sign in a cave in Laos

30 April 2014

Jomblang Cave, Kidul, Yogyakarta, Java

Jomblang Cave is located near Semanu, which is at Gunung Kidul, Yogyakarta. This is on the island of Java in Indonesia.

The cave is one of about 400 surrounding Jomblang Resort. This is quite a new resort, a green oasis in a karst landscape! It is owned by Indonesian filmmaker and caver Cahyo Alkantana. Semanu is southeast of Wonosari which is southeast of Yogyakarta.

Luwang Jomblang is connected to Luwang Grubug and the system is known as Luwang Grubug-Jomblang". It was explored by a British team in 1982 and surveyed by a Belgian-French team. For more info see Atlas of the Great Caves and the Karst of Southeast Asia Vol 40 & 65.

I haven't been into Gua Jomblang, I have only seen the entrance from the top -

A nice video of abseiling into the cave has been posted by Ricky Martin, and is called "My Assignment to Jomblang Cave.
See also Jakarta Post 11 March 2014, "Shimmering splendor of Jomblang and Grubug caves".

27 April 2014

Batu Kurau update 2014

In July 2012 I did a blog on the barber shop at Batu Kurau in Perak. This shop is built right along the limestone rock face.

The names can be confusing, as the rock is called Batu Kurau and is located at Anak Kurau which is about 6 km from Batu Kurau town!

I was back at Batu Kurau in April 2014 so took some more photos. There have been quite a few changes.

Firstly a large new school has been built on the paddy fields between Batu Kurau town and Anak Kurau.

Major work is being done at the Sg Kurau. This river flows alongside the rock face and there used to be thick vegetation between the water and the cliff. Now it is all cleared and the river bank seems to be widened

View looking downstream across the road -

New kampong sign

Riverside café and cave

The amount of graffiti has increased. This one says River Side Café
The motor bike and PAS sign were there in my 2007 photos

but these seem to be 'new' pieces -

The barber shop has been painted since my last visit. I don't know if it is still used as it was closed and there were no signs

Some of the  houses in the village were also painted with this pink paint!
Batu Kurau register number Prk 59/01.

© Liz Price
No reproduction without permission

Gunung Pondok, Perak

Gunung Pondok is a large limestone hill in Perak. It sits right by the N-S highway at Padang Rengas, which is between Kuala Kangsar and Taiping. The hill was documented in 1874 by colonial visitors.

Today the hill is being heavily quarried and there is an associated cement plant. Initially it was the Perak Hanjoong Cement factory, then YTL Cement acquired a stake forming YTL/Hanjong Cement now it is YTL Cement Berhad.

YTL Cement operates 2 world-class Integrated Cement Plants in Pahang (Sagu) and Perak.

These photos are various views taken over the years, mostly from a car or bus window. The first 3 were taken in 2010 -

 These next photos show a similar view in 2006 and 2014, so not too much has changed on the front side that faces Padang Rengas -


However much of the quarrying is taking place on the back side, the side that can't be seen from the highway or the town -
The end corner that is untouched, in 2007 & 2014

Over the years, several caves of archaeological interest have been found and documented.

Gunung Pondok register number Prk 55/01.

© Liz Price
No reproduction without permission

5 April 2014

Farewell to the King, film, Bau caves

Farewell to the King is a 1988 film written and directed by John Milius. It stars Nick Nolte (Learoyd), Nigel Havers (botanist), Frank McRae (Tenga), and Gerry Lopez (Gwai) and is based on the 1969 novel L'Adieu au Roi by Pierre Schoendoerffer. 

During World War II, an American soldier, Learoyd, becomes a deserter and escapes a Japanese firing squad in the Philippines in 1942. He manages to sail to Borneo and hides himself in the wilds of Borneo. Learoyd is adopted by a head-hunting tribe of Dayaks, a tribe of headhunters. They consider him "divine" because of his blue eyes.

Before long, Learoyd is the reigning king of the Dayaks. He takes a local wife and has a child. When British soldiers approach him to rejoin the war against the Japanese, Learoyd resists. When his own tribe is threatened by the invaders, the "king" deigns to fight for their rights when the Japanese attack his adopted people. This war story told in the style of Joseph Conrad and Rudyard Kipling.

The film was partly shot on location in the caves at Bau, Kuching, Sarawak. The crew stayed in the Holiday Inn, Kuching and returned there every night. The hotel is within a two-hour drive of every jungle, river, cave or beach location used for "Farewell to the King." 

The film is different from the book. In the book, Learoyd is an Irishman in the British army. The film wasn't very successful and had very mixed reviews. Release Date: 7 July 1989 (UK)