sign in a cave in Laos

28 April 2019

Chinese and Japanese writing in Perak caves

The Star on 27 April 2019 had an article "Japanese, Chinese writing dating back to 1913 found in Tambun's Gunung Datok cave".

The article, by Manjit Kaur, says writing believed dating back to 1913 has been found inside Gunung Datok in Tambun. This would pre-date WW1 and is from the Japanese Taisho period.

I first visited Gua Datuk in 1991 but don't have any photos of the graffiti.

Other caves in the Kinta Valley have a mix of Chinese and Japanese writing, which I was told by a Japanese friend Menju, that the writing is Kanji. Kanji means Chinese characters in Japanese. In the Japanese writing system, the characters are adopted from Chinese ones. Caves on the west side of Gunung Lanno show these characters. Although much of the graffiti there dates between 1930-50.

Gua Pulau (Prk 18/16) and Gua Batu Nesan (Prk 18/17) and Gua Selari (Prk 18/15) all have graffiti. My friend Law Siak Hong translated some Chinese characters as "continue to fight the battle" and "may our comrades continue to strive [for the cause]". There are also lot of names - Chinese, Malay and Sikh, also police.

There is also what we guess to be war graffiti, of a soldier shooting a man

See my more detailed blog about these caves, "Lanno revisited" in 2013.

© Liz Price
No reproduction without permission

This is the majority of the Star article :
"Japanese and Chinese writing believed dating back to 1913 has been found inside Gunung Datok in
Tambun near here.
State Tourism, Arts and Culture Committee chairman Tan Kar Hing said the inscriptions that were written in charcoal mentioned the year 1913 and the Taisho period.
"1913 is even before World War 1. We believe soldiers were at the cave probably as intelligence troops.
However, we need more experts to come down and have a look, especially the Japanese embassy," he said.
He said the cave is located within the Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat.
"However, we will be writing to the embassy, and we will get experts to tell us what the writing is
about," he added.
The Taisho period in Japanese history dates from 1912 to 1926, coinciding with the reign of the Emperor Taisho."

7 April 2019

Bomb-making equipment inside Krabi cave, & birds nests

Birds' nest caves in SE Asia are generally owned by local people and are carefully guarded to protect the valuable nests.

In March 2019 there was a mine explosion in a birds'  nest cave in Phang Nga Bay, Thailand. On March 20 The Thaiger reported "Investigation into mine explosion on a Phang Nga Bay bird’s-nest concession island". There was an explosion at a bird’s-nest concession area in Phang Nga bay, where two men were killed. The island is Koh Lao Dua, 6 km north of Koh Yao Noi. The mine had been planted in the beach, in a concession area that was out of bounds. The Nation Mar 19 "Investigation under way after lethal blast  in Phang-nga bird’s-nest concession area".

And in another incident also in Krabi area a week later -

The World News 28 March, "Bomb making equipment discovered in Krabi cave" -

Krabi officers have discovered bomb-making equipment inside a cave in Krabi.

Officers raided the cave on Koh Talu in Ao Lueak, Krabi after they found that the cave is part of an area of a company who received a concession to produce and farm bird nets.

Two men died from their injuries after stepping on mines along the shores of a nearby island last week that was also being used for the farming of bird nests.

Officers found 44 year old Chocknapat Khunkam and an 18 year old teenager in the cave. They told police that they had been hired to guard and protect the bird nets inside the cave.

Police also found bomb-making equipment inside the cave. The two men told police they didn’t know anything about that equipment. They have now been taken to Ao Lueak Police Station where they were charged with illegal possession of bombs and ammunition. Police are continuing their investigation.

At this stage police believe that items seized might be linked to the mine explosions at a bird’s-nest concession island in Phang Nga bay last week.

6 April 2019

Tin dredge in Selangor, 2019

I have posted a few times in the past about the tin dredge in Selangor, close to KLIA.

I was interested to see this article, "Anyone interested in buying Selangor’s tin dredge?" in Free Malaysia Today, published on 23 March 2019. My blog is mentioned in the article.

And the FMT article first appeared in The Thrifty Traveller's blog, "Selangor Tin Dredge", posted in 2017.

It seems that over the years, nothing has been done towards selling or preserving the dredge.

5 April 2019

Gua Air Mata Dayang, Merapoh, video

We found Gua Air Mata Dayang in Merapoh, Pahang, Malaysia, in Nov 2012. It is a water cave and now used for tube "rafting".

This is a video of exploring the cave, on youtube.