sign in a cave in Laos

25 September 2012

Merapoh 2012 - pt 3

Day 3, Sept 13. Whilst the Croatians started the cave surveying, I went on a recee trip with Laili, Hamdan and Zul. We went to Gua Batu Bulat. Note that in Merapoh, the locals use the word gua (cave) for bukit (hill)!

We actually walked around the whole hill in a clockwise direction. We were looking for caves I had visited in 1996, but as I realised at the end of the day, those caves are actually in a nearby hill at Gua Lima area.

However it was a very profitable day as we found 3 new caves.

We initially ploughed our way through thick vegetation, trying to keep close to the hill to look for entrances. So it was a relief to come out into an open area.
Hamdan called us when he found the first cave. It was a bit of a climb up to reach the entrance and I was surprised to see a bat colony right at the entrance.
The walls have very nice banding, hence the name Gua Lapis.
There are some large formations
The floor sloped up steeply and was covered in soft dry guano. There were a few toads
At a higher entrance, roots were coming through a stalactite
There were nice formations throughout the cave

We continued on along the hill, and the next cave, Gua Telur Emas, was much smaller. The cave was named from the golden egg formation

There were some interesting "tunnels" made by ants - I thought they were termites but apparently they are ants

The next cave, Gua Langsir Emas is not far away. This got its name from the golden curtains and other formations.
The floor in this section was covered in mud. There were small gours filled with cobbles
We continued walking and came back to our start point. After a very late lunch, we headed to Gua Lima. This is a very confusing area, as the map marks Gua Lima, but in fact there are many hills in this area.

The first cave we went to, I recognised as having been to in 1996. There is a swamp outside, so we named it Gua Lima Paya.
We then went on to the neighbouring hill and to Gua Terowong Felcra. I had also been in this cave in 1996 (then I called it Gua Lima).
and the 1996 view -
The 1996 rubber trees have been replaced with oil palms.
This cave is just a short (~ 50 m) tunnel in the hill. A side passage leads to a small window

© Liz Price
No reproduction without permission

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