If you’re a spelunker, then maybe Gua Tempurung in Gopeng, Perak, is not foreign to you but if you’re new to caving activities and is looking for a cave to explore, Gua Tempurung should be one of your destination in Peninsular Malaysia. Gua Tempurung is not be as big as Gua Niah or Gua Mulu in Sarawak, which is just perfect for beginners!
Thanks to Gaya Travel and Tourism Perak, I was able to experience this largest natural limestone cave in Peninsular Malaysia. I may not be a caving enthusiast but I’ve heard of Gua Tempurung’s splendor from friends and their excellent experiences and thought of checking it out myself. Happily, I was not disappointed.
History of Gua Tempurung
According to our guide, Gua Tempurung is estimated to be about 400 million years. Think. It takes a lot of work and a long long time for Gua Tempurung to look like it is now. He said that in order for it to be as it is today, the entire area of Kinta Valley will have to be fully covered by sea. Millions, if not billions of organisms die and then compressed in the ocean floor so that limestone can be formed. After many years, with giant movements of the earth’s crust, the ocean floor is then uplifted.
Flowing water, small rivers and rain are some of the elements that changes the limestone rock, turning some places to chimneys or caving sinkholes. Calcium carbonate that are mixed with water from the limestone rock will harden together at a very very slow rate to create the stalagmites and stalactites – they grow at a rate of 1 inch in about 250 years. Hence, you must not touch or break the tip of an active stalactite or you will stop it’s growth.
About Gua Tempurung
Gua Tempurung is a limestone cave that stretches over 1.3 kilometres. Located about 24 kilometres from the town of Ipoh, it is located in the vicinity of Gopeng, Perak. There are quite a number of active stalactites and stalagmites in this cave, some forming crystallized colors. Part of Gua Tempurung is developed into show cave where electric lightings and walkways are set up to make it easier to explore the cave.
As you take your time exploring the cave, you must make sure to look up as well to check out the domes. Gua Tempurung is made up of 5 huge domes resembling coconut shells – where the name “Tempurung” was derived from. What makes Gua Tempurung a speleological wonder is that each domes have different calcium formations and there are also marble that exists with different temperature and water levels. The colors also differs according to the temperatures.
Apart from limestones, there are other deposits in Gua Tempurung such as marble, tin and other minerals. Many years ago, there were some small-scale tin mining done here too. During the Malayan Emergency, communist guerillas also used this cave as their hideout.
Gua Tempurung is also a resting place for bats so, if you wouldn’t want to have guano on your head, look out for bats or just put on a cap for protection.
Our group only did the Tour 2 package, so what we did was view some amazing rock formations, went through the wind tunnel and climbed 640 steps to the end of point 2. We were drenched in sweat but it was well worth it!
Rules and Regulations
Just like every other natural attraction places you go to, there are always rules and regulations to adhere to. Most importantly, make sure you’re accompanied by a ranger when you enter the cave, no matter how experienced you are in caving. Caves are dark, wet and its just an accident waiting to happen. In saying that, make sure you’ve got an appropriate attire on.
Some people have itchy fingers and can’t help vandalising the cave or the facilities nearby. Please don’t do this. The bamboos, stones, railings and everything here should be protected and kept well. Let the changes to the cave be done naturally by the river in the cave in due time.
Gua Tempurung Tours
There are 4 types of tours available at Gua Tempurung.
Tour 1 : Golden Flowstone
Duration : 40 minutes
Time : 9am – 4pm (last tour at 4pm)
Fees : RM6 (adult), RM2.50 (children), RM3 (senior)
What you get : Easy level. Will view the Golden Flowstone, the stalagmites and stalactites of the cave, you can see some images on the wall like lion, seahorse, old man, woman’s hair, dolphin and many more.
Tour 2 : Top Of The World
Duration : 1 hour 45 minutes
Time : 9am – 3pm (last tour at 3pm)
Fees : RM9 (adult), RM4.50 (children), RM3 (senior). Minimum 5 adults in group.
What you get : You will have walked 640 steps by the end of the second level. Pass the Wind Tunnel where wind comes from 4 direction of the cave. You will pass many caverns before arriving at the last point where you’ll see a rainbow of colours from sunshine reflected off the cave walls.
If you’re more of an adventurous type, you may choose Tour 3 or Tour 4 for a Dry and Wet Tour of the cave.
Tour 3 : Top Of The World & Short River Adventure
Duration : 2 hour 30 minutes
Time : 9am – 12pm (last tour 12pm)
Fees : RM11 (adult), RM6 (child & seniors). Minimum 8 adults in group.
What you get : You will go through the levels of Tour 1 and 2 and then descend 230 steps and get into the underground river. Crawl through holes and sliding between stones before being greeted by the greenery outside.
Tour 4 : Grand Tour
Duration : 3 hour 30 minutes
Time : 9am – 11am (last tour 11am)
Fees : RM22 (adult), RM11 (child), RM6 (seniors). Minimum 8 adults in group.
What you get : This is the most physically-challenging tour out of all. You will be wading through chest-level waters, crawl through holes, climb almost vertical walls and slide down slipper stones. You’ll see glittering crystal-covered walls, crystallized stalagmites and many more. Return journey will be entirely through the underground river.
For tours 1 and 2 : Wear appropriate attire, something sporty (long or short pants) will do. You’ll sweat a lot in the cave since you will be climbing up stairs and the air in there can be slightly hot and sticky. You need cameras that can take photos at low-light condition. You may bring torch-light but that is also provided by your guide.
For tours 3 and 4 : Bring extra clothing and towel to change into after the wet session of the tour. Also bring waterproof camera or waterproof bags for your electronic gadgets.
APT Consortium Sdn Bhd 8A Laluan Rokam 15, Pekan Razaki, 31350 Ipoh, Perak. Operating Time : 9:00am - 4:00pm Tel : +605 - 3591561 Mobile : +6016 - 511 0623 Website : www.gtoc.asia