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December 1, 2008

Caves Expedition



Kuantan / Malaysia

Malaysia has many caves scattered around the country and is a haven for cave explorers. We drove a long way to Kuantan, the capital of Pahang, the third largest state of Malaysia, and visited Panching Caves at Sungai Lembing town.

Panching Cave (aka Charas Cave according to sources) is a limestone cavern with unique rock formations and is not only visited by tourists but archaeologists and geographers. It is actually a Thai-Buddhist cave temple with the enthralling statue of the 9 metres reclining Buddha.

Surprisingly, there is an admission fee to visit Panching cave. For an adult, you pay RM2. For a child, you pay RM1.

Why are there dinosaurs on Panching hill? Ouch! My hand! Those are not chillies…

We have to trek up a long flight of stairs to Panching cave. Luckily, the weather was good, if not it’s really dangerous to climb a hill on a rainy day.

As we climbed up to a higher elevation, we saw the vast palm oil plantations that we drove past before we found Panching hill. In fact, we nearly lost our way and wanted to turn back, as we were stuck in the middle of the palm oil estates because of the absence of proper signages. Along the way, our car was even obstructed by cows roaming along the narrow road. We became a bit panicky. Fortunately, we continued our way in and saw a few cars parked under the foot of a hill, which is actually Panching hill, our destination.

Entrance to the Panching cave with the sleeping buddha.

Be very careful while descending into the cave’s opening as the path is steep and slippery. It’s really amazing to see such an extraordinary big cave when we walked through the entrance. This big cave reminds me of my trip to Werfen Ice Caves, the world largest ice caves in Austria, only that it’s not covered with ice.

It’s really a very big cave, does the scenes here look like those in action and adventure movies?

Again, be careful with your steps, just like any caves, the ground is slippery.

There are notable rock formations in this limestone and granite cave. Does the rock in left pic look like a dolphin? The rock formation circled resembles the goddess Kwan Yin.

There are many altars in this cave.

Here we are. It’s the sleeping Buddha on the altar located deep in the cave.

The Indian devotee who manages this temple cave was distributing joss sticks to people who wanted to make offerings to the sleeping Buddha.

Not trying to throw my fist at anyone, but to show the orange string tied around my wrist. It’s believed to give blessings to the wearer. My folks got it from the altar. Somehow, the string matched my orange top.

We were turning back to the entrance of the cavern.

Donation Box Fail.

That’s my dad, feeling “victorious” after conquering the cavern.

Next, we climbed even higher to another limestone cave above this one! Stay tuned!

Read the continuation of our caves expedition | bizarre limestone cave in Ipoh | Werfen Ice Caves, the world largest ice caves in Austria

19 Comments Leave your comment

  • Lifecruiser said on December 1, 2008 3:45 am

    Ouch, those stairs to get there. Phew. But well worth it as it seems like! Love the sleeping Buddha and all of the caves.

  • lz said on December 1, 2008 7:12 am

    Wow..it’s quite a big cave!!

    Caves are everywhere in Malaysia, some of them might be abandoned or smtg..

    But in Ireland, cave is so precious that it become one of the main attractions! (so far I only know one) And the entrance fee is like..quite expensive I would say, even with student discount.

    My friends who went in told me it’s nothing compared to those in Malaysia. :P

  • Zara said on December 1, 2008 7:29 am

    Wah!

    U went there!

    It’s pretty nice.

    Have u go to Kelam Cave in Perlis?

    That one is quite nice too!

  • Borneo Falcon said on December 1, 2008 8:43 am

    Nice cave. This cave is well lit as well. Notice no bat. I went to Niah cave before and one need to bring own torch light. There were bats and guano. It stinks as well. Ha…. Ha….

  • eunice said on December 1, 2008 12:16 pm

    @Lifecruiser: It’s quite dangerous to walk those slippery and steep paths down the cave. My dad nearly fell down in one of the caves!

    @Lz: Sure nice if need to pay a lot for the entrance fee! XD Actually I feel that there are many wonderful attractions in Malaysia, and I believe there are plenty of them that the locals may not even know. Somehow, the Malaysian tourism board didn’t develop many nice attractions. :P

    @Zara: I never heard of Kelam cave! Perlis is very very far, oh I know, it’s LZ’s hometown right?

