Jebak Puyuh Caves

The Secret Garden

We circled the south-east periphery of the complex, heading north-east with the complex to our left, and briefly explored Mayat cave (English: Corpse cave) and the delicate tubular stalactites in Straw cave. These intricate yet remarkably fragile formations take the shape of hollow and very narrow cylindrical tubes. The tubes 'grow' with the emergence of calcium carbonate drops that leave behind tiny ringed deposits when they drop to the cave floor. These rings accumulate very slowly over time and generally do not extend the length of the tube by more than a millimetre over the course of an entire year. This slow growth and their extreme fragility means that it is vitally important that you do not get too close to them, as the slightest touch can break them!

We made our way back to, and then crossed through, Kapal cave. This time, however, we left it from a different exit on the western side instead, that brought us to the external middle section of the southern side of Jebak Puyuh. After reemerging back out into the open, we climbed over some large boulders and descended back down to the forest floor. Huge ferns towered over us, and behind them lay the sheer, impenetrable walls of the cave complex that we had just left, walls that were scaled only by the ubiquitous lianas.

A bird's nest fern (Asplenium nidus) is perched atop the stalk on the right

In the distance, we could see the imposing rock walls curving around and surrounding us, almost like a mountain cirque, or an amphitheatre garden of sorts. The enchanting, overgrown wilderness that I found myself immersed in left me in awe, and all I could do for a long while was just stand still in deep reverence to my surroundings. After a while, I was snapped out of my reverie as it was time to start making our way back to camp. I could not have asked for a better way to end the trip!

Looking back at the Jebak Puyuh Complex from the east side

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