One of my favourite and memorable adventures in Sarawak are visits to it’s magnificent caves. No matter how many times I have been to some of the caves, it still does give me that sense of awe, that sense of appreciation, the sense of respect for mother nature’s awesome creation that took millions of years to craft out.
In this piece, I am sharing with you the caves that I have visited in Sarawak. Namely they are caves in Kuching and in Miri and mostly are tours that you can book with a local travel agent in Sarawak.
Fairy Caves – Bau
View from inside Fairy Cave.
Fairy caves is located in Bau, some 30 kilometres from Kuching. Bau was once a famous gold mining town during 1840s and during the 1970s, after which has ceased its gold mining activities after the 1996 asian financial crisis. Bau is doted with limestone hills and mountains which is very conducive for nature to make caves in some of them over time.
The name Fairy cave were given by the locals as one of the many stalagmite formation in the caves resembles that of a Chinese deity and inside, you will notice the great contrasts between the light entering the cave and its shadowy darkness, along with hues of brown and grey of the rocks – highlighted by the rich green of the moss – which offer many opportunities for the avid photographer.
If you are to drive to Bau from kuching, it would take you about 40 minutes depending on traffic. and about an hour plus if you were to take the public bus.
Sirih Cave – Serian
Sirih Cave Entrance
Kampung Bantang, Serian that’s the name of the village where Sirih Cave is located. Nestled nicely in the limestone hills in it’s backyard.
Located approximately 50 kilometres from Kuching the drive there will take about 1 hour or less probably.
Sirih Cave is an important archaeological site in South Western Sarawak. The mouth of the cave is ancient burial site of the Bidayuh community. Some of which are about two thousand years old.
Painted Cave walls indicating the burial site.
Niah Cave – Miri
Niah National Park is located in Miri, north of Sarawak. It’s jump into the limelight happened when it was discovered that it was a major centre of human settlement as early as 40,000 years ago.
It also boasts having one of the world’s largest cave entrances, Palaeolithic and Neolithic burial sites and iron-age cave paintings.
There are three main showcaves here, namely Traders Cave, Great Cave and Painted Cave. The well known archaeological site is located at the Great Cave but that could change as there are excavation works carried out in the Traders Cave recently and some artifacts have been found. In years to come probably there would be more excavation works carried out at Traders Cave and who knows what surprises or findings that may come out from it.
The excavation site at Great Cave by Tom Harrisson and his wife Barbara in the period from 1954 to 1962.
Mulu National Park – Miri
The Lincoln Profile at Deer Cave, Mulu National Park.
Mulu National Park is by far my favourite national park in Sarawak. I have been to Mulu National Park numerous times but I never get tired of it.
With five hundred and fifty four square kilometres, it is the largest national park in Sarawak. It boasts the world’s largest natural chamber named the Sarawak Chamber.
It obtained UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 2001 and it has four major show caves open to visitors. They are Deer Cave, Lang Cave, Wind Cave and Clear Water Cave. My two favourite show caves is definitely Deer Cave where in the evening on a nice lovely weather, one can lie back and enjoy the bat exodus show . Three million bats fly out of deer cave for their evening feed.
Longboats line up waiting for visitors to finish their tour of Clear Water Cave.
My other favourite cave in Mulu National Park is Clear Water Cave. To get to this cave you would gave to take a longboat and at the end of the tour of Clear Water Cave, you can take a nice refreshing dip in its cool stream while enjoying your picnic lunch.
Mulu National Park is also rich with the smaller attractions, its insects and bugs.
If you would ask me which cave experience not to miss, my answer is Mulu Caves. They are my favourite.
The presentation and information plaques are very well done as compared to the other three mentioned.
Rajah Brooke butterfly. I was lucky enough that it stayed still for me to capture this shot.
Is this the Rajah Brooke butterfly in the making?
Things to bring
It’s always good to be prepared and things to wear and bring while on caving tours in Sarawak are :
1. Plenty of drinking water.
2. Insect repellent to keep those mosquitoes away.
3. Torch light
4. Light raincoat
5. Dry bag or a ziplock pouch to keep your gadgets and other things dry in the event of an unexpected rainfall.
So those are the four cave experiences that one should try if one is in Sarawak.
In terms of fitness levels, well, I would say there is some level of fitness required since it involves some trekking and hiking.
There is another interesting cave that I have yet to explore which is Salibur Cave in Serian.
Based on the photos that I have seen on social media, it looks pretty impressive. One for the bucket list this year.
Oh yeah and another visit to Mulu National Park.
Thank you for reading and if you want extra details on any of the caves above, drop me a line and I’ll get back to you soon as possible.
Till my next Bejalai, take care.