Matt and Joanne’s Page

November 10, 2008

Borneo (Part 3) Mulu Caves

Filed under: Malaysia, Roadtrip — Tags: , — Matt Stamplis @ 6:49 pm

So after bailing off of Mt Kinabalu we had some time to kill so we booked a flight to Mulu Caves in the nearby state of Sarawak. There are no roads to Mulu so the only way to get there is by plane or by boat. Both cost about the same ($125 per person roundtrip) but the plane is much faster so it’s a no-brainer. On the flight it was amazing to see the vast tracts of untouched rain forest sweeping as far as the eye can see.

The caves at Mulu are among the biggest in the world: The largest cave chamber in the world can be found there and the cave passages are sometimes so enormous you could fly a helicopter into the cave. But Mulu is best known for it’s bats: you may have seen them on the Discovery Channel. Most nights (if it’s not raining) millions of bats come swarming out of the cave. When we visited Deer Cave we could hear the bats squeaking. Then we looked up and realized that the ceiling was crawling with them. Millions of them.

The bats making their mass exodus to hunt insects. Despite being in a dense rainforest, there are very few mosquitoes around, thanks to the bats!

The video gives you a pretty good idea how many bats there are. We watched them pour out like this for around 25-30 minutes!

A beautiful pool in one of the caves at Mulu.

Inside of Deer Cave you can see a bizarre silhouette at the entrance. It looks a bit like a famous American President!

A huge underground river flows through Clearwater Cave (the world’s biggest cave, by volume). You can see the bridge that you walk across during the tour of the cave.

While the caves are big attraction at the park, there are a few other things worth seeing. Just taking a walk through the rain forest is well worth your time – you’re likely to spot a number of interesting critters.

This little guy was a bit shy: when we got closer he would try to get away!

When it rains, it pours! Enjoying a shower at Camp 5, the base camp area for some of the hikes in the area. To get here, you take a boat up the river then there’s a 9km hike into the camp. This camp is right besides the river and is a great place to hang out and relax. From here we hiked up Gunung Api (Fire Mountain) to see the Pinnacles.

The Pinnacles of Gunung Api. These sharp limestone pinnacles stab upward out of the surrounding forest. A beautiful and unique place but don’t come here for rock climbing: the rock is terrifyingly sharp and in places it is wafer thin.

On our last full day in the park we went on one of their “Adventure Caving” tours, to Racer Cave. It was pretty interesting, complete with giant spiders and bat-eating snakes. Here’s Matt squeezing through a narrower section of the cave.



  1. Very Good write-up!

    I enjoy it very much& plan to go to Kinabalu & Mulu next years.

    Keep on writing good blog.


    Comment by alan — November 11, 2008 @ 4:27 am

  2. wowww.. cant wait to go for this adventurous trip next week.. thanks for the info and photos.

    Comment by huserk — February 2, 2009 @ 3:34 am

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