Perak Tong cave temple or Perak Tong (霹雳洞) as the locals fondly call it, is a main attraction in Ipoh!
Out of more than 20 or so Ipoh cave temples, Perak Cave Temple is one of the most well-known. And many visitors make it a point to visit this temple for its marvelous architecture and hilltop views!
Perak Cave Temple sits by the side of a main road (Tasek Road) under the shadow of Gunung Tasek and is accessible from town. Learn more about what to expect before you go here!
Table of contents:
- Perak Tong Cave Temple History
- Perak Cave Temple Opening Hours
- Perak Tong Entrance Fee
- What To Do In Perak Tong
- Review For Perak Cave Temple
- Getting To Perak Cave Temple
- Frequently Asked Questions
Perak Cave Temple History
The construction of Perak Tong Cave Temple dates back to 1926. A couple from Jiaoling, China took great pains (and half a century) to build a temple out of the cave they found!
Today, the temple owes its elegant palace-like façade to their family.
Its beauty has gained it an international reputation as a must-see tourist attraction in Perak!
You can read more on the history of Perak Tong from the information plaque just outside the temple.
Perak Cave Temple Opening Hours
The temple is open every day. If you want to make the climb to the hilltop pavilion, it’s best to go early in the morning to avoid the heat.
And they do not allow anyone to climb up after 4pm!
Depending on how interesting you find the temple, you can spend 30 minutes up to an hour here!
Perak Cave Temple Entrance Fee
Entrance Fee: Free
While it’s free to visit Perak Cave Temple, there are two things to note:
- Perak Cave Temple is a still place of worship. So visitors are welcome to leave a small donation during their visit. There will sometimes be an elderly lady before the staircase actively seeking donations for the temple.
- There will occasionally be some guys hanging around the car park too. They will guide to park your car even if you do not want their service! And they will expect a small fee in return. This is common in many public parking areas around Ipoh Old Town. Locals regard them as a nuisance but pay to avoid trouble!
What To Do In Perak Cave Temple
Although it is a tourist attraction, Perak Cave Temple primarily serves as a place of worship for Buddhists and Taoists.
Hence, visitors should cover themselves appropriately and try to keep quiet during their visit.
1. Admire The Architecture
The main hall of the temple makes use of a large limestone cave.
From here, smaller chambers branch out creating natural recesses for more deity statues to rest upon.
Past the main altar, is a passage that leads further into the cave. It’s quite dim in here so if you plan to take some photos, bring along a tripod!
2. Examine The Many Buddhist Statues And Paintings
When you enter the temple, the first thing to catch your eye will be the 40-feet tall gold Buddha statue with guardian deities at both sides.
There is Chinese calligraphy and colorful murals of figures from Chinese mythology and Buddhism on the walls of the hall. The interior of the cave has preserved these well.
Other statues are all around the temple and temple grounds. Including different representations of Guan Yin, the revered Goddess of Mercy.
In fact, there are over 40 Buddha statues at this cave temple!
3. Climb Up To The Top!
If you can handle the steep and narrow staircase (left side) with approximately 400-500 steps, then you are in for a great little workout!
Hiking shoes or sneakers are advisable. And while kids may attempt the climb, do watch them carefully.
Elders or those who are not able to climb may wait at the benches in the temple. The climb takes you up past the monks’ quarters and up out to the hillside.
There are more pavilions and gazebos along the way up the hill. The highest pavilion is a double-storey structure with good views of Ipoh!
If you dare, you can climb further up another set of stairs past the highest pavilion and right up to the summit!
4. Wander The Gardens
A landscaped garden in front of the temple features a pond with a large statue of Guan Yin.
As well as a pavilion, there are a couple of lotus ponds and two bell towers.
It’s a pretty garden but it pales to the one at Sam Poh Tong cave temple.
5. Watch Out Monkeys!
Monkeys or rather, long-tailed macaques are a common sight at the temple.
