Malaysia’s Cave of Darkness

I’m one of these people who like caves. For me there is a fascination in discovering these entirely natural structures, and an appreciation for the great beauty they normally encompass.
Malaysia is a country that has a lot of limestone hills and mountains, and limestone usually contains caves, with the result that Malaysia has some of the world’s biggest and most impressive caves.

One of the most distinctive caves in Malaysia is a 370-metre long limestone cave near the small town of Kaki Bukit, which literally means ‘foot hill’. Given that sunlight doesn’t penetrate the cave too far; the locals have called it Gua Kelam, which means Cave of Darkness in English.

Located about 33km north of Kangar, the state capital of the state of Perlis, Gua Kelam Recreational Park is popular for its enchanting ‘cave walk’ where you can enter from one end of the cave and come out at a different location. This is one of the best ways to view a cave, as you get a true sense of journey.

The only path to the cave is via an eight-foot wide wooden suspension bridge. This bridge links Kaki Bukit to the Wan Tangga Valley, a valley on the opposite end of Gua Kelam.

Back in 1935, an Englishman saw the water pathway as a brilliant method to transport tin ore from a mine located near the stream entrance through the underground cavern to Kaki Bukit.

Now, locals and tourists make their way through the cave via a brightly lit wooden walkway inside the cave. You can still find remnants of the tin mine operation within the cave. As you make your way through the cave, the whispers of a swirling dark subterranean stream, together with the squeaking bats and dripping water from the stalactites, form a concerto of natural sounds.
However, this is no hidden cave. In fact, it has been occupied for several millennia and was once occupied by Stone Age people.

Actually, although when you are there the cave feels like it is quite remote, in reality it is just a short walk from the town of Kaki Bukit.

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