Our very own team members Cindy and Rosalind had a blast during their recent trip to Mulu National Park, exploring the four mysterious Mulu Caves and immersing themselves in Mulu’s natural wonders. The two did the Mulu Caves Safari 3 Days 2 Nights tour.
But before we get into the details, Cindy mentioned that a pair of good grip shoes will save you a lot during your tour at Mulu National Park. This is probably something you would want to take note of!
Want to know more about their adventures at Mulu National Park? Read on to get the details!
We got to Kota Kinabalu International Airport at around 11am. Rosa and I leisurely walked through the customs line and then grabbed ourselves some lunch before heading to the boarding hall. FYI, meals are not included on the first day of this tour, but since we got to the airport early, it was pretty convenient to get our lunch fix before hopping on the plane to Sarawak.
At around 12.20pm, we boarded MAS Wings to Mulu via MH3255, which included a short transit in Miri Airport. It was a hot day that afternoon especially being in a small fleet, we really felt the heat! When we arrived in Miri, we disembarked the plane and entered the terminal building to go through immigrations in order to get the Sarawak entry-pass (required upon exiting Sarawak too). For this trip, we feel that lugging around too many baggage isn’t necessary. Carrying just a backpack and maybe one hand-carry bag is enough and highly recommended. We spent about 15 minutes in Miri Airport terminal building before we boarded the same fleet and took off for Mulu. The sights and scenes from above the clouds, were really breath-taking, and almost reminded me of sceneries of Kinabatangan River back in Sabah!
We landed at a quarter to 3pm in Mulu Airport and our Guide/Captain, Nelson who is a freelance Guide in Mulu, was already there to warmly greet us. From the airport, we headed to Mulu National Park, which is a World Heritage Site and our excitement began to grow. Surprisingly, it took only 5 minutes for us to get there! Road condition was good as the road to the national park was asphalt. Upon reaching, Nelson assisted us with the registration, our meal vouchers, wristband, and also checking-in. The room we stayed in is called Tapang, a name of a tree and is one of the rooms in the Longhouse category.
Note: The wristband given to guests must be worn throughout the stay in Mulu National Park and cannot be removed. You even take your bath with it!
After settling down, we headed out for our tour which kick-started a little after 3pm. Nelson briefed us about our program that day and the essentials to bring along. We then began our nature walk and interpretation, and we managed to spot various insects and caterpillars as well as some plants. It was mid-way through our nature walk that it suddenly began to pour torrents! We stopped to take shelter under the shady trees to wear our raincoats (please note that bringing along your raincoat can be very handy). Surprisingly, even the trees weren’t able to hold the rain. It was just that heavy! We continued on our tour and braved through the downpour. We arrived at the rest-stop for a quick toilet break at 4.20pm. There was a small store here selling drinking water (RM5.50 per bottle, mind you!) and some snacks. By then, the heavy rain tuned into light showers before it finally came to a stop, much to our relief! We then continued on and walked to Lang Caves, which I personally find, was a great introduction to the components of the caves. It took us 40 minutes to explore Lang Caves and by 5pm, we headed to Deer Caves, which was located just a short distance away.
I’ve seen and learnt about the Deer Caves on Discovery Channel and National Geographic as a young girl, so when we got to the caves and was seeing it up close and personal, I was blown away! It was surreal, really. There, we explored the ‘underground’ world and even saw the famous silhouette of ‘Abraham Lincoln’, which we managed to see from a certain angle. Simply amazing! Deer Caves is a definite must-see!
Note: Items sold here in Mulu National Park are expensive because means of transporting goods are depended on cargo flight.
At 5.40pm, we exited Deer Caves and made our way to the bat exodus platform. We witnessed the exodus and the view from where we stood was simply amazing. The experience was incredibly worthwhile. We spent about 20 minutes enjoying the view before we returned to the main lodge. When we got there, Nelson informed us of the meeting time and location for tomorrow’s program before he left us. Thereafter, Rosa and I headed to the cafe to have our dinner and it was a scrumptious one! We had a choice to pick anything out from the ala carte menu given, which was nice. After getting our fill of dinner, we went back to our room to unpack, freshen-up and rest. Another adventure awaits us the next day!
Rise and shine!
We started our day as early as 7.30am and headed to the Park Café to grab our breakfast. This time however, menu was fixed so we can only choose one dish each. It was a yummy breakfast, nonetheless. After breakfast, we went to meet our guide Nelson who gave us a short briefing about our first destination for that morning. We then headed to the jetty and hopped on a longboat, and embarked on a journey to Batu Bungan. During this journey, we passed a clinic, (which happened to be the nearest clinic from Mulu National park, about 10 minutes by boat), and also a primary school. We arrived at Batu Bungan and then made our way to the Penan Settlement where we had the chance to visit their mini gallery and bought some unique handicrafts before we head to the Wind Caves.
