Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Gua Sireh, Baling, Kedah

Do Now: Name me some caves in Kedah/Perlis in Malaysia.


If you're able to name a few caves, good job, and here's a virtual clap for you. 

If you can't, well, I was guilty of this too - not knowing caves beyond the famous few caves in Sarawak (because we had to memorize it for our Geography test back in school!) and perhaps Batu Caves in Selangor and Gua Tempurung in Perak because these are rather popular tourist attraction. 

Little did I know that Malaysia has so much more caves, beyond Sarawak or Perak, that is truly worth visiting. One of them is Gua Sireh, a cave located in Baling district of Kedah.

Sneak peak of the interior of Gua Sireh - my amateur photography skills (+ low quality gears :p) couldn't capture the beauty of Gua Sireh! 

My friends and I came to know about Gua Sireh through the friendly people running Rumah Ndoi, a guesthouse run by friendly locals located about 20 minutes drive from Gua Sireh. We really wouldn't have known otherwise - a quick search on the internet about places to visit in Kedah typically just show places in Langkawi, which is a pity, because Kedah has so much more, besides Langkawi, to offer!

All visitors are required to register and hire a guide in order to visit Gua Sireh. Pre-booking in advance is not required. After registering, you'll be given a tag with lanyard and introduced to your guide, who are locals who live around the area. The entrance fee as of December 2019 is as below. There is no minimum number of people for a tour as far as I know.

Gua Sireh is a dry cave (ie no waddling in water involved). However, like any other caves, there are some parts where it'll be slippery, especially if you visit during the rainy season. You can opt to rent a pair of Kampung Adidas (rubber shoes) here for RM7.

Kampung Adidas do get uncomfortable after walking for a while though, be sure to bring a pair of thick socks if you intend to rent one.

From the ticketing booth, one has to walk about 200m (of mostly flat terrain, don't worry) to reach the entrance of Gua Sireh.

There were lots of hermit crab-like shells at the entrance of the caves. Our guide told us that it might be because Gua Sireh was once submerged underwater!

And off we go into the caves
Our friendly guide showed us some unique rock formation that resembles animals. These formations were formed naturally, through decades of dissolution by rainwater.
Our guide was one of the most enthusiastic guide ever, he kept offering to help us take photos :p even at the entrance!
After walking for about 100m, we were greeted by this...marvelous cave system. The cave system was....spectacular beyond words. Me being a noob photographer was unable to capture the true beauty of this cave. Honestly, these photos do no justice to the beauty of Gua Sireh!

Mother nature never fails to amaze :) I wished if I were a better photographer honestly. I really have to emphasis again that my photos failed to capture even a fraction of the beauty of the caves!
Yes, there are props lying around the cave to satisfy your photo needs :p

If you're wondering how we managed to get decent-ish lighting for the photos..
There are...back-up lightings around the caves to cater for your photo-taking needs. How considerate, honestly LOL!

There were lots of interesting sights around the caves, but I was unable to capture those beautiful sights using my phone camera. I'll just include some video snippets below :D

Another major attraction to me in Gua Sireh was...seeing bat poop (I'm not even kidding, watch the video snippet below)
Yes, apparently...bat poop is shiny. 
And this is one unique rock, that produces sound that resembles a gong!

The tour took us about 1.5-2 hours. It really depends on your speed, and how many photos you want to take :p since the guide is really enthusiastic about photo taking! You'll be travelling in a loop - ie you'll be exiting where you enter.

No strenuous climbing or crawling was required :) So yes, it is suitable for kids to visit too!

Before I end this post, I'd like to emphasis once again that I really have compromised the beauty of Gua Sireh with my sub-par photography skills, and Kedah has much more than Langkawi to offer :p

Gua Sireh
Kampung Padang Che Mas, 
09100 Baling, Kedah

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