Sunday, July 25, 2010

Wonders of Mulu Caves

The scenery inside the cave

The well-lit interior of the cave

Signage leading to the Clearwater Caves

Monophyllaea leaves growing on the rock formation

The entrance to the Clearwater Caves

Visitors making their way along the walkway

The longboat used to travel to visit the cave

Photos courtesy of and Copyright to AK and Brunei Press Sdn Bhd.


Adventure seekers who love thrills and excitements should add cave exploration in their must-do itinerary. One of the ideal places to visit is the Mulu National Park.

The Clearwater Caves (Gua Air Jernih in Malay) at the Mulu National Park, is the 8th longest cave in the world and the longest in South East Asia. There are two ways to get to the caves, namely by using the longboat transportation or trekking by foot. However, it is advisable to use the longboat, which would take approximately 30 minutes, if you are staying at the Royal Mulu Resort.

If you are staying at the Mulu National Park lodging, the tickets can be purchased at the park's headquarters. Visitors are not allowed to visit any of the caves without a park ranger or guide. The ticket fee is RM10 per person while the longboat for return trip is RM30 per person. Usually, the trips to the cave and back will take about three to four hours.

For the more adventurous travellers, they could opt to stop at the Wind Caves first and gradually make their way by foot via a wooden walkway along the river to the Clearwater Caves, off the Melinau River. Then, the journey to the next cave would take about five to 10 minutes by foot.

Otherwise, by using the longboat, it will bring you off the Melinau River and directly to the Clearwater Caves area where visitors will be awed by the crystal clear waters. A shaded area with chairs and tables is also provided. At times, people can be seen swimming at the pool in front of the jetty.

Once ready, the park ranger will then lead you up a flight of 200 steps to the Clearwater Cave entrance. At the entrance, lit walkways are paved with railings for safety and conservation reasons. Along the way, the guide will explain and illustrate the history of the caves.

Before going in, take a look above you and you could see some single leaf plants growing on the rocks. It is believed that these leaves have some sort of medicinal values which can only be found in Mulu, Sarawak. It is recorded that there are 23 species of Monophyllaea, which is a genus of the limestone.

Moving along the cave, the platform keeps descending lower as you get deeper into the cave. For camera enthusiasts, the luminous environment would be a wonderful opportunity to try out their photography skills.

Inside the cave, there are plenty of stalagmites and stalactites, which were formed thousands of years ago. Animals such as spiders, bats, cockroaches, centipedes and swallows have made a home in the caves.

There is also an underwater river running through the Clearwater Cave.

Clearwater Caves is a recommended place to go for families who wishes to bring their children experience and learn about nature, flora and fauna of the Borneo rainforest.

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin Sunday

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