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January 22, 2013

Day Trip to Gua Niah (Niah Cave, Niah National Park)

Throughout my 5 years of studying in Miri, I've always wanted to explore Gua Niah, known as Niah Caves (gua means caves) in English, also known as Niah National Park (I will just use the word Gua Niah). Finally, after I've completed my course, I had the opportunity to explore Gua Niah!

I shall skip the introduction or historic details of Gua Niah, as you can Google the information easily, at  HERE (1), HERE (2) or HERE (3).

If you plan to go there, do prepare the following items, which are extremely essential!
1. Camera!
2. Shoes - I think no matter what shoes you put on, it will still be slippery, shoes are for protection.
3. Torchlight - bring the brightest torch you have! If not bring more!
4. Water - you will definitely need this as you enter the caves... Bring more!
5. Energy booster - sweets, chocolates, whatever snacks or any tit-bits.
6. Optional - towel, cap, extra clothes...


My sisters, cousin and my mum.

Ok, basically Gua Niah is approximately 1 hour 30 minutes away from Miri city. It's the best to arrange your own transportation to get there. Entrance fee is RM10 per adult and plus RM1 per head for a short boat ride (very very very short distance) to cross the river (compulsory). Everything in this trip is on your own, unless you arrange a tour guide, which I personally think it's unnecessary to get a tour guide.


After getting tickets from the counter and the very short boat ride, the long walking journey starts here. To get to the cave, you gotta walk and follow the wooden plank and concrete stilts for 3 km.


The long walking journey will take approximately 1 hour, and of course determined by your walking speed. At the mean time, do enjoy the nature! By the way, the floors are quite slippery, so do be very careful!


Nonetheless, never forget to capture the flora and fauna with you!


Best to take photos while you are walking in... Get the logic?


By the time you get out, it is most likely that you will be sweating badly, exhausted and gasping for air. So, remember to take photos while you can!


How to know that you are approaching the caves? Do observe the wooden plank for distant walked. Approaching 3km, you will reach a Y-junction, and there will be stalls, which are set up by the natives there (it was closed on the day I went there). To go to the cave, enter the right lane, which you may notice there is a grill. If you turn left, you may reach the natives' long houses.

Trader's Cave.

Generally, Gua Niah is divided into several divisions. I don't really know the names but at the mouth of the cave, you will reach the Trader's Cave.


Look at these limestones!


Just follow the pathway, you won't get lost. Then, the next cave (the Great Cave, I think), you will be welcomed by an archeology site.


And a pitstop... You may want to take a break before the real venture begins... Can you see the hanging woods?


Observe the following photo closely. Those hanging woods are used by the locals to harvest the bird nest. There are more than half a million of swiftlets live in the cave though! Of course, bats as well.


And again, just follow the pathway, this time, you may need to follow the wooden stairs. Be prepared to turn on your torchlight!


Until certain stages, the cave will be in complete out of light, total pitch black! So watch out for your steps!


The above photo was edited massively, because it was very dark, although there was some sun light. The ending will be the most exciting part, which is the Painting Cave (4km from the starting point)... Unfortunately, it was closed for maintenance on the day I went there! Crap! I will go there again, someday, somehow!

In order to get out from the cave, just walk back the same way you entered. That will sum all the total walking distance as 8km!

Gua Niah and I

And there, Gua Niah and I! If you plan to go, I would suggest you to reach Gua Niah early, like 9am. So you can have the sweet time for this venture.

Enjoy!

9 comments:

  1. nice pics u've taken.. :)

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  2. The Niah cave is a great cave to explore. It could have been better if it was well-maintained. There are some abandoned or unused chalets that can be seen prior to entering the rainforest. More info at this web site.

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  3. pihak kami ada sediakan perkhidmatan Hos dan Tamu di Gua Niah. pakej menarik.boleh emel kami di hil_mie@yahoo.com

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  4. I hope to be involved to visit this place in the near future.

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  5. I love to travel so when I read your share of Gua Niah, I hope that it will be to explore nature. Thanks for sharing

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  6. Is there any bus or taxi service that brings us from the City to the Gua Niah?

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