21
November - 2017
Tuesday
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NOTE: This website is primarily concerned with the exploration of Mulu’s great caves. The authors of this site and the members of the Mulu Caves Project DO NOT ORGANISE TOURIST ACTIVITIES in the Park nor arrange visits to the National Park.To arrange visits to the Park please visit the National Park website http://www.mulupark.com.
However, we are happy to share with you some of our comments on tourist activities in the Park to help inform you about what you can do when you are there.

When cave exploration first began in earnest, getting to Mulu was an expedition in its own right. From Marudi, where the fast river-ferries stopped, a canoe with an outboard motor took us to Long Terawan where we stayed the night enjoying the hospitality of the long-house and much, too much borak..! The following day, nursing awful hangovers, we carried on up-river on the broad expanse of the S.Tutoh before turning into the cool, shaded waters of the Melinau and our stop at the original Park HQ at Long Pala. From here, journeys deeper into the Park required not merely a man in the bows of the boat, but a man with a big chain-saw, ready to jump out and balance on a fallen tree while cutting it away underwater to clear the route ahead.

Disembarking at Mulu airport

Disembarking at Mulu airport

Access is now much more straightforward!, Mulu has its own airport with daily flights from Miri or Kota Kinabalu. It is still possible to come up river and these days the ferries run up to Long Terawan, from where a boat has to be hired to go the final section to the Park. Further details are available on the National Park website.

Accommodation in Mulu is also more comfortable these days. Instead of hammocks suspended under plastic camp-sheets, there are a number of choices. On the site of the old HQ buildings is the Royal Mulu Resort with 180 rooms, a spacious restaurant, bar, swimming pool and other amenities.

Comfortable accommodation at Mulu Park HQ

Comfortable accommodation at Mulu Park HQ

At the Park HQ complex, a short boat ride upriver from the Resort and close to the Airport, accommodation is nestled on the edge of the rainforest beside the beautiful Melinau River.  You can choose from Long house rooms with private bathroom and air conditioning, basic Rainforest rooms with ceiling fan and bathroom or the large shared dormitory.  Café Mulu is open daily from 7.30am to 9.30pm serving local foods as well as a small range of western dishes.  This is a great place to meet other travellers and share experiences and plan treks to the Summit, Pinnacles, Adventure Caving and the Show caves.

A number of tour operators also have their own accommodation around Long Pala and there are a small number of independent café/restaurants that sell meals and drinks.

clearwater-signboardAt Park HQ, guides can be booked for a number of activities. These include adventure caving trips, for example to Wind Cave and Clearwater or to Racer Cave. For experienced cavers, the Park offers the opportunity to visit the vast Sarawak Chamber or to make the connection trip between Wind and Clearwater, exiting down the Clearwater River, one of the greatest river cave passages in the world. Original exploration is not permitted without a permit issued by the Sarawak Authorities.

You can get further information and make contact with the Park authorities to arrange your visit through their website.

bat-exodusA network of plank walks radiate out from HQ, taking visitors through the forest to Deer Cave, where you can watch the spectacular bat flights, and along the Melinau to Wind and Clearwater Caves. For those with time, the walk to the summit of G.Mulu offers an unparalleled opportunity to walk through the various distinctive forest zones as you ascend the mountain.

Upriver from HQ, in the beautiful Melinau Gorge, is Camp 5. This is a permanent structure with accommodation for up to 50 people which is reached by a boat journey (which can involve jumping out and pulling the boat, if water levels are low) and then a 9km walk on a good path through some stunning forest. The setting for Camp 5 is awesome, overlooked by the vast cliffs of G.Benarat, and with the constant background sound of insects and the river. If you are intending to visit Camp 5 you will need to be self-sufficient in food (there is a well equipped kitchen with cooking and rubbish recycling facilities) unless you are travelling with a tour group.

Camp 5 by the Melinau River

Camp 5 by the Melinau River

From Camp 5 you either return back to Park HQ or leave to the north, walking along the side of G.Benarat along the Head Hunters trail to meet the S.Medalam and taking a boat down river, back to the coast. Needless to say, you need to make sure you have arranged the boat in advance, it’s a long walk back!