They live in the jungle up the hill and are always taking the opportunity to pounce on unsuspecting tourists with food at the temple!
You are not supposed to feed them. But that doesn’t stop people from doing so. They have become accustomed to humans and will take food from children who are not aware of them.
Do try to keep a watchful eye on your stuff when you are here! They will steal and go through your bag if they get the chance! The sound of rustling plastic alerts them that there is food!
6. Pick Up A Souvenir
In the temple grounds, there are various stalls selling incense sticks, snacks, drinks and trinkets. Like jade and other semi precious stones.
You can try having your fortune told at one of these stalls too!
Review For Perak Cave Temple
What You’ll Like:
- Very peaceful (unless it’s a weekend!)
- Lovely wall paintings
- Nice views from the top of the temple
- Ample parking
- Cave interior is cooler than outside temperatures
- Seats available if you want to take a break
What You Will Not Like:
- The hike is not fully sheltered from the sun, some parts of the trail are not well maintained
- Toilet is dirty and not free to use
- Illegal parking attendants
Tips For Visit Perak Cave Temple
- Staircase is run-down in places. Be careful as they can be slippery too.
- Access to the staircase to climb to the top will close at 4pm.
- Climbing down can be challenging as the steps are quite steep.
- To cool off after your climb, you can buy coconut and ice cream at a small stall at the temple.
- Avid photographers will want to bring a tripod to get more stable shots in the dimly lit temple
- Go early in the morning to avoid the heat of the day
- Expect many temple visitors during weekends and public holidays
Getting To Perak Cave Temple
From Ipoh Town:
It is a 20-minute drive north on Federal Route 1 from Ipoh town to Jalan Kuala Kangsar where the temple is.
You can take a taxi or Grab car from town to Perak Cave Temple but it may not be as easy to get one back! So do keep that in mind.
Take Exit 141 from the North-South Expressway.
From Kuala Lumpur:
Take Exit 138 to Route 240 from the North-South Expressway.
Private Tour Service From Ipoh
Planning to do some sightseeing in Ipoh?
Perak Cave Temple can be part of a custom tour itinerary for your private Ipoh day tour with RayTheTour!
Visit popular or hidden Ipoh attractions like:
- Kellie’s Castle
- TT5 Tin dredge
- A pomelo plantation
Or extend your stay in Ipoh and go further!
- Gopeng ( Gua Tempurung and HOGA Gaharu Tea Valley Plantation)
- Cameron Highlands
- Kuala Sepetang
- Ipoh Itinerary: Food Trip, Ipoh Day Trip, 2D1N & 3D2N
- Ipoh Travel Guide – What Makes Ipoh A Must-Visit City In Malaysia
- 13 Things To Do In Ipoh At Night
Frequently Asked Questions For Visiting Perak Cave Temple
Q1: Is this cave suitable for children or elderly?
A1: Elders will most likely not be able to attempt the staircase climb. But children may under adult supervision.
Q2: Is there a toilet at the temple?
A2: Yes, but it is not clean and a small fee will be charged to use it.
Q3: Can you take public transport to Perak Cave Temple?
A3: Yes. Use Perak Transit bus routes, T31A & T31B.
Q4: Is it possible to take a Grab from Ipoh Old Town to Perak Tong?
A4: Yes. It is more difficult to get a return Grab back!
Q5: Do you have to pay to enter the temple?
A5: No, but you are encouraged to leave a small donation for climbing the staircase. And some unofficial parking attendants may expect some money too.
Q6: How long should I visit Perak Cave Temple for?
A6: 30 minutes to an hour.
Perak Cave Temple is certainly a top choice when it comes to the best cave temples to visit in Ipoh.
It’s a very beautiful temple inside and out! And the access to the stairway leading up to the hilltop is a bonus that many temples in Ipoh do not have.
However, if you want to see more limestone rock formations in a larger cavern, then try Kek Lok Tong cave temple!