As mysterious as the hidden treasure above, are the caves of Langkawi The huge outcrops of limestone that make up the majority of the hills in Langkawi, houses hundreds of caves, well worth exploring. Sculptured and design by Mother Nature, over millions of years, these geological masterpieces are legacies of outer awe and wonder.
Of the hundres of caves, there are about 24 which have been designated aventure caves worth exploring. The word for cave in Malay is 'gua'.
Gua Cerita : Literally translated as the 'Cave of Legends'. This cave has a mysterious story behind it that traces its origin to the King Solomon, the Roman Empire, a Chinese Princess and also to a mythcal battle between two Giants Birds of either Hindu or Buddist origin. The cave also relates back to the first mythical king of Langkawi - Merong Mahawangsa. Please refer to the section on Myth and Langends.
This cave is accessible by a short boat ride from Tanjung Rhu. You have to climb steep ladder to its entrance. Of further interest, as Jurgen Zimmerer in his book, 'Nature Guide Langkawi' puts it are the ochre and reddish brown paintings outside this cave. This paintings are similar to the cave paintings of the Australian aborigines. Perhaps Langkawi was a stop over of the aborigines during their long migration to the Australian continent.
One of superstitious stories of the locals that abound about the cave, is that this is the dwelling place of 'fiendly spirits'. The graffiti on the walls of this cave are part of seances. Whatever you make out of this cocktail of stories behind this cave, I am sure you can now understand why it's called the 'Cave of Legends'. Definitely a cave worth investigating.
Gua Kelawar : 'Cave of Bats' - the local dweling place of the Malaysian fruit bat, all harmless as they all feed on fruits and insects. Located along the Kilim River, and accessible only by boat through a mangrove swamp. The stalactites and the stalagmites here are immense.
Gua Langsiar : "Cave of the Banshee' - situated on Pulau Dayang Bunting. Only the serious mountain climbing types should explore this cave as climb to its entrance required skill and absalute super fitness. A non-fear for heights helps too. Absent in this cave are stalactites and the stalagmites. The huge gloomy chamber, plays illusionary tricks with the mind. The cave is supposed to be haunted by a banshee that thrives on the blood of young and fit men!
Gua Siam : 'Siamese Cave' - Skeletal remains of humans, animala and primitive tools have been found in this cave.
The Mysterious And Elusive 'Birds Nest Cave'
Langkawi, has had a very strange, if nut mystical (but true) story of a 'birds nest cave'. Pandak mayah, who was the father of Mahsuri hailed from Southern Thailand. He was a very poor man, when he first came to the island. One day, a heavenly voice directed him to a hidden cave, where he found these nests. Ho did not know what to make out of it. He brought a peice out and ask a trusted Chinese friend, called Taukeh Ah Pek about the strange item he had discovered. Taukeh Ah Pek did not know either, but he sent the sample to a friend in Penang.
Pandak mayah was later informed by Tauke Ah Pek, that the item in question was a very high grade birds nest, used in Chinese traditional medicine and cuisine. Pandak Mayah became a very wealthy man, collecting these nests from that secret cave. He sold them to Tauke Ah Pek, who in turn exported the nests. Very soon after that Mahsuri was born.
What was really strange was that many people tried to secretly follow him to its source, but non secceeded. Some actually asked him direction to this secret cave which he ever so generously gave. However thunder, lightning and a terrible storm always brewed up as soon as they embarked on such a venture and stopped them.
After Mahsuri's untimely death, Pandak Mayah went back to Thailand. As this is historically documented fact, we know, that such a cave exists but itsexact whereabout is a secret, which this mystical island does not want to divulge.