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