Gunung Mulu National Park

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Mulu, Malaysia

Gunung Mulu National Park Reviews

sarahelaine sarahela…
651 reviews
Gunung Mulu National Park Feb 24, 2012
Gunang Mulu National Park is a beautiful area of primary rainforest in Borneo, and features some of the largest and most interesting caves in the world. Highlights of the National Park include the pinnacles, the large show caves, adventure caving and rainforest trails. It is very well run.

The caves are a very delicate ecosystem best known for the several million bats who live there and have been featured on the programme Planet Earth. Formed of unusually hard limestone, they are amongst the largest caves on earth (depending on how you measure them). Other interesting cave animals include Racer snakes, swiftlets, blind cave crabs and extremely poisonous centipedes. The forest wildlife I saw included the spectacular Rajah Brookes Butterfly, hornbills, big frogs, lizards and a huge number of massive stick insects. Most of the caves are only accessible if you book a guide, because they are worried about damage. The show caves include Deer Cave, with its huge bat population, and the Clearwater Cave with one of the largest underground rivers in the world. The show caves have concrete or wooden walk ways and are accessible to anyone with a reasonable degree of fitness, and there are wooden walkways through the forest. There are also adventure caves, for actual caving. The beginner caves are open to everyone and the more advanced caves require experience. In addition, there is one cave, the moonmilk cave, and several forest trails that you can go on unsupervised.

The park is absolutely beautiful. You really are in the heart of the rainforest, and the guided walks were all fascinating. The guides were all knowledgeable, spoke excellent English, and were really good at answering questions and telling you about the animals and the plants (a marked contrast with Kinabalu). I learned a huge amount about the plants and how caves formed. In addition to the guides, there are all sorts of interesting sign boards up at points in the walks. I felt very well looked after indeed. The only slight downside is that it was too rainy for the bats to come out at night, and that is not something that the park could have controlled for – if you go to a rainforest in rainy season, then sometimes it will rain. Oh, and I got bitten by a leech, but the guide took care of that.

Mulu is in a very remote area and is realistically only accessible by air (via Kuching or Miri) or river (via a very long longboat ride). This helps protect the environment, and also limits the numbers of other people in the park so you have a more peaceful experience. Accommodation is available inside the park (and is far nicer, better run and more reasonably priced than the accommodation in Mount Kinabalu National Park as it is a different state in Malaysia), and there is also limited accommodation available in a nearby hotel and some home stays. I'm rating this as expensive only because you have to fly in.

This is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been, and it is totally magical. I would love to go back and try the Pinnacles climb (which is apparently reasonably challenging with some actual rope work) or the Headhunter’s Trail. I would recommend it to anyone.
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Mulu Map
photo by: jose28