Monday, May 08, 2006

Gua Tempurung, Perak

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.


JoeC said...

Hey Doc! How are you doing!? ahh, how every educational.. caves.... not much exp on caves, only been to batu caves once..... say, do the cave smell? i heard tat they do from bats lei. Nice pixs too. Cheers!

jonboy60 said...

Hey, do u noe taiping there got mountain also? "taping san"(kantonis)... hehehe

Selba said...

A little bit scary, no? Maybe because it's too tight and small? and also the lightning not enough?

Pandabonium said...

Fantastic, Chen. I've been through caves in Colorado and Australia and coconut shell cave looks just as beautiful. It is great that such places get protection from people who would break off a "souvenir" and ruin them, yet at the same time allow a lot of people to enjoy the formations.

Awesome. Thanks.

Chen said...

I'm doing fine :) Thanks.

I never been to Batu Caves yet.. Been to lotsa caves in Ipoh & Gua Kelam in Perlis besides Gua Tempurung. Haha, one thing.. I haven't been to Niah Caves & Mulu Caves Nor Fairy Caves in Sarawak yet :P

There are bats inside,but the caves doesn't smell.. (there are areas that I haven't explore yet..). Just that it's hot & humid :)

hahha.. notti lah u :) Luckily I know that Taping Shan (太平山) is in Hong Kong :P

scary? no lah.. as long as u don't go in by yourself in the middle of the night :D We can always bring our own torchlight for extra lighting :) I brought mine.. but hardly used it..

Haha, the souvenir I took from Gua Tempurung is just photo. Photo, photo & photo.. nothing else ;)

Robin said...

Wah.. so nice,

I like cave, the chill, the thrill and the fear..

YD said...

fantastic pictures! i m planning to go there again, i only vaguely remember my last trip was like 6 years ago...
and i still remembered one of my friend got stung by scorpion. ouch!

thnx for sharing wor!

Kristopher said...

cave? i don like a errie feeling everytime i go into the cave, like lost my way, seeing "things" etc etc....

Chuang Shyue Chou said...

Those are great photos. What did you use to take them?

L B said...

I wanna become Batman... and have my own in-cave swimming pool... heated, of course.

Chen said...

interested to pay Gua Tempurung a visit? might be u can join the River Adventure Tour or the Grand Tour.. I didn't join that cos i don't want to get wet.. or else, there goes my camera (mine is not water proof camera )

6 years ago? That was long... Now the lighting is better.. I went there once before.. but that time the place was very dim.. now it's much better :)

stung by scorpion?

Chen said...

Lost your way? This is one major concern especially in certain caves which were not well litted. But if there's a tour guide going alone, then, it's alright :)

aiyak.. seeing things ah? Everywhere also can see "things" one lah.. not necessarily inside the cave :P

chuang sc,
Thanks.. I use my "old" Minolta Dimage Z2 to take those picture. I have a post & picture about my "beloved toys" in my previous digital camera post. :)

wah.. so syiok one this Batman.. really knows how to enjoy life :P But I scared that later all the bats will want to share the swimming pool with u ;)

Daniel Yiek said...

Nice pics! have been to several caves and after a while, it becomes monotonus with stalatites/mites & streams. The Waitomo Caves in North Island (NZ) is fascinating with glow worms in the ceiling of caves. Batu caves in KL is interesting becos of the religious stuff & the long flight of stairs

Winn said...

this reminds me for that movie i watched last year..
abt gua oso.
wat name har???????????

Chen said...

