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Mulu National Park - Giant caves and underground lakes - a lost world!

Mulu is situated 100 km inland away from all civilisation and roads, so the only  ways to get there are by river or light aircraft. You can stay on a budget at the Government Rest House, or make it a memorable  visit and stay at the 4-star Hotel Resort. It is built on a bend in the River (Melinau) where the Royal Geographical Society pitched their tents when they first put Mulu on the map about 25 years ago. The Hotel, built by the Japanese Rihga Group and the Sarawak Tourism Authority, is perched up on 20 foot pillars in the jungle, with all the rooms connected by typical plank-walks and has its own Aviary and even a swimming pool up there! The public rooms are huge spacious halls open-air to the sides where you can eat, drink and watch ethnic shows!  For most people however, who do not want the extra expense of a luxury hotel and flights each way, getting there on the mighty Baram river using the local "Expres" boats is half the fun! The last two hours has to be done in a local flat-bottomed boat from the Longhouse at Long Panai or Long Tarawan; in the dry season this might mean some pushing the boat over the shallow rapids. (You can always take the plane home from Mulu!)

£ = RM 6.7        $ = RM 3.65

Itinerary (4 days, 3 nights.)       

Overnight Miri at TreeTops Lodge about 20 minutes outside town, then next morning leave around 9 am and fly by Fokker 50 seat aircraft  Miri-Mulu. Check in at the National Park HQ (basic accommodation) or the  Royal Mulu Resort Hotel with its fully air-conditioned luxury bedrooms, traditional public rooms and swimming pool, and all set 20 feet up in deepest jungle in stilt-house style!  

Both are set beside the beautiful unspoiled Melinau River - an area of true original rainforest country, yet inhabited for the last  40,000 years, and still home to the nomadic Penan tribe.

Then in the afternoon  visit the nearest "show" caves and see the extraordinary stalactites (and -mites) after a forty minute walk through unspoilt rainforest but on a maintained path (can be slippery when wet!).  See the massive Deer Cave where you could park a fleet of 747 Jumbo Jets!

Next day you can take a nice cool boat trip up river and visit and explore the Clearwater and Wind caves; there is also the opportunity to visit a local longhouse and see some local handicrafts.

Last day can be spent at leisure, or revisiting the caves or adventure caving/rock climbing/kayaking (extra cost) before returning to Miri by air in the afternoon and transferring to onward flight or back to "TreeTops" for overnight (extra charge).

Basic Tour (Park Headquarters Chalets) with return flight, guide at the park, entrance fees and first night at TreeTops, Miri (with meals and airport transfers) :- RM 690 (£104/USD 190)

Extra for De-Luxe Mulu Resort :- RM 190 per person (twin sharing)

 

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The central area of Royal Mulu Resort Hotel, showing the swimming pool and public rooms behind.

 

There is also, as mentioned, kayaking and rock climbing available and for the serious caver a four day expedition to the most famous tunnels and passages joining Wind Cave and Clearwater Cave is a must! This extra specialised caving tour is available for RM 1200 per person, but must be booked in advance as permits and special guides are required.

For about the same price you can trek overland from Mulu along the Headhunters Trail, finishing at Limbang Town, and climbing the Pinnacles en route if you want - but be warned the trail up to the Pinnacles is steep and covered in sharp rocks and thick undergrowth!

mulu2.jpg (29062 bytes)

Jungle Walks: a special kind of experience

The jungle may sound an uninviting place, but in fact quite the opposite is true: the temperature hardly varies year round and from day to night - an even 28 degrees or so, plenty of shade from the forest canopy above, and only the birds and insects to be heard.

 

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