Mulu Caves
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Travellinginyourfifties
Chester, UK22 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Solo
Gunung Mulu is an amazing place. Did the 3 day/2 night option to include the 4 major caves and decided to treat myself to the Marriott which more than lived up expectations. As other contributors have said, just being in this area and so close to nature makes this place feel very special. The caves were all fantastic - different in their own ways and even getting to them is an experience, either trekking on paths through the jungle or boat trips down the swollen river. The wildlife on show was incredible too - the bat exodus has to be seen to be believed. One note, do not bother with Miri (Mulu is included in lots of Miri pages) - it is NOT Miri which is soulless place and not worth wasting 3 days in!!)
Written 24 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SeeMoreLiveMore
Singapore, Singapore513 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2018 • Couples
I am writing this long review to – hopefully – inform others who are planning to visit this amazing area so that they be better-informed, as information on the Internet can be lacking in details sometimes. I am also not giving away too much detail of the walks, so there is no spoiler. Just want to premise this review by stating that in the days we were there, the weather was sunny with just a couple of hours of rain, none of which were during the times we went for our walks. It is also based on my experience, and I cannot be sure if the same is applicable to everyone on the same trips. Lastly, for reference, do note that my fitness level is below average to that of a typical Singaporean man my age, which is in the mid-40s. While I do have experience with hikes, I do not do them regularly.

Our planned itinerary:
Day 1: Mulu Heritage Centre (free); Botanical Trail (free); Night Walk (guided)
Day 2: Wind and Clearwater Caves (guided; a.m.); Lang & Deer Caves (guided; p.m.)
Day 3: Long Langsat River Walk (guided; a.m.); Canopy Walk (guided; p.m.)

Pre-trip
Before the trip, I went online to do research on the area as well as the various tours offered. I decided to book the tours with the Park HQ. Hence, I emailed them with our details and the tours that I was interested in. I did this to ensure that the tours I wanted were not overbooked. I received a reply within the same day, confirming the bookings.

Day 1
We arrived at Mulu in the morning. After checking-in and taking a break, we took a hotel shuttle to Park HQ. There was quite a number of tourists at the Park HQ, but we were quickly served by an available staff. We settled the payment for the Park entry pass as well as the tours that we booked; efficiently well-served by the polite Park staff.

We then visited the Heritage Centre. Informative, pretty displays of the information about karst landscapes, rainforests, and Mulu in particular. Information that you would have known if you were into these things; but, otherwise, a good introduction if you are new to them.

Next door to it is the café; more on this later. Then there is the Mulu Gallery (i.e., gift shop). Some souvenirs and essentials can be found here. What is probably much needed are the rubber non-slip shoes that were selling for RM15. They are needed for the walks.

We then went on our own Botanical Walk. It is an easy walk on raised wooden platforms, with clear signs leading the way, near the Park HQ. It was good for an introduction around the area and the type of vegetation to expect as well as exposure to the heat and humidity. The walk took about 1.5 hours, leisurely paced.

In the evening, we went back to the Park HQ for the Night Walk. We met with a guide who brought us on the raised wooden platforms near the Park HQ, but on a different route. He showed us many insects, arachnids, and amphibians, raising our awareness to the different sounds of the forest. Although occurring in the dark, it was an easy walk. The guide did mention the possibility of seeing mammals like the civet cat or slow loris; however, we did not get to see any of those.

Day 2
This was the day of 4 cave visits. It began with a very pleasurable boat ride along the Sungei Melinau from the Park HQ to Batu Bangan, a Penan settlement. There were some handicrafts with pretty motifs on sale as well as a view (from the outside) of modern longhouses. There is no jetty to embark and disembark, requiring stepping into the river; hence, the rubber shoes bought at Day 1 comes into play.

Another short boat ride later, we arrived at a floating platform along the banks. This begins the climb up to Wind Cave. It is an easy ascent and a good introductory cave to look at the typical features of the cave, with an easy walk.

After the descent, we were given a choice to take a 2-minute boat ride to the next stop or a 10-minute walk along wooden platforms. I chose the former. Either choice leads us to a rest area: the Clearwater Cave Picnic Area. Other people on the tour who chose to walk seemed to arrive with ease and thus, I am guessing the walk was not too difficult. The rest area was a pleasant sheltered area with great views of the river and surrounding cliffs and vegetation.

The next cave was the Clearwater Cave. To access it, we needed to climb a relatively steep 200-step stairs. It took some effort for me but I did manage it in about 10 minutes. The walk inside this cave was longer, with more to see. The walk was easy for the most parts, with some steps to climb, but nothing as strenuous as when accessing the cave. We descended the same way we ascended.

