Thursday, 14 September 2017

Gua Batu Maloi Caving Adventure- Overcoming Your Claustrophobia

Located about 15km away (about 15min drive) from Tampin town, Gua Batu Maloi is a water cave located in Hutan Lipur Gua Batu Maloi.  Neither formed by dissolution of limestone or other geological process, Gua Batu Maloi is not a “real cave”. Made up of congregation of huge boulders and rock formation, two rivers, one from Gunung Tampin and another from Gunung Datuk, snakes their way across the stacked granite boulders. The rocks block which goes about one km in length, block each other, with sunlight fighting to creep through the cave opening, dimly “lighting up” the dark cave chambers.

Sunlight creeping through the cave openings
The caving adventure takes you through, up, under, over and around these gigantic boulders, where you will need to snake, climb, slide, crawl, or even submerge yourself into the water for seconds, to traverse through the caves. Sounds claustrophobic? Read on!

The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure that you seek


Having climbed Gunung Datuk (which is 30km / half an hour away) the day before, Sebastian and I descended before dawn, in order to make it on time to meet the team from KL.  We stopped for breakfast at Restoran Sin Hiap Chang which is conveniently located along the way. Recommended by Sebastian, I ordered their signature Petai Bun. 

Petai bao for breakfast
Its sambal petai filling will appeal to fans of petai, but those who hated the strong taste of petai might be turned off. It was indeed something special but nothing spectacular about its taste. You may want to give it a try if you are nearby, say, after the hike to Gunung Datuk, or a trip to Gua Batu Maloi, but it’s not worth driving there just for the bun.

Assembling and briefing

Hutan Lipur Batu Maloi

After breakfast, we drove over to Hutan Lipur Gua Batu Maloi, where we met the other participants. There were about 20 of us that day, with majority of them from KL. Once everyone is present, we meet our guides for the day, who gave us a short briefing on the safety precautions and dos and don’ts. 

Jess, Eunice, MJ, Hooi Chin, Me, Sebastian and Callchun (credit: Sebastian)

One thing to note is that the water level could get as high as your chin level, and hence it is advisable to bring a drybag to keep your phones and important belongings dry at all time. For those who would like to take photos with non-waterproof camera, always seal it with a waterproof case. However, be sure to seal it tightly, as Wills’ got his casing soaked as he submerged and water seeped in somehow, always causing him his new Huawei P9. GoPro and other action camera works best for a cave like this, but always bear in mind, to grab on it tightly. Many had lost their GoPro in this cave when they let loose. It’s highly impossible to reclaim what you lost in the water cave, as it’s pretty dark and you won’t be able to see what’s in the water.

Briefing (credit: Sebastian)

Get down, get wet, but you won’t get dirty

Walking towards to cave entrance (credit: Sebastian)

We started our adventure at 9 in the morning. It took about 5 minutes to walk to the entrance of cave, where we walked on flat trail and waded through a shallow stream. After crawling through the first boulder, we traverse through a narrow creek by holding on to a rope, before entering into yet another chamber.

Traversing with the help of rope (credit: Wills)

Like the effect of this photo (credit: Wills)

According to Wills who had been there several times, guided by the same group of guides, the trail was different each time. We were informed by the guide that they would choose the trail according to the size and build of the majority participants, and since we were made out of more petite ladies that day, we were guided through narrower and more winding passage. 

Instantly gotten wet from the start (credit: Wills)

The ladies, photobombed by Ivan (credit: Wills)

As we traverse deeper and further into the cave, darkness began to fill in the cave, and soon we had to turn on our headlights to shine the way. The passage into the cave can be quite perilous, especially in the dark. Be sure to bring a good headlights, especially one that is waterproof.

Before you can see light, you have to deal with darkness

Photo in the dark (credit: Sebastian)

Turn on your headlights (credit: Sebastian)

Most of the time, the water was only up to our knee level, but at times, we had wade through deeper water, as high as our chest. Sometimes, the gap was so small and narrow that we had to hold our breathe, submerge into the water for several seconds, and glide over to other side. 

Wading through the water (credit: Wendy)

While waiting for everyone else (credit: Sebastian)

Even when there was no water at certain section, we had to crawl over boulders, or lay down flat on our back (or stomach, depending on your preferred position) and wriggle our way through to the next opening. Sometimes, we had to slide down from large rock to get ground, or possible landing ourselves into the water.

Guan Yin pose on one of the rock painted with yellow arrow mark (credit: Ivan)

There were several checkpoints in the cave, one of it being a rock formation that looks like a yacht. Legend has it that a young man called Maloi was once sailing away with a yacht full of golds and treasures but the strong river currents washed him off into where it has now become Gua Batu Maloi. There, he met “orang bunian” (a type of spiritual being according to Malay’s folktole) and lived happily ever after with them. 

But what happened to the treasures? 

That’s the question I asked to the guides, but sadly the story ends with the “happily ever after”, so no one knows what happened to those treasures. Perhaps hidden somewhere among the rocks?

Maloi and the puteri bunian (credit: Wills)

Group photo (credit: Wills)

We may not know what happened to the treasure, but at least Maloi seemed to enjoy his stay with the orang bunian, as we can see a water print on a stone in one of the checkpoint. There, on the rock, are image of a woman (possibly an orang bunian) offering a cup of tea to a man next to her (possibly Maloi).  The image was formed by the water dripping from above.

Mr. Toad who keep blocking our way several times (credit: Wills)

Like many other dark, enclosed caves, Gua Batu Maloi is home to bats and some other animals. You may be wading through the passage in with hordes of bats flying above you. Fret not, as your headlights will chase them away, clearing the passage for you temporarily. We also encountered toads and shrimps during our visit.

