Thursday, June 29, 2017

Is Perak Tong Malaysia's most visually impressive cave temple? (Photo-essay)

After our visits to Sam Poh Tong and Nam Thean Tong, my daytripping party of four drove back into Ipoh town to have an afternoon snack (of sweet -- and pleasingly ultra-smooth -- tofu fa) and some food shopping.  (No, I really wasn't kidding about reckoning that there are lots of good eats to be found in Perak's capital.)  After that, it was back to cave temple visiting, with our deciding to stop and check out Perak Tong -- over on the northern outskirts of Ipoh -- before heading back to Penang.

As it turns out, we seemed to have ended up saving the best for the last -- because this Buddhist temple which takes its name from the Malaysian state that it's in (and which, in turn, takes its name from the Malay word for "silver") was by far the most beautifully decorated and visually spectacular to my mind.  

On the cave walls have been painted religious murals of impressive size and detail.  And on altars spread about this temple founded by a husband-and-wife pair from China in 1926 can be found gleaming statues of Buddhist religious figures.  Then there's the cave itself, whose limestone formations take interesting shapes -- including, in one case, what uncannily looked like a recognizable humanoid face to my mind...

View of cave and temple
Puppet Ponyo posing in front of the temple's main entrance
Warning signs (in Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese, English and Tamil) 
at the main entrance that I think alludes less to the dogs 
and more to the sections of wet floor caused by dripping water
 Past the canine and human temple guardians, and
stone lion guardians, can be found sights like these
I asked my German friend to stand near one of the
murals to help give a good idea of its large size!
Light and shadow add to the awesomeness but, actually, 
the murals and statuary already are cool sights on their own!
 Adding to the amazing experience of visiting the place
is the sense that not many people seem to know about it..
As for the face I alluded to earlier, do you see it too? ;b


Bill said...


Judging by these photos (every one of them is a winner), I can see why you find this the most interesting cave temple. I was totally unfamiliar with these temples near to Ipoh and they are a real discovery for me. And you've captured Puppet Ponyo at her best because she obviously does so enjoy introducing tourist sites.

If I may digress...Last March I passed out (probably from heat exhaustion) while rushing to catch a bus. When I regained consciousness and went to an ER where I was informed I had broken my shoulder. I'm still in painful therapy and will never regain total use of my left arm (and I'm left-handed too). I'm trying to regain my enthusiasm for living and hope to be able to eventually travel again because I had to cancel this year's trip to Asia after being away for too long...Your Ipoh blogs have really lifted my spirits (Malaysia is a country I have an emotional bond with) and have helped to motivate me to get well...Thanks...And I do see that mysterious face in your bottom photo.


YTSL said...

Hi Bill --

I hope you recover well and soon from your injury. You told me about it before but I hadn't realized that it was so bad! Thank you so much for taking the trouble to continue to comment on my blog as well as check it out. And I have to say that your telling me that my Ipoh posts having lifted your spirits and helping you to motivate to get well makes me feel really good indeed.