After descent, we were given the choice of swimming at the waters at the Picnic Area or to catch the boat ride back to the Park HQ. We went back to the Park HQ and had lunch at the Park Café, while waiting for the noon walks to begin. Food portions were huge and made for a satisfactory meal.

The afternoon walks began at the Park HQ. We then followed the wooden platforms to take a longish walk to Lang Cave. We began covering the same areas walked on earlier trips but also got to areas not covered before, being further along the way. The walk, while long, was easy and we got to Lang Cave. An easy walk was had through Lang Cave, with interesting limestone features.

From Lang Cave, it was a short walk to Deer Cave. At the entrance of Deer Cave is a postbox; so if it so interests you, come with a postcard (with stamp affixed) to drop off here! Deer Cave is huge (to put it mildly) and hence, a much longer walk. While the walk is easy, the pong from the guano can be a tad overpowering. Yet, this was totally worth it as some of the most iconic features in Mulu are found here.

At the end of this trip, we sat at a nicely set-up rest area and watch the bat exodus - an amazingly stunning and humbling view.

Four caves so far within a day, and all is good. Each cave was sufficiently distinct that I enjoyed each for their own beauty, without being repetitive.

Day 3
The day began at the Park HQ. We were told that we might not be able to go on the Long Langsat River Walk that we wanted to, due to a fallen tree. Instead, the staff suggested an alternative. Thinking that it would be the same, we agreed.

We were put on a boat, but this time, we sailed down Sungei Melinau and into the bigger – and a bit rougher – Sungei Tutoh. A pleasant hour-long boat ride and we were brought to Long Iman, another Penan settlement. Pretty similar to the one we visited yesterday, but relatively bigger. We were told the same about the river walk and that, instead, we will take a walk to a waterfall. Our guide came for us a while later; he spoke no English and I almost no Malay.

He began the walk by offering us walking poles, which he cut from the trees on the spot. That should have been a clue to what we were getting ourselves into. This became, by far, the most difficult, strenuous, tiring, and trying walk we undertook on this trip. While there was a path, it was a jungle track on hilly, uneven terrain, with overgrown thorny vegetation along it, crossing slippery logs and into muddy calf-high streams, under the blazing sun and accompanied by numerous insects. The Park HQ staff said it would take an hour; the local guide said 40 minutes; given how unfit I am, it took nearly 90 minutes.

We ended at a waterfall, the Ba’Desai waterfall. While it was not terribly impressive, it was a pretty sight, and relatively untouched, rarely visited, and very serene. After splashing in there for about 15 minutes, it was time for the same arduous walk back along the same way, except that now, closer to noon, it was hotter than before.

This hike will be good if you are into challenging walks. I was not; I wanted a walk in a park to the waterfall … I ended up mud-encrusted, sunburnt, scratched, bitten, and totally exhausted. I was proud that we did it, but it was not something I had planned for or expected. We were so exhausted from this walk that we gave up on our planned afternoon walk, and slept it off in the resort instead.

In all, we had a lot of fun in all the walks that we did while there. While the waterfall walk was not what I expected, it was part of the adventures that come from doing fun things while traveling. I would strongly recommend this place and the tours with the Park HQ, with their pleasant staff; but be aware of what the different routes entail.
Written 8 June 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LAN413266
Miri, Malaysia12 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2011 • Friends
Here, i'd like to give a bit of information on how to go about a cost-saving trip to Mulu. First of all,
you need to book your air ticket online . You don't need to go through travel agent which may charge a little bit more for their service. Rather, you can travel on your own or with your friends...here's how you can do it. Contact Mulu National Park at 085-792300/792304. Make room or bed reservation with the staff at the price for a bed without air-conditioning :RM40 (with breakfast) - that's my accomodation when i last visited Mulu. You don't need to worry on transport to your place of stay as there are quite a number of private cars waiting, and you will be charged RM10 to and from the airport (bargain with the drivers) You will be charged for RM10 being entrance fee to the National Park. On arrival at the National park, you can straight away register yourself to visit the 4 caves at RM5 per cave. Somehow, you need to pay extra RM30 being boat fee to go to the clear water and wind caves. The departure time for the caves is as below:
Deer/Lang caves: 2 pm-2.30 pm everyday
Wind/Clear water caves: 8.30 am everyday
So, as far as i am concerned, I think it is not a problem at all to visit Mulu caves yourselves. To the caves lovers, please start your travelling plan ! Cheers and happy vacation at MULU!
Written 24 April 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Genevieve123456
Cairns, Australia48 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019 • Couples
Amazing! The caves are just spectacular, we really want to go back there and do more caving. It was awesome.
Written 31 December 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Nicholas L
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia3 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2012 • Family
To get to Mulu is no longer an issue. If you are going from KL, book the early morning Air Asia flight to Kota Kinabalu and connect with the Maswing noon flight to Mulu via Miri. You leave LCCT at around 8.30am and will be at the Mulu Park HQ by 2.30pm if all go well. Stay for 3 nights and you can get to all the attractions except if you want to go trekking to the Pinnacles, you need to stay away for 2 more nights. So plan accordingly. Well worth the effort I am told. Returning is just retracing the flights, leaving at 3.00pm and you should be back in KL by 9.00pm.

