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I have a stopover in Kuala Lumpur during the day (around 8 hours). Arriving early in the morning and continuing on in the afternoon. I was considering taking the time to visit the Batu Caves, north of the city. Google Maps suggests around 1 hour and 45 minutes for the train ride from the airport to the caves, resulting in around 3 hours of train rides up and back again, one to two hours of buffer (immigration, security checks, finding gates), and one to two hours of time to visit the cave. 

The flights are on the same ticket, so I wouldn't need to collect and check-in my luggage again. I travel early August. Expected arrival 6:15, and continuing on 14:10.

My question is about the feasibility. Is the train reliable enough for such a trip? Opinions on the timeline?

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    Note that there is roughly only one train per hour, which means that you need to time things properly, or 3h30 can quickly become 5h30 to account for waiting times. This seems really tight to me. Are both your flights on the same ticket (so you you don't have to check-in again or handle your checked luggage?). What are the actual arrival/departure times, on what date?
    – jcaron
    Apr 22 at 14:42
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    Good Points. They are on the same ticket, so I would only carry my carry-on. I've updated my question.
    – Marco
    Apr 22 at 15:04
  • Not familiar with the KL transit system, but does anyone know why Google wants one to walk (or take a bus or other train) from KL Sentral to Kuala Lumpur when the train to Batu Caves apparently stops at KL Sentral?
    – jcaron
    Apr 23 at 10:29

2 Answers 2

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In a perfect world, you have about 2 hours of free time with that itinerary. KLIA is way south of KL, the Batu Caves are north of KL. There's about 70 km between the two – which doesn't mean much in KL, as it can take anywhere from one hour to 3 to go from KLIA to just KL downtown. Although there's a slightly longer route that circles around KL instead of attempting to cross it.

By train it's 2 hours one way – if you catch the KLIA Ekspres right in time. If not, add an hour buffer time. I would actually take that to come back to KLIA (fixed timing), but take a Grab to go to the Batu Caves. On the way out you get to see a little of KL, and on the way back, you can make sure you get back in time. Arrive 2 hours before departure time: departure Immigration and security checks look deceptively quick. But you will do the real security checks at the departure lounge, and depending on where your gate is, you might have to take a bus to get there. The AeroTrain, which links the main terminal to the satellite has been under reconstruction since Covid, and doesn't show any sign of progress...

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It's possible but may be a bit tight (depends on next train time, immigration clearance, etc.). I'd recommend simply taking a taxi, which isn't much more expensive than the train anyway (taxi is only 20 to 30 USD more expensive for the roundtrip AFAIR compared to the train, assuming only 1 passenger), and is about twice faster. Or when you arrive at KUL you could try to take the train and decide based on when the next train is. With the taxi you may even have the time to visit another spot e.g. Petronas Towers.

About the cave: 1 hour is typically enough unless you plan to have a meticulous visit, and there are many stairs so good luck with the carry-on. I don't know if they have a baggage holding area. It's far from the airport so I'm not optimistic about that.

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    +1. There's luggage storage at the airport, so I'd leave everything you can there. Apr 22 at 21:55
  • or ask the taxi to wait...
    – SwissFr
    Apr 24 at 8:02

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