sign in a cave in Laos

1 May 2012

Gua Kandu, Perak, Malaysia

Gua Kandu is one of the longest caves in Peninsula Malaysia, and is just over 1 km long. I surveyed the cave with 2 Australians. Gua Kandu is located south of Gopeng, near Ipoh, in Perak, Malaysia.
Over the years since I have been visiting the cave, I have seen many changes to the surroundings. This is the front, in 2001 and then in 2012

This is the view from the upper chamber in 1992 and then 2012
On my first visits, we used to sleep in the lower entrance. I remember we always got badly bitten by invisible insects, maybe some sort of sand fly. And the rubber trees in front of the entrance were a haven for mosquitoes. As early as 2003 the lower entrance was fenced off and the rubber trees has all gone and turned into a banana plantation.

Around 2006 a private company, Nomad Adventures, took over the cave and used it for adventure tours. They also constructed a flying fox in the large upper main chamber. I first saw this in Feb 2007. However I have never seen it in use but it was still in place in 2012.
You can see the cables running through the chamber in these photos

During the years when the cave was used for adventure tourism, there was a lot of rubbish, especially face masks which people wore because of all the loose dust. Also there were a lot of plastic markers and tapes in place throughout the cave. And ropes were fixed on many of the climbs. The worst was all the graffiti, and also painted arrows and exit signs etc on the walls.
On my most recent visit in April 2012 I was pleased to see the cave was almost totally free of rubbish. The ropes are still in place though. The flying fox now seems to be abandoned. However a new one has been built outside the cave, by a new private company Kandu Eco Adventure.
They took over the management of the cave in 2011. Nomad Adventures now have a Mountain School on Gunung Kandu.

In 2007 the Digi phone company used Gua Kandu in an advert featuring their yellow man.

Gua Kandu register number Prk 07/02.

© Liz Price
No reproduction without permission

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