Don't need to spend a bundle to stay at the Royal Mulu Resort. Just stay at the Mulu park HQ. It is convenient because all walks and trek start from here.

It goes without saying the place is full of interesting activities, from leisurely caving, to adventure caving, to long jungle walk, be educated about the rain forest and the limestone formation. And what better way to be introduced to the forest than to go on the canopy walk. All worthwhile activities, not expensive, and generally very well maintained and signposted place. This should be a model for so many other Malaysian wilderness destinations which lack good signage, proper maintenance and cleanliness.
Written 21 November 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LizMulliss
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia54 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2017 • Couples
We have just returned from 2 nights at Mulu, having purchased a package deal. On our afternoon arrival at the airport we were met by our guide, Andy, and transferred to our hotel (The Marriott), and then started on our afternoon tour to Lang and Deer caves. We loved the c 3km walk in along well maintained boardwalks through virgin jungle. Both caves were easy to walk through on the walkways and suitably lit (although a torch can be helpful). We were lucky enough to be at the caves late in the afternoon so our group of 4 plus guide were the only ones in each cave, and we left Deer cave as the bats were already departing. We sat for a while at the observation area just watching the twisting ribbon of departing bats in the sky.
The next morning we started early at 8am on a boat trip to Wind and Clearwater caves. The stop at the Penan village was interesting and the information boards and small handicraft market worth seeing. Our early start meant that again we had the caves to ourselves. In my view, Wind cave was the most spectacular, but each of our group had a different favourite!! Then we had time for swimming in the crystal clear but very cold river before lunch provided at the rest area.
The Marriott is a great place to stay if you want a little luxury, and 24 hour electricity with aircon, but prices are high for drinks etc (not surprising given the logistical challenges of being in a place with no road in or out!). There are a few local cafes around, but no real nightlife and most places only have electricity for a few hours each evening (so take a torch in case you need to get up in the night!).
We were very impressed at how well organised and maintained everything is and highly recommend a 2 or 3 night visit here, even though it is not cheap with airfares and package costs.
Written 22 June 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JandSCollins
Frimley Green, UK77 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2015 • Business
My visit to Mulu caves was one of the most fascinating in my life. The sheer size of the caves was awesome - my guide said the largest (Sarawak) could easily contain eight Jumbo Jet aircraft nose to tail. Apart from its massive capacity and Guano sodden floors, the rock formation and scurrilous wildlife in the semi darkness was an education in itself. For me, best of all was observing the bats search for food at dusk. As an erstwhile mathematician, I was totally fascinated by the eery three dimensional sinusoidal waves of millions of bats emerging from the Deer cave mouth in search of food. For the first time ever I was able to apply some length of arc calculations, in a useful real context, to help me estimate the number of bats in the air - in millions!. The formation is an incredibly efficient way to ensure that each bat gets an opportunity to eat flying insects without being directly behind a competitor. Even more fascinating is the 'group instinct' to move as if connected together - I didn't see any strays out of formation though there might have been a few outliers (outfliers?) - the sky was filled with their, swirling dipping and diving. This is an experience I would strongly recommend to those who have the energy to walk over, in places, undulating sometimes slippery crumbling earth and rocks. I am still in awe of my experience and I think you will be too.
Written 14 April 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

