Perak Cave Temple

If you’ve been to Ipoh before, you would have probably heard about the famous cave temples that can be found there. If you haven’t, I have a post about visiting these cave temples. However, the oldest and probably most well known of them all is Perak Cave Temple.

Perak Cave Temple or locally known as Perak Tong (Tong being the Chinese word for cave), can be found roughly north of Ipoh’s town center. The best way to get there is by car. For myself, I rented a car to get around Ipoh, but Grab works as well.

Perak Cave Title
The imposing front entrance to the cave. There is a large carpark in the front where you can park your car. The carpark was built to accommodate tour buses as it does get crowded on weekends. So if you want to avoid the crowds, weekdays are the best time to visit.
Perak Cave 1
There is a marble plaque just before the main staircase which gives the history of the temple. I don’t know why some parts of the story have been redacted.
Perak Cave 2
Climbing up the main stairs brings you to the incense urn and the gateway into the cave proper.

The cave is inside a limestone hill which forms part of the karst landscape of Ipoh. The other cave temples in Ipoh are also found in similar limestone hills. Perak Cave is probably one of the largest caves here and houses a 40 foot high Buddha statue.

Perak Cave 3
The passage way that leads to the cave itself. It was really hot and humid on the day I visited with air temperatures of around 36°C. The inside of the cave provided a cool respite from the heat.
Perak Cave 4
The large cavern houses a 40 feet high Buddha statue flanked by the 4 heavenly guards.

From the back of the Buddha statue, the cave extends further, and there are stairs that lead up to the outside of the cave.

Perak Cave 5
Behind the Buddha statue are more statues. And also a stairway that leads upwards and out of the cave.
Perak Cave 6
The stairs do pass through some low headroom areas, but it’s a pretty easy climb to the top.
Perak Cave 8
Upon coming out into the open, there was this vacant 2 storey building and more stairs leading in different directions. You can’t see it here, but there is a stairway hidden behind this building which leads to the summit of the hill.

The stairs lead to an open area with a seemingly abandoned building. There are 3 stairs that lead upwards to more viewing areas. They all go in different directions so you can’t just follow one flight stairs and think they will end up at the same place.

Perak Cave 9
This flight of stairs seems interesting. I thought it will lead up to the top of the limestone hill, but it ended at a viewing platform at the side.
Perak Cave 11
More statues at the viewing platform, this time of Buddha seated on an elephant.
Perak Cave 10
You can see in the distance the karst landscape that defines Ipoh. Unfortunately, the industrial estate below really spoils the view.
Perak Cave 14
Another steep flight of stairs leads up to a rather sorry looking pavilion. The views there are blocked by trees, and I think it’s not really worth the effort to climb up there. You will also see many monkeys around the area, so do be careful of them, as they are always on the lookout for any food that you might be carrying.
Perak Cave 12
To really get up to the summit of the hill, you need to go behind the vacant 2 storey building and climb this staircase. By this time I was really drained out from climbing the other 2 stairs, and also dehydrated from the 36°C heat and high humidity. It was time to call it quits on climbing the summit.
Perak Cave 13
I headed back into the coolness of the cave. Here you can see more statues that line the back portion of Perak Cave.

If you have time to visit only 1 cave temple in Ipoh, then I would suggest Perak Cave. It would take about 30 minutes just to visit the cave. If you want to climb up the hill and explore, it would take another hour or more. It would also be prudent to bring along a bottle or two of water if you plan to make the climb to the summit. The heat can be brutal as I found out.

5 thoughts on “Perak Cave Temple

  1. I am sure I have visited Ipoh in my childhood but I don’t really have any recollection of it. I have since become quite interested to go there and see for example the Ipoh train station. Based on your post, I would love to see the Perak Cave and climb up to the top even though I’m scared of those monkeys!

    1. I think those monkeys there are not aggressive. They seemed more scared of us. Ipoh has changed quite a bit over the years. I have a few other posts about Ipoh and what to.see there. I have not yet visited the train station yet despite going to Ipoh several times already 😁

  2. Your photos of Perak Cave are great, it is not easy shooting with such low light but well done. The area looks great, although as you say the industrial park below does ruin the view.

    1. The cave was quite well lighted since it was being used as a temple. I love the play of different light temperatures of daylight, incandescent and fluorescent lighting in some of the shots.

      1. Yes, I think that is the true artistry of photography ~ understanding and playing off of the different lights/temps in any scene. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s