Cave exploration @ Gua tempurang, Ipoh, Malaysia

Wondering what to do for Chinese new year holidays….with kids….lets go cave exploring.
No trip or stay in Malaysia is complete if you have not taken a cave exploration. Luckily for us the nearest one is in Ipoh
So what are we waiting for .. come on… let’s go… buckle up….Gua Tempurang here we come…
From Penang take the Penang bridge E36 and exit towards Ipoh. Join the North South high way E1 and exit at Gopeng exit 135….follow the route to Batu gajah and plenty of road sings on the way will guide you to Jalan Gua Tempurang. The total distance is around 160 km… which you can cover in approximately 1hour 45 minutes.
The drive is so scenic…first the endless straits of Malacca….the roads  then cut through the Rocky cliffs and towering rock formations… all lining your drive path…
Once you exit on it is a village like exterior..with fields and banana trees all along..and you will see  your path directed by the sign boards. Then you land up at a dead end…which looks like a rest spot…so unassuming… even when you look at the hill in front of you … I bet you will never imagine there us a hidden 4.5 km long cave inside it.
This lime stone cave system is risen from the ocean floor and was the initial work of millions of minute sea creatures…it still is growing by the patient work of rain and the underground river flow.
The place was a hideout during the Malayan emergency and opened out to public in 1995.
At the ticketing counter you will see 4types of trips to the cave. The longest distance to public accessibility is only 1.9 km. The trips are so designed to suit your physical endurance.
The dry tours include the 40minute golden flow stone and the 1hr 45minutes long top of the world tour. The wet tours are the 2.5hrs short river adventure and the grand tour of 3.5hours….for the full length of the cave.we were not sure of the wet ride- weren’t quite prepared for a complete drench and not sure if the kids could take it… so chose the dry…. top of the world tour.
The waiting area was calm and filled with butterflies… we were lead by a tour guide to a small adjacent path..full of over grown trees… then you see this cave mouth ready to swallow you into the world of darkness with a background music of the gurgling water.
We entered in to this cool large cave mouth with the river flowing below us. A little further inside we found well lit passages and stairs laid. I guess I should say that there was no bat guano smell….or any bats we found as it is a bit too bright for them.
The winding path and the staircases lead you up to different platforms areas. The guide pauses at every junction to point out a stalactite or a stalgamite which has a sculptural feature. Sometimes shadow does the trick. Then we move to the glittering golden flow stone,a lime stone formation glittering due to embedded crystalline deposits…..indescribable… to watch the cascading  smooth rock….and not water….shining upon the touch of a flash light beam. Here ends the golden flow stone tour with a view of lion, cow, old man, seahorse formations and more..
We further went up the path watching the all the way up to the top of the world platform from which it seemed like a deep plunge ….from there starts the wet ride.  The domes are visible in the giant cavern, tin mine cavern… don’t miss the walking stick, the mermaids hair,and the eye formations.
We rested for a little while there and walked back admiring the formations get pointed out in detail and also forming new ones of our choice.
Walking in the cave it seemed like every sense of yours was being called upon….the sounds of trickling water  to the silence through which you could hear your own heart beat, the darkness with the excitement to find a few rare insects scouting around, the musty smell….in some areas versus the clear air feel, the touch of slimy calcium laden water to the rough crystalline surfaces gave us a full feel of adventure and mystery
This ever growing cave is a true wonder…with the mesmerising ‘eye’ which seemed to be watching it all…
I was amazed at how captivated my children where….who normally don’t like it when it is dark… that they were able to find new imaginative sides to each stalactite and stalgamite.
There are a few things to be pointed out…. please wear shoes with a good grip as calcium laden water tends to be slimy.. Wear comfortable , preferably water protective….there are changing rooms and bathrooms when you go outside. Carry a nylon rope and a,flash light if you are going for the wet ride.
I found a flashlight to the children was effective in keeping them active and exploring. Please protect your camera if it is not water proof… during the wet rides. The tour guide prefers to speak in Malay unless you request him to switch over to English….
So enjoy the trip…I’m looking forward to go for the grand tour at the earliest opportunity.

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