Ipoh Caves

Limestone hills are an integral part of Ipoh. And Ipoh’s cave temples are unique because they are partially built into these hills.

Apart from the cave temples, there are caves that are open to the public for visits. We have listed popular as well as lesser-known places in this post.

Come check them out the next time you are in Ipoh!

Table of Contents:

  1. Perak Cave Temple
  2. Kek Lok Tong Ipoh
  3. Sam Poh Tong Temple
  4. Nam Thean Tong Temple
  5. Ling Sen Tong Temple
  6. Guanyin Cave
  7. Dong Hua Cave Temple
  8. Tambun Cave
  9. Tempurung Cave
  10. The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat

Ipoh’s Top Cave Temples & Limestone Caves

Align your body, mind, and spirit by visiting these temples!

1. Perak Cave Temple

Perhaps the most famous of all the cave temples that Ipoh has to offer:

Perak Cave Temple is impressive right from your first glimpse of it! Its symmetrical architecture and central staircase make it look like a grand Chinese-style mansion.

Perak Cave Temple - One Of The Must See Cave Temples In Ipoh
Perak Cave Temple – One Of The Must See Cave Temples In Ipoh – Photo by Travelswithsun

Not to mention, the magnificent limestone cliffs surrounding it!

Once inside, you can admire the stone formations that are the interior walls of the temple as well as the beautiful paintings on them.

Some Of The Large Paintings Inside Perak Cave Temple
Some Of The Large Paintings Inside Perak Cave Temple – Photo by Travelswithsun

And if you can muster the energy and don’t mind a workout:

You can climb all the way to the very top of the temple where you get a lovely view of Ipoh city below!

The Last Pavilion During The Summit Climb At Perak Cave Temple
The Last Pavilion During The Summit Climb At Perak Cave Temple – Photo by Travelswithsun

Note: The stairs to the hilltop pavilion (and hillside pavilions) are behind the main altar in the temple.

Read more about Perak Cave Temple.

  • Location: Jalan Kuala Kangsar, Kawasan Perindustrian Tasek, 31400 Ipoh, Perak
  • Opening Hours: 8am to 5pm (Stairs to the hilltop are closed at 4pm)
  • Contact: +6011-2358 4126
  • Entrance Fee: Free
  • Remarks: Stairs are quite steep. Do be careful if you bring your kids!

2. Kek Lok Tong Ipoh

The exterior of Kek Look Tong is notably less flashy than the other temples in Ipoh.

Main Entrance Of Kek Lok Tong Cave Temple In Ipoh
Main Entrance Of Kek Lok Tong Cave Temple In Ipoh – Photo by Travelswithsun

But the inconspicuous outer appearance hides a magnificent cavern with benches and Buddhist and Taoist statues! It’s cooler in the cave than outside.

You can view stalactites and stalagmites and other interesting rock formations up close inside the temple.

Main Hall Of Kek Lok Tong
Main Hall Of Kek Lok Tong – Photo by Travelswithsun

Altogether, the whole compound is around 12 acres. This includes a well-maintained garden at the back of the temple!

View Of The Zen Gardens At The Back Entrance Of Kek Lok Tong
View Of The Zen Gardens At The Back Entrance Of Kek Lok Tong – Photo by Travelswithsun

Visitors can take a paddle boat ride down the river outside of the cave temple. Or cycle around the cave to take in the scenery.

See more pictures of Kek Lok Tong.

  • Location: Persiaran Sepakat 3, Taman Endah Jaya, 31350 Ipoh, Perak
  • Opening Hours: 8am to 4:30pm
  • Contact: +605-312 8112
  • Entrance Fee: Free but donations are welcome
  • Remarks:
    • The garden is best enjoyed in the cool of the early morning or in the late evenings
    • Free parking
    • Wheelchair-friendly
    • You can buy fish food to feed the fish in the pond

3. Sam Poh Tong Temple

Sam Poh Tong temple sits quietly against a limestone hill somewhere along a secluded road in Gunung Rapat. It is roughly 5 to 6km from Ipoh Old Town:

Sam Poh Tong temple sits quietly against a limestone hill.

Sam Poh Tong Front Gardens
Sam Poh Tong Front Gardens

The caves of Sam Poh Tong serve as a resting place for ancestors, with plaques and urns for cremation ashes.

Right in front of the temple is a beautiful, landscaped garden with a fishpond. While you are here, you should check out the exquisite white marble archway too.

You can go straight through the temple via a natural tunnel that leads out to the back. This is where there is an incredible up-close view of the limestone hill and a tortoise pond!

Pagoda At The Back Of Sam Poh Tong Temple In Ipoh
Pagoda At The Back Of Sam Poh Tong Temple In Ipoh – Photo by Travelswithsun

Read more about Sam Poh Tong temple in Ipoh.

