Gunung Mulu National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it’s one of the main reasons we returned to Borneo. Mulu is a tough park to get into unless you fly. It can involve hours on several different small boat connections combined with trekking. It sounded pretty complicated so we opted to fly from Miri so that we could get there sooner rather than later.
We decided to spend 4 nights/5 days here because there are so many things to see. We arrived at the park mid-morning and we could have our Chalet right away which was great. All of the activities and cave visits (Mulu has an amazing cave system) in the National Park require pre-booking, and a park guide is a requirement for each group. So we confirmed our bookings of the activities we wanted to do and went and got settled into our Chalet. Later we headed out on one of the trails to Paku Waterfall.
On our way back from the waterfall we stopped at the bat observatory so that we could watch the bat exodus from Deer Cave – wow that was a very cool thing to see. There are 30 different species of bats that live in this cave and apparently there are over 2 million of them. Most evenings between 5-6 PM, the bats exit the cave in a spiral formation to avoid predator hawks.
The next morning we woke early to do the canopy skywalk, it’s the world’s longest canopy walk. It was a great view from up in the trees, although I was hoping to see more birds but we just weren’t lucky that day. It was a fun thing to do though.
After the canopy walk we took a break for some breakfast and then afterwards did the group tour called ‘The Fastlane’. This cave had gorgeous formations and there were so many silky threads hanging from the ceiling that were made by glow worms. We were lucky to have Gordon in our group, he spotted the Blue Cave Racer snake for us.
On our third day we did the group tour of the ‘Clearwater Cave’ and ‘Cave of the Winds’. We started off by taking a boat up river and made a quick stop at a local market in one of the villages. I would have loved to buy one of the floor mats that they make but sadly I don’t think it would have fit in my luggage. We visited the cave of the winds first (it’s not really windy in the cave) and we could feel the refreshing breeze only in one small part of the cave. Clearwater cave had a river flowing through it which was awesome to see. A couple of people in our group swam in the river outside the cave, we opted not to and decided to just sit down and watch the beautiful butterflies that were all around us.
We had a night walk reserved but it started raining so hard that it ended up being canceled so we put ourselves on the list for the next evening.
Our last full day at Mulu and I don’t know how I let Gordon talk me into this but we booked an adventure tour called ‘The Garden of Eden Valley Walk’ – sounds awesome right? Actually most of it was awesome but there were parts that kept it from being totally awesome – bat guano and leeches. It involved going all the way through the Deer Cave which was the largest cave in the world until they just recently found a larger cave in Vietnam. The cave is massive and it literally had mountains of bat guano and that stuff is really slippery. I was so thankful that we bought gloves in Miri specifically for this because it was really gross to have to put your hands on that stuff. When we reached the other side of the cave, we exited and walked up a river (some parts were really deep and up to my neck) through an ancient enclosed valley and it was stunning. Then we hiked up a little mountain to a very refreshing and scenic waterfall that was the ‘Garden of Eden’. Aside from the bat guano and pulling the odd leech off of us (thankful I wore leggings under my shorts) and pointing them out on other people so they could quickly get them off, it was a very beautiful trek.
After making it back and going all the way through the Deer Cave again, our guide gave us a quick tour of Langs Cave which was absolutely stunning inside. We couldn’t wait to get back to the chalet though and have a hot shower and wash the bat goo off.
When we arrived at our chalet we had these guys on our deck.
We tried again for the night walk and it started to pour half way through our walk. We ended up sitting under a shelter for quite a while waiting for the rain to slow down but it didn’t, so we quickly walked back to our chalet and called it a night. We saw a cool stick insect and lantern bug but I think the rest of the critters were not too interested in getting soaked.
The next morning as we were getting ready to leave we noticed that a lot of the park trails had been flooded badly from the rain. We were very lucky to have been able to do everything we wanted before the big rains came.
Gunung Mulu National Park was really worth the effort and it was definitely a highlight for us.
Where we stayed: Mulu National Park Chalet
Written by: Tammy Hermann…Live~Love~Travel