Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Wet Caving Adventure - 25 Jan 2012

The wondrous cave in Malaysia - Gua Tempurung in Gopeng, Perak!!!!! What is unique about this cave is - it's a natural limestone with an underground river passing through it.

We experienced our first caving adventure as a family on the 3rd day of Chinese New Year. It was a busy time in Gua Tempurung due to the holiday season. There were 4 types of guided cave tours according to the level of difficulty. We chose Level 3 - ie the platform dry tour as well as the river adventure. It's a journey of about 2.4km from entrance to Golden Flowstone (Platform 3), Top of the World (Platform 5) and back through the underground river. Our cave ranger was Salleh, and he said it would take about 2 1/2 hours.

Located about 25km south of Ipoh, it is made up of 5 huge domes that resembled coconut shells, hence the name 'Tempurung' came about. Each dome has different formations of stalagmites and stalactites and is also different in temperature, water level, content of limestone and marble.

A walkway and platforms offer visitors' the convenience and safety.

The platform dry tour provide basic information of the cave.

We saw various stalagmite and stalactite formations, many of which are still growing! We also saw the remains of some tools from tin-mining activities in the cave few decades ago.

Some stalagmites and stalactites resemble certain figures and beings, depending on your imagination.....

The end of dry tour and the steep, almost vertical slope leading to the underground cavity frightened the living daylights out of us. It was pitch dark except for some head lights, and there was not even a rope to hold on to! My mom-in-law doing the last part of the slide down..... I was still at the top contemplating to turn back with my boys.

After the slope, we have to plunge into a hole, big enough for one person.... imagining what would be ahead of us after this.....

The beginning of another experience, the wet underground river caving adventure! It was pitch dark and we did not take any pictures of this challenging and strenuous tour, most important in my mind was to get out alive with my brave little boy tagging behind. Some parts were only less than 2 feets in height and we have to get down on all fours and crawl out! My older boys were enjoying every moment of it!! The adults have to be cautious not to hit their heads and backs on the stalactites. We were so thankful for the new friends in our group who were most helpful and encouraging us all the way.

Finally, we saw "light" at the end of tunnel.....

FUN for three generations.......

Soaking wet after the tour.... Our Level 3 group under the ranger Salleh comprised the youngest and oldest members - Ming, 6 years old and my mother-in-law, 71 years old.

Very good team-building activity together for family........ the boys want to do it again, and I'll be happy to wait for them at the stream at the end of the tunnel.

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