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Title: BEHOLD! The Temple's Guardian
Location: Perak Tong Limestone Cave, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
Date: 5 June 2009, 11:31am
Camera: Nikon D60 with Aperture: f/5.6, ISO Equiv.: 200

Look at those scary eyes! Earlier, I was followed by a black vicious looking mongrel. But, that dogie was wagging its tail non-stop - FRIENDLY.

Title: HAPPY
Location: Perak Tong Limestone Cave, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
Date: 5 June 2009, 9:05am
Camera: Nikon D60 with Aperture: f/5.0, ISO Equiv.: 1600

This picture was painted on the wall of the cave. There were lots of cave painting drawn by numerous artist. Simply AMAZING!

Title: To Heaven & Beyond
Location: Perak Tong Limestone Cave, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
Date: 5 June 2009, 9:39am
Camera: Nikon D60 with Aperture: f/3.8, ISO Equiv.: 1600

I think the deities were on their way to heaven. Strange....the ladies scarfs were all linked together.

Title: The Deity on the Cave Wall
Location: Perak Tong Limestone Cave, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
Date: 5 June 2009, 9:39am
Camera: Nikon D60 with Aperture: f/5.3, ISO Equiv.: 1600

Words cannot describe the beauty of these cave art.

Title: The Pied Piper of Perak Tong
Location: Perak Tong Limestone Cave, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
Date: 5 June 2009, 9:36am
Camera: Nikon D60 with Aperture: f/3.5, ISO Equiv.: 1600

I guess the deities were attracted to the melody of pipa.

Title: I will Follow you
Location: Perak Tong Limestone Cave, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
Date: 5 June 2009, 9:39am
Camera: Nikon D60 with Aperture: f/5.3, ISO Equiv.: 1600

A close-up shot.

Title: Hey! It's Harry Potter!!!
Location: Perak Tong Limestone Cave, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
Date: 5 June 2009, 9:12am
Camera: Nikon D60 with Aperture: f/5.3, ISO Equiv.: 1600

A flying God with a broomstick! I think J.K Rowling got her inspiration from this cave painting :)

Title: Bless
Location: Perak Tong Limestone Cave, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
Date: 5 June 2009, 9:25am
Camera: Nikon D60 with Aperture: f/4.0, ISO Equiv.: 1600

This cave painting was located at the back of the Golden Buddha statue. The character seems to be floating on the clouds! AWESOME :)

Title: In deep Thought
Location: Perak Tong Limestone Cave, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
Date: 5 June 2009, 9:42am
Camera: Nikon D60 with Aperture: f/3.5, ISO Equiv.: 1600

An interesting piece of cave art. The man seems to be in deep thought. On the other hand, he seems to be sound asleep. Funny looking man with long eyebrows.

Title: A MASTERPIECE
Location: Perak Tong Limestone Cave, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
Date: 5 June 2009, 9:30am
Camera: Nikon D60 with Aperture: f/5.0, ISO Equiv.: 1600

The cave wall was uneven but smooth. Credit goes to the artist. Long beard and elaborate costume.

Title: SEARCH & DESTROY
Location: Perak Tong Limestone Cave, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
Date: 5 June 2009, 9:11am
Camera: Nikon D60 with Aperture: f/4.2, ISO Equiv.: 1600

A fatal blow to the devil by one of the Four Heavenly Kings - the protectors of the world and fighters of evil.

Title: Back to HELL!
Location: Perak Tong Limestone Cave, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
Date: 5 June 2009, 9:10am
Camera: Nikon D60 with Aperture: f/4.5, ISO Equiv.: 1600

The devil was sent back to hell by the Four Heavenly Kings. There are at least 6 different version of Four Heavenly kings around the world. The Four kings in Malaysia normally has devils pinned to the ground.

Title: Good Over Evil
Location: Perak Tong Limestone Cave, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
Date: 5 June 2009, 9:09am
Camera: Nikon D60 with Aperture: f/4.2, ISO Equiv.: 1600

A devil admitting defeat on the leg of the Heavenly King.

