Two caves and a waterfall

A few weeks ago my friend Henry Chan whatsapped me about a”new” waterfall in the Sg Siput region, Lata Penyel, and a cave south of Ipoh, Gua Air. He had visited both places. and when I showed my interest, he said that he was willing to guide me there.

We share an interest in nature, especially waterfalls, and we have made several trips together. Here are the reports : Trip to Kedah and Penang, Tasik Kenyir and Trip up North .

Henry and his wife Soon Lay live in Lunas, but they also have a house in Taiping, my 2nd hometown 🙂 . During my recent visit to Taiping, they also came to Taiping, and from there we made a day trip to Ipoh. A long trip, because we had decided to include a second cave, Gua Naga Mas, located not far from Gua Air.

They picked me up from my hotel at 7 am and first we drove to Bercham for breakfast at Restoran New Paradise. Food is another shared interest, the restaurant is famous for its Char Siew Pao. We bought a few for lunch, I had Yong Tau Foo for breakfast. A good start of the day!

Our first destination was the Gua Naga Mas (Golden Dragon Cave). We had never been there, but Bernard, another friend of mine, had visited this cave and given us coordinates and directions.

The cave has been in the news recently because of a fossil animal skeleton inside the cave. In this newspaper article: Rare tiger fossil in cave at Gopeng, Perak, must be preserved more information can be found. My caving friend Liz Price has reported several times about the cave and the fossil, advocating that it should be better preserved.

October last year the Kinta Valley has been declared a National Geopark, hopefully the vulnerable limestone hills and caves will be better protected now against the ongoing quarrying onslaught!

With Bernard’s directions we found the location easily. The limestone cave is part of a Buddhist temple, many of these cave temples can be found around Ipoh, see for example my blog Gunung Rapat Cave Temples . Compared with those temples, this one looks rather neglected. Steps lead to the upper cave with the fossil.

Information boards tell about the history of the fossil. They look new.

Here is the fossil. It could be a tiger, or a leopard, or even a bear. It could be more than 300.000 year old, according to a recent study.

It is not that easy to spot, you must know where to look ;-). We were the only visitors. Using some rickety scaffolding you can come a bit closer to the fossil. Apparently there is work going on and probably in the future the cave and also the temple will look better.

A few more pictures

View of the surroundings from the cave entrance. A lot of industrial development. The hills are part of Gunung Lanno, our next destination.

For the second cave, Gua Air (Water Cave) , we drove a few km north, to Gunung Lanno. Extensive quarrying takes place here, as can be seen in this GE screenshot. To visit the cave, you have to enter the quarry site, permission was easily given.

Before we entered the cave, we first drove a bit farther, where the cave exits in a beautiful lake with crystal clear water.

Nice surroundings.

Back to the cave entrance. Henry had brought helmets and headlights.

Entering the cave was a bit tricky, using a ramshackle ladder. Some steps were already missing, and going down another one broke loose.

The cave itself was disappointing, only a short stretch, and probably not natural, but blasted. However, at the end you reach the small lake, really beautiful.

I was a bit worried if we would be able to climb up the ladder, which was now missing one more step, but we managed 🙂 . Outside the cave we followed a trail to the lake. That was more interesting than the cave itself.

Visiting the two caves had taken only taken about two hours, less time than we had expected. Henry decided that on our way to the waterfall, we could have lunch in the Old Friend Restaurant in Kuala Kuang (Chemor), famous for its Roast Duck. Delicious!

Our last destination was the Lata Penyel waterfall. In 2015 I visited waterfalls in the Sg Siput region: Sg Siput Waterfall Recce. I ended this blog with:

From Bawong 4WD roads lead to remote Pos Piah and Kg Kuala Mu. There must be dozens  if not hundreds of waterfalls along these roads, waiting for intrepid explorers!

A few years later the road to Kg Kuala Mu has been tarred and is now accessible for normal cars. But it still a 2.5 hour drive from Ipoh to Kuala Mu!

The Tengkoh Penyel waterfall is near the small Pos Yum kampung. and can be reached on an easy trail of about 600 m. The kampung folk (Temiar O.A.) maintain the trail and are doing a good job.

The tall waterfall is a real beauty, very scenic. There is only a wading pool, so it is safe for non-swimmers.

The tall waterfall is a real beauty, very scenic. There is only a wading pool, so it is safe for non-swimmers.

The Orang Asli have done a marvelous job, they have built a few shelters and huts near the waterfall. You can rent them and even stay overnight

Some more pictures

Before driving back to Taiping, we still had time to have a look at Kampung Kuala Mu. A very winding road, climbing to an altitude of 600 m. Surprisingly there were many people there, bikers mainly, staying overnight in one of the huts. Well organised.

It was still a long way back to Taiping, where we arrived around 7 pm. Here is a Google Earth screenshot, with the location of the two caves, and the road from Chemor to the waterfall and Kuala Mu.

We finished this rewarding outing with a dinner at Thomas’ Western Food in Barrack Road. Henry had brought a few bottles of toddy!

Looking forward to a next adventure with them!

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