Part 2 of our Sungai Lembing vacation was a visit to Gua Charas. Gua Charas is located about 20 minutes away from Sungai Lembing town. The route to Gua Charas takes you through a tarmac road that runs through an oil palm plantation.
A large signboard will show u that you have made it to Charas Cave. There is also the presence of a signboard that says parking charges are RM2 per car and RM5 per bus. It looks rather dodgy indeed, and I seriously doubt the local authorities put the notice up. The start of the trail is a flight of stairs with an overhanging arch stating “Pancing Thai Buddhist Temple”.
After a very short flight of stairs that are of different heights, different widths and even sloping to one side, you will come across a temple. Here a RM2 charge is collected per person before you are allowed to access the stairs to the cave. Oh, and there are little dinosaurs too… XD
There there are two choices to trails up to the cave. The trail on the left is the older trail that is in a rather sad state of disrepair. Fearing for our safety, we took the newer trail up. Here, after about 30 seconds of steps, we came across a gargantuan yellow metal structure that held a flight of stairs within its embrace.
After we scaled the yellow stairs we were greeted the entrance to the cave. Just outside the cave entrace though, was some sort of dolly system that was probably used years ago to ferry items in and out of the cave.
The interior of Gua Charas was basically a procession of deities, always accompanied by donation boxes (or dontion box as they call it…)
One of the major deities was an Indian deity at the middle of the cave that was brightly lit and elevated on a tiled platform high above the cave floor.
Along the way in, there was also a rather strange deity. From all angles, it looked like a fish or whale… dedicated to Captain Ahab and Moby Dick?
Further on, there was another area dedicated to Buddha with a elephant giving its respect.
The highlight of the cave however, had to be the Sleeping Buddha at the end of the cave. It was about 2.5 metres in length.
All in all, the entire trek from the bottom of the steps to the Sleeping Buddha is approximately 15 – 20 minutes long.