    @Borneo Falcon: Yucks! Bats! Droppings! haha I don’t think I want to visit such caves! :P

  • KC said on December 1, 2008 5:01 pm

    Huff !! Lotsa posts to catch up with ! Lemme start with this !!

    Kool post ! I din understand the catch in “Donation fail” ?! By the way the tamil word written below “Donation box” is “UNDIYAL” which means the same !

    Have u been to the Hindu Murugan temple at the Batu caves in malaysia ??! Its really famous here !

  • calvin said on December 1, 2008 6:08 pm

    eunice, when did you came down to kuantan? aiya, didnt give a me a holler. otherwise, i can take you guys out for a drink. err….ive been to the cave countless times. nothing out of the ordinary. but an interesting place to visit for tourists. cheers and god bless… :)

  • eunice said on December 1, 2008 9:39 pm

    @KC: aiya you didn’t visit failblog right? haha that’s why you catch no ball. :P
    Anyway, it wrote “dontion”, wrong spelling. :P And thanks for your tamil translation!!!

    My hubby said I went Batu Cave before when we were in KL long long ago, but I couldn’t remember hahah, cos I have been to a few caves in Malaysia. I still love the world largest ice caves in Austria.

    http://travelerfolio.com/werfen-ice-caves/

    @calvin: I went Kuantan last month, Nov. In fact, we went Mersing to visit relatives, then drove 3+hrs to Kuantan. It’s my first visit, even though I have been to Mersing since I was a baby! We don’t know Kuantan well, though not the best sight, so I guess the cave is the major attraction for us hahaha

  • Marly said on December 2, 2008 1:14 am

    I never been to caves before. The Philippines has many cavern also. These photos reminds me of how the people describe the caves.

  • Seno said on December 2, 2008 1:34 am

    ha..ha… all of you hands were bitten. the left bitten by dinosaurus and the right hand bitten by you ha.ha… great photo. BTW yout page rank and alexa rank is good. Thanks. Don’t forget to visit me back at Seno’s Coffee.

    Regard. Seno.

  • eunice said on December 2, 2008 2:06 am

    @Marly: There are definitely many amazing caverns in the Philippines, and I saw some of those photos too.

    @Seno: oh ya hahaha that’s true! Didn’t realise that hehe. I work hard for my PR, and my Alexa is just average… hope can get better ranking. ^_^

  • dong ho said on December 2, 2008 10:56 am

    the third and the fourth to the last photos are the most beautiful! you can see how long the cave is.

  • JH said on December 3, 2008 12:54 am

    Nice write up and photos of the Panching Cave !

    Didn’t visit this cave before, haven’t really travel a lot to east peninsula Malaysia, except Sungei Berkelah, Pahang, during my school days :)

    JH
    http://www.photojournalist-tgh.tv

  • Mark H said on December 3, 2008 6:40 am

    Some great photos. I am a big fan of limestone caves – some of nature’s finest work. This one looks huge. I think it appropriate that something as peaceful and meditative as a reclining Buddha highlights the cave.

  • Cecil Lee said on December 3, 2008 12:19 pm

    You are wonderful Eunice! You promote beautiful places in Malaysia more than I could do and it’s a shame for me as someone from Singapore knows better than the local :)

    Great travel experience to share!

  • eunice said on December 3, 2008 1:25 pm

    @JH: East peninsular is like more ulu to us. But I have been going Mersing on the east coast of West Malaysia.

    @Mark H: I really didn’t know many caves in Malaysia are limestone caves, until I read about those caves that I have visited.

    @Cecil Lee: Serious? hehe. Thanks.

  • veera said on April 11, 2009 10:06 pm

    I was there today 12pm.Nice wonderful Cave with Buddha / Hindu temple.
    Repairs on the way no electicity at 12pm but still have visiter enter to see the caves.
    Very nice Sivan / Ganesha / amman good experience to 3 of us.

    Suggest for Hindus lets visit this temple when u are in Kuantan.

  • eunice said on April 11, 2009 10:59 pm

    @veera: wow glad that you enjoyed your trip! We were nearly lost when we tried to find our way there, cos we need to go into a very big palm plantation, with many cows too!

  • Isha said on July 27, 2010 9:24 am

    I went there on June 23th 2010. Oh wat a beautiful cave. Suggest for those are visit to kuantan don miss to pray Buddhist & sivan.

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