What a unique sight - Niah Caves

Trip Start Feb 01, 2011
Trip End Mar 31, 2011

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Where I stayed
Niah Cave Hotel

Flag of Malaysia  , Sarawak,
Thursday, March 10, 2011

10th March -

I  arrived in Niah Junction by bus from Belaga Junction - after being dropped off by my Land cruiser off-road expert!  When I got to Niah Jct, I was 13 km away from the town - there were no taxis or buses so I was offered a ride by the supervisor of  3 Telecoms Malaysia engineers!!  They dropped me right outside my hotel and were really friendly.  My hotel here is not the Ritz but I am not in London either - it serves its purpose eg clean, air-con, quiet location on the river and friendly owner and his wife.  Yesterday afternoon I spent some time updating my blog, having dinner and reading Papillon - an interesting book.  I must make a comment about Han Yong - he is the Manager of Techkie House in Batu Niah - he allowed me to use the Internet free to update my blog, check my emails and - the icing on the cake - he copied all my photos onto 2 DVD's and would not take ANY payment for either the computer access or the DVD's - he gets a Gold Star for his hospitality and kindness.  He also offered to take me to Niah Junction on the day I was leaving, if I did not have transport.  Luckily, 3 of us from our hotel were going to the same place, so we got a taxi together.

This morning I left at 8 am to walk 3 km to the entrance to Niah Caves - I walked along by the river on a towpath - a pleasant walk - paid my entrance and signed in at the Caves office.  At the jetty I met two really nice people from Finland, Helena and Tom,  so I asked if I could walk with them as the Caves are completely dark once you get inside and I was afraid my torch might not be up to it.  Luckily, they said yes and we set off. 

It is hard to describe these Caves except to say that they go for miles underground and there are thousands of bats on the ceilings.  You have to wear headgear, otherwise you may receive an unwanted "present" from the bats overhead!  We had to climb many steps, make our way along walkways and watch for the slippery surfaces due to our friends above us.  The rock formations were just incredible - I cannot describe the way it looks inside - suffice to say that there were some places in the Caves where daylight was coming in and the impact on the Caves was just incredible.  It is similar to describing to someone what the Grand Canyon looks like - you have to see it to really appreciate what you are looking at.  Fortunately, yet again, my Finnish friend Tom, had an excellent Nikon SLR camera - he will let me have his pics and together with my own humble offerings, I will be able to upload some great examples of what these Caves have to offer.  The whole trip into and back from the Caves took 4 hours and another hour to get to the entrance and back from the caves.  Tom also had a really powerful LED torch which made all the difference when viewing the inside of the caves.  If you ever go there you will not be sorry - I was really glad I did not miss this outing.  We were joined by Flavia, from Rome, whose torch was also useless, and she was staying in my hotel also.

On the way back to my hotel there was a sudden tropical downpour - even though I had a raincoat, I was like a drowned rat when I got back - shoes and socks were sodden - all clothes were sticking to my body, raincoat was dripping wet,  BUT it was warm rain, so I did not mind.  I had a shower and changed into dry clothes and here I am at the Internet cafe!!

Tomorrow I head off for Miri - the next stop on my journey.
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