sign in a cave in Laos

28 May 2014

Wooden structures of Nam Loong Ngam cave temple

The cave temples around Ipoh are quite well known, as religious sites and also tourist attractions.
The most 'advertised' in tourist literature are the ones at Gunung Rapat, e.g. Sam Poh Tong complex and Kek Look Tong, as well as Perak Tong north of Ipoh.

One of my favourites is/was Nam Loong Ngam [Nan Yang Koo Miau] at Gunung Layang Layang. I say 'was' because the old wooden temple structure has now completely gone, and the place has been completely modernised. It is a piece of history that has been wiped out.

The history of the Taoist temple dates back to the 'mid nineteenth' centry according to a document in the temple and in 1895 was exempted from registration by order of the British Resident. It was used for meditation by a single monk.

In 2005 it was decided to turn it into a Buddhist centre and to donate it to  Very Venerable Thrangu Rinpoche. A lama was resident since 2006 and a house was built for him as well as a 14 ft stupa.
This is how the wooden structure looked -


In 2008 the cave name was officially changed to Thrangu Dharma Retreat Centre.

 And this was the new temple under construction -

 And this is the new temple

Inside it looks so different. Most of the old wooden stairs and platforms have gone, replaced with new stairs, metal handrails and tiled floors. Old stairs -

and new

The "Guinness god" (Prosperity) is still there although without the Guinness.


I have lots of photos of inside the temple from 2001 to date. There are a lot of differences, the main one being the new 'upgrading' has opened up a new section of passage that was previously closed.
However the purpose of this blog is just to show the changes of the outside.

© Liz Price
No reproduction without permission

16 May 2014

Batek orang asli at Merapoh

There are several caves in the Merapoh area that have rock art. These simple drawings are done in black, presumably charcoal, and can be seen on walls of rock shelters and on the walls outside caves.

The drawings are thought to be done by the local orang asli, or aboriginal people. They are typical of other drawings at orang asli sites in West Malaysia.

In the Merapoh area, the orang asli are from the Batek group. They live in a new settlement at Gunung Jebuk / Gunung Teluk Gunung. The government has built them new houses

 and is working on the water supply -

We went to the kampung in Dec 2012 to ask about caves at Gunung Jebuk

However it is not known if people from this village did rock drawings in the area.
Read more on SEArch blog.

Some of my blogs on the rock art :

Gua Seribu Cerita 
Gua Lima

© Liz Price
No reproduction without permission

13 May 2014

Doomed Cave crystal chamber, Gunung Lanno

Early May 2014 a crystal chamber was exposed after the limestone hill had been blasted. As the hill will be removed later on, I was lucky enough to have the chance to photograph the chamber on 11th May.

The single chamber, which we named Doomed Cave, is located at Gunung Lanno, Simpang Pulai, south of Ipoh, Perak. The chamber is in a single rock pillar. I had actually photographed the pillar in 2001 (photos not shown here as they are on private property).

This is a 2011 view


The cave entrance
A ladder had already been put in place

Inside was a stunningly beautiful crystal chamber

 Looking up at the ceiling

The crystals were translucent
 There were an amazing number and variety of helictites -


There were 'huge' crystals, in fact much of the floor was a crystal 'ledge'

 The crystal stal was damaged when a piece of roof fell due to the blasting

View from the cave

And this will be the final result

I was able to pay another visit before blasting on 19 May and took a quick video of the cave -
© Liz Price
No reproduction without permission