Perak Tong Cave Temple


Useful Information

Location: Ipoh.
From railway station head north on Federal Route 1. North-South Expressway exit #140 Ipoh Utara. Near Taman Loke Lim and Taman Permai.
(4.644244, 101.099374)
Open: All year daily 8-17, last entry 16.
[2021]
Fee: free.
[2021]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave SubterraneaCave Church
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension:  
Guided tours: self guided, D=1-2 h, St=450.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography:  
Address: Perak Tong Cave Temple, Jln. Kuala Kangsar, Kawasan Perindustrian Tasek, 31400 Ipoh, Perak, Tel: +60-11-2358-4126.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

1926 Chong Sen Yee and his wife Choong Chan Yoke, who came from Jiao-Ling province of China, discovered the cave.
1980 Chong Sen Yee passes away.
1983 Choong Chan Yoke passes away.
1995 temple officially completed.
2009 rockfall in the rear part destroys loughing Buddha and kills a security guard.

Description

The Perak Tong Cave Temple is named after its location, in the middle of Ipoh, the capital of Perak state. There are more than 30 cave temples in and around Ipoh and Perak Tong is one of the most famous and frequently visited. It is located inside a karst tower, which is actually the smaller of two karst towers, The bigger one, which was located to the south, was used as a limestone quarry and has been almost completely quarried. It's a matter of time until the space is leveled and overgrown by the city. The smaller tower is protected by the existence of the buddhist temple.

The cave temple is rather young, it was built by Chong Sen Yee and his wife Choong Chan Yoke. They originated from Jiao-Ling province of China, probably the reason why the name of the temple is often given in Chinese. They discovered Perak Tong Cave in 1926. They got approval from the Perak State Government and started to build the temple, which took 50 years. Chong Sen Yee was planning and building, while Choong Chan Yoke was collecting donations. Today the caretaker of the temple is their son.

To reach the cave temple the visitor has to climb a long staircase. The entrace is quite narrow. Inside there are a big chamber with a high dome and numerous side branches. The main chamber is dominated by a golden sitting Buddha statue, which is 12 m tall. It is flanked by four guardian deities. An english explanation text calls them goddesses, which is quite funny as some have a beard. The floor is tiled, there are murals onthe wall, and the cave is lighted by natural and electric light.

The cave continues behind the main altar. A second entrance opens to the side of the hill, where a trail to the top of the tower starts. There are outlooks, benches and pavillions, until the long staircases finally end at the top, which offers a great view on the city. From here it is obvious that the town is built in a tower karst area, numerous steep limestone towers can be seen dotting the otherwise completely flat city.

In 2009 a rockfall in the rear part destroyed the loughing Buddha statue and killed a security guard. Since then this part is closed for repair works. The rest of the temple is safe and open.