Home to some of the world’s largest cave systems, Mulu National Park is a must see for anyone visiting Borneo. Mulu is situated in the Sarawak half of Malaysian Borneo. Here it is on a map of Borneo:
Arriving in Mulu
I flew to Mulu from Miri with MAS Wings as that seemed to be the fastest and easiest way to get there. The flight cost less than 100RM. Mulu airport is tiny. Our plane was the only one there so it only took 5 minutes to get our bags. Outside the airport, local people were waiting in their cars to take tourists to the entrance to the national park for 5RM per person. It’s actually not too far from the airport to the national park entrance, so it’s possible to walk, although it may be difficult with large bags and the heat to contend with.
Once at the national park, I checked into the hostel, paid park fees and looked at the tours available for the next few days. I ended up booking tours for all of the show caves plus the canopy walk.
Show Caves & Bat Observatory
There are 3 tours of show caves in the national park: Clearwater/Wind Cave, The Fast Lane and Deer/Lang Cave. The first one I did was the Clearwater/Wind Cave. For this one, we met the tour guide at the park HQ at 8.45am. We then took a boat to a local village where it was possible to buy handmade goods from the villagers. We then took the boat to the caves. To get to the caves we had to walk up a few steps. The first cave we arrived at was Wind Cave. I thought perhaps it would be a little bit cooler in the caves but nope, it was still very humid, hence the reason I’m very sweaty in the picture below.
We then went to Ckearwater Cave, where there is an underground river.
In the afternoon, we did the canopy walk. We’d booked it for 2pm and in all honesty it was far too hot at this time of day to fully appreciate it. I met people who did it near sunrise/sunset and they had a much better time.
In the late afternoon, I went to the bat observatory, in hope of seeing the bat exodus which occurs every evening from Deer Cave. I was lucky enough to see it and it was incredible. Over 3 million bats fly out of the cave taking around 30 minutes.
The following day, I went to the Fast Lane in the afternoon. Out of all the show caves I visited, this was the quietest as we were the only tour group there. It was possible to get close to bats in this cave. Our guide pointed out creatures in the cave like crickets, centipedes, spiders, crabs and swiftlets.
On my last day in Mulu, I went to Deer and Lang Caves, home to between 3-4 million bats. Deer Cave is huge and has a high ceiling, whereas Lang Cave has some interesting rock formations.
Tips for Mulu
- If you’re on a budget (like me) stay in one of the homestay’s just outside of the national park. They’re cheaper and the facilities are nicer than the hostel in the national park.
- Wifi can be purchased for 5RM/day at the park HQ. It’s not great wifi but will allow you to check emails/social media.
- if you want to do any adventure caving, it’s recommended that you book in advance.
- Restaurants outside of park HQ are a bit cheaper, although in general everything in Mulu is more expensive than the rest of Sarawak.
- Don’t miss the Bat Exodus!