Exiting Gua Tempurung cave system by the stream (June 2006)
Gua Tempurung is a large but commercialized cave system located at Gopeng, Perak. It stretches nearly 2km from west to east under the limestone hills of Gunung Tempurung and Gunung Gajah. It is compulsory to have a guide to bring you through the cave and there are various packages to choose from. For the young and adventurous, nothing less than the Grand Tour should be considered as this package will bring you through the whole cave system. However, potential visitors must note that the time for the Grand Tour is only from 9.00 a.m. to 11.00 a.m. due to the duration of the trek. The initial part of the trek involves walking on concrete path and staircases where the guide will point out various shapes and figurines formed by the stalactites and stalagmites, no doubt with the help of some imaginations. Credit to the cave management, much of the cave is still pretty much unspoiled and glistering specks of crystal can still be found on the limestone in the cave.
For the adventurous, the most exciting part of the tour will be the trek through the underground river. However, be prepared to get wet as the ceiling of the underground river can be quite low at certain points. This trek involves leaving the concrete path behind and sliding down a steep slope. After which you will have to squeeze through a small hole on the ground to get to the underground river. This is where the river trek begins and a working torch is mandatory as it is pitch dark in there. The monsoon season from November to March is definitely not a good time to visit this cave as the underground river may be flooded and visitors will not be able to trek through it. The low ceiling and confined space within the underground river meant that escape is almost impossible if there is a sudden flood.
Getting there from the central Ipoh is quite simple and cheap. A local bus from central Ipoh will bring you to the junction where a supposedly 2 km long road will bring you to the cave. You can give a call to the cave management to fetch you to the cave, as the road certainly seems longer than the 2 km indicated and there is no shelter.
As a casual caving trip, this is certainly a place worth visiting. The price of the tour is reasonable and the cave is quite well kept. Not many litters are found in the cave and there is very little vandalism on the walls. The guide we had speaks passable English and he did try to keep us entertained and pointed out various interesting facts and features in the cave.
*** June 2006 ***