Niah Cave

Niah Cave (Gua Niah) and Gunung Mulu National Park in Sarawak are the natural wonders of Malaysia Tourism. Among many National Park in Sarawak, Niah National Park is the smallest one while the largest one is Gunung Mulu National Park. Both of these National Park situated close to Brunei.

Entrance of the cave - Courtesy by Tourism Malaysia Office Kuala Lumpur

Other National Parks throughout Sarawak such as Bako National Park, Similajau National Park, Kubah National Park, Lambir Hills National Park, Gunung Gading National Park, Batang Ai National Park, Tanjung Datu National Park and Loagan Bunut National Park.

Other National Parks throughout Sarawak such as Bako National Park, Similajau National Park, Kubah National Park, Lambir Hills National Park, Gunung Gading National Park, Batang Ai National Park, Tanjung Datu National Park and Loagan Bunut National Park.

Niah Cave

Among them Niah Cave is very interesting. Niah Caves is best known for the discovery of Gunung Mulu National Park dating back to 30,000 years ago. This is the oldest recorded human settlement in east Malaysia.

Ancient Human Settlement

Niah National Park was originally established to protect the valuable Niah Cave the most famous by the discoveries of an early ancient human settlement. It is also one of the birthplaces of civilisation.

Inside the Niah Cave there is Painted Caves the place that you would like to get a closer look at prehistoric art on its walls. Even primitive tools used to harvest bird nests were found here.

The Niah Cave National Park covers more than 3,140 hectares of forest and limestone.

It has a big cave known as the Great Cave as well as some smaller grottos. While here you can also indulge in exploring the numerous jungle trails, visiting Iban longhouse and mountain climbing.

An Iban Longhouse is located just near the park and you are welcome to visit them. Then a little walk next to the Niah River from the park headquarters will bring you to Batu Niah town.

Long House in Sarawak Courtesy by Tourism Malaysia Office Kuala Lumpur

The Niah Cave is a major attraction in this park. It is also known as the Great Cave which covers an area of 11 hectares, or as large as 13 football fields. The caves are also remarkable for the millions of bats and swiftlets.

Here the fact why Niah Cave very important to modern life

In the mid 1950s, archaeologists discovered the skull of oldest human remains had lived in the caves some 40,000 years ago. There are artifacts and cave drawings showed that they had their own unique culture and beliefs and buried their dead by floating them down river in funeral boats.

In the 1900s, the Penans rediscovered the caves and found the edible bird’s nest on the roof of the caves.

Bird’s nests

Bird’s nests are a much prized oriental delicacy. These nests are still being harvested by nimble men who claimber up the long, single bamboo poles which extend from the cave floor to the arch of the roof.

There is a way to the Great Cave (West Mouth) involves a walk on a raised plank walk with handrail. The walk take about 4km and takes 45 minutes to an hour if weather is good. There are other trails in the park and a long house nearby.

How to Explore Niah Cave

Cavers may explore for scientific expedition trails that had been previously explored by the Royal Geographic Society, London and the State Government of Sarawak.

Cavers are advice to request assistance from experienced local experts that recommended by the Royal Geographic Society.

How to Reach Niah Cave

You can reach the Niah Caves National Park by accessible road from Miri or Bintulu. It takes two hours from Miri and three hours from Bintulu to reach the park headquarters at Pengkalan Batu. This is followed by a 45-minute walk along a 3km plank walk to reach the entrance of the Great Caves.

Bintulu Airport in Bintulu, Sarawak

Travel by Air

You also can get to Niah Caves by MAS Flight which flies into Miri from Kuching and Kota Kinabalu daily.

Last time I went to Bintulu I took cheap airfare flight Air Asia from Local Carrier Terminal (LCT)at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA)to Bintulu Airport.

Travel by Taxi

You also can travel by taxi from Miri which will take you about 109 km to Batu Niah that takes you two hours.

Travel by Boat

Other mode of transport is by boat from Batu Niah using the park longboat that would takes about 30 minutes to reach the park.

The longboat will charge normally about RM20 for four people. The park longboat as well as accommodation at the park has to be booked in advance.

