A Travellerspoint blog

Mulu: Penan Settlement

Sarawak, Malaysia

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We began a new morning by visiting the Penan settlement, an indigenous tribe in Sarawak. Though nomadic before, the re-settled Penan now rely humbly on crafts and farming to support their livelihood. Many Penans were resettled by Christian missionaries; it's not surprising to find a church in the compound.

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The market, with only two rows of stalls selling mostly beads and indigenous crafts.

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Penan children.

Posted by mingtravel 01:02 Archived in Malaysia Comments (0)

Mulu: Deer Cave

Sarawak, MALAYSIA

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Right next to Lang Cave is Deer Cave; which, at 100m wide and 120m high, is believed to be the highest cave entrance in the world. The size is liken to fit St. Paul's Cathedral five times over! It was thus named because the salty water (after mixing with guano) that flowed out of the cave attracted deers to the cave and became a favorite hunting ground for the locals.

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The passage way inside the cave. The strays of light are water droplets from the ceiling. As we moved on, Andy asked us to turn around and we caught a glimpse of Abraham Lincoln guarding the entrance. Adventure cavers trek through the stream and walk on cave floor instead of the common pathway to Garden of Eden. Though the trekkers would be covered with guano from the trek, they would enjoy a refreshing dip in the stream on their way out.

Due to its massive size, Deer Cave was an ideal home for bats as there are lesser opportunities of knocking on stalactites, blind as they are. But the millions of bats also meant the stench can be quite overwhelming. Andy made us rub eucalyptus oil under our nostrils before we passed through ... ahem ... the bats' restroom!

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Garden of Eden was located at the east entrance of the cave. Not long ago, the cave roof collapsed causing a huge sinkhole and created a new cave called Green Cave. Green Cave is not assessible even to the adventure cavers. Garden of Eden was thus named as it features Adam's and Eve's showers .. no prize for guessing which one.

Posted by mingtravel 08:04 Archived in Malaysia Comments (0)

Mulu: Lang Cave

Sarawak, MALAYSIA

First stop of the four showcaves: Lang Cave.

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Entrance to Lang Cave.

Lang Cave was named after the Berawan guide who founded it, Lang Belarek. It is the smallest of Mulu's showcaves but certainly not any less impressive nor beautiful. It is considered an active cave as rainwater continues to drip and dissolve existing limestones to form and re-form at every second of the day.

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Lang Cave walkways were well paved and formations brightly illuminated to showcase its beauty.

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Beautiful white limestones resembling corals and jellyfish in Lang Cave.
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Posted by mingtravel 07:05 Archived in Malaysia Comments (0)

Mulu: Gunung Mulu National Park

Sarawak, MALAYSIA

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Gunung Mulu National Park was officially constituted in 1974 but only opened to the public in 1985. In 2000, it was inscribed under UNESCO World Heritage Site by, one of the only two in Malaysia .. for now. We head out to Gunung Mulu National Park after lunch. After registering at the Park HQ, Andy led the way to the two showcaves, Deer Cave and Lang Cave. Though distance to the caves is the same 3km, the condition of the boardwalk in Mulu Park was much better than Niah's.

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The walk was pleasing to our eyes and cleansing to our lungs. Andy pointed out some interesting plants and insects along the way. We saw a wild salak plant, some colorful millipedes, lantern bugs and I almost crushed a stick insect, crawling across our paths, oblivious to people seeking a glimpse into their habitats ...

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Less than 20mins of walking, the sky opened up and poured. It's the Borneo RAIN-forest in every sense. Well, if there were lessons learned; first, it would be to pack a raincoat (duh!) and second, to keep your phone, camera and plane ticket in a plastic bag in your backpack before you set off to Borneo RAIN-forest ....

Posted by mingtravel 05:07 Archived in Malaysia Comments (0)

Mulu's welcoming blue skies

Sarawak, MALAYSIA

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From Miri, we contacted the travel agency and headed out to our next destination, Mulu. The fastest way to get to Mulu from Miri was by air; took us approximately 30mins. Malaysia's national carrier, MAS flies twice daily to Mulu but by 1 August 2006, the rural air in Sabah and Sarawak will be taken over by budget carrier FlyAsianExpress (FAX) which means more affordable flight are in store.

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The MAS Twin Otter upon arrival at Mulu airport and the kampung scene greeting us from the airport.

There are no road access to Mulu, the other alternative was to take a boat from the river mouth of Kuala Baram going through Marudi. The boat journey will take up to 8 hours and, typically, it was how Mulu gets its sundries and supplies to support its tourism.

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Andy, a Penan, and our guide for the rest of the trip was there to meet us. We checked into the four-star Royal Mulu Resort. The hotel was nestled in the rustic jungle landscape, on the banks of Melinau River. Designed in the style of ethnic longhouses, the resort was built on wooden stilts, three metres above and all access within the resort is linked by wooden walkways. We were pleasantly surprised with its comfortable facilities and spacious room. There was even a spa offering massages and reflexology to soothe any aching bones and limbs!

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The Royal Mulu Resort jetty - the river is the main mode of transportation within Mulu; however, the resort offers regular shuttle to the airport.

Posted by mingtravel 03:11 Archived in Malaysia Comments (0)

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