Written by Shirley T
Tuesday, 10 January 2012 00:00
If one wonders what made the list in the Ipoh tourist attractions, Perak Tong or limestone cave temple is certainly one of them. Sprinkled all over the former mining valley, there are more than a dozen of Chinese cave temples in Ipoh. Of all shapes and sizes, these caves are the home to the growing stalactites and stalagmites making them natural treasure and hence in the collection of places to visit in Malaysia.
Residing at the foothill of Gunung Tasik, Perak Cave Temple or Perak Tong (Tong means cavern in Chinese/Mandarin lingo) is one of the most visited cave temples in Ipoh. If one drives along Jalan Kuala Kangsar, Perak Cave Temple is easily spotted, the red painted concrete arch by the main road itself. Alternatively, lock this coordinate (4.644546,101.098841) into your GPS. Private vehicles are allowed to be parked within the temple's premise and it is not hard to get a lot as tourists come and go within a couple hours.
Established in 1926 by a Chong-couple hailed from Jiao-Ling province in China, Perak Tong is a Buddhist Temple that enshrined a giant golden Buddha. Aside from the main shrine where the Buddha statue is in a seated pose, secluded corners behind as one walks further into the cavern also serve altars to perform sacred offerings and prayers too. Unlike a typical cavern, the temple cavern walls are smooth and beautified with colors of murals painting and Chinese calligraphy adding charm to the natural gift.
One of the best things to do if one ever steps foot in Perak Tong or Perak Cave Temple is hiking up a staircase over 400 steps, heading on a steep slope to reach the tip of the cavern. Despite the accident of Perak Tong rockfall in 2009 that trapped some tourists, the calling of panoramic view in north Ipoh and nature are shaking the hearts of the adventurous visitors. Exercise caution before embarking into the exploration to the summit of Perak Tong though.
If the majestic sight of jagged limestone near Ipoh is mysterious to you, take a step further to visit one of these temple caves. Walk into Perak Tong like you belong there. Perak Cave Temple is one of Ipoh tourist attractions that is served to public by free admission.
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