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A Cave That Takes You Back In Time

gua kandu

What tourists said about Kandu Cave

“Better than carlsbad caverns.”

It reminded me of something out of an Indiana Jones movie. Inside the cave, it opened up to this massive great room that looked like a natural cathedral. very impressive. There are not enough professional pix taken of this cavern …..and that’s a shame.

They have one tour that takes you to the top of the cavern by stairs and then back down the same way. BUT there is a second tour that takes you to the top, and then it goes back down thru a number of wet narrow pathways.

This second tour is more hard core and i wouldn’t recommend it to the average site-seeing person. just do the first one……..its a lot of steps to the top, and thats a good enough work out for a day.

Visited September 2013

“Exciting cave,feel like a true explorer when visiting it!”

It’s a nice place to visit and explore. The cave is huge and awe-inspiring. Since we were travelling with children we chose tour which does not involve much walking.

Other tour is more thrilling/exciting and gives a true experience of spelunking! Its also called the wet tour! Sadly,the tour guide spoke in Malay and we didn’t understand much.

Also he seemed detached and not very enthusiastic. More explanation about caving,history of this cave etc could have been displayed or brochures could have been distributed. Needs improvement in this regard.

Visited July 2014

“Hidden gem in Perak”

I took a tour which comes with build-in staircase that helps everyone to climb with less effort in the cave. Beautiful scenes inside the cave with special lighting.

The day i went was rainy day but surprisingly it wasnt slippery tks to metal staircase. Took plenty awesome pictures v my fujifilm x10.

Aunties and uncles are recommended to take tour 1. as youngster, i would definitely go back for tour4 one day.

Visited August 2014

“One of the best caves in Malaysia!”

It is really worth a visit and also easily accessible. The caves are well managed and maintained its natural aura with simple lighting (not the awful rainbow colour lights you see in other places). And it is much bigger than those temple caves around Ipoh.

There are also many guided tours walking through the streams running underneath the cave systems and night tour.

Just like Kellie’s Castle, a must for visit to Ipoh/Gopeng/Tualang area.

Visited July 2013

About Kandu Cave (Gua Kandu)

A huge cave complex near Gopeng, Perak, is an interesting place to explore but you have to be mindful of the many dangers involved. Story and pictures by Casey Ng.

“ARE we there yet?” asks someone who is obviously too overwhelmed by the journey to the cave in the forested hill. The thing about Gua Kandu is, “there” can mean everywhere.

gua kandu entrance

Gua Kandu Entrance

Flow stones, stalagmites, weird wall textures and many jaw-dropping formations are yours to marvel at if you point your torchlight along the tunnel’s twists and turns.

Whether you identify the cave rocks as karst, limestone or even calcium carbonate, they are a natural wonder. The cave actually harbours an ancient cemetery of sea life.

Why visit Gua Kandu

Located in Gopeng, some 20km from Ipoh, Perak, the cave and rocks are for those who have a passion or interest in natural history. During the Palaeozoic era 570 million years ago — long before dinosaurs roamed Earth — Bukit Kandu was nothing but a warm sea of corals and single-celled organisms.

These complex life forms took lime from the sea to make their shells. When these creatures died, their shells made up thick masses of lime mud and all in time crystallised into limestone rocks. History first took notice of Bukit Kandu during the 1942-1945 Japanese Occupation.

gua kandu adventure

Breathtaking View

Villagers at nearby Kampung Jahang still spin tales about their forefathers digging tunnels for the Japanese in return for a daily cup of rice.

When the Japanese surrendered, communist guerrillas occupied the cavern in the tumultuous pre-Merdeka years. Graffiti and poems glorifying Mao Zedong can still be seen on some walls.

Where to stay

If Bukit Kandu’s rustic surroundings impress you and you want to stay longer, try roughing it out at Adeline’s Place located five minutes’ walk from Bukit Kandu.

gua kandu stalactite

Magnificent Stalactite

Although equipped only with basic amenities, the eco-lodge appeals to guests with its unique Orang Asli bamboo and wood structure. Yes, your bed would be the bamboo flooring. So, for a little comfort, bring along a sleeping bag and don’t forget the mosquito repellent.