Title: Unleash the Power of Music
Location: Perak Tong Limestone Cave, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
Date: 5 June 2009, 9:29am
Camera: Nikon D60 with Aperture: f/4.8, ISO Equiv.: 1600

In the Buddhist faith, the Four Heavenly Kings (四天王) are four guardian Gods, each of whom watches over one cardinal direction of the world. This is 持国天 or Dhataraṭṭha - “Watcher of the Lands” on the east. They reside in the Cāturmahārājika heaven (Pāli Cātummahārājika, "Of the Four Great Kings") on the lower slopes of Mount Sumeru, which is the lowest of the six worlds of the devas of the Kāmadhātu.

Title: Cave Buddha
Location: Perak Tong Limestone Cave, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
Date: 5 June 2009, 9:29am
Camera: Nikon D60 with Aperture: f/4.5, ISO Equiv.: 1600

This Golden Buddha is BEAUTIFUL! Buddha was surrounded with lots of ancient cave painting. Some of these cave art has Chinese words. Regretted being a banana not knowing Chinese. I really wanna read the content of the writings.

Title: Journey to The West - A Pit Stop
Location: Perak Tong Limestone Cave, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
Date: 5 June 2009, 9:50am
Camera: Nikon D60 with Aperture: f/4.5, ISO Equiv.: 1600

Buddhist monk Xuánzàng was given task by Bodhisattva Guānyīn to make a pilgrimage to India during the Táng dynasty in order to obtain Buddhist religious texts called sutras. I guess Xuánzàng and his friends pay a short visit to Perak Tong :)

Title: Risk Your Life
Location: Perak Tong Limestone Cave, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
Date: 5 June 2009, 10:00am
Camera: Nikon D60 with Aperture: f/4.5, ISO Equiv.: 200

The renovated pathway to the peak of the cave was NARROW & TWISTED! The gigantic rock on the left was 90% detached from the cave wall.

Title: The Limestone
Location: Perak Tong Limestone Cave, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
Date: 5 June 2009, 10:19am
Camera: Nikon D60 with Aperture: f/5.6, ISO Equiv.: 200

Erosion of limestone surfaces caused by wind-driven rain.

Title: The Inscription
Location: Perak Tong Limestone Cave, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
Date: 5 June 2009, 10:09am
Camera: Nikon D60 with Aperture: f/5.6, ISO Equiv.: 140

My mouth was wide open gaping for an answer - banana scratching his head trying to 'decrypt' the message :) This Chinese word was painted on the upper level of the cave. It is HUGE!!!

Title: DETOUR
Location: Perak Tong Limestone Cave, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
Date: 5 June 2009, 10:26am
Camera: Nikon D60 with Aperture: f/5.0, ISO Equiv.: 200

There are three different pathways to explore. This pathway lead to the green coloured Kuan Yin statue. The second pathway is located at the back of the yellow coloured monastery. The third pathway leads to the bottom of the cave. I skipped the last pathway because it was overgrown with shrubs and seems to be deserted.

Title: Serene & Peaceful
Location: Perak Tong Limestone Cave, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
Date: 5 June 2009, 10:24am
Camera: Nikon D60 with Aperture: f/5.6, ISO Equiv.: 100

This statue was placed on the mid level of the cave. Look like Goddess of Mercy - Kuan Yin.

Title: Step By Step
Location: Perak Tong Limestone Cave, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
Date: 5 June 2009, 10:18am
Camera: Nikon D60 with Aperture: f/5.0, ISO Equiv.: 200

It was a tiring climb to the peak. Fortunately, there are numerous rest point.

Title: This Way UP
Location: Perak Tong Limestone Cave, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
Date: 5 June 2009, 10:21am
Camera: Nikon D60 with Aperture: f/3.5, ISO Equiv.: 200

Long and winding stairs up to the peak.

