sign in a cave in Laos

4 April 2012

Gua Tempurung rubbish

Gua Tempurung is a popular show cave in Perak, Malaysia. Located about 24 km south of Ipoh it attracts large groups of visitors and is ideally situated midway between Kuala Lumpur and Penang. There are very few show caves in the Malaysian peninsula.

I used to go caving in Gua Tempurung before it became a show cave at the end of 1997. It was initially run by Heritage Acres and Yayasan Perak, and right from the beginning the cave suffered from lack of maintenance and lack of control by the guides.

In 2004 the State Government appointed APT Consortium Sdn Bhd to take over the management and maintenance of Gua Tempurung.

My most recent visit was in March 2012. There was a large number of visitors that day, and there seemed to be little control of the groups by the guides.

The requirements of things to bring for tours 3 and 4 are torch light and proper sports shoes. However very few people had torches, and many had unsuitable footwear.

The biggest problem is littering, and to a lesser extent, graffiti. I was shocked at the amount of rubbish in the show cave. Considering it was a Saturday morning and only just the start of the weekend I dread to think how much more rubbish would accumulate over the weekend.
Items left behind by the painters

Maybe the rubbish bins have not been emptied for a while. But why are visitors allowed to dump their rubbish, mainly plastic bottles, in the cave. They should be told to take all rubbish out with them.

The light at the top of Gergasi is broken

The above photos were all taken in the show cave.

As we left the walkway and went into the undeveloped parts of the cave, I was shocked at the number of water bottles that had been dumped. These had been put in many of the pits dug by the tin miners in the past.

Another big problem is the number of broken shoes, and soles from shoes, that are littering the cave - mostly in the 'adventure' areas of the cave.

Rubbish dumped by the workmen

This oil drum has been here a while.

An additional problem is visitors are given stickers denoting which tour they are on, but these stickers fall off and there are so many lying on the walkways.

Considering Gua Tempurung is being promoted as a major attraction for Visit Perak Year 2012, the rubbish is not a good advert for this, nor for Malaysian show caves.

See Gua Tempurung graffiti.

In 2000 we cleaned the cave for Earth Day.

© Liz Price
No reproduction without permission

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