GUA MUSANG

KELANTAN MALAYSIA

Gua Musang is close to the northern gateway to Taman Negara (National Park), which is at Sg Relau near Merapoh in Pahang. The small village of Merapoh is just south of Gua Musang and serves as a popular starting point for those who want to scale Gunung Tahan. The untouched tropical rainforest in Taman Negara is among the oldest in the world. It is well known for its biodiversity and is home to many endangered species of animals and plants.

 

 

Gua Musang is surrounded by limestone hills and caves, which have become popular with cavers and rock climbers.

 

Another interesting place to visit in Gua Musang is a Buddhist temple in Pulai, which is purportedly 400 years old.

 

Nenggiri River is a favourite among those who enjoy river rafting. There is also a rafting race, called Nenggiri Challenge. Archaeological sites can be found in caves, such as Gua Cha, Chawan and Jaya, which are situated along the river.

Zi Xia Dong is a Chinese cave temple located in the karst tower Princess Hill. The tower was named after an old legend, a beautiful princess searching for her missing father came to this place. She found him meditating at the cave but he was dying of old age. She place the first commemorative shrine for her father in the cave. So the hill was named after her for her daughterly unselfishness.

 

 

The name of the cave is Chinese, dong is the Chinese word for cave while gua would be the Malaysian term. The cave is decorated in the typical Chinese style. This starts with the huge name of the cave carved into the cliff face at the entrance. The huge three chinese characters are painted with red colour. Inside the cave are various religius sculptures, shrines, and statues which are also in Chinese style. The main statue fills the through cave almost to the ceiling and depicts Goddess Guan Yin. It was carved from a huge stalagmite by Chinese craftsmen between 1998 and 2008.

The cave is located high up in the cliff face of a karst tower and is reached on a concrete staircase built in front of the cliff. Before the staircase was built there were only wooden ladders which had to be climbed to racht the cave entrance 40m above the ground. The view from the entrance is breathtaking.

The cave has various passages and chambers with different shrines, sometimes connected by narrow or low passages. One altar is called Shi Fu Tan and another is dedicated to Na To Gong. A huge stalagmite nearby is said to be the home of Na To Gong.

The village Kampung Pulai is inhabited by Hakka Chinese, which are said to have come here 600 years ago in search of gold. The town is very remote, the first tarred road was built only 20 years ago. So the Chinese culture of the people could survive for centuries.