Note: Get as much handicrafts as you could as this is the last stop for souvenir shopping – otherwise you can also purchase in Mulu NP souvenir shop but with little options.
Along the longboat journey to Wind Cave, we passed through Batu Bungan as pointed to us by our boatman. The boat that we travelled in was not a spacious one, so making any sudden movements might not be a good idea, I thought. It took us almost half an hour to arrive at Wind Cave, and when we got there, we could see that the cave’s structure was slightly more unique compared to the previous caves we visited. This is because strong gush of winds had helped in its formation. This is also how the Wind Cave got its name. Sadly, there were no strong winds during our visit. In fact, we didn’t feel the slightest breeze that day, and it was a hot day too! Hopefully the next time I visit, the wind will be on my side. We took our time exploring the cave for half an hour before returning to our boat for the next part of our tour.
At 10.30am, we arrived at the picnic area for our tea-break. Thereafter, we trekked on the uphill staircases to the caves entry, which may be quite agonizing for those who have weak knees. The Clearwater Cave herself is quite a challenge with the steep and high staircase of the cave is complemented by the fact that there is a strong river inside the cave and it will not run dry even during the dry-season, as told by our Guide Nelson.
Anticipating that we could have some refreshing dip or swim, it was quite short-lived as the pond or rather the swimming spot was murky due to the heavy rain throughout the whole night before. I missed this chance too, and I think this is another reason to return to Mulu for my personal trip.
After a hearty local Lunch which was prepared by Nelson, we took the longboat back to main lodge and arrived at about 1320HRS. Nelson also reminded us of our meeting time and place for the check-out tomorrow.
To Nelson’s recommendation, Rosa and I booked ourselves the Canopy Skywalk (priced at MYR 45/pax) for the last schedule at 1400HRS. Lucky enough for the both of us to have the last spots for ourselves. This particular skywalk is considered one of the 08 longest tree-based canopies in the world (first in Malaysia), standing at 30m above the forest floor and 480m long walkway.
Our Guide Rovie walked us to the starting point and he said that sighting is never guaranteed while it is still considered as not the main highlight for Mulu tour. Even during this canopy skywalk tour, the main idea is for the clients to enjoy the rainforest along with the thrill of crossing those 9-bridges with 2 bypasses. The bridge got longer and wobblier as I journey along. Being acrophobic, staying too long on high area is not something I can enjoy. Luckily, this is not the case for Rosa – and I am glad she is able to enjoy this part of the tour for at least our thrill-seekers would also be able to enjoy this ‘mild’ tour if they may say. We ended the tour at about 1630HRS and we returned to our room for our rest. Dinner and overnight stay.
Note: Our room was made although there is no make-up room tag hung (at least we did not found any). It’s good to return to our room that has been made and they actually switched-on the aircond for our siesta.
We took our Breakfast and head back to our room for the 1000HRS check-out. There is no activities in-line for this day, and that said, we have about 3-hours before our meet up with Nelson for our departure. Rosa and I left our luggage at the storage room and head out for some walk on our own, just to kill time. There are not many areas where we can hangout, it was already good enough that there were not many visitors at that time, at least we did not have to fight for one. On the other hand, we had a good view on the Park landscape, the facilities and information that we did not managed to notice throughout the past days.
Nelson met us at the Park office at around 1pm and he brought us to Mulu Marriott Resort & Spa (about 10-minutes away from Park HQ) for a quick visit. Having to see the facilities and plenty of resting area, I quickly think it is not a bad thing IF the client is staying in Marriott – but this may bring some issues for those who are staying in Mulu NP though.
We head to Mulu Airport for our MH3254 ETD MZV T 2.45pm, and this is the last daily flight for Kota Kinabalu from Mulu. I was glad Nelson was there to help us with the flight check in as the Airport itself is quite confusing with not-so-visible signboards.
Just some additional information, there is a café at Mulu Airport that serves quite a delicacy and dessert for those who did not get to take their Lunch earlier. Price wise, it is quite reasonable for international clients and may sound ridiculous for the locals.
I hope you had a great time reading through!
Here is the list of sightings which I managed to do, despite the rarity of realizing one.
- Green-Crested Lizard
- Luminous Centipede
- Tree Frog
- Stick Insect
- Rough-Sided Frod
- Asian forest Scorpion
- Bornean Pygmy Squirrel
- Pill Milipede
- Asian-Black Hornbill
- Green-Tree Lizard