Gua Tambun to reopen next week

Sylvia Looi
Tan speaks to reporters after launching the Perak Matta Fair at Aeon Big in Falim September 7, 2018. — Picture by Farhan Najib

IPOH, Sept 7 ― Gua Tambun, the site of South-east Asia’s largest hematite Neolithic rock art, will be open once again to visitors next week.

State Tourism Committee chairman Tan Kar Hing said the exact date will be announced later.

Speaking to reporters after launching the Perak Matta Fair at Aeon Big in Falim here today, Tan said the state government will not charge for entry to the site which has been closed since July.

“The cleaning up of the site has been completed. A private contractor has been appointed to upkeep the area and also to beautify the surroundings,” he said.

Discovered by a British soldier in 1959, the cave paintings are believed to date back 3,000 years though some claim they could even be 12,000 years old.

Measuring 24.38 metres wide and 8.13 metres high, they are South-east Asia’s largest hematite Neolithic rock art, and believed to be the only drawings of their kind in Malaysia.

Tan also said the state is putting together all the necessary documents for Royal Belum’s submission to Unesco for heritage status.

“It will be sent to the National Heritage Department for submission to Unesco,” he said.

The state, he said, needs to prove that it can manage the rainforest, which is rich in wildlife, well.

He added if Royal Belum gets heritage status, it will be a major boost for tourism in northern Perak.

On Wednesday, Deputy Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik said four sites ― Taman Negara, Royal Belum in Gerik, Perak, the Klang Gates Quartz Ridge in Gombak and the Forest Research Institute Malaysia ― are in the tentative heritage list of Unesco.

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