Located about 33km from the capital of Perlis, is Gua Kelam – a 370-metre long limestone cave near the small town of Kaki Bukit. It was once known for it’s high quality of tin ore.
According to the description that could be found at the entrance of the park, one En. Nayan from Kg. Kechor, Mukim Salang Perlis (“Tauke Nayan”) and his wife Puan Aminah from Wang Kelian started mining tin ore at Sg. Pelarit which is near Gua Kelam. It was then sold to a Chinese businessman.
Those days, ‘dulang’ system was widely used. The ‘dulang’ is made of wood, which is slightly curved in shape. The miners would dig the tin ore from the earth and put them into the ‘dulang’ which would be gently rotated in a circular movement to wash away the unwanted particles such as sand and earth. Sometimes, the miners have be in deep pit as deep as 500-600 feet in search for tin ore.
People believes that the name of Gua Kelam which can be loosely translated as Dark Cave derives from the fact that it was very dark inside the cave.
Apparently, there are two Gua Kelam. The first one is Gua Kelam 1 and the second one is Gua Kelam 2. Since I only knew of the latter cave when I came back from the trip, we only did Gua Kelam 1.
Some info on the opening hours and entrance fee:-
Opening Hours : Mon – Friday (8.00am – 5.30pm) Sat & Sun (8.00am-6.00pm) Entrance Fee : Adult : RM1 Kid below 4 yo : RM0.50
As it was quite early in the morning, there were not too many people inside the cave. The sound of flowing subterranean river, dripping of water from the stalactites and echoes from the steps of people walking ahead of me filled the cave. We were walking on the suspension bridge. Interestingly, the cave was well-lit with colourful colours. Therefore, I came back with good range of colourful cave photos.
Inside the cave, you could see the leftover of its mining era.
Few hundred metres from the tunnel, I came across a glittering section of the rock formation. If you have any idea why it glitters, feel free to let me know.
The suspension bridge leads to a Secret Garden. The locals come here for a picnic for the shady trees and the flowing rivers. Walking leisurely around the Secret Garden, we reached the blue lake. Sorry, the picture could not justify the bluish of the lake. I am quite sure the bluish colour indicates how deep the lake is.
The streaming river:-
Towards the end of the Secret Garden, we found a camping ground and deer park which was abandoned. The only way out from the Secret Garden was through Gua Kelam. We had to turn back into Gua Kelam.
Interesting finding in Gua Kelam is sintok tree. One of the district in Kedah is Sintok. Sintok is actually a climber plant. The medical power of sintok tree is a kept secret. It is best used to cure spasm, jaundice, hernia and stomach ache. It is also a cure to dandruff.
If you ever go to Gua Kelam, please do not repeat my mistake of not going to Gua Kelam 2.