Where to eat

Since Bukit Kandu is still embraced by raw wilderness, you’ll have to load up on food and water. By the way, do Mother Nature a favour — don’t leave any food wrappers or thrash behind. You can also go to nearby Kampung Jahang — five minutes’ drive away — where a quaint warung perched by Sungai Kampar is there to offer you hearty and simple kampung meals to go with steamy glasses of teh tarik.

How much does it cost

Nomad Adventure Sdn Bhd charges RM60 per head (for a minimum of 10 people) for a guided trip into Gua Kandu. The fee includes helmets and safety gear. Prepare to fork out another RM150 if you decide to spend the night at Adeline’s Place.

The rate includes three meals. If your trip coincides with the durian season, you can definitely have a feast. The durians are sold by the heaps and you can expect good bargains.

Tips for hikers

While a good adventure never fails to get the adrenaline pumping, exploring caves can sometimes result in some hairy moments.

These tips can help you to stay on course and come back in one piece.

1. Avoid going there during the rainy season as the jungle trail leading to Gua Kandu can be rather slushy with knee-deep murky water.

2. Wear your waist harness properly. Harnesses fastened the wrong way can restrict blood circulation in the groin area. You need harnesses and other safety gear and equipment. So, come well prepared.

3. In pitch-dark conditions, it’s easy to lose sight and take the wrong turn. Make sure your torchlight is loaded with new batteries. Tie the torchlight to your waist belt. Dropping or losing your torchlight is a definite no-no.

4. Bring a whistle. If you are lost, whistling will help the search party locate you. You can also clap your hands to attract the attention of the search party. Sound travels far in tunnels that string the grotto together. Even bats use sonar squeaks that bounce off the cave’s wall to navigate.

5. The cave is the place where you should keep to the well-beaten track. Instil the “buddy system” to keep a head count. Those familiar with the cave should serve as head and tail of the party.

gua kandu caving

Tough Trek

6. Sometimes, you need to crawl in the cave. Be careful. Bumping one’s head at tight spots in the dark and slipping off wet steep places are common. Wear shoes with a good grip and have your safety helmet on all the time.

7. Nature will not disappoint those who love her. Don’t leave trash and don’t damage anything in the cave. Bring a rubbish bag along and help take out any garbage you find along the trek and in the cave.

How to get to Kandu Cave

If you are coming from Kuala Lumpur via the PLUS highway, you’ll see the Bukit Kandu outcrop as tall as a 40-storey building on the right side of the highway. It’s about 500 metres before the Gopeng interchange.

The trek to Gua Kandu takes four to five hours. For a guided expedition to the cave, call Nomad Adventure Sdn Bhd at 03-8024 5152 or log on to www.nomadadventure.com.

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Popular Attractions in Perak That You Might Be Interested

  • Gua Tempurung – These ancient caves stretch over a kilometer from the south of Sungai Siput to Kuala Dipang and comprise of five domes with ceilings that resemble coconut shells with various formations of stalactites and stalagmites.
  • Pangkor Island – Pangkor Island is one of the most highly rated tourist destinations in Malaysia. It’s located in West Coast of Peninsular Malaysia. The attractions of the island lies in its Pangkor Laut Resort which has been featured in top tourist websites.
  • Bukit Larut (Maxwell Hill) – Bukir Larut is located in the town of Taiping. It’s the only well known highland resort around this area. This highland offers cool temperate climate for those who like to escape the heat of the city. There are some hotels located at the top of the hill for those who like to spend a night there.
  • Sam Poh Tong Cave Temple – These cave temples are a must visit in the town of Ipoh. They are usually huge and spacious within which explains the reason people built temples inside. The attractions of these temples lie in the facts that there are Taoist statues where people from as far as Singapore come to seek guidance and worship.
  • Adventure at Ulu Chepor – LOVE the idea of exploring uncharted grounds but don’t know where to go? Well, for a start, Ulu Chepor in Perak is so “ulu” (remote) that it’ll take your breath away!
  • Kinta Valley Limestone Hills – I visited this place on the way to KL. Really awesome place to get refreshed your mind.Ambient inside the cave temple is a place where you can set aside my ever-tiring soul. This place simply offers a different ambient and calm you down.

Photo credits: Carson, SengMing Tan.

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  • kan xuan May 15, 2013, 2:02 pm

    I m looking for a travel package to cave gua kandu and tempurung during the month of june. best if it provide transport from lost world hotel 🙂

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