The Great Cave in Niah National Park, in my opinion, this is probably one of the most impressive and lovely natural attraction out of Miri. I am always at awe every time I visit the Great Cave, such an amazing masterpiece of creation.
Gazetted in 1974, the park size is about 3100 hectares and is famous for its Great Cave where archaeological findings of the oldest remains of a Homo sapiens in South East Asia.
If you happen to be in Miri and have one full day to spare and in need to burn off some calories, then a trek to the Great Cave, Niah National Park is what I would recommend. it certainly gives one a good workout for the day.
Niah National Park is located about 110 kilometers, the park is about 2 hours leisure drive from Miri. So the best time to depart from Miri would be around 9.00 am after your local breakfast.
View of Niah Caves from the town
So from Miri , head towards Niah town. By the time you reach here it would be about 11.00 am and best you take something to eat first before going on your trek adventure to the caves.
I would suggest you try out Friendly Cafe in Niah town. If you open up google maps, it should be located here
The last time I was there it was in December 2017 and I tried out their butter chicken and also the fiddle head fern, better known as midin by the locals.
Once you are settle then head towards the Niah National Park Headquarters for registration and entrance fees payment.
Most famous photo taking spot at the park headquarters
Before heading off on the trail, first you must check out the Niah National Park museum and gallery. Plenty of information about the caves and also the historic archaeology findings excavated from the Great Cave.
Replica of the paintings at Painted Cave. Painted Cave is located at the back passage of Great Cave
The trail to Great Cave is an easy walk. Mostly flat terrain. It is made easier with plank walks built all along the way.
The Trails and Distance
Along the trail, it is quite likely to spot some lizards and butterflies. I always pay attention to the handrails and I advise you to do the same.
Plank walkway leading to the Great Cave
The handrails are thriving with all sorts of insects, but the star attraction on the handrail would be the leeches. That is why you need to pay attention to the handrails.
Hammer Head Leech
About 2.8 kilometres in from the park headquarters, you would reach Traders Cave and is a great introduction of Niah cave system.
Stilts are all that remain of traders outpost in Traders Cave
Before proper trails were built, Traders Cave which is just about 200 metres from Great Cave entrance, made it easy for bird’s nest and guano collectors to sell their commodity as they did not have to walk through the tough jungle trails.
Upin and Ipin have been guano collectors since they were kids
From Traders Cave and a few flight of stairs, you would reach the entrance of the Great Cave. All in all your journey here from park headquarters would have been about two hours, including all the stops you made taking photos and selfies.
This building inside the Great Cave was built by the Sarawak Museum. It was built on the spot of an earlier building used by the archaeological team in the 1950s, which burned down.
Not far from the building is a small hut where the Iban people do their miring or offerings to the gods at the start of birds nest collecting season.
After taking it all in, you can continue to explore Great Cave. The trail is a loop and all you need to do is follow the plank walkway. Some parts of the walkway is steep and some parts of is wet and can get slippery.
Once that is done then its back to the park headquarters and your trek for the day is done.
Tour guide needed?
You can do the trek on your own as long as you grab an information booklet from the park headquarters and do a lot of reading. There are information boards along the trail but are barely readable.
Mini information board in dire need of maintenance.
So the choice is yours. Taking up a tour from a tour company would provide you with a guide that would be able to explain and give more information to you.
Things to wear and bring
- Good comfortable trekking shoes
- Lightweight raincoat
- Drinking water
- Torchlight or headlights
- Insect repellent
Best time to travel
Best time to travel would be from March till about early November. Monsoon season or the rainy season is from mid November till late February.
Thank you for reading and if you want extra details, drop me a line and I’ll get back to you soon as possible.
Till my next Bejalai, take care.