Lenggong Valley: Asia’s Secret Heritage Site


Discover the Best-kept Secrets of Lenggong Valley

Known as the historical landmark that retells the story of the first man in Malaysia, makes the town of Lenggong a must-visit for any history buff. Adding to its charm, Lenggong was also added to the list of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites in 2012. Dotted with caves and galleries where the compelling story of the Perak Man unfolds, this town is truly the perfect example of history brought to life.

The Origins of Lenggong Valley

The name ‘Lenggong’ was derived from a fascinating story of a man who came from the Semang tribe and tried to cut down a large tree. Once the tree was cut, it fell and resulted in a slanting log. The word ‘slant’ can also be translated to ‘terlanggong’, therefore, the name of this historical town was born. Over the years, the pronunciation of the word was changed to ‘Lenggong’. Lenggong is also said to be the birthplace of the first man in Malaysia. Today, there are many exhibits that showcase items and proof of the lives of the people during the Palaeolithic era. For a stunning view of Lenggong, one simply has to enjoy a drive along the Raja Muda Nazrin bridge.

As mentioned, the town of Lenggong was also recognised as a World Heritage Site (TWD) by UNESCO in 2012, making it the 4th World Heritage Site in Malaysia and the 953rd in the world . One of the most notable prehistoric pieces of evidence that was found was the human skeleton of the Perak Man in Gua Gunung Runtuh. The Perak Man skeleton is also known to be the most complete skeleton in the Southeast Asia region, providing a large amount of information regarding the lifestyle, beliefs, diet, technology, race, gender and nature of diseases during the Paleolithic Era. The Perak Man was found buried in a fetal position, in which his legs were bent and drawn up to the torso while being surrounded by food and his stone tools. These pieces of evidence suggest that the Perak Man was highly respected by the community during that era.

Things to do in Lenggong Valley

Drop by the Lenggong Archeological Gallery for a deep-dive into the history of the Palaeolithic era in Malaysia. The gallery is located in Kampung Kota Tampan, which is an area that was previously known to be a palm oil plantation.

The Lenggong Archeological Gallery showcases a variety of artefacts from the Palaeolithic era including tools made from stone that were used by the first men in Malaysia to the bodily remains of the Perak Man. The walls of the gallery are adorned with detailed information about the lives and living spaces of the first men in Malaysia.

When you find yourself in Lenggong, be sure to stop by some of the many caves that are located in the town, which were once considered to be shelters and burial grounds during the Palaeolithic era.

One of the many caves that can be visited with a permit is the Kajang Cave. This cave can be found at the foot of the Kepala Gajah Limestone Hill. Spelunk along the 35-metre-long passage, which takes you through the wonders of the cave. Gua Kajang is one of the many caves that hold a great deal of importance as it contains evidence of prehistoric human life, which dates back to over 14,000 to 2,000 years ago. Among the pieces of evidence that were found in the cave included evacuations and burial sites, which signified that the Kajang Cave was indeed inhabited during the Paleolithic, Epi-Paleolithic and Neolithic periods. Kajang Cave is a definite must-visit as it retells the many stories of the one-of-a-kind relationships between the physical environment, biodiversity and prehistoric human civilization.

As you enter the cave, be entranced by its mesmerising sight. The cave is illuminated solely by natural sunlight that streams through both the cave’s entrance and exit points. As you walk along, be sure to keep an eye out for bats, which can be found fast asleep whilst hanging from the top of the caves.

Once you reach the end of the cave, step onto the boardwalk to trek among the ethereal nature that surrounds the cave.

Photo by Heart Patrick

Next, explore the many wonders of the Mini Amazon in Kampung Beng. Other than the countless fishing spots in the village, one of the highlights of Kampung Beng is its enchanting panoramic views of the area. The best time to visit the village is during sunset to lounge by the shore as you watch the sun setting along the pristine lake.

Accommodation in Lenggong Valley

Photo by Rumah Tiang 16 by Adrian Cheah

During your trip to Lenggong, book a stay at one of its unique accommodations. Rumah Tiang 16 is an old-fashioned wooden house that has been redesigned and upscaled to meet present-day elegance and modernity. This asymmetrical house features rich hues of red, orange and gold, and pays homage to traditional wooden houses of the olden days. This dignified Perak-Malay styled house was built in 1974 and still utilises the 16 pillars, which were sculpted from chengal and meranti wood. The interior of the guest house is filled with mementoes of the past, which helps bring the house to life. The rooms at Rumah Tiang 16 are decked out with traditional kapok (ilavam panju) mattresses and a traditional Labu Sayong (water calabash) for drinking water.

How to Get to Lenggong Valley

The best way to travel to Lenggong Valley is by driving. This way you will be able to visit all the best places with ease and with your own timings. However, an alternative to reach Lenggong Valley is by public transport. There are multiple buses that travel to Lenggong Valley which you can hop onto. For example, bus numbered 99A Line brings passengers from Kuala Kangsar to Lenggong. Following route 99, the bus travels to Lenggong Valley every day. The first bus leaves at 8:00 AM and the last at 7:30 PM.

Lenggong Valley: Asia’s Secret Heritage Site is an immersive VR-powered 360° guidebook brought to you by Actsugi

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