Gunung Mulu National Park is in the Sarawak region of Malaysia in Borneo island. UNESCO added Mulu in the World Heritage list. Mulu is only accessible by flight from either Miri, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu. The only operating Airline is Malaysian Airlines in MASWings plane. Except if some brave soul wishes for an adventure, they have to reach Miri, ride up to Kuala Baram take a boat from there till the Marudi then another one till Long Terawan and from there trek all the way to the park (or charter another boat till Park). Dunno if someone has really ever done that!
Entrance to Gunung Mulu National Park
The arrival to Mulu will show you how much unexplored this place is. As the airport is as small as a grocery shop, smallest airport, I have seen so far! Once you land and as you head outside, your pick up vehicle will be waiting for you. If you are staying in the Marriott or in Park accommodation, the shuttle service is free and available during the whole day. Even if you don’t inform them in advance, they keep on taking rounds every 15 minutes (Obviously till last flight of the day arrives). Apart from these two, there are other budget accommodation and homestay options available.
Inside the Mulu National Park
The top things to do in Mulu is Cave exploration, overnight trek to Pinnacle, walking trails in the park, night safari and canopy walk. To explore Mulu beautifully, you need to have a minimum of two days and if you are planning to trek to Pinnacle than minimum 3 days. Park has around more than 5 caves and cave exploration level is from beginner to advance. For those who visiting caves for the first time, it is better to do generic cave visit first as it is dark, wet and had bats living inside. Also not to forget, it has so small passages that you have to twist your body to get through.
Let’s see top activities one can do in Gunung Mulu National Park Clearwater and Wind Cave A short boat ride away, Clearwater cave is 10th largest cave in the world and largest in the park. The Clearwater name came from the river which is inside the cave and just before you enter the cave you will see the water so clear and ready for you to take a dip after your cave visit. Wind cave on the other hand, has a passage through which wind enters the cave, hence the name, wind cave. The during your walk inside the cave, you will come across various shapes and your imaginations keeps on rolling. MUST DO at Mulu National Park.
Wind Cave from inside
Deer and Long Cave One cave is not enough, hence you have an option to visit another cave and those are Deer and Long Cave. An afternoon guided tour through the cave is a perfect way to run away from the sun. Deer cave has one of the biggest entrance to the cave.
Entrance to Deer and Long Cave
Bat Explode At the end of Deer and Long Cave tour, you will be lead to a sitting area for Bat explode. Basically, bats who are staying inside the cave wakes up and comes out together for their night flight. But this scene is not guaranteed as you don’t know the mood of the bats or even the plan of bats for the night. Those who have not gone for cave tour can do the walking trail towards the Bat explode sitting area and wait for the bat to come out! (If you are lucky!)
Sitting area for viewing Bat Explode and way towards Deer Cave
Canopy Walk In the park, there is a 420m long canopy walk through which you get the amazing view of rainforest. For bird watcher, this is a perfect way to catch glimpse of many birds! This is again guided tours and starts from morning till afternoon.
Pinnacle Trek The best attraction of Mulu apart from the cave is Pinnacle. To reach Pinnacle, you will have to do 2 day and 1 night trek, which will involve climbing the mountain to staying in tent to make your way in the forest where thousands of insects and animal stays. All efforts are paid well when you reach the point from where you will see the spectacular view of the pinnacle.
Pinnacles in Mulu National Park
Picture Courtesy: Chris Howes, Mulupark.com
Paku Waterfall Those who wants to lead their own trail and explore by themselves, trek to Paku waterfall is for you. This is an independent trek, maps and direction are provided by the park headquarters. This is quite a long trek and need 6-7 hours to reach, enjoy and be back to explore more!
Walking Trail towards Paku Waterfall
Lastly, Night Safari After exploring so much in Mulu, if you are still hungry for more interaction with nature than Night Safari is for you. Walking in the pitch dark night with a help of a flashlight and looking for various species of insects and animal is indeed the best way to end your stay in Mulu or maybe start!
Insects during night safari at Mulu National Park
Mulu National Park is a place which offers all, a place to explore, stay during your adventure and also restaurant to eat your meals! The accommodation ranges from dormitory to longhouse as per your budget. Park restaurant is also a good place for you to enjoy your meal. (Beware of lizards on the wall and also insects around you. Since the restaurant is in the forest, you will tend to come across them.)
Well kept forest, amazing people, unseen insects, bird, animals, cave.. Mulu National Park, Rainforest, as they say, is a mystery and each day we try unveil one of those!