Visitors Information Center

Booking and further enquiries can be addressed to National Parks Office (Miri), Sarawak Visitor Information Centre, 452, Jalan Melayu, 98000 Miri, Sarawak. Telephone 085434180, Fax 085434179.

Gunung Mulu National Park

Do you ever see the largest underground chamber in the world?

If you want to see the chamber that known as Sarawak Chamber go visit Mulu Caves National Park the home to one of the longest networks of caves in the world.

Here lies the world’s largest underground chamber which capable of accommodating forty Boeing 747 airplanes. Seem you are at the Miri’s Division, it is advised for you to visit Gunung Mulu National Park.

Do you believe Dear Cave can fit five cathedrals?

In the Mulu caves there are also the world’s biggest cave passage such as Deer Cave. This cave can fit five cathedrals that the size of Saint Paul’s in London.

Another Mulu Caves wonder is Clear Water Cave that has been said the longest cave in Southeast Asia. The enormous caves here are home to millions of bats and cave swiftlets.

Outside the cave there are also some of the best examples of tropical limestone weathering in the world. There are such as the enormous razor-sharp pinnacles, deep-cut canyons or well known as The Pinnacles.

Cavers equipment to Explore Gunung Mulu National Park

The caves in Gunung Mulu National Park are open to the public. Caves that can be explored by novices no need to use any equipment such as Deer Cave, Clear Water Cave, Lagang’s Cave, Pinnacle Cave, and Drunken Forests Cave.

Caves that are tricky to explore and need climbing equipment include the Stone Horse-Fern Rock System, Simon Cave, Green Cave, Clearwater Cave, Wind Cave, Snake Track, Sarawak Chamber (the world’s largest rock chamber), Cobra Cave, Cobweb Cave, Benarat Cavern, and Black Rock Cave.

Wind Cave Gunung Mulu National Park in Sarawak

Tour Agent

There are many tour agents in Miri and Limbang organise expeditions to these caves.

How to REACH Gunung Mulu National Park?

Gunung Mulu National Park has two entrants. You can access using the main gateway for Gunung Mulu National Park at Miri.

Northeast Flight is also available by Malaysian Airlines, which operates scheduled services from Miri to Mulu using a 19 seater Twin Otter aircraft.

It takes approximately 45 minutes to reach there. If you want to go to Mulu by boat, there are boats at Marudi, but you need to charter the longboat because there is no regular boat service to Mulu.

Tips to explore Gunung Mulu National Park?

Here are some tips you may use to explore Gunung Mulu. You may contact available seasoned cavers who will be willing to act as guides, you may be contact through the Malaysian Nature Society and through various nature adventure operators, you may request the tour operators to arrange packages.

Mulu National Park in Sarawak, Malaysia Courtesy Tourism Malaysia Office Kuala Lumpur

You can choose to stay overnight although most caving expeditions are day trips, you are not allowed camping in caves but budget hotels are available around the cave districts, caving is normally done in the dry season from March to October.

Permit

Permits may be required when exploring some caves. These are available from the respective state forestry departments and cost from RM10 to RM40, you need a reliable guide, safety helmet for protection and a powerful torchlight for the recreational and to explore adventure caves.

Contacts and Information

Here are the contacts information you may keep:

National Parks Office, Sarawak Visitors Information Centre,452 Jalan Melayu, 98000 Miri, Sarawak. Telephone 085434180, Fax: 085434179

Sarawak Visitor Information Centre, Jalan Masjid, 93400 Kuching, Sarawak. Telephone 082248088, Fax: 082256301

Sarawak Forestry Department, Regional Forest Office, Bintulu97000 Bintulu. Telephone 086391284, Fax: 086391251.

Where to stay

You may wonder where to stay in Mulu National Park. Check the 3 star accommodation of Royal Mulu Resort the international class nature destinations Resorts near Gunung Mulu National Park.

The resort offered the best recipe of resort experience, nature and comfort in the centre of the tropical rainforest. The Resort became more attractive because it is with the beautiful Melinau River and exciting views of the limestone cliff. The resort only a 5 minute drive away from the Mulu airport and within minutes by boat to the Mulu National Park.

You can contact: Royal Mulu Resort, CDT62, 98007, Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia, Telephone 60-85790100.

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