For century(ies), Ipoh has remained as the capital city of the State of Perak (Perak Darul Ridzuan in Bahasa Malaysia). "Perak" means silver in our native language but the glittering colour here is referred to another metal, Tin Ore which is also silvery colour too. The State of Perak was used to have one of the richest reserve of tin ore in the world in the Kinta valley. The Kinta river, still flows through the Ipoh city which grew itself as a mineral mining town back in the early 1900. For more than half a century, Ipoh with the mineral reserves as well as Rubber has made Perak emerged as one of the richest States in the old British ruled colonial days of Straits Settlement and this has extended all the way through to Malaysia's early years of the post independence of Malaya. So, you can safely quote the city Ipoh was originated as a mining town. However, beginning from the '70, the Silver State has experienced a long difficult period due the collapse in commodity prices which formed as the backbone of its economy. The continual deteriorating prices of commodity of Tin (and Rubber) had resulted gradual closures of the many open cast tin mines operated by Chinese as well as British way of a larger scale Tin Dredging method. Since then, we saw Ipoh has gone through stagnated growth in domestic economy. But, Ipoh has still remained as one of the largest cities in Malaysia where Chinese is generally considered as a dominant population in this city of Ipoh; much of the early development of this mining town that has progressed itself to its current state has a lot to do with the contribution from the early settlers who chased their dreams here a century ago - the settles were mostly migrated from provinces in southern China and hence, rooted here during 1910-1920 tin craze era.
The influx of workers from China also saw early settlers brought along their religious practices and culture to the area. It was believed to be some monks and Taoists which camera much earlier from the tin mines workers from China first explored the various limestone caves in Ipoh. It was very similar to sites such as Jiu Hua San featured in this site where they replicate Chinese practice in making caves as their site for religious purpose. The photo shown at the left hand side was a 1920 postcard illustrating early days of cave temple construction where natural outlines of limestone or granite cave in Ipoh city was being converted as a religious site and/or settlement for those monks and Taoists Many of which brought along their skills such as medical knowledge, chant a& blessing, martial arts, letters for home and even fortune telling to serve the fellow tin mines workers.
<<<--- An old picture of Guang Fook Ngam Buddhist Cave Temple, 1920 near an old quarry (Granite/stone production) site, Ipoh.
It is a city mixing old heritage structures with modern living. This has attracted many film makers to screen films here. Many may have knew film star, Michelle Yeoh is a native Ipoh lady.
The city is famed for its local cuisine, like white rice noodles and chicken beanstrouts + also known for its local beauties in Ipoh girls, hehe. .a perfect choice for retirees.
The Ipoh city has many limestone ranges at its outskirts In fact, except for waterways, it has a nickname as "little Guilin of China" where the surrounding granite & limestone hills resembles the like of Guilin of China. Many of these Cave temples are constructed, taking advantage of the natural openings and forms in these caves, they form one of the most interesting sites for Ipoh city. Some selective Cave temples (each ranges more than 100+ years in history behind them) also indirectly registering development history of Ipoh as most temple management kept copies of their respective archived historical background. As Ipoh which is barely 200km north of metropolitan city of Kuala Lumpur which only takes approx. 1-1/2 hours drive via the North South Expressway, the easy accessibility makes it as an ideal alternate tourist attraction while touring Malaysia. One of the range near a small settlement Gunung Rapat, barely 10 minutes drive from the city hosts a series of a few most well known cave temples where you can literally visit them all in a series just by walking from one and another. Here you will find four caves temples, three at one end while another at its back of the range. I am rather quite lazy to address all of the temples. So, I will only feature three, namely San Bao Dong, Nan Tian Dong and Ling Xian Yan at this location (omitting one at the back section named Ji Le Dong, but I will see if I have the time next trip), instead, I will cover another location named Perak Cave (Pi-Li Dong) which is in isolation at the northern end of the city. However, there are a number of other caves nearby the city with no religious flavor (such as Gua Temburung, Gua Puncak) which are tourist favorite hot spots for foreign and even local Malaysian from other States/Cities.
San Bao Dong
Nan Tian Dong
Ling Xian Yan
Perak Cave (Pi-Li Dong)
Note*: With the exception of the Nan Tian Tong Taoist temple, most of these featured cave Temples are of Mahayana Buddhist tradition. Actually the boundary line is quite blurred because many of the featured temples share many traditions. As The State of Perak shares a common political border with neigboring Thailand at its north, Theravada Buddhism has, hence casts a strong influence and has created quite a following within the Ipoh Chinese community as well. I have featured one such temple earlier named Wat Mekprasit (near Perak Cave, see the link provided below), that is - if you are more interested in Thai /Siamese way of Buddhism practice.
怡保市是马来西亚中北部的霹雳州的首府，有"锡都"之称，也有俗称"南洋小桂林"之美誉。 怡保也是马来西亚北部重要的商业与行政中心之一。 除了吉隆坡，怡保也是当年华人冒险南下发础锡矿的主要聚脚地。 霹雳州内无数依山而立的佛教与道教洞穴庙宇誉满天下，并享有"南洋小敦煌"美称。 其中位于怡保市范围的几个洞穴庙宇最为有名。 怡保大多数的庙宇多有百年多以上的历史，传说上世纪末从华南而下的几个行脚僧人与道士无意中发现几个石窑，并与天然形成的洞窟作为建筑现有的庙堂主体。 这里几个庙宇经过百年以上变迁与本土的华团资助发展，已经成为一个独特的佛道混合的宗教旅游胜地。 大多数的洞穴内部为钟乳石岩洞，洞内道路曲折，更可观赏政治家，烈士，文人墨客在壁上的手笔与绘画 (例如孙中山先生，胡适，于右任，张大千大师等等)。 除此之外，您还可以观赏天然热带层峦密林与花冈石/石灰岩并存列的美景。 这里的佛教与道教的洞穴庙宇与佛殿庄严宏伟，周围的环境幽静，古木参天，禅钟梵呗，加上怡保小食如芽菜鸡，荷粉绝对值得一游。
这网站以最出名的三宝佛洞，供奉道教的南天洞，佛道共尊的霹雳洞与灵仙岩为主题，并辅助与小乘法的泰国佛庙 Wat Mek - prasit 网站。 谢谢。
| San Bao Dong Buddhist Cave Temple | Nan Tian Dong Taoist Cave Temple
| Ling Xian Yan Buddhist/Taoist Cave Temple | Pi Li Dong (Perak Cave) Buddhist/Taoist Temple
| Ji Le Dong Cave Temple |
Relative: Wat Mek Prasit Thai/Siamese Buddhist Temple, Ipoh
NOTE**: The above translation is straight forward Simplified Chinese which I think "Dong" should be more accurate than "Tong" for cave. The names for various temples can be translated as Sam Bou Tong, Nam Tin Tong, Ning Xin Ngam etc. in Cantonese, which is the primary local dialect used. "kek" is also widely spoken.
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Credit: To all the good people who have contributed their own experience, resources or those who are kind enough in granting us the permission to use their images that appeared on this site. Note: Certain content and images appeared on this site were taken by using a Canon PowerShot Pro-1 digital camera. Some materials appeared on this site were scanned from some leaflets, brochures or publications published by Wat Pak Nam and/or contribution from surfers who claimed originality of their work for educational purposes. The creator of the site will not be responsible for any discrepancies that may arise from such dispute except rectifying