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Amazing Sights at Batu Caves (plus: monkeys!)

Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur, MalaysiaI’ve seen a lot of impressive things over the course of this trip, but the entrance to Batu Caves — featuring a towering, 140 foot golden statue — is right up there.

I mean, look at that thing.

Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Then you climb up all those stairs (it’s a lot of stairs), and there’s an enormous cave with multiple temples inside.

Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

It’s pretty incredible.

Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

That’s not to mention the monkeys!

Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

There are dozens of monkeys that just hang around on the steps and near the entrance to the cave.

Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

As you can see, they were pretty much the best.

Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Even if the caves themselves weren’t spectacular (which they were), it would be worth coming here just to see the monkeys.

Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Plus, here’s some video I took of a monkey eating a banana.  Yes: I got to see a real-life monkey eating a banana, so I think it’s safe to say that my life has peaked and that it’s all downhill from here.

Monkey Madness in Nagano

Jigokudani Monkey Park in Nagano, JapanThere’s a place near Nagano called Jigokudani Monkey Park, and it gives you exactly what you’re hoping for.  So many monkeys.

Jigokudani Monkey Park in Nagano, Japan

It’s about an hour bus ride from the city — you can actually get a special pass that includes the bus fare to and from Jigokudani, and admission to the park for 3200 yen (about 36 bucks Canadian).  Best 3200 yen I ever spent.

Jigokudani Monkey Park in Nagano, Japan

Even just walking from where the bus drops you off to the park itself is surprisingly memorable, with a really scenic trail taking you through a forest of super tall pine trees.

Jigokudani Monkey Park in Nagano, Japan

Once you get to the area, you can see the steam coming off the ground from one of the natural hot springs.

Jigokudani Monkey Park in Nagano, Japan

Then you get there, and the monkeys are everywhere.  I figured there’d only be a dozen or so monkeys, but there’s gotta be at least 40 or 50.  It’s amazing.

Jigokudani Monkey Park in Nagano, Japan

They’re all just hanging out; walking around, grooming each other, chillin’ in the hot tub.

Jigokudani Monkey Park in Nagano, Japan

Here’s a mother cuddling with her kid.

Jigokudani Monkey Park in Nagano, Japan

After a while, the kid suddenly angled himself butt-up towards his mom, and without missing a beat, she started grooming him.

Jigokudani Monkey Park in Nagano, Japan

More grooming.

Jigokudani Monkey Park in Nagano, Japan

And I guess because these monkeys have spent their whole lives surrounded by gawking tourists, we’re just a part of the landscape to them.  It’s like we’re not even there.

Jigokudani Monkey Park in Nagano, Japan

You can get surprisingly close to them, and they’ll completely ignore you.

Jigokudani Monkey Park in Nagano, Japan

And they’re amazing.  I mean, look at them.  They look like tiny little people wearing fur coats.  They’re almost absurdly adorable.

Jigokudani Monkey Park in Nagano, Japan

Suffice it to say, if you’re in Japan and you’re anywhere even close to the vicinity of Nagano, you’ve gotta go see the monkeys.  It’s amazing.

Jigokudani Monkey Park in Nagano, Japan