Thanks :) It's nice to explore nature after seeing the concrete buildings surrounding us days & nights.. A change in the atmosphere. But of course, if going there too frequent, then it's different stories :)

Talking about caves, I'm Sarawakian but I've never visit the Niah Caves, Mulu Caves nor Fairy Caves yet.. :P I have lotsa friends over here asking me regarding Mulu Caves but my answer disappointed them.. cos I never been there yet ;)

movie ah? I seldom or hardly watch movies leh.. So I can't help u.. I know there is one Malay movie by the name Gunung Ledang loh.. the Gua related movie ah? No Eye Deer.. Oops.. should be No Idea :D

may said...

cool caves. I passed them by a couple of times when I had to do an outdoor project for a friend of mine, but I never went inside to have a look. hmmmm... I'm not too keen on caves though, somehow the bat droppings and weird lighting just doesn't appeal to me as much as bright sunshine and a wide open field...

a^ben said...

the last pic of the stairs.. reminds me of the game "biohazard" hahahahah` suddenly zombie come out how?!?!?! hahah :P

Chen said...

Haha, okie :) U been to Gua Kelam in Perlis befor? After walking through the dark caves (with water flowing underneath.. this one sounds nice, right?), you will see ‘"light at the end of the tunnel" and hoolah.. the scene ahead is something totally different !! There is a beautiful park awaiting ahead :D Really amazing :)

aiyak.. why u think of zombie? :P Nothing better to think of meh? hahaha..

That is the staircase for those who wants to proceed further.. I mean taking the River Adventure tour.. The staircase is very steep & it's dark.. making it eerie :P A torchlight is a must if one wants to proceed further ;)

Wilson said...

wow, i just love exploring cave, climbing mountain and all thouse stuff. Doc, next time must bring me go ya? ;)

Cynthia said...

fulamak! so many pictures. i dun dare to bring my camera along.. in case drop it somewhere in the cave. =)
nice pictures Cikgu Chen, by the way

Chen said...

yeah.. I noticed those posts from your blog :) Have u explored Niah Caves or Mulu Caves or Fairy Caves? I haven't... & interested to do so one of these days in the future :D

Bring u there ah? If the schedule is ok, then no problem ;)

how about calling me Professor instead?
kakkaa... I'm not perasan..
just kidding nia..

hahah.. I hang my camera on my neck.. so for sure, it won't drop down inside the cave.. I also hang my torch light on my neck ;) Very secure one...

slurp! said...

no tripod? just use somebody shoulder lor :)

hmm ... i thought the mulu caves are the largest? wah ... this cave looks very spacious inside. not too fond of caves, becoz I dun want to be a caveman again hahahaha ...

Pink Cotton said...

i have a phobia of caves bcos of BAD SHID -_-""

Chen said...

use somebody's shoulder? I rather use my hands then.. at least my hands are more stable, hahaha :D

Dunno about Mulu caves ah... never been there yet :) I will definitely go there sometime later on in the future.. Dunno when :D The times will come, hahah...

pink cotton,
How about wearing a cap? ;)

Winn said...

ahaha..u har!


Chen said...

me wicked?
got meh? where got? :P

I thought I'm the innocent one?
or should be.. we are the innocent one? <--- I still remember this.. u sendiri yang cakap punya, hahhaa.

Thao said...

Beautiful, abit similar to the caves in Halong Bay in VN...Caves always gave me a certain excitement and mysterious ;-)

Chen said...

Heheh.. yeah, caves are always mysterious cos we don't know what lies ahead.. furthermore if it's dark inside there.. with bats flying around..

Chuang Shyue Chou said...

Where's the balrog?

Where's Gandalf?

I don't see any orcs either!

Alicia said...

i went for the river and top of the world tour xD

Chen said...

chuang sc,
hahaha.. I'm pretty glad I didn't see those weird creatures inside the caves :D or else... I have to run away ASAP !!

that's cool.. I won't bring my camera along if I plan to join that river tour in the future :D

Robin said...

I have been to Gua Tempurung.

Not too bad indeed!!

day-dreamer said...

I feel very malu.

People come down all the way from Penang just to visit this Gua Tempurung. I stay in Ipoh, and yet I have never been to this cave before.


Chen said...

not too bad means = good? :D

day dreamer,
cos u stay in Ipoh & u see so many "tong" or caves in Ipoh liao.. so u "lost interest" in caves? hehehe... :P

Jackie Hunter said...

Excellent Photos :o)

Chen said...

jackie hunter,
thanks for dropping by :)
Glad u like the photos :)