Keeping The Hills Alive

limestone hill ipoh

What tourists said about the Limestone Hills in Ipoh

“Nice Place to visit”

I visited this place on the way to KL. Really awesome place to get refreshed your mind.Ambient inside the cave temple is a place where you can set aside my ever-tiring soul. This place simply offers a different ambient and calm you down.

“Fascinating visit but good only if you have time”

There seems to be a fascination with building temples inside caves here. In the caves, it is dark so it is lit up by artificial light. Worth a look but there is nothing that will make one’s jaw drop.

Be prepared for some climb as there are a lot of steps to reach the top. Bring water! That is my advice.

“Just brilliant”

I only went a couple of these cave temples they are just amazing, my favourite was Parek Tong, but that’s just my view. Apart from the natural splendor their is also the art of the temples themselves, highly recommended if you go to Ipoh you must visit these.

“Nice temple great scenary”

We did an express visit of Ipoh but was worth it. We hired a taxi for three hours. It would cost you between 30 and 35 RM per hour. We went to three different temple caves. The Kek Lok Tong was the best for me.

It has a beautiful garden behind and the scenary is great. The second one was the Sam Poh Tong, more constructed than the Kek Lok Tong but also worth visiting. If you are running out of time you can skip the Perak Tong. It’s the biggest cave in Ipoh but it doesn’t look natural at all since everything is constructed and in asphalt.

Visited December 2013

“Unique caves”

This is my first time going to cave temples and it was a great experience. We got to see stalactites and stalagmites, which is so unique and wonderful. There’s also a pond filled with turtles, if anyone’s interested. Anyways, the scenery in the cave is absolutely breathe-taking. Totally worth the visit.
Source: Tripadvisor

limestone hill ipoh

What a breathtaking scenery at one of the limestone hills in Ipoh.

About the Limestone Hills in Ipoh, Perak

In here, I find peace and comfort never experienced else where. Another reason could be the cool atmosphere as it is actually surrounded by rocky granite/limestone hills.

Photographer Cheang Kum Seng’s love affair with the limestone hills of theKinta Valley has yielded thousands of photos spanning two decades.

RENOWNED photographer Cheang Kum Seng hopes to instil awareness on the importance of conserving the hills of the Kinta Valley through the images he has captured in the past two decades.
Source: The Star

pencil rock tambun

Serene pursuit: Boating in the lake near Pencil Rock in Tambun.

His fascinating photographs of the valley’s hills, caves and landscape were published recently in a book called Limestone Hills & Caves of the Kinta Valley. The author of the book is Ipoh-born freelance writer S. L. Wong, who specialises in environmental and travel writing.

Cheang, 65, is a retired bank employee who has found a second career as an industrial and commercial photographer. His images have appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers and books, and have been used regularly on the cover of the Malaysian Nature Society’s (MNS) Malaysian Naturalist between 1995 and 2000.

The limestone hills are great photographing objects

Cheang has snapped thousands of photographs of the hills in the Kinta Valley and some of his favourites are featured in the book. Many of the photographs were taken between 1990 and 1991 when he was commissioned as a photographer for the Kinta Valley Limestone Hill Survey Project by the MNS and as the photographer for the Gua Tempurung project by Heritage Acres Sdn Bhd.

limestone hill ipoh

In certain caves, there are Taoist temples built within them.

“The photographs in the book depict not only existing hills and caves but also landscapes that no longer exist due to development and changes in the use of land. I hope the book will serve as an encouragement for all of us to stand up and protect Malaysia’s natural heritage,” Cheang said in an interview.

His photographs are a testament to his passion for nature and the patience needed to bring out the very best in his subjects. Most of Cheang’s photographs were taken before digital photography became popular. He used two 35mm and a 120mm camera for taking slides and negatives during his outings.

Cheang’s crew were usually made up of his three sons and MNS members who shared his interest in caving activities.

perak tong tasek ipoh

The second chamber in Perak Tong, a cave temple near Tasek.

Adventures at some of the limestone hills

“We would visit the hills in the morning to start exploring the caves to look for interesting sites with unique features. It was a time-consuming job as we were only using torches. You need lots of patience to be able to study the formations before you are able to capture the images.

“Once we had identified our target, we would set up the cameras and positioned the helpers to light up the cave using multiple flashes. At times, we had to wait for rays of sunlight to seep through the cave ceiling to impart a surreal impact on the photographs.

“We could only take about two shots in each outing and had to leave the cave in the evening,” he recalled.

limestone hill ipoh

Some of these caves are extremely spacious enough to house a temple.

Cheang, an associate of the Royal Photography Society of Great Britain, has been a member of the MNS since 1992 and a member of the Malaysian Karst Society since 2002.

MNS president Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Mohd Nor said in the book’s foreword that the Kinta Valley Hills have immeasurable conservation value and would be a perfect candidate for a World Heritage Site. It is significant in terms of its features and richness in biological diversity, but more significantly, it has a fascinating prehistoric past, he said.

Kinta Valley is where these hills are located

Dr Salleh said that the Kinta Valley Hills, reputed to be between 240 and 570 million years old, are breathtaking limestone formations that have inspired many travellers and researchers. With Limestone Hills & Caves of the Kinta Valley, the unique features of the limestone hills and caves can be recorded for posterity, for future generations to appreciate, he said.

Prof Dr Bernard Pierson, Shell Chair in Petroleum Geosciences, Universiti Teknologi Petronas, said the beautiful and long overdue book was a tribute to the geological treasures of the Kinta Valley.

limestone hill ipoh

There is usually some kind of lakes nearby these limestone hills.

Those interested in the book can contact the MNS at (03) 2287 9422.

Story by FOONG THIM LENG & Photos courtesy of CHEANG KUM SENG




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Written by FlyKLIA

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