Perak Tong Cave Temple

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 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.

The Carpark At Perak Cave Temple
The Carpark At Perak Cave Temple – Photo by Travelswithsun

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.

Although the steps leading up to the outdoor gazebos are partially shaded by greenery.

Note that they do not allow anyone to climb up after 4pm! And there are several warnings on who should not attempt the climb.

Opening Hours For The Summit Climb At Perak Cave Temple
Opening Hours For The Summit Climb At Perak Cave Temple – Photo by Travelswithsun

Depending on how interesting you find the temple, you can spend 30 minutes or up to an hour here. Especially to catch your breath after the climb to the top!

Address: Jalan Kuala Kangsar, Kawasan Perindustrian Tasek, 31400 Ipoh, Perak

Opening Hours: 8am to 5pm

Climbing Time: 9am to 4pm

Contact: +6011-2358 4126

Perak Cave Temple Entrance Fee

Entrance Fee: Free

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

While it’s free to visit Perak Cave Temple, there are two things to note:

  1. 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 a lady at the entrance of the temple actively seeking donations for the temple.
  2. There will occasionally be some guys hanging around the car park too. They will guide you on where to park your car even if you do not want their service! And they expect a small fee (RM2) in return. This is common in many public parking areas around Ipoh Old Town.

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.

Inscription On The Walls Of Perak Cave Temple
Inscription On The Walls Of Perak Cave Temple – Photo by Travelswithsun

From here, smaller chambers branch out creating natural recesses for more deity statues to rest upon.

Smaller Caverns Within Perak Cave Temple
Smaller Caverns Within Perak Cave Temple – Photo by Travelswithsun

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.

Main Hall Of Perak Cave Temple
Main Hall Of Perak Cave Temple – Photo by Travelswithsun

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.

Chinese Calligraphy On The Cave Walls At Perak Tong In Ipoh
Chinese Calligraphy On The Cave Walls At Perak Tong In Ipoh – Photo by Travelswithsun

Other statues are all around the temple and temple grounds. Including different representations of Guan Yin, the revered Goddess of Mercy.

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

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!

The Start Of The Staircase To The Top (At Perak Cave Temple)
The Start Of The Staircase To The Top (At Perak Cave Temple) – Photo by Travelswithsun

Hiking shoes or sneakers are advisable. And while kids may attempt the climb, do watch them carefully.

Outdoor Staircase Along The Side Of The Hill Of Perak Cave Temple
Outdoor Staircase Along The Side Of The Hill Of Perak Cave Temple – Photo by Travelswithsun

Elders or those who are not able to climb should wait at the benches in the temple. The climb takes you up past the monks’ quarters and up out to the hillside.

The Halfway Point Of the Summit Climb At Perak Cave Temple
The Halfway Point Of the Summit Climb At Perak Cave Temple – Photo by Travelswithsun
Very Steep Staircase During The Summit Climb At Perak Cave Temple
Very Steep Staircase During The Summit Climb At Perak Cave Temple – Photo by Travelswithsun

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!

Double Storey Pavilion At The Of Perak Cave Temple
Double Storey Pavilion At The Of Perak Cave Temple – Photo by Travelswithsun
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
Resting At The Last Pavilion During The Summit Climb At Perak Cave Temple
Resting At The Last Pavilion During The Summit Climb At Perak Cave Temple – Photo by Travelswithsun

Notes:

  • Visitors are expected to leave a donation of RM3 to access the staircase.
  • Staircase is closed from 4pm onwards
  • Do not attempt the climb after it has being raining

4. Wander The Gardens

A landscaped garden in front of the temple features a pond with a large statue of Guan Yin. The gardens are minimal compared to the one at Sam Poh Tong cave temple but still well kept.

Guanyin Statue At The Gardens Of Perak Cave Temple
Guanyin Statue At The Gardens Of Perak Cave Temple – Photo by Travelswithsun

There are fish in these ponds but they’re not very big.

5. Watch Out For Monkeys!

Monkeys or rather, long-tailed macaques are a common sight at the temple. Although we did not see any at all at our last visit to 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!

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

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
View Of Ipoh From The Summit Of Perak Cave Temple
View Of Ipoh From The Summit Of Perak Cave Temple – Photo by Travelswithsun

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
View Of The Front Gardens From The Last Pavilion During The Summit Climb At Perak Cave Temple
View Of The Front Gardens From The Last Pavilion During The Summit Climb At Perak Cave Temple – Photo by Travelswithsun

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.

From Penang:

Take Exit 141 from the North-South Expressway.

From Kuala Lumpur:

Take Exit 138 to Route 240 from the North-South Expressway.


Further reading:


Private Tour Service From Ipoh

Planning to do some sightseeing in Ipoh?

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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.

Conclusion

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!

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