Cave Temples of Ipoh
To spice up our stay in Penang, the family got together and drove down to Ipoh to visit the impressive cave temples just outside town. The tollway runs through some beautiful karst scenery and stretches of jungle. David said it was one of the nicer stretches on the highway leading to Kuala Lumpur.
The mountainous countryside appears to be riddled with caves; however, we chose to focus our attention on just two: Kek Lok Tong and Perak Tong.
Kek Lok Tong, the first cave we visited, is relatively large and boasts some nice stalactites and stalagmites. We spent an hour wandering around the formations and enjoying the cool, steady breeze which flows through the cave. (Shade and a cool breeze are luxuries here.) There are several large statues including Chinese Buddha of Future Happiness, the three Sages, some Bodhisattvas, and Kuan Yin, but the experience is more about the cave.
The Perak Tong is much more of a temple experience. The walls of the cave complex have been covered with enormous murals in vivid colors, which add a great deal of drama to the simple cave walls. Passages lead to smaller temple grottoes and altars for meditation and reflection. Visitors can climb stairs up through the mountain to a small pagoda at the summit. Unfortunately, we were unable to do this as the cave was closing. Maybe next time.
Of course, food is a key element of every adventure here. So between cave visits, we stuffed ourselves with yam cake, Indian noodles, chicken pie, cinnamon buns, tropical fruit, gelatin treats, and giant prawn crackers. On the way home, we stopped for dinner. As I mentioned before, I’ve never eaten so much in my life 🙂