Kampung Pulai: Gua Musang’s little Hakka village

Pulai Princess Cave.

Pulai Princess Cave is located in a limestone karst tower called Princess Hill at the village of Pulai, some eight kilometres from Gua Musang in Kelantan. The cave is also known as Zhi Xia Dong or Zi Xia Dong.

Kampung Pulai is an interesting little village surrounded by beautiful scenery with hills, rubber plantations and other agriculture.

It was said to have been founded by Hakka Chinese over 600 years ago, who came in search of alluvial gold. The gold deposits were exhausted more than 100 years ago and the settlers had to switch to agriculture to survive.

Pulai was remote and cut off from the outside world and, due to a lack of Chinese females, the early settlers inter-married with local Orang Asli women so many of the villagers here have mixed-blood heritage.

Traditional Hakka culture was well preserved until the first tarmac road reached the village in 1978.

Water and Moon Temple.

Water and Moon Temple and is thought to be one of the oldest in Malaysia although it has had a recent facelift.

The hanging bridge that takes one from the village to Princess Hill.

You can see Princess Hill easily from the village. To reach it you have to cross a river with a hanging bridge, then walk for about 10 minutes through a rubber plantation to the other side of the lake.

The entrance to Princess Cave.

The entrance to Princess Cave is about 100 feet high and you have to walk up a flight of 150 concrete steps to enter the cave. The metal grille at the top of the steps is unlocked by the elderly caretaker at around 8.00am.

View of Kampung Pulai looking back from the cave entrance.

The view from the top looking back at the village and the surrounding countryside is excellent.

The name of the cave is carved into the cliff face above the entrance in red Chinese characters.
There are a few Chinese-style shrines and altars within the cave area.
The main feature here is an impressive 12-metre high statue of the Goddess Guan Yin, carved from a large stalagmite by master Chinese craftsmen and completed in 2008.
There is another similar size stalagmite in the cave, left in its natural state.

Kampung Pulai

18300 Gua Musang, Kelantan

Malaysia

Opens: 8.00 am daily

Entrance: Free

This article first appeared in malaysia-traveller.com