  • Location: Kampung Gunung Rapat, 31350 Ipoh, Perak
  • Opening Hours: 9am to 4pm (closes at 3pm on Saturdays)
  • Contact: +605-255 2772
  • Entrance Fee: Free but donations are welcome
  • Remarks: You can buy fresh vegetables/ fruit from a made-shift counter inside the temple to feed the tortoises at the back!

4. Nam Thean Tong Temple

Nam Thean Tong Temple is between Ling Sen Tong Temple and Sam Poh Tong Temple. Hence, it is convenient to check Nam Thean Tong Temple out while you are there.

Front Of Nam Thean Tong Temple In Ipoh
Front Of Nam Thean Tong Temple In Ipoh

Compared to other cave temples like Kek Lok Tong or Sam Poh Tong Temple though, Nam Thean Tong Temple is much smaller and less impressive.

After you pass through the high archway, there is a spacious car park in front of Nam Thean Tong Temple. The exterior of the temple features some colorful murals.

Main Entrance Of Nam Thean Tong Temple In Ipoh
Main Entrance Of Nam Thean Tong Temple In Ipoh

On site at the car park are some small shops where you can get refreshments or souvenirs too.

Next to the temple is a small but well-kept garden with a short hedge maze and a big gold statue in the center of it. There are also some raised ponds at the back of this garden with a little red bridge over one of the ponds.

It won’t take you long to explore the outside and inside Nam Thean Tong Temple. The temple interior is small too. It is cool inside the temple, and you will also be able to see some rock formations here.

  • Location: Same row as Sam Poh Tong
  • Opening Hours: 8am to 4:45pm

5. Ling Sen Tong Temple

If you’re making a visit to Sam Poh Tong, you will pass by Ling Sen Tong Temple first! And this temple is hard to miss with its typical bright Taoist colors!

Ling Sen Tong Temple At Ipoh
Ling Sen Tong Temple At Ipoh – Photo by Travelswithsun

The temple is small (with no large prayer hall in a cave like other cave temples), but it has a large open-air courtyard with statues and murals of various Taoist religious figures.

The Goddess Kuan Yin at Ling Sen Tong
The Goddess Kuan Yin at Ling Sen Tong – Photo by Travelswithsun

Including the Goddess Kuan Yin who is the main deity here, and characters from Chinese folklore! There is a pond and a garden with a large reclining Buddha too.

Explore the side of the temple closest to the main road, and you’ll see a monkey king statue in a natural stone alcove.

Large Reclining Buddha At Ling Sen Tong
Large Reclining Buddha At Ling Sen Tong – Photo by Travelswithsun

Because of their proximity to each other, you should combine a visit to Ling Sen Tong Temple together with a visit to Sam Poh Tong!

  • Location: Same row as Sam Poh Tong
  • Opening Hours: 9am to 4pm
  • Entrance Fee: Free but a donation is welcome
  • Remarks: There are parking spaces in the temple compound.

6. Guanyin Cave

More than 100 years old, Kwan Yin Tong is 10 minutes’ drive away from the previous two cave temples!

There are around 70 or so Goddess Kuan Yin (Goddess of Mercy) here. As well as a pond that is made to resemble a Japanese wishing fountain with steppingstones to cross to the other side.

Kwan Yin Tong At Ipoh
Kwan Yin Tong At Ipoh – Photo by Travelswithsun

The main chamber utilizes the natural formation of Guanyin Cave and only the floor has been tiled up.

It’s all too easy to miss the stairs just by the side of the temple. These lead to a platform with a hefty Buddha statue in a seated position.

Couples who want a different scenery from a registration office can choose to get married here. As there are marriage registration services available!

  • Location: Lot 21606, Batu 4 1/2, Jalan Gopeng, 31350 Ipoh, Perak, 1, 31350 Ipoh, Perak
  • Opening Hours: 9am to 5:30pm
  • Contact: +605-311 2451
  • Entrance Fee: Free
  • Remarks: This temple is bustling with activity on the 15th night of Chinese New Year – Chap Goh Mei or Chinese Valentines’ Day.

7. Dong Hua Cave Temple (东华洞)

You will have to climb up to this red temple that looks like it’s embedded into the face of a limestone hill.

Dong Hua Cave Temple From Afar
Dong Hua Cave Temple From Afar – Photo by Travelswithsun

However, the steep climb up is worth the panoramic views (and exercise) especially in the early morning when it’s not that hot yet!

The cooling chamber of the cave temple is peaceful and calm. Hardly any tourists come here so you’ll get to enjoy the serenity alone.

And thus, the chamber is a nice and cosy location to visit after climbing up the cave side.

View Of Ipoh From Dong Hua Temple
View Of Ipoh From Dong Hua Temple – Photo by Travelswithsun

Plus, you can only see the impressive 100-year-old massive stalactite hanging from the cave’s ceiling from inside the temple!

Inside Dong Hua Cave Temple
Inside Dong Hua Cave Temple – Photo by Travelswithsun

Hardly any tourists come here so you’ll get to enjoy the serenity alone.

