned for the 140-foot gold statue of Murugan and the 272 concrete steps up to the temple caves, Batu Caves is an extremely popular tourist attraction for visitors to the Malaysian capital. The site is also known for its population of long-tailed macaque monkeys.
These monkeys are allowed to roam freely because Hindus believe the monkeys serve their gods and you are guaranteed to encounter at least one of these creatures on your way to the cave, if not several of them. And some of them are actually pretty damn cute…
But appearances can be deceiving! Extremely deceiving.
A typical macaque monkey’s diet consists of fruits. However for the residents at Batu Caves, they take whatever they can get!
Visitors to Batu Caves often feed these monkeys (sometimes without a choice!) and you’ll see them devouring a variety of treats from bananas to potato chips.
The monkey above was extremely aggressive and swiped one of his claws at a member of our group after she got too close! It was very territorial.
Another monkey was more daring, jumping out at a few Asian tourists and relieving them of their plastic bag (and the delicious coconut that was inside). As the saying goes, fortune favors the brave and this monkey certainly got his rewards.
If you are planning on visiting Batu Caves in the future, don’t look these monkeys in the eye. And don’t smile. Eye contact and the showing of teeth are signs of aggression in monkeys and they may just bite you. And for the love of god, please don’t bring any food with you!
Follow these three steps and you’ll probably leave Batu Caves unscathed after a great day of sightseeing.
Have you encountered the monkeys at Batu Caves?