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Mulu National Park - The Show Caves

Mulu National Park - The Show Caves

Introduction I Location Map I The Show Caves I Adventure Caving I Mulu Summit I The Pinnacles I The Headhunter's Trail I
Rivers & Gorges I Flora & Fauna I People and Settlement I
Bat Flights

Mulu,s four Show Caves were selected for their uniqueness or sheer beauty. They can all be visited as day trips from the park HQ and are accessible by plankwalks and well-lit concrete paths. Strategically positioned spotlights highlight the unique features of the individual caves. A plankwalk leads through the forest to Deer Cave and Lang's Cave whilst Clearwater Cave and Wind Cave are reached by taking a longboat up the Melinau River, or by following a 4 km nature trail.

Deer Cave & Lang's Cave
Deer Cave is reached by following a three kilometre plankwalk which passes through peat swamp, alluvial flats and limestone outcrops. There is much to see on the way to the cave, including some superb rainforest, jungle streams and an ancient Penan burial cave.

When you reach the cave entrance you are left in no doubt that you are about to enter the largest cave passage in the world. Deer Cave is samply huge - it is just over 2 kilometres in length and never less than 90 metres high and wide. The main chamber, which is partially lit by sunlight, is 174 metres wide and 122 metres high. This is the area where deer used to shelter so the local Penan and Berawan people named the cave Gua Payau or Gua Rusa (Deer Cave).

A path leads into the cave and winds its way around, following the natural contours of the cave floor. Although the path is lit, a flashlight is useful for examining the guano-covered cave floor and its population of insects. The path eventually leads to the "Garden of Eden" where a hole in the cave roof lets in a shaft of light which allows the rich green vegetation to thrive. Another feature is the famous profile of Abraham Lincoln, which guards the southern entrance of the cave.

Not surprisingly, Deer Cave is home to many species of bats. Between 5 and 7 pm, if the weather is fine, visitors may be treated to thr spectacular sight of a black cloud of free-tailed bats emerging from the entrance of the cave to go in search of food. Originally, this cloud was thought to contain hundreds of thousands of bats but a recent study suggests that the figure is well over a million.

A visit to Deer Cave is usually combined with one to Lang's Cave, whose entrance is a short distance away from that of Deer Cave. Lang's Cave is the smallest of the show caves but its rock formations are well worth seeing. These are made all the more attractive by the strategically positioned spotlights which highlight stalactites and stalagmites. As the cave is relatively small and well-lit, it offers good opportunities to see some of its inhabitants such as bats, swiftlets and even cave-dwelling snakes.

Mulu National Park - The Show Caves

Clearwater Cave & Wind Cave

Clearwater Cave is Asia's longest cave, measuring some 10- km. It has a subterranean river, part of which is navigable by boat. There are two ways of reaching Clearwater. Firstly, you can trek along a 4 km nature trail which takes approximately one and half hours. Alternatively, you can travel by longboat along the Melinau River, usually stopping off at Wind Cave along the way. It normally takes about 15 minutes to reach Wind Cave by boat. When the water level is low the journey takes longer as the boatman often has to jump out of the boat and push.

A plankwalk leads from the riverbank to the entrance of Wind Cave, so named because of the cool breezes which can be felt at the narrow parts of the cave. Wind Cave, which is part of the Clearwater Cave system, has many impressive stalactites, stalagmites, flowrocks, helitites and rock corals, some of which are illuminated in the 'King's Room.'

From Wind Cave you can either follow a plankwalk or take a boat to a picnic area near the entrance of Clearwater Cave. Either wav the journey takes about 5 minutes. 200 steps lead up through the forest to the mouth of Clearwater Cave. With its underground river, Clearwater's a fascinating cave to stroll around. Plankwalks, paths and small floating bridges make this an easy and enjoyable experience. There are excellent photo opportunities for those who have the patience for cave photography.

After a tour of the cave you have to climb down the steps to the picnic area. At the base of the steps there is a crystal clear pool that is filled by water that flows out of the cave. This is an excellent swimming spot and many visitors decide to take a refreshing dip The less energetic can relax on the picnic benches and admire the rainforest scenery, or perhaps watch the swarms of butterflies that are often found fluttering around near the river bank. If you are lucky you may see the Rajah Brooke butterfly with it's huge bright-green coloured wings.

SARAWAK
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