The coolness. The darkness. The silence. And perhaps most of all, the mystery, are what attrracts us to caves. Due to its geology, in particular the karstic formations, Langkawi has an abundance of caves, both landform, some connected to the sea or lake, and some only accessible by boat. Here you will find hundreds, perhaps thousands of several species of bats, roosting high in the chamber tops. Some caves were subterranean streams millennia ago, or part of a primordial seabed. Many are rich in ancient oysters and barnacles encrusted on the walls. And one or two even contain archeological artifacts, cave paintings, and mysterious human markings that have yet to be deciphered.
Bukit Gua Pinang is located at the eastern side of Sungai Kubang Badak estuary. It is a limestone hill belongs to the Setul Formation. This limestone unit represents the lowest part of the Setul Formation, where it overlies the sequence of sandstone of Machinchang Formation conformably at the foot of the hill. There are two very interesting features found at this geosite. They are ancient beds of seashells and long winding cave tunnels. The cave complex consists of one huge chamber near the entrance connected by several passageways or tunnels to another smaller chamber in the middle of the complex. This cave has relatively rare stalactites and stalagmites, where speleothems are only well developed at one corner of the main chamber.
Accumulation of ancient seashells can be found at several locations outside the cave, on a narrow ancient platform off the limestone cliff. The altitude of these seashell’s sites is approximately 25m above the present sea level. These seashells consist of various types of marine shells, mostly bivalves with rare snails, corals, barnacles and cephalopods. Most of the bivalve shells were arranged upside-down and were gently imbricated, indicating that the deposition was subjected to wave actions.
Gua Wang Buloh
This cave is formed at about 150m above the present sea level and has several small entrances facing a valley or wang, which actually is a doline with very steep sliff. This hill is made up on limestone of the Setul Formation that has been metamorphosed into marble as a result of igneous activity from 220 to 210 million years ago (Late Triassic). The cave consists of several chambers at two different levels, each of which with various stalactites, stalagmites, columns, rock curtains and flowstone, forming shapes of various creatures. The cave wall that is exposed to sunlight is covered by algae and appears green in colour.
Located near a tributary in the heart of Kilim mangrove swamps within the Kisap Forest Reserve, the cave is named after the thousands of insect-eating bats clinging to the ceiling of its main chamber. The cave is 60m in length and has two separate caves to explore.
Within the cave there are many interesting features and structures commonly found in a tropical cave, including stalactites, stalagmites, flowstones and other formations. However there are old oyster shells encrusted onto the cave walls, which have been dated to be about 5,000 years old, suggesting that sea levels within the region have lowered within that time.
Gua Pasir Dagang
Gua Pasir Dagang located at eastern side of Pulau Dayang Bunting, near the boundary between the LateMiddle Permian of Chuping Formation and Late Triassic granite intrusion. The geology is made up of crystalline while marble of Chuping Formation with skarn mineralization at the contact with the intruding granite. The cave formation consists of a variety of speleothem. Marble, skarn and granite are special features that can also be found at Pasir Dagang beach.
The mouth of the cave is quite narrow and a small stream with a sandy bed runs into the cave. To enter the cave, one has to follow the underground stream during low tide. How far the stream flows inside the cave and where it eventually leads to are yet to be ascertained. The size of the cave is not so big but the stalactites and flowstones within the cave produced fantastic world of illusion and imagination. Stalagmites are rare because the cave is flooded with water during high tides. This is the most beautiful cave in Langkawi.
The cave has two chambers at two separate levels developed within the limestone of Ordovician – Silurian (480-440 million years ago) Setul Formation. The lower chamber is a raised ancient sea cave. From the upper chamber one can get a stunning view of the calm turquoise waler of the bay. Within the chamber are some strange formations of stalagmites and rock falls.
The curved walls and ceiling are pockmarked made by swallows and bats, which once occupied the cave. This cave has been associated with the myth of the love story between a Chinese Princes and a Roman Prince that received strong intervention from the mystic bird Garuda who kidnapped and hid the princess in this cave. The princess was saved by Jentayu who later sent her to meet the prince. Gua Cherita is conserved by the Museum and Antiquity Department for the archeological artifacts and cave paintings. Miraculously the ancient markings on the outside walls of the cave, though faded through time and weather, are still eligible but yet to be fully deciphered.
Gua Langsir is a small underground tunnel that connects a large lake to the sea. It is located on the south-southwest of Selat Peluru, facing the Pulau Langgun. The cave exhibits various cave features, developed within the Lower Limestone member of the Setul Formation. The limestone is very rich in fossils and one can easily find fossils at this site. The lake is a doline filled by saline water and surrounded by vertical limestone cliff. Ancient encrusting oysters and barnacles are abundant on the cave roof at Gua Langsir, some 2 to 3 meters above the present mean sea level.
Gua Dedap is a tunnel connecting a bay with calm turquoise waters to a doline intermittently filled with marine or brackish water. The cave developed within the Setul Formation. During high tide, the cave is accessible by small boat. The cave is a short tunnel with a shallow stream running through. The doline is surrounded by limestone cliff within mangrove forest. Studies on aerial photographs and topographic map show that a major lineament can be traced running through the cave, and it is very likely that the cave was formed by the action of sea waves beating through the lineament over a very long time. Through the cave, one gets a stunning view of the bay and the island across.
Gua buaya is a natural tunnel developed in the limestone by an underground stream that once flowed in this area during the low sea-level. Now the tunnel turns into a beautiful cave. The river flows right through the arched cave and at low tide a small boat can navigate from one side through to the other. Inside the cave there is an ascending chamber flanked by walls of limestone with minimal stalactites and stalagmites. Ancient shells of rock oyster can be seen sticking on the wall and roof of this cave a few meters above the present day highest tidal level. The age of these ancient shells could be equivalent to the similar shells found in Gua Kelawarand Gua Langsir. Small colonies of bats roost on the ceiling of this cave too.