Malaysia has a lot to offer adventurous travelers, but none so exhilarating as the incredible cave systems maintained by both public and private organizations, many of which have received special designations as culturally significant sites. The following are a few of the best.
1) Sam Poh Tong
Located in Gunung Rapat near Ipoh, Sam Poh Tong is reputedly the largest cave temple in the country. Discovered by a monk in 1890, the temple remains home to a population of monks to this day.
2) Cave of Darkness
Featuring a cave that extends more than a thousand feet, the so-called Cave of Darkness (Gua Kelam) is located near the town of Kaki Bukit. Once home to Stone Age inhabitants, the cave went through an incarnation as part of a tin mine in the mid-20th century, and is now one of the most distinctive destinations in the country.
The Batu Cave complex rises more than 300 feet above the ground in Selango. Within is the biggest and most famous of the chambers (referred to as Cathedral Cave or Temple Cave) making the cave one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside of India, particularly during the Thaipusam festival each winter.
4) Gunung Mulu
Located in Sarawak, the caves at Gunung Mulu National Park are accessible through many means, the most exciting of which is via a hike along the famous Headhunter’s Trail (note: avoid this approach unless you’re in peak physical condition). Added to UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites in 2000, these caves have been visited by humans for as long as 3,000 years.