Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ipoh Limestone Caves

Limestone caves, together with the food and the old town, are the icons of Ipoh. People might say, if you missed certain types of food, then you might not consider yourself have ever being to Ipoh. We would like to add the limestone caves into the list.

Ipoh is a city built at the valley of limestone hills. Many of these hills are blended into the city's landscape.

The limestone hill beside the road. We have to turn left after the KFC signage if we want to visit Kek Lok Tong, or go straight if we want to visit Sam Poh Tong.

There are several famous limestone caves at Ipoh, which include Sam Poh Tong ("Tong" means cave in Mandarin), Kek Lok Tong, Tambun Cave, Perak Tong, Tempurung Cave, and many other small caves. Many of these caves have become the setting ground for temples and places of worship for Buddhists and Taoists. We visited one of the most beautiful limestone caves- Kek Lok Tong. "Kek Lok" means the "Greatest Hapiness" or "Bliss". The temple in the cave was built in 1970's, but the cave itself had been used as a place of worship as early as 1920's. What makes this cave special is the collection of bronze statues of Buddha. The well landscaped gardens outside the cave are attractive as well. The opening hours are from 7 am - 6 pm, including public holidays. Admission is free. The official address is Kek Look Tong, Gunung Rapat, Ipoh, Perak

Our photo at the entrance of Kek Lok Tong. The cave is quite seclusive, hidden behind Mount Rapat. In order to visit the cave, we need to drive through the residential area beside Raja Musa Mahadi Road (Taman Endah Jaya). Lack of signage at the last few junctions, first timer might need to stop and ask the locals for  direction.

The entrance of the cave. The stairs lead to the first level of Kek Lok Tong.

Some of the bronze Buddha statues on the first stage of the cave. We can feel the cold blowing wind from this stage onwards.

The naturally carved stalactites offer wonderful view in the cave.

The nicely landscaped garden on the other side of the cave, surrounded by the hills with a pond in the middle. The picturesque scenery is an element of surprise to the visitors.

We tried to visit Sam Po Cave as well, but had mistakenly took Ling Sen Tong and Tian Lan Tong as Sam Po Cave. From a tourist's perspective, Kek Lok Tong is far more attractive than Ling Sen Tong and Nan Tian Tong. 

Ling Sen Tong is located 3.5 km away from Kek Lok Tong, and it is located just few hundred meters away from Sam Po Tong.

 The temple of Ling Sen Tong.

 A view from a tower at Ling Sen Tong towards Nan Tian Tong.

 Nan Tian Tong is located side by side with Ling Sen Tong.

A view inside Nan Tian Tong.

Overall, we had a wonderful experience in visiting the limestone caves around Ipoh. We will definitely visit other major limestone caves around the city in future.

More information about Kek Lok Tong (or Kek Look Tong) is available at its official website. Just a reminder, as Kek Lok Tong, Ling Sen Tong, and Nan Tian Tong are places of worship, so please act accordingly and keep these places clean.

More about our sharing on Ipoh and places in vicinity are available too. Please follow the links below.


  1. Ling Sen Tong and Nan Tian Tong are more towards Taoism rather then Buddhism .Lots of ppl cant differentiate between these two religion .I have even heard Taoist unknowingly proclaim themselve as Buddhist .

  2. Thank you for your information. We have retified it in our blog. Thank you again.