If you are reasonably fit and physically able, this is a great opportunity to combine nature with a workout!
And for those who have never been caving before, Tempurung Cave (in English) is a perfect base to start!
Table of contents:
- Where Is Gua Tempurung?
- Getting From Ipoh To Gua Tempurung
- Features Of Gua Tempurung
- The 5 Caverns
- History Of Gua Tempurung
- Gua Tempurung Entrance Fee
- Tours At Gua Tempurung
- Tips To Go Caving
- Facilities At Gua Tempurung
- Other Nearby Attractions
Where Is Gua Tempurung?
Gua Tempurung is about 25km south of Ipoh, close to Gopeng.
Getting From Ipoh To Gua Tempurung
You can visit Gua Tempurung as part of an Ipoh itinerary for a private tour!
- Safe and reliable transport (MPV or van)
- Local English-speaking or Chinese-speaking guides
- Customize-able itinerary
- Combine other places into your tour package like Cameron Highlands, Taiping or Kuala Sepetang!
- Direct transfer from anywhere in Ipoh and back!
Features Of Gua Tempurung
- At 4.5km long, it is one of the longest caves on this side of Malaysia.
- 400 million years old.
- Tourists can access about 2km of the tunnel that goes underneath Gunung Tempurung and Gunung Gajah.
- An underground river inside stretches for 1.6km of the cave.
- 5 chambers in total – With some of the ceilings resembling coconut shells. Hence the name, tempurung which means coconut shell in Malay.
- Each of the chambers look very different from one another.
- Gua Tempurung has lots of large stalactites, stalagmites and other curious rock formations.
- Bats are present in this cave. Their droppings form some pretty interesting patterns on the ceilings.
The 5 Caverns Of Gua Tempurung
1. Golden Flowstone Cavern
This is the cavern you get to explore on Tour 1.
Highlight: Smooth stone with a golden sheen from the river
2. Gergasi (Giant) Cavern
Highlight: The centrepiece is a 15m high column within the cavern.
3. Tin Mine Cavern
Highlight: See the remains of previous tin mining excavations
4. Alam (Universe) Cavern
Highlight: Impressive ceiling height of 72 meters
5. Battlefield Cavern
Highlight: Curious formations of fallen stalactites and other rock piles.
History Of Gua Tempurung
How Was The Cave Formed?
Millions of years ago, the whole of Kinta Valley was under the sea.
The shells of a vast amount (talking billions) of tiny marine life were formed into limestone by the pressure of the sea water.
Underwater earthquakes pushed the ocean floor up, forming hills and Kinta Valley.
Millions of years of constant rain and water movement shaped the limestone further.
Stalactites and stalagmites are built up over time by dripping water that contains calcium carbonate particles.
Did you know that a stalactite takes 200 years just to grow an inch?!
Because the limestone caves contained more than just limestone:
Tin mining activities were carried out here too back around the 1920s.
A Communist Shelter?
Somewhere before Malaysia’s independence, communists used the cave as a hideout.
Today, you can see marks of their stay on the walls in the form of graffiti.
Tourism At Gua Tempurung
The groundwork to make Gua Tempurung fit for tourists began in 1995 where steel and concrete walkways and staircases were installed along with all the spot lights.
Gua Tempurung Price
|Tour||Entrance Fee (MYR)|
|1||GF||Dry Tour||40 minutes||RM 20||RM 10||RM 8||RM 4|
|2||TOW||Dry Tour||~ 2 hours||RM 30||RM 15||RM 12||RM 6|
|3||TWR||Wet Tour||> 3 hours||RM 40||RM 20||RM 15||RM 7.5|
|4||GT||Wet Tour||3.5 to 4 hours||RM 50||RM 25||RM 30||RM 15|
Child: 6 – 12 years old
Senior Citizen: 60 years old and above
Wet tours are ranger-guided.
Gua Tempurung Tours
There are 4 tours of varying length and difficulty by APT Consortium that you can choose from:
Tour 1 – Golden Flowstone (GF)
Of the 4 tours, this is the shortest and the most family-friendly one.
You can avoid getting wet if you take this tour! As it makes use of the man-made stairways up to the Golden Flowstone cavern (platform 3).
There’s no guide on this tour.
And there are multiple viewing platforms from which to admire the rock formations around.
Tour 2 – Top Of The World (TOW)
As with the first tour, you can stay dry on this one and there is no guide.
But you need a minimum of 5 people before they allow this tour to proceed.
Besides this, be prepared for a lot of stairs (~650 steps) because this tour takes you to all 5 caverns (i.e. up to Platform 5)!
Platform 5 is the highest spot in the cave and you will encounter a wind tunnel too!
Next are the wet tours:
Mind that these are not always available as it depends on the weather and river situation!
Tour 3 – Top Of The World & Short River Adventure (TWR)
You can’t proceed on this tour until they’ve filled the quota of 8 people per session.
The first part of the tour is like Tour 2:
But instead of going back the way you came, you get to wade in the underground river!
Crawling on all fours and sliding on your bum is necessary at a couple of spots! So be sure to wear long pants to avoid scraping your skin.
It’s super fun and challenging with a short detour to the river outside before going back in again!
Moreover, there is a guide with you the whole way!
In total, this is going to be an approximately 2.4km-journey.
Tour 4 – Grand Tour (GT)
Again, there needs to be a minimum of 8 people before they start the tour. And you should not take young children (less than 10 years old) along on this one!
This tour is adequately called the Grand Tour because it is the longest (3.8km total) and most challenging tour of the 4!
On this tour, you will go through all 5 caverns as well as the east side of the cave!
There will be water involved (up to the chest level) especially when you go back via the underground river.
You will need to crawl, climb and squeeze yourself through small openings and tunnels too. The total journey is 3.8km.
Tips To Go Caving At Gua Tempurung
For the first 2 tours, you won’t need much since they avoid the river:
- T-shirt and long pants (no jeans!)
- Comfy shoes suitable for hiking (e.g. hiking boots or sandals with straps)
- Drinking water
- Camera (or just your phone) that can take photos in low light situations
- Torchlight is optional
If you plan to take on any of the last two tours (Tour 3 and 4), you will get wet so in addition to the above items, you will need:
- Long sleeve shirt (instead of T-shirt)
- Change of clothes
- Gloves and kneepads are advisable but not necessary
- Small waterproof bag for your phone and valuables
- Small torchlight or headlamp (you may want to keep your hands free)
- Small snacks (plus somewhere to keep your trash later!)
Read more: 5 Theme Parks To Check Out In Ipoh & Perak
Facilities At Gua Tempurung
- There are food and drink stalls outside Gua Tempurung
- Toilets (that also serve as the changing room)
- Convenience store
- Muslim prayer room (surau)
Other Nearby Attractions
Many opt to go white water rafting on Kampar River after caving it up in Gua Tempurung!
There are packages you can book with local adventure tour companies.
It is possible to visit Kellie’s Castle (another must-visit Perak attraction) from Gua Tempurung on the same day, although it is roughly 25 minutes’ drive, and you should note that Kellie’s Castle closes at 5pm.
Closer to Gua Tempurung (~20 minutes’ drive) and less well known is HOGA Gaharu Tea Valley which we recommend visiting in the early morning before it gets hot.
If you want an unforgettable experience in Ipoh, a visit to Gua Tempurung is it! Explore Gua Tempurung with its 5 chambers and appreciate this amazing limestone cave up close and personal!
There are 4 tours to cater to different group sizes, fitness levels and available time! 2 of these tours will require you to get soaked as you wade through the underground river!
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