Title: ENDLESS
Location: Perak Tong Limestone Cave, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
Date: 5 June 2009, 10:33am
Camera: Nikon D60 with Aperture: f/5.6, ISO Equiv.: 100

Flight of concrete stairs to the peak of the cave.

Title: UP, UP & AWAY!
Location: Perak Tong Limestone Cave, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
Date: 5 June 2009, 10:10am
Camera: Nikon D60 with Aperture: f/5.6, ISO Equiv.: 100

This is the pathway leading to the highest peak of the cave. This manmade extension is partially hidden behind the yellow coloured monastery.

Title: FINALLY!
Location: Perak Tong Limestone Cave, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
Date: 5 June 2009, 11:08am
Camera: Nikon D60 with Aperture: f/5.6, ISO Equiv.: 110

A well deserved rest at the second highest viewpoint. Strong wind was blowing from all direction - COOL :)

Title: Rooftop View
Location: Perak Tong Limestone Cave, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
Date: 5 June 2009, 10:56am
Camera: Nikon D60 with Aperture: f/8.0, ISO Equiv.: 100

This picture was taken at the second highest viewpoint in Perak Tong limestone cave.

Title: The Highest Viewpoint
Location: Perak Tong Limestone Cave, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
Date: 5 June 2009, 10:43am
Camera: Nikon D60 with Aperture: f/6.3, ISO Equiv.: 100

The highest viewpoint is 200m from here.

Title: Bird's Eye View
Location: Perak Tong Limestone Cave, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
Date: 5 June 2009, 11:06am
Camera: Nikon D60 with Aperture: f/7.1, ISO Equiv.: 100

This picture was captured at the highest peak of the cave by zooming in my camera lens. The view was simply amazing. You can see endless horizon from here - the mountains, the highway and Ipoh city.

Title: Perak Tong Limestone Cave Temple
Location: Perak Tong Limestone Cave, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
Date: 5 June 2009, 8:55am
Camera: Nikon D60 with Aperture: f/5.6, ISO Equiv.: 100

There is a small shop selling some snacks and drinks. Next to the stall, there is an AV room. I was finishing my two cans of soft drinks, when a guy opened that AV room. I was shocked!!! There is a complete karaoke system in that room. He took out a mike and sang two songs praising the Gods. It was LOUD! The music was audible all over the cave. BIZARRE!!!

Title: Perak Tong Limestone Cave Temple
Location: Perak Tong Limestone Cave, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
Date: 5 June 2009, 8:55am
Camera: Nikon D60 with Aperture: f/5.0, ISO Equiv.: 200

Finally, I'm here! It was pretty difficult to locate Perak Tong Limestone Cave Temple.

Title: In the CAVE
Location: Perak Tong Limestone Cave, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
Date: 5 June 2009, 8:59am
Camera: Nikon D60 with Aperture: f/5.6, ISO Equiv.: 100

It was PEACEFUL, SERENE & STRESS-FREE in the cave temple. I stayed here for nearly one hour admiring the cave art before making my first move climbing to the peak of the cave.

On Day 2, I woke up early in the morning. Mr. Lee (owner of Shanghai Hotel) was shocked seeing me all gear up to start my journey in the wee hours.

I decided to visit Perak Tong Cave Temple first and Sam Poh Tong later. I hate driving in Ipoh. The traffic jam and multiple one way street was driving me NUTS! If you missed one turn, you’ll have to make a LONG U-TURN. I lost my way so many times trying to find Perak Tong Cave Temple. I made at least 10 stops asking for directions. A supposedly 20 minutes ride to the temple last for more than one hour long.