Spider web everywhere (credit: Wendy)

Spider web again (credit: Wills)

Mini Ta Prohm

You may climb over or crawl under (credit: Sebastian)

The cave is only one km in length, but with a big group, the entire exploration certainly felt long. With GoPro and phones sealed in waterproof case, every interesting spot becomes a photo booth and every moment spent waiting for the rest of the team to assemble is a photo-taking opportunity. Sometimes, the waiting time was even on the photoshooting. 

Waiting for the rest before proceeding (credit: Sebastian)

With my favourite girls (credit: Wendy)

Mini Ta Prohm, anyone? (credit: Wendy)

With my almighty "kampung adidas" (credit: Wendy)

After 3-4 hours, we emerged into a spacious field, where there is a huge boulder (about one storey high), with tree roots breaking through the crack, giving out a “mini Ta Prohm” vibe. There are two ways to cross this section, either by climbing over with the help of those intertwined roots, or crawl under the boulder. We broke into two groups, to attempt both options, but our path crossed again soon after.  

Crawling through rocks (credit: Sebastian)

The last section of our trail that day, was a waterfall in the cave, which saw us pitting against the strong currents of a waterfall, in order to exit the cave. The currents were so strong that we would get washed down if we lose our grip. Everyone got in line and proceeded one by one under the guidance of the guides. Despite our battered bodies, we gathered whatever strength left in us to pull ourselves up the strong current of the waterfall. I would suggest not looking up as the strong currents will make it difficult for you to see. Just look down and focus on where you are stepping, and you will survive.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger

 A thumb-up experience (credit: Wills)

With Wills and Hooi Chin (credit: Wills)

Coming out from the waterfall, we find ourselves in a small pool, where one can soak in. We took a short break there before walking back to the trailhead. We then took a quick shower at the toilet, changed into a clean set of clothes and drove to Tampin town for lunch, before bidding each other goodbye.

Getting a good wash in the pool (credit: Sebastian)

For me who came all the way from Singapore, Sebastian dropped me at Melaka bus terminal on his way home, and I took a bus back to the city of Merlion.


I’ve never heard of Gua Batu Maloi prior to this trip, and thanks to Wills who introduced us to this cave, I had such tremendous fun. It’s a perfect one day escape from the hustle bustle of city life, and you even don’t need to be an avid hiker or sportsman to do this. The guides will always be guiding you through the maze-like cave and the trail chosen is customised according to your size and fitness level. Don’t think you can pass through? No worries, the guides will show you another way.

One last crazy photo before leaving the place (credit:Wendy)

Though having said so, it is also not for the prim and proper, as one is certainly expected to snake, climb, slide, crawl, be on all fours and sometimes flat on your back (or stomach) to work your way through the caves. You have been warned! *evil grin*


Thank you for reading all the way till the end. Too much info and you just want a summarised itinerary but too lazy to scroll back up? Well, here’s a summary I’ve drafted up for you. Hope it helps you with your planning.


**Remark: Below is my timing according to my speed. So please take it with a grain of salt, as everyone is different. Have fun exploring this maze-like cave!

One Day Itinerary (2/7/2017)

0700 - breakfast
0730 - depart to Hutan Lipur Batu Maloi
0800 - reach Hutan Lipur Batu Maloi
0900 - briefing, start caving
1400 - finish caving, shower
1500 - lunch at Tampin town
1630 - leave Tampin town

Things you should bring:
  • Go Pro / underwater camera / waterproof phone – because you know, you are bound to get wet and at some section you even have to submerge into the water
  • A good drybag – to keep your stuffs (phone especially) dry
  • A set of dry clothing (you can keep them in your car) 
  • Waterproof headlights to shine your way in the dark
  • Enough water to keep yourself hydrated
  • Snack or energy bars to fuel you up along the way (you may spend 3-5 hours in the cave)
  • Wear long pants and gloves (if you are concerned) to keep yourself away from cuts and scratches
  • A like-minded friend – for a good companion brighten up your day
  • And most importantly – YOURSELF


-Thanks for reading-

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  1. Nice blog :) May I know what camera do you use ?

    1. Hi Mia, thanks! I'm personally using Sony a6000, but for this caving activity, I did not bring my camera along since it is not waterproof. Photos were taken with friends' GoPro and Huawei P9.

  2. Hi Catherine, nice post and photos :). May I know what kind of shoes suitable for this activity. Will normal sport shoes do?

    1. Hi Severe, thanks for reading!

      Yes, you may wear a normal sport shoes as you desire, but do note that this is a water cave, so I would recommend wearing waterproof shoes / boots instead. I'm a big fan of "Kampung Adidas" which is cheap, good and best of all waterproof. Hope this helps :)

  3. Hi,

    Can you provide the detail of the local guide that guide you through the cave?


    1. Hi there! I'm sorry I do not have the detail of the local as I joined an event organised by Peaks Outdoor. They take care of everything for us, including engaging the guide and etc. You may want to check out Peaks Outdoor who organise hiking and trekking events in Malaysia and (some destinations oversea as well). Here's the contact info:

      Facebook page:

      Contact person: Wills Wong
      Phone number: +6016-2960673

  4. I impressed with your article. Tq for sharing amazing place. Keep on updating
    For more beautiful places visit:
    Angkor Wat
    Top Tourist Places
    Best Temples

    Places To see In Angkor Watt
    Thing to do in Siem Reap
    Summer vaction


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