More Caves and Walks in Mulu NP

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

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Where I stayed
Gunung Mulu National Park Lodge

Flag of Malaysia  , Sarawak,
Sunday, March 13, 2011

13th to 16th March......

I flew from Miri to Mulu at 2.25 on 13th March.  Actually, I flew at 3.15 as the plane had mechanical problems - we were told this when we were in the air - how reassuring is that!!  When we arrived in Mulu we were greeted by a tropical storm which lasted most of the evening - but it was hot.  Checked in and booked my trips for the following days.  After dinner, I read for a while (Papillon) and had an early night as we were about to have a long day on 14th.

In Mulu NP you can do all or some of the following outings:

Clearwater Cave - Cave of the Wind - Deer Cave - Langs Cave - Moonmilk Cave
The Fast Lane in Lagang Cave (tourist and adventure cave) - A Night Walk
The Tree Top Tower (for bird watchers) - Paku Waterfall - Canopy Skywalk
Long Longsat River Walk (literally in the river) - Long Iman Longhouse to see a local tribe
The Pinnacles Climb (2.5 days climb for experienced climbers)
The Headhunters Trail - 3 days challenging hike
And finally, the "piece de resistance" - Mulu Summit - 5 days - only for the brave, super fit  or nutty!!

First of all let me say that if you say YES to any of the following comments, you will not be putting Borneo on your travel agenda!

1.  If you are the type who always looks as you have just stepped out of a beauty parlour
2.  You do not like snakes, spiders, bats, scorpions or leeches
3.  You are dripping with perspiration and have to drink gallons of water to compensate
4.  You suffer from claustrophobia

STAY AT HOME!!!!  These national Parks will not be your idea of fun.

I spent 3 nights (3.5 days) there and did the following:  Clearwater and Wind Cave (am)
Deer and Langs Cave (pm) Bat Exodus from Langs Cave at 5 pm - back to lodge at 6.15 pm.  It was a long but wonderful day though hard going at times.  You have to climb 250 steps up to Clearwater Cave, which has a crystal clear river that flows through it for 150km - needless to say, we did not walk the 150 km - only a part of it.  It is a sight to see the force and power of that river carving it's way through the limestone rock of the cave - not really the place to take a swim - you would never be seen again!!  The Wind Cave has cooling winds as you walk through it - don't ask me how but it happens.  You go into the King's Chamber which has a wonderful display of stalagmites and columns, sculpted by the water over millions of years.  Two totally different caves.

At 2 pm, after lunch, we started off to see Deer and Langs Caves.  There is a 3 km walk until you get to Deer Cave - you then need a TORCH to find your way once inside the caves - that goes for most of them.  Deer Cave is not only the largest cave in Mulu but is the largest cave passage in the world.  A powerful underground river once flowed through this area, dissolving and eroding the limestone to create this cavernous space.  The massive chambers in Deer Cave are a sight to behold  and quite over-whelming.  Langs Cave is the smallest of these 4 caves but in it's own way it is equally spectacular eg a fantastic display of stalagmites, helictites, shawls and rimstone pools.  The indents in the ceilings and floors were made by standing ground water dissolving the limestone rather than flowing rivers eroding it.

Finally, we came out of Langs Cave at about 4.45 pm and sat in an amphitheatre to watch the bats do their night run from the mouth of the cave - I have never seen anything like it in my life - thousand of bats all coming out together - like a swansong or encore.  They looked like a swarm of bees and made a line in the sky above us.  What an end to the day!!

I then went back for a much-needed shower and dinner and bed - in that order!

The next day after breakfast I set off alone to Moonmilk Cave - this is a one-hour walk to the Cave and 1200 steps (850 concrete and 350 wooden) up and down to the cave when you get there.    The calves of my legs are still feeling it, even as I write this blog.  In fact it makes me think what insanity has got into me?  You would think at my age I would have more sense but no - at the end of the day I feel great, and that's what keeps me going.  This is the smallest cave in size and the narrowest - it is also pitch black once you step into it so a TORCH here is vital - you just hope that the batteries do not pack up when you are in there - fortunately, for me, it was fine.  It was different again than the other caves - they all have their own individuality.  I just wish I had a super duper camera (like Tom's) to capture the shots in the dark - my camera is fine up to a point but has it's limitations. 

On my way to this cave I came face to face with a medium-sized snake - I don't know who was more frightened - the snake or myself - it slithered across the path in front of me, and disappeared into the jungle.  From then on I watched my step more carefully, and by doing so I saw some beautiful butterflies but most of them refused to pose for me!!  The colours and patterns of these butterflies were amazing.  I got back from the cave at noon.  After lunch I had a nice lounge around and read some of my book, before the night walk took place.  This was not on my list - they did not see anything worthwhile and it started to rain - more wet clothes!!

The next day I intended to do a canopy walk with a guide - but I did not get any good reports from previous visitors who had done it, so gave it a miss.   I saw much more when I did a canopy walk in the Amazon Jungle.

I am now back in Miri.  The trip to Mulu was worthwhile and I am glad I made the effort to get there, even though it was not on my original itinerary.  This pm I am doing some chores, eg bank, laundry (damp clothes are not the most fragrant smell), phone top-up and catching up on this.

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Steve on

Sounds like it was worth you being so brave! Glad you are still having adventures. I got back from Utah on Tuesday - so great to see Luke full of energy!
Off to St. Ives next Friday, so hoping the weather will improve - it's pouring hard here today..Spring is almost here. Take care - love from Steve

Annette on

Amazing! No is the answer to the beauty parlour question - YES to everything else! It is great to hear about your adventures in so much detail. Enjoy the rest of your trip.

Take Care x

Roseanne on

You are so adventurous, and where do you get all your stamina, I could do with a bucketful. I have an absolute phobia about snakes so I will not be following in your footsteps. Enjoy the rest of your trip.
Regards Roseanne

Judi on

You are absolutely unbelievable. Your trip sounds so exciting and also exhausting. When do you get back to Siesta Key? Speedo has finally been evicted by the bank and his unit is going on the market soon. I have the real estate agent's info so let me know where you want me to send it.

Maryvonne on


sheila B on

Glad you are still having a great time. Are you ever coming home!! Enjoy while you can. See you whenever.

Maureen on

I don't think I could have done all that Brig, especially as I am not good in caves!!

Just as well I did not come, I will have to do Borneo on the tourist route, perhaps with Saga one day!!


Vicky J on

Another big WOW for your latest adventure. No way I could do the snakey thing but the caves would keep me fascinated.
Lots of love to you.

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