Tag: caves

Mulu National Park


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. MuluĀ 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.


wind cave mulu national park malaysia borneo

A picture of a very sweaty me standing in the entrance to Wind Cave

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.

bats mulu deer cave borneo malaysia

Bats leaving Deer Cave

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!




Sagada – Caves, Food and Fresh Air


Sagada is one of the most beautiful places in the Philippines. I really loved it because it’s temperatures are cooler than the rest of the Philippines, making it the perfect temperature for a Brit like me.

Sagada is a village in the Mountain Province, north of Manila. It’s surrounded by mountains and caves, making it perfect for tourists looking for outdoor activities.

Activities in Sagada

When arriving in Sagada, all tourists must register and pay 35PHP at the tourism office. They’ll give you a receipt and a list of all the tours on offer, with prices. You need to hire a guide if you want to do any activities or walks.

I did the caving short course, which was 500PHP. This tour takes place in Sumaguing Cave and takes between an hour to an hour and a half. The walk to the cave takes just under an hour and there’s an option to get a shuttle for 300PHP. There’s really no need to get a shuttle because the walk to the cave isn’t difficult.

On the way to Sumaguing Cave, I saw hanging coffins and rice terraces. I also stopped by the entrance to Lumaging Cave where there are stacks of coffins.


Hanging Coffins Sagada

Hanging Coffins in Sagada

Sumaguing Cave has three stages. The first bit is the ‘slippy bit’. The type of rock combined with bat guano makes for a slippery walk into the cave.

The second stage is the rock formations. There’s loads of different rock formations and the guide told me the names of them. The most famous is the Kings Curtains. A bit of imagination was needed when my guide was showing me the rocks.

The third stage involves going through some water up to your chest. I ended up falling into a deep pool so got completely drenched. This bit was optional for those who don’t want to get wet. When I left the cave I was completely soaked and a few worried people asked whether they would get soaked.

Food in Sagada

I found Sagada to have some of the best food in the Philippines. Every restaurant I ate in had great food.

My favourite place was Gaia which is a vegan restaurant at the bottom of Sagada with amazing views of the rice terraces.


Rice Terraces Gaia Sagada

View from Gaia Cafe, Sagada


Other restaurants I visited include, Kimchi, Yoghurt House, Sagada Brew, Masferre and Bana’s Cafe. All restaurants had great menus.

Getting to Sagada

I was in Subic Bay before going to Sagada, so for me the best option was to get a bus to Baguio then another bus from Baguio to Sagada. I stayed a night in Baguio because of the bus times.

Returning from Sagada was much easier because there’s a direct Coda Lines bus from Sagada to Manila. The bus leaves Sagada at 3pm daily and goes via Banaue, arriving in Manila around 2am. I was lucky enough to have 2 seats to myself plus Coda Lines provide passengers with blankets. A one way ticket costs 720PHP.

Any questions? Anything to add? Let me know your thoughts…


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