adventure, amosphere, authenticity, Borneo, Canopy tour, ecotour, escapes, Malaysia, Mulu National Park
Why visit … when you feel like taking the road less travelled, head to www.mulupark.com. A UNESCO World Heritage site with lush, equatorial rainforest and mystical caves systems dating back more than 40 million years, the park is tucked into a hidden corner of North Sarawak on the island of Borneo. Home to more than four million bats and swiftlets which make their way out of Deer Cave each evening at sunset, the park is at once eerie and awe-inspiring.
Why not …. cruise along the Melinau River by long-tail boat to reach Clearwater Cave. The river is fast moving, yet shallow and rocky, thus making getting stuck inevitable. Be prepared to leap out at a moment’s notice to assist the boatman with a hearty push. More than 200 steps lead to the entrance of the cave but you will be rewarded with a cool breeze and floating bridges, under which the underground river flows.
Get high … on the canopy tour. Tip toe across the wood and rope walkways and keep an eye out for monkeys and birdlife. Rise early for the sunrise tour. The reward for those brave enough to try it, is the sounds of the rainforest bursting into life.
Look out…. for golden orchids and beautiful butterflies during the day, then at sunset, magical fireflies will seek you out and light your way. Consider the night walk where you will encounter nocturnal beasties including wide-eyed frogs on the boardwalks and nonchalant lizards clinging to the tree trunks.
Stay at …. Marriot Mulu Resort. Located just five minutes’ drive to the gate of the park, the property is Marriott’s first five-star rainforest retreat. Designed in the style of local longhouses and perched on wooden stilts, slung low over the banks of the Melinau River and with an open-air lobby, the resort is a welcome retreat after a day of trekking.
Take off … by MAS Wings – just a 30 minute flight from Miri, the flight showcases the extraordinary, impenetrable rainforest which stretches as far as the eye can see.