On that day, I was the first visitor to arrive. When I walked into the temple’s ground, I was greeted by a black mongrel! The dog was wagging its tail and looks friendly. It followed me discreetly at a distance up to the cave entrance. Strange......stray dogs were also following me in Pulau Ketam and Cameron Highlands - licking my legs, wagging tail and showing friendly face. Even the town folks were surprised to see their pet dogs followed me wherever I go. Gee...I think I have some kind of doggie love scent :)

Upon entering the cave, I was BLOWN AWAY! I was instantly transformed into a cave paradise. I saw huge statues of gold coloured Four Heavenly Kings at entrance of the cave. The cave wall was beautifully painted with more than 20 large-sized pictures depicting Buddha, Gods and deities. The cave paintings were AWESOME & AMAZING!!! I spent one hour observing these fine pieces of cave art. Every cave painting is unique and painted by different artist. A middle aged cleaner saw my enthusiasm. I said only two words to her "IT'S BEAUTIFUL!!!" She smiled and continue with her job.

Then, I was approached by a plus size lady asking for some donation for the cave temple. She was demanding a minimum contribution of RM12 for the candle blessing. I said "Maybe next time" I guess she was pissed.

According to cuti.com.my "Built in 1926 by a Buddhist priest from China, Perak Tong houses over 40 Buddha. Beyond the main altar, a passage leads into the cave's interior. After a steep climb of 385 steps, the cave opens again to reveal a wonderful view of the surrounding countryside."

I decided to climb up nearly 400 cave steps to reach the peak. There were some heavy renovation works to upgrade the cave stairs. Most visitors to the temple decided not to climb the cave due to the reno works. I approached a Chinese guy (who is the main contractor) and enquired about the possibility to climb the stairs. I was surprised when he allowed me to climb up to the peak.

There are nearly 400 steps to conquer before I can reach the peak of the cave – more steps than Batu Caves. I was making my first twenty steps, when I heard a minor argument. They were talking about the safety of the cave due to some fallen rocks at the upper opening. I fastened my pace and climb up anyway.

Maneuvering the first 100 steps was scary! Debris, wet cement and fallen cave rocks were all over the place. I saw huge pieces of fallen rocks hanging at the side of the pathway – some of them AS BIG AS MY BEDROOM! I was worried sick about these pieces of rocks. It definitely looks dangerous and risky to me! I don’t want to die in Perak Tong!!

By the time you climbed for more than 200 steps, you'll bump into two medium-sized rest place. I rested for about 10 minutes before continuing my climb. After that, you’ll see a small monastery built on the mid level of the cave. I walked behind the temple and chanced upon a man made stair extension to the highest level of the cave. I keep on walking until I reached another rest place. It has two levels. The view from here was SUPERB!!!! You can virtually see the entire Ipoh city from here. Strong winds were blowing from all direction. A VERY RELAXING MOMENT - no stress, no worries just a glimpse of nature's wonder. Later, I walked to the last and highest rest place. Another beautiful view of Perak. You can even see the highway and mountains from here!

My initial plan was to spend one hour exploring Perak Tong. But, I spent more than three hours ascending and descending Perak Tong the Cave Temple. I'm a humanist and nonbeliever....but this trip to Perak Tong really enlightens me. The rituals, the paintings, the cave and the horizon were MAGICAL and MYTHICAL. A far greater place than Batu Caves!!!! Perak Tong is A MUST SEE attraction in Perak.

Coming Soon! Part 6 & 7 - All about Sam Poh Tong and Ipoh city.

Perak Tong Cave Temple - Getting There:

Perak Tong, a limestone cave temple, is located on the right side along Jalan Kuala Kangsar, 6km to the north of Ipoh. Can be reached by taxi or bus from Ipoh Internal Bus Station, taking the Kuala Kangsar bus that stop along Jalan Kuala Kangsar. Please refer to Google Maps below for exact location.

More info?

Read these articles before you travel:


Perak Tong Limestone Cave Temple - Google Maps:

2 comments

  1. xplorer Says:
  2. so mylo , where to next?

     
  3. shloke Says:
  4. @xplorer,

    N9, HERE I COME!!!!

    cheers!
    mylo

     
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shloke
Traveling & photography are the most rewarding & enriching experiences in my life. Photography is all about discovery, enjoying myself, having adventure, learning people & nature. The greatest experience for me is the connection I felt with NATURE. If you haven’t seen Malaysia, you haven’t seen the world! My photography works are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported.
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