Malaysia – Gunung Keriang –

This is the name of a elephant shaped mountain just outside Alor Star. It’s a very large limestone lump jutting right out of the flat landscape. We had heard that you could get a guide and venture either to the top or go inside. Going inside sounded intriguing.

So jumping into a taxi and 30 mins later we pulled up to the base. At the bottom you will find a car park and a few shops selling rocks and quartz mined from the mountain. After a few enquire’s with a friendly local shopkeeper. She jumped on her small motorcycle and zoomed off, ten mins later she returned to advise us that a guide will be with us shortly.

Sure enough a chap arrived on a pedal cycle made in the 1970’s. He was small in stature but big on personality. Please call me Rocky I will be your guide inside the mountain. How long would you like to spend inside ? He presented us with a few options.We opted for a few hours.

This would entail going through in more or less a sort of straight line (liberal interpretation). Now for those of you who are health and safety conscious. In this kind of environment there is…None….You just have to be very, very, very careful as any kind of rescue will take hours and hours. First of all you have to walk up and up on a very small stony path in the intense humid heat with all the bugs buzzing about your head. As there was fresh meat on offer I soon found myself with a  few new unexpected friends. Bugs aside the tropical jungle environment is wonderful and totally enchanting.  A few photos with some text follows all taken on the Nikon D810.

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A view of the surrounding landscape. In the foreground is a small Kampong. The mid ground is dominated by rice paddy fields with the distant hills on the horizon.
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Rocky. Now I’m a self confessed outdoor gear freak. So take a close look at this chaps attire. Especially the improvised rucksack. He use to be an electrician in KL but gave it up. He now earns his living mining the cave, collecting bat droppings and guiding.

Bat droppings ! What !
Yes bat poo is a money maker….Not a lot.

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This is the only time I came across any form of protection. Just to add an element of excitement most of the railings and the ladder are not properly secured – it all moves – 🙂

The way into the cave entrance is by the red writing on the wall.
The dark area to the left of it. Of you go son get stuck in !

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Looking backwards from the image above. We came through the gap between the two leaning lime stone pillars.

There are no photos inside the cave. First of all, I was a bit preoccupied with looking where my feet went as the only light inside the cave comes from your head torch. There are no ropes or real designated paths. Just trust and follow the chap (Rocky) in front. During the trip he went to great lengths to explain the flora, fauna and types of crystals.

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The exit on the opposite side of the mountain. It was truly amazing to see the initial shaft of light and then the glow of the exit. Once your eyes begin to adjust the vivid greens and other colours come to life.
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The limestone cliffs of Gunung Keriang.
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Lime stone pillar with dense forest around the base of Gunung Keriang.
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A home at the base of Gunung Keriang.

4 thoughts on “Malaysia – Gunung Keriang –

  1. Your right its potentially bad for your health, just like cycling in London, painting cars, walking up Helvellyn in the winter, going three up on a scooter in Bangkok with a suitcase balanced on my leg. To be honest I was more worried about falling off the narrow path and hitting my head. As always one has to do a dynamic risk assessment.Done, conclusion = dangerous. Just like discussing politics with a man smoking a cigarette sitting in the green chair at North Ken.

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