Friday, August 04, 2006

Reclusive Excursion


This is my space

Making a decision that will change the course of my life. This is what I choose. Everyday is like a dream that I am no longer living where I used to be. I missed my past but the future is what matters. Everything around me is life that fascinates my curiosity. I see God’s creations everywhere, from the smallest of trees, to the giant timbers, from the smallest of ants to the biggest of cicadas, from limestone hills to the mountains and from the river to the caves. These invigorate my spirit to stay in Mulu.

I promised to share with you all some of the famous caves in Mulu. The ones that I have visited, i.e. the four Show Cave are some kind of introductory caves for all who is into caving. They are the Lang and Deer Caves (4 – 5 hours) and Wind and Clearwater Caves (4-5 hours). Visitors will have to spend at least two days to complete the tour to these four Show Caves.

Deer Cave – get its name from the deer of course. Deer used to shelter in the cave licking on the salt water drippings so the local Penan and Berawan people named the cave Gua Payau or Gua Rusa (Deer Cave). Deer Cave is a very huge cave, one of the world’s largest known cave passages. It is about 2 km long and passes right through a 460 metres high limestone mountain. The main chamber is 174 metres wide and 122 metres high. It’s just so amazing. I can’t imagine how big Sarawak Chamber and Niah Caves could be after seeing Deer Cave. Interesting features in the cave is 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 and the famous profile of Abraham Lincoln which guards the southern entrance of the cave.


Deer Cave where 3 - 5 million over bats live


Garden of Eden in Deer Cave


Abraham Lincoln in Deer Cave

Another fact not to be missed about Deer Cave is the creatures living in it. There’s about 3-5 million of Wrinkle-lipped bats (Tadarida plicata) roost during the day. Also sharing the cave is the Mossy-nest swiflets (Collocalia salagama). You can see it flying in and out of the cave’s mouth even during the day. As for the bats, around 5.00 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. on a good weather you may see them coming out of the cave in a long spiralling formation as shown in the photo. It’s just amazing. Each bat eats at an average of about 5 gram of insects a night. This means these 5 million bats would consume about 25 tons of insects in just one night! Wow! Then you know the importance of us human being to leave the nature as it is. All is created with certain purpose and function. The lesson here is you learn to understand God’s creation by observation of your surroundings.


Bats formation coming our of Deer Cave

Lang Caves –
the smallest among the four caves. The cave is named after a local guide who showed it to the cave explorers of the 1977/1978 expedition. However it is the most spectacularly beautiful of the four with many interesting features of stalactites and stalagmites. However, visitors are cautioned not to touch the limestone formation as it is very delicate. The experienced park rangers will tell you facts and stories related to the lime stone formation and its history million years ago. At the same time you may see some bats, swiftlets and even cave-dwelling snakes around the corners or even on the cave roof.


Lang Cave interesting formation

Wind Cave –
from its name, the first thing that you will realise when entering is the cool gentle draft, hence the name derived. This is another beautiful cave to explore with stalactite and stalagmite formations. Again, nobody should touch them delicate limestone formations because it takes million of years to be as it is today. Interesting fact of the cave is that one of the entrances used to be a burial place for the local community some 1,500 to 3,000 years ago. Most of the bones are kept in a muzium in Kuching but some are still kept underneath the entrance flooring covered with zinks and you see it through the wooden planked walk.


Verticle shaft in Wind Cave bringing in lights into the cave

Clearwater Cave –
It gets its name from the Clearwater river that runs through the underground passage in the cave. And yes, the water is crystal clear. You can see fish swimming in it down to the bottom. Clearwater Cave is Asia's longest cave, measuring some 107 km. It has a subterranean river, part of which is navigable by boat. Interestingly, you have to climb 200 steps staircases to enter the Clearwater Cave mouth. It reminds me of Batu Caves really. And once you are inside, there’s lots of interesting features to be seen. Also the once upon a time, million years ago used to be water passages. Once you are done with the cave tour, there’s a picnic site down the stairs near the Clearwater River. Visitors are encouraged to take a dip into the small kind of a lagoon. They say it’s a youthful lagoon because of the minerals content.


Clearwater Lagoon

There you go, some of the facts and photos of the four Show Caves of Mulu. For those who are keen of the nature and the jungle, do come over for a visit. You might find me there :)

5 comments:

  1. Hi Liza, checked your blog often but figured you have been very busy. Nice to see you have re-surfaced... and in such a nice place. You look great and are obviously feeling revitalized. Hope things continue to go your way. David

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  2. Hi David,

    Yeah it's been a very long time. Thank you for visiting me here. I am truly sorry for keeping quiet for so long but I have always read your blog. Will keep in touch with you soon. Take care...

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  3. Wish I could join you there but someone else is even more eager? :p Life is a never ending journey in search for, way of life. I just can't wait to be on the journey, like you. So cheers and we might meet again someday :)

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  4. Really nice pictures Liza!

    Every time I visit your blog I am reminded that I have to go to Malaysia. I have been to Indonesia several times, but never to your country, even though I have friends there (and then there is all that really good Silat to stude :-) )

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  5. Hi Low - Nice to see you here. Yes, I don't know when someone will come to pay me a visit since I am living in the remote jungle like this. It's either they can't affort it or they are just not interested. Anyways, just make sure you come to Mulu one day. It's just amazing!

    Hello Mushtaq Ali - Come to Malaysia then. There's so much to see and so much to experience. And later, come to Mulu also... when I am still here to assist you. This is an honest invitation :)

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