After our visit to Taiping Zoo last week, we proceed our journey to Gua Tempurung (= coconut shell cave).
Gua Tempurung is a series of caves and chambers famous for its beautiful gallery of stalagmites, stalactites and other amazing limestone formations. Believed to have existed since 8000 B.C., Gua Tempurung is probably the largest natural limestone cave in Malaysia. The stones inside the cave has likeness to animals, deities and mythic creatures.. Situated near Gopeng, the cave stretches for 1.6 km with its cave river. It is made up of 5 huge domes whose ceilings resemble coconut shells. It is accessible from the North South Highway by exiting the Gopeng Interchange approximately 25 km south of Ipoh.
Histories of Gua Tempurung :
-1950 to 1960 : Used by the communists as a hideout.
-early 1970's : Mining for tin at the Gergasi Chamber.
-1998 : Opened as a show cave.
Gua Tempurung is rather commercialized, most of the trails have paths & stairs to ease the hike, which made explorations easier but less exciting. I didn’t bring a tripod stand, so I have a hard time taking the picture under the dim light.. have to hold the camera steady with my hands..(cos of the long exposure time). Luckily I don't have shaky hands, hahah.. or else the pictures will turn out to be blurry. After taking all those shots, my hands were tired.. :P
One can choose between the 4 tours of different length, duration & difficulties.
1) Golden Flowstone Tour (dry tour)
2) Top of the World Tour (dry tour)
3) Top of the World & River Adventure Tour (wet tour)
4) The Grand Tour (wet tour)
We went for the Top of the World tour (tilll Platform 5) since I didn't prepare to get wet. The Top of the World trip is the the highest point of the main passage and it allows us to reach the ceilings of the marbled cave. Tiring, (but more to feeling hot & sweating +++) cos have to climb through several hundreds steps of staircase. I saw quite a number of people turning back half way cos they were exhausted.
There was a wind tunnel between the caves. whereby the hot air meet the cold air from the cave.. Instant relief from the heat..(sweating plus plus earlier on..) How cooling.. Very syiok to feel the cool breeze ;)
Whilst the Top of the World tour ends, we returned using the same path. For those who are more adventurous (& prepared to get wet), there is the more adventurous tour (River adventure tour) which returns through the river in the lower level.
Hahaha, we were the last two to exit the cave.. We are very enthutiastic people ;) Others who came in together with us have left long time ago.. When we reached the car park, the car park was almost empty and there were only 3 cars left there.. The car park was very full when we arrived earlier on.