The caves must be Niah, I could smell the bat poo

Trip Start Aug 24, 2008
Trip End Jul 07, 2009

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Flag of Malaysia  , Sarawak,
Friday, April 3, 2009

We flew to Miri on a late evening flight, so arrived in the dark. Because it was late we took a taxi to a hostel that we found in the guidebook. Luckily it was clean, although slightly overpriced, but it was late so we couldn't be bothered to search further. The crazy lady who owned it had lots of cats which she spent a lot of time tormenting and talking to really quickly.

The following morning we decided to make our own way to the Niah Caves rather than take a tour. Unfortunately this involved 2 buses, a taxi and a boat so it probably would have been easier to take a tour, but never mind. We had to walk 3km to the caves, passing some crazy-looking bright red millipedes and a very strange bat-eared caterpillar that was covered in fur. We arrived at the Traders Cave, where the people who collect the birds nests used to live in huts. Only the fames of the huts remain, but the cave was quite large and impressive with lots of swifts flying about. Next we reached the Great Cave, and enourmous cave that we walked through for about half an hour in the damp darkness with the birds and the bats. We saw men suspended from ropes collecting the birds nests. There was hardly an light but we could tell that we were in a huge cavern. We emerged into the daylight the other side and walked down to the Painted Cave, which has some ancient paintings from early cave dwellers. They were quite hard to make out because they were pale and the light was not so good, but we saw them in the end. I slipped over trying to reach the other side of this cave, so we turned back and retraced our steps. Along the way we saw some more of those silver langur monkeys that we saw in Bako, and they were still very defensive. They didn't like us being there, so we left. We went back through the dark cave by a different (uphill) route that exhausted us, but we got some good views of the cave and the birds nest collecting. Then it was time to return to the park headquarters. By this time we were pretty exhausted due to the heat and the long walk, but we eventually made it back and reversed the journey that we had taken in the morning. Back in Miri we had dinner and packed our bags for the next day.

The following morning we went to the airport and boarded our flight to Mulu.
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