Sunday, September 23, 2007

Mulu National Park, Sarawak

Posted by Elvin and Little-queen at 12:59:00 PM
Gunung Mulu National Park is one of Nature's most spectacular achievements and the 'jewel in the crown' of Sarawak's expanding network of national parks. It is also the largest national park, covering 52,865 hectares of primary rainforest, encompasses incredible caves and karst formations in a mountainous equatorial rainforest setting, which is criss-crossed by fast flowing rivers.

And now, we are going to open up your eyes, taking you wonder by wonder, over, sideways and under, on a magical ride of our Mulu National Park trip in the month of August,2007.

For your information, there is no direct flight from Kuala Lumpur to Mulu. But, there is a daily flight from/to Miri to/from Mulu, RM84 one way before taxes and surcharges, the journey time takes about 25 minutes, and flights are timed to connect with Air Asia flights from/to Kuala Lumpur to/from Miri.

Gunung Mulu National Park has a small airport which actually lies just outside the national park boundary. Most tour operators pick up passengers from the airport and bring them to their respective accommodations. But, for independent travellers just like us, can either thumb a lift from these tour operators or hire someone there for a ride to Park Headquarters of Gunung Mulu National Park, it's only RM5 per way.

Most visitors come to Mulu are for the caves which are listed in the World Unesco list for their unique. There are Deer and Langs Caves, Bat Exodus, Clearwater and Wind Caves, Moon Milk Cave, Turtle Cave, etc. And, please note that Guides are obligatory for all cave visits. So, make sure you register yourself at the Park's office and book the caves visiting or activities you want, as to ensure you not missed the caves visiting or activities you want when you're at the Park.

For Deer and Langs Caves, Guided Tours leave the Park’s office each day at 1.30pm and 2.30pm, therefore, visitors must be at the office 10 minutes before departure time. There is a 45 minute walk through the lush rainforest and alongside rushing rivers before you reach the entrance of the world’s largest cave passage.

It's really open up our eyes a lots when we're in the Deer and Langs Caves, they are so beautiful, yet we couldn't take much of the pictures inside since our Tour Guide walk too fast that we couldn't able to catch up closely with him.

After the visiting of Deer and Langs Caves, it's time for Bat Exodus. Rest and relax in the Bat Observatory as waiting for the Bat Exodus to begin is just nice and suit us after such a long way walk to Deer and Langs Caves. The bats leave the cave on most evenings between 5.30 pm and 6.30 pm and there're million of them.

For Clearwater and Wind Caves, Guided Tours run daily, leaving from the Cave of the Winds entrance at 9.45am and 10.30am, and same rule, visitors must be there 10 minutes before the tour leaves.

On the way we glide down the Melinau River in a long boat toward Clearwater and Wind Caves, we past the everyday life of the Mulu community, and visited the Penan Long House Market and brought some souvenirs there.

To see more of Gunung Mulu National Park's vast cave system, try up one of the adventure caving activities just like us! Caves are rated as introduction, intermediate and advanced, and you need to be reasonably fit with the ability to be underground in small dark places. We tried up the intermediate adventure caving, we go for Racer Cave. For your information, Racer Cave requires some upper body strength but most people are successful, yet one of us failed. So, you can see that it's not easy to make it success too. The darkness of the underground journey in Racer Cave opened up our eyes and amazed us with the life in the dark, insects that have adapted strange shapes to survive in this underground world and Racer Snakes that have learned how to catch a meal as it flies past.

And, a must to do in Gunung Mulu National Park is the Mulu Canopy Skywalk. It is the longest tree-based walkway in the world at 480 metres long. And, don't forget to look for the Guide named Andrew, he is one of the Guides who bring Mulu Canopy Skywalk tour. For your information, he is the most nicest and funniest Guide we ever met in the park, he would tell you all kind of mystery stories of the Park, and he would show you all the birds, squirrels, monkeys and insects he found in the forest.

Regrettably, we didn't join for the Pinnacles hike as we think that we aren't reasonably fit with our abilities and trained ourselves well before challenge it. Yet, we believe we will be back for the Pinnacles one day. For those who interested to join us, just give us a buzz and we will plan for it.

Gunung Mulu National Park, CDT 62, 98007 Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia
Tel: 6085-792300/792301
Fax: 6085-792305

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