Mulu Caves

In Borneo, deep in Sarawak’s Gunung Mulu National Park, lie the most spectacular caves on earth. Over millennia the flow of water draining from the slopes of G.Mulu towards the sea has cut deep gorges through the Park’s limestone mountains and, within the rock itself, a complex network of vast caves has been formed.

Ripped right from the Mulu Caves Project website, these words describe a place of superlatives. Biggest cave in the world! Largest cave passage on earth! World’s largest underground chamber! And a Unesco World Heritage site. Whoa.

Cave formations

Ken and I love caves and we weren’t going to miss visiting Gulung Mulu National Park in Sarawak, Borneo… even if it required a flight to get there. It’s that remote, nestled in the rainforest, a place where nomadic tribes like the Penan people still live.

This is one of Malaysia’s best parks, with excellent facilities and good guides to show you around. We stayed for 4 days, 3 nights and enjoyed a rainforest canopy walk, a night walk and exploration of 4 different caves. We stayed in the park’s wooden bungalows, and the park was the perfect place to relax and start to have fun after Ken’s hospitalization. Of course, we covered ourselves in lots of bug spray!

Ken in the canopy

Our cave visits included Deer Cave, home to millions of bats and HUGE piles of guano. Did you see Planet Earth’s Cave episode, the one where they climb a hill of poo? It was quite fantastic to visit this cave, even if the smell was a bit rough.

Entrance to Deer Cave

It'a huge!

See the Abe Lincoln silhouette? It's all natural.

We had fun hunting for creepy crawlies on the night walk in the jungle. Shining our flashlights (“torches” in this part of the world) on the trees right next to the path, we found walking sticks, spiders, lizards and frogs. I particularly enjoyed the sad call of the katydids. They sound like a party horn gone flat. So many cool critters, I have to post all these pics:

Orange leaf insect. When a Malaysian guide doesn't know the name, she just calls it like she sees it.

Normal looking walking stick

CREEPY looking walking stick

The What, What, What! frog

Quite a spider

Fuzzy caterpillar

Hello, iguana!

One cave visit included a ride on a longboat to get to the entrance. That was fun, even when a downpour got us soaking wet on our return.

Getting the longboat ready

Speeding along

One couple, Annette and Peter, wound up on most of the same tours we signed up for. We quickly became friends and were delighted to learn we would all be in Kuala Lumpur for New Year’s Eve. We made plans to meet again.

Lunch with Peter and Annette

Typically the caves are visited by foreigners. When I asked a few Malaysians if they had been there, they replied no. Most gave the reason that when they travel, they leave Malaysia and don’t see their own treasures. That’s a shame, because Mulu Caves are amazing to visit.

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3 Responses to Mulu Caves

  1. Bob Grgeory says:

    The sihlouette of Abraham Lincoln is amazing! Looks like a gorgeous place.

    • Karen says:

      Isn’t it? Perhaps good ole Abe always wanted to go to Borneo? Imagine our photos if we had had a GOOD camera? Lovely place indeed.

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