Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur
10km north of Kuala Lumpur, in Selangor province, lie the mystical Batu Caves. Set in a limestone hill, the caves are believed to be around 400 million years old.
Eight crags offer over 170 different routes. Damai Wall is suitable for beginners; in contrast, Nyamuk Wall, Nanyang Wall and Comic Wall are characterised by longer and more technical routes, including challenging overhangs.
Climbing in Batu Caves is free. However, if you’re new to the game, consider operators like Vertical Adventure (vertical-adventure.com). There’s also an equipment rental counter on site.
The cave complex is home to ancient temples and Hindu shrines. The main attraction, Temple Cave, sits at the top of the hill, and can be accessed via a whopping 272 steps.
How to get there
Via car or taxi from Kuala Lumpur; the caves are situated beside the MRR2 highway. Alternatively, there’s a KTM Komuter train service from KL Sentral station.
Adventurers who enjoy the convenience of being close
to a big city.
Cat Ba Island, Halong Bay
The largest island in Halong Bay, Cat Ba is a lush, rugged paradise for rock climbers. It’s also home to a beautiful national park that was established in 1986.
The main crag, Butterfly Valley, offers over 60 climbs to choose from. If you’re looking to really push your limits, Ben Beo Wall, which towers over the island’s main fishing harbour, features more challenging routes.
You’ll need a pass (US$1 to US$3 per day) to climb at most areas on Cat Ba. Get one from Asia Outdoors (www.asiaoutdoors.com.vn), which also organises tours and equipment rentals.
Go trekking in Cat Ba National Park, home to the endangered golden-headed langur. Or embark on a boat tour around Halong Bay to admire the limestone formations.
How to get there
Hoang Long Bus Company (hoanglongasia.com) offers transport to Dinh Vu port from Hanoi. Thereafter, board a 40-minute ferry to Cat Ba Island.
Climbing enthusiasts looking to immerse themselves in island life.
This article was originally published in the June 2017 issue of Silkwinds magazine