Caving Gua Tempurung Level 3

Last month me and my girls studied quite a few things about caves (posts - Cave Art and Making Speleothem). I then decided that the best way to reinforce all we’ve learnt was to go caving. So we decided on a field trip/adventure to Gua Tempurung.
this is what you see at Level 1 and 2 caving. Beautiful
Gua Tempurung is definitely an adventure I’d recommend anyone! It’s thrilling, exciting, educational, memorable! J
There are four levels of caving there. Level 1 and 2 is nothing more than a walk up several hundred steps. You get to enjoy the beautiful view of the very huge cave, it’s speleothems and sometimes bats, but no real adventure there at all. There are lamp posts along the path so it’s not too dark.
But if you’re not wary of water, I’d highly recommend level 3 or 4 caving.
Level 3 begins with a slippery slide down a short path. It so happened that when we were at that point there was another big group sliding down the path. To safe time, our guide decided that we should slide down a different path, a slightly more tricky one. This is where our friend Ding’s 500RM rope, came in VERY handy for young children. We had 15 children in our group and the youngest independent caver (aged 4) definitely had to go by rope. (We also had a very brave toddler, and he was strapped to his very gungho mummy most of the time.
slippery descend to Level 3
(If you’re an adult and not very err..agile, make sure there’s someone down there to catch you. I saw a huge lady slide down, and no one caught her. She landed with a very loud thud on her back and cried. I felt the pain for her!! OUCH!) 
After the slide, the guide gave us a choice of either crawling through a tunnel or going down a hole in the ground. We chose the hole. Going through it, we came to a level below the main cave floor. This is where it gets dark, wet and Exciting!! 
the hole we went through
The underground adventure was awesome! It is a series of tunnels with water flowing through. The beginning is easy, just walking through shallow water.
The beginning of the underground trail. Here's where it gets dark, and you'll need your headlights

Some parts you have to waddle like a duck to get through,
The duck walk..only till the passage gets lower, then you've to lie flat (also notice super mum Jessy holding on to her toddler as they get through these tunnels)

some parts you crawl like in this picture below 

this pic is blur..sorry..hard to get good shots in darkness.. but here we are crawling

and in some sections there is hardly space between you and the stalactites. This is when you have to either crawl flat on your belly or slide on your back, with water up to your neck. I chose to slide on my back, simply coz  I was hanging on to my dear camera and preventing it from getting wet. But this was beneficial, coz as I was sliding, I caught sight of a baby bat! The children were certainly excited when I called them back to see the bat! Unfortunately I didn’t get a photo of it, as you know, it is very dark under these wet tunnels.
Using flashlight, you can spot Josh coming out at the end of tunnel where he's been sliding almost flat on his back

All the adults and children did REALLY well. We had one member who got slightly claustrophobic while crawling under the stalactites, but thankfully these crawls were short with some breaks in between, and she did ok. J
I thought this formation looked interesting..kinda like a snake?
All in all, we took about 2 hours including time to stop and *ooh* and *aah* at the cave formations. Fabulous!
Things to bring if you’re going with young children:
-Head Lights
-boots or crocs will do. It’ll get wet, muddy with lotsa sand inside.
-Plaster in case of knocks or blisters
-drinking water
-wear light clothing and prepare a change of clothing for after (to be kept in car or locker provided)
-knee caps (which made it easier for my kids to crawl).
-optional helmet. (Jo my little gal, did knock her head once against a stalactite, but she was ok and continued without fussing.)
Do not carry heavy stuff, remember, lotsa crawling in water, some parts up to the neck coz you have to practically get flat on your belly or back in water, and you don’t want your stuff getting wet!!! Also I would check with guide regarding water level before going for level 3.
nearing the end. just a walk through :)

How to get there
To get there, just take the NorthSouth expressway towards Gopeng. Once you turn left to Gopeng exit, you come to a tol. Take a left after and follow the Gua Tempurung sign. Very easy to find!
Where to stay:
You can choose to stay in Adeline’s Place, or Gopeng Resort. These were nice, but rather deep in the forest, through a very narrow and bumpy road. Food found only at resort.
Or you can stay at Grand Kampar Hotel in luxury, drive 20 mins to the cave, and after the cave, enjoy the pool back at the hotel and the Amazing, DELICOUS variety of food found in Kampar. We chose this option. J
Next post- Rafflesia Hunt and Raja Brooke Butterfly sighting at Ulu Geroh. Ulu Geroh

@Martha , 2011


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