We arrived in Ipoh knowing there were many cave temples to visit. However, due to our extreme budgeting we somehow picked a cheap (good) hotel that was on the outskirts of town (not good). *Note- always check your distances. Getting a taxi ride into the center would be expensive, but our mistake had put us within walking distance of the Perak Cave Temple.
After a disastrous first attempt at walking there (which included forgetting to put a memory stick in the camera-I’m retarded sometimes, I swear) We quickly taxied back to the hotel to scoop up a memory card. I decided punishment for forgetting the memory card meant we’d walk back to the temple. 30 sweaty minutes later, we were back and ready to shoot.
This temple was first constructed in 1926 but to me it seemed much older, or I liked to think it was.
With more than 400 steps to reach the top of the hill from the back of the cave, we were anxious to get moving. And curious to see if we could make it all the way to the top.
We huffed and puffed ourselves up the stairs-at times I wondered about the tiny feet of those who had walked these stairs long ago. My feet are not even that big and only half seemed to fit on one stair. Mike grumbled and sweated behind me. I wheezed out encouragement-“You can make it baby!”-while he shot me looks of death.
We could hear thunder in the distance and were anxious to make it to the top. Sweet, sweet reward when we finally made it. The views were wonderful-you could see for miles, and the thunderstorm looked like it was coming straight for us.
After some hi-fives we scrambled down the stairs back into the temple. The textures and carvings in the rock walls, the mysterious looking abandoned monastery, the gigantic fallen rocks-there have been several landslides here, some of which have killed people-combined with the thunder made this temple spooky. I was fascinated. And a little scared.
Back inside the temple we explored the drawings and statues.
The calligraphy stretched high along the cave walls.
The golden Buddha that sits in the main hall right at the entrance is 40 feet tall. I don’t think this picture does justice to how high this statue is. But maybe you can get an idea.
Although we did not visit many temples in Malaysia, visiting the Perak Cave Temple gave us a good sense of the harmony between the caves and the temples built right into them. Be sure to get here before 4pm to be allowed access to climb the stairs, since it does take a little while and the temple closes at 5pm.