hedleyk
herts,uk191 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2015 • Family
The caves at mulu national world heritage site are vast. The national park insists on access with a guide only and the 4 caves we visited over a 2 day period were varied but all relatively large.The Deer cave is the one with 3-5 million bats in residence and has a slight smell of bat droppings. The guided tour is on boarded or concrete and views include a massive cavern and two seperate points where light comes in from outside. I think one of the caverns in this cave would fit wembley stadium. Langs cave is much smaller but full of stalagmites, stalagtites, and columns and being close to deer cave is usually visited on the same tour. Clearwater cave the cave is approached by a motorised canoe with seats on lt 2 inches off the floor. I am 71 and pretty much lacking in flexibility making the 20 minute river ride in both directions pretty uncomfortable for both me and person sitting directly behind me. The water levels were not high and any other type of boat would not have managed the shallow parts of the river so no other choices were available. This cave and the Wind cave are both part of the same large and very long series of caves running for several miles. the tour takes in only very small circuits in both caves again the wind cave was full of columns some floor to ceiling ones must have been over 100ft high and only a few inches in diameter almost all the way. There are several openings in this cave to the outside world which gives some light but for the most part lighting is from occasional fixed lights and torches issued to each walker. The clearwater cave bits we visited showed a fast flowing river and the route was very much up and down inside the cave on boarded steps or concrete. The tour finishes with an oportunity to swim in the spring where the river exits the cave into a tree covered pool about 4ft deep with a sandy bottom. There are changing facilities and most tours will provide food for the visitors.
I am not fit but made it round with a bit of difficulty and my 6 and 4 yearold grandchildren also got round with a minimum of help from their father - they were tired though.
Written 22 February 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ChrisL_Singapore
Singapore21 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2018 • Family
This place is awesome in pretty much every way. The trails, caves and forests are spectacular and kept nearly spotlessly clean; the park guides are extremely knowledgable; everything is very well maintained. Staff are friendly and helpful. Even the food served in the little cafe at the park is suprisingly tasty, if basic.

Most of the cave tours and walks require a guide; you can sign up for a tour run by the park, or can hire an external (but park-certified) guide. We did the park tours and were quite happy. I had emailed the park a few days before our trip and arranged all our tours quickly and easily; they were helpful in answering my questions as well. The guides, as noted above, were great. The cave tours went out in groups of about a dozen or so - a bit cumbersome, size-wise, but not bad. The nightwalk and the canopy walk were smaller groups. It looks like hiring an outside guide for the cave tours gets you on a much smaller group, from what I saw, but I had no problem with the park guides.

The caves were pretty spectacular and mostly easy to get around in. A lot of walking, obviosuly, and plenty of stairs. Getting to Clearwater Cave, for instance, reuqired 216 steps up (our son counted) to get to the entrance. Deer Cave only had a few steps inside the cave, as I recall.

The park recommends long pants and covered shoes for all hikes; not bad advice, although I personally wore shorts and a pair of Chaco sports sandals with good traction and was fine. Just bear in mind you’re in caves with millions of bats, every one of which poops. So you will emerge from the cave with bat poop on your footwear and - if you wear sandals - your toes and feet. With that in mind, the recommendation for closed shoes is well-advised.

Swimming in the river at the end of the Clearwater Cave tour is sublime. The water feels frigid when you first get in, but you quickly adjust, and floating there is pretty close to heavenly. The night walk was very informative, and the canopy tour was probably my favorite activity overall.

It’s not that easy to get to Gulung Mulu due to wonky flight connections (although the flight from Miri on MASWings was quick and easy), but well worth it. Go!
Written 7 April 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Franc C
Portumna, Ireland331 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2017 • Solo
The trails and the wildlife spotting opportunities in Mulu are pretty good, but it's the caves you really come here for!
I couldn't recommend the advanced adventure caving tours here highly enough, but you won't be allowed to do them unless you have booked in advance and have some previous adventure caving experience... or are willing to do one of the parks intermediate adventure caving tours such as Racer or Stonehorse Cave on your first days at the park so the guide can assess your ability or lack thereof. Some visitors will not have the agility and fitness level required to participate in an advanced caving tour.

My favourite tour was the advanced Clearwater Connection tour. This 5km underground tour will take approximately 5-6hrs and involves tight squeeze's, traversing ledges and drops through two connecting caves (the stunning Cave of the Winds and the awesome Clearwater Cave). For the final 1.5km you can choose to either walk alongside the underground Clearwater river or allow yourself to be carried downstream by the flow of its shallow waters.

The Garden of Eden tour would be my second favourite. It's a full day 5-6hour 12km trek. It's a stunning walk and you get to see more of Deer Cave than you would on the standard show walk as you go all the way through the cave, wading through chest deep water at one point (see photo). The tour is vulnerable to cancellation by the guides in wet weather because of this river crossing. At the end of the tour you visit Lang cave, which is nice but underwhelming by the cave standards in Borneo. Then you have the choice to hang around for the bat exodus or head back to the park headquarters.

Tip: bring a spare torch, not just for the caves but also for the Night trail loop. As this is one of the shorter trails in the park you don’t need a guide to hike it. I seen more wildlife on this loop after dark than on any of the other trails in the park.
Written 21 July 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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MULU CAVES (2024) All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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