  • Location: Lot 26006, Hala Perindustrian 1, Taman Bistari, 31400 Ipoh, Perak
  • Opening Hours: 8am to 5pm
  • Contact: +6012-578 7748
  • Entrance Fee: Free
  • Remarks: Be very careful when you’re treading the stairs. There are around 150 steps!

8. Tambun Cave (Gua Tambun)

Hidden from view behind an army base:

Tambun cave is one of Ipoh’s best-kept secrets!

Staircase At Gua Tambun (Tambun Cave Art)
Staircase At Gua Tambun (Tambun Cave Art) – Photo by Travelswithsun

It takes some effort to find the place and reach the prehistoric cave drawings on the cliff side of a limestone hill so be prepared!

The paintings are well over a thousand years old so many of them are quite faded. But you don’t need to have an archaeologist background to be able to pick out a few!

Prehistoric Cave Drawings At Gua Tambun
Prehistoric Cave Drawings At Gua Tambun – Photo by Travelswithsun
Cave Paintings At Gua Tambun (Tambun Cave)
Cave Paintings At Gua Tambun (Tambun Cave) – Photo by Travelswithsun

See more photos of Tambun Cave and how to go.

After seeing the cave paintings, you’ll work up a thirst! Cool off at one of Ipoh’s many cafes!

  • Location: Laluan Tambun Perdana 2, Taman Tambun, 31400 Ipoh, Perak
  • Opening Hours: 8:00am to 5:30pm
  • Entrance Fee: Free

9. Tempurung Cave

Better known as Gua Tempurung:

This astounding geographical marvel lies south of Ipoh in Gopeng.

Lit Walkways And Stairs Make Gua Tempurung Accessible To Visitors
Lit Walkways And Stairs Make Gua Tempurung Accessible To Visitors – Photo by Travelswithsun

To explore the cave, there are 4 tours you can choose from as visitors aren’t allowed in on their own!

Note: If you’re driving to Ipoh from Kuala Lumpur, you can detour here first at the Gopeng Interchange.

  • Location: Pusat Pelancongan Gua Tempurung, 31600 Gopeng, Perak
  • Opening Hours: 9am – 4pm
  • Contact: +605-318 8555 / +6014-220 4142

Tours available:

  • Tour 1 – Golden Flowstone (4 hours, easy)
  • Tour 2 – Top of the World (2 hours, moderate difficulty)
  • Tour 3 – Top of the World and Short River Adventure (3 hours, moderate difficulty)
  • Tour 4 – Grand Tour (3.5 hours, challenging)
Crawling through gaps in Gua Tempurung
Crawling through gaps in Gua Tempurung – photo credits to amrisamin (Instagram)

You can see more details on the tours at our separate post for Gua Tempurung.

Remarks: Tours 3 and 4 will involve wading in the underground river. These tours require a minimum of 8 pax before the tour can start for the day!

10. The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat

You might be wondering why a resort is on this list, but we’ll explain presently.

The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat Ipoh

The Banjaran Hotsprings Resort in Tambun is famous for many things:

  1. Massage and spa services
  2. Their hot pools
  3. 5-star resort status
  4. Gorgeous scenery (serene location)
  5. Luxurious villas
  6. Fat price tags
  7. And so on!

But did you know that you can have a fine dining experience like no other at their restaurant, Jeff’s Cellar?

Jeff's Cellar at The Banjaran Hot Springs Retreat
Jeff’s Cellar at The Banjaran Hot Springs Retreat – photo credits to kkm3683 (Instagram)

This unusual Ipoh fine dining restaurant is set in a limestone cave. Strategically placed lighting brings out the natural cave interior!

Jeff’s Cellar also houses a private wine collection that is open for viewing and wine tasting every day from 6pm to 11pm.

Other than Jeff’s Cellar, you can also see other caves at The Banjaran Hotsprings Resort like their steam and meditation caves!

Thermal steam cave at The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat
Thermal steam cave at The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat – photo credits to donnatan10 (Instagram)
  • Location: 1, Persiaran Lagoon, Sunway 3, 31150 Ipoh, Perak
  • Contact: +605-210 7777
  • Remarks: You have to book ahead if you want to dine at Jeff’s Cellar

Read more:

How To Get To These Cave Temples

If you’ve only staying in Ipoh for a while, plan your itinerary accordingly to include at least one of these!

A few of them are close to each other but don’t let that be your deciding factor to visit them. Quality is better than quantity.

By the way, some of these aren’t that easy to find or get to so if you need some help:

You can book a private tour to take you to these places and give you more local insight at the same time! Book a Ipoh tour with RayTheTour by sending them a message on WhatsApp!

Conclusion

It will take you a few days (maybe even a week!) to see all the beautiful temples in Ipoh! And each one has something that sets it apart from the others.

We’ve made it easier for you to select which ones you should visit with this list. Our personal favorites are Kek Lok Tong and Sam Poh Tong.

PS: Read our travel guide if you plan to travel to Ipoh!

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