Published: April 16th 2007April 16th 2007
We landed in Miri at lunch time on Sunday and had to wait an hour for the local bus to take us into town. A short walk later and we were staying in a small room, with air con and satellite TV, although it wasn't the cleanest of rooms. We chilled out for a bit and watched some dodgy film with Harrison Ford in it before deciding to head out. Everywhere seemed deserted, whilst walking up a quiet street a dog jumped out at us, I grabbed Erica’s arm to pull her away, luckily it only wanted to bark at us but still caused us to panic. We carried on walking until we saw a MacDonald’s sign, thinking at least we were going to be able to eat this evening. We headed towards it and found a small shopping centre, where it appeared the whole population of Miri was hiding. It was nothing very exciting so we headed back to our room to watch CSI.
On Monday we had planned to get to Lambir Hills National Park, but after a visit to the tourist centre we decided to do it the following day when we had got up
earlier and had more time. We also enquired about diving, but it was really expensive, more so than in Sipadan, so we decided to leave it and save our diving for Exmouth, Australia.
We walked to the waterfront which we had imagined to be a nice area, but it turned out just to be a name for the business area, so instead we headed to a mosque that was also highlighted on our map, to discover there was nothing attractive about that either. In the end we decided to get lunch in a local cafe, which was actually did really nice Malaysian food. We then used the internet at the shopping centre we went to the previous night, walking on the opposite side of the road to avoid the dog. We then headed back to our hostel for a few hours before going out for dinner, at a grill place in the same complex as the cafe we ate at earlier, they did a great spaghetti bolognese with garlic bread, I miss western food. After that we returned home to watch America all stars and more CSI.
On Tuesday morning we were up early to catch the
bus to Lambir Hills National Park. Once there we followed the main trek past two small waterfalls, then continued to Latak Waterfall, which is about 25 metres high and has a large lagoon, we had a swim but were unable to go under the fall due to it being cornered off. Apparently the water is extremely deep and there are strong currents. We then climbed what felt like 300 steps, obviously made for people with longer legs than me, to Pantu trail. We passed a tree watch tower, which looked like it had wood worm, so that was closed off.
We then made it to Nibong waterfall which was extremely small, they say you can swim in it, but to be honest I would call it paddling. So instead we headed to Patau waterfall which was smaller than Latak, but enclosed and very scenic, we had another swim here when it started to rain, afterwards sat and ate our packed lunch. We didn't see any interesting wildlife just butterflies and the largest ants ever, about 3cm long.
The bus from the park arrived on time, but once in the terminal we waited about an hour to get back
Erica and I
At the Painting Cave
into town. Once back we had a power nap before heading out for dinner, we ended up eating in the same place as the previous evening, as it was that good.
On Wednesday we got up early and travelled by bus to Niah National Park where we stayed the night. We had arrived early enough to be able to visit the caves in the afternoon as we were told it took 5 hours to complete the trek. We caught the boat across the Niah River, which is only small but people have seen crocodiles so we weren’t going to take any chances. The path was really easy, unlike any other national park we have been to as it was a cerement path at first and the rest was wooden planks. The ground did look rather muddy and in some areas like swamp land so may be that was the reason why. It did take away the feel of walking through the jungle though, especially when we saw locals on motorbikes driving on them, which definitely ruined our chances of seeing any wildlife.
The first cave we came to was Traders Cave which is actually an extended rock rather than a cave. We followed the path through this which brought us to The Great Cave, which is one of the world’s largest caves. We arrived at the west entrance which was spectacular, 60m high and 250m wide, the chamber inside was even larger! We hired a torch from one of the park attendants, who informed us it gets darker then the night in there, we didn't really believe him as he was blind in one eye, but decided to get the torch anyway. We followed the path through to Padang, the rear chamber which has holes in the top letting the light in, so far it wasn't that dark really, and we could see the bizarre rock formations in the area known as burnt cave. But then we came to moon cave, which is where the blind man was actually right, you could see nothing at all, it was really eerie. We turned the torches out and all around us was pitch black, nit a bit of light came from anywhere. This eventually led us outside to another plank way and to Painted Cave, where according to history "death ships" were found, the oldest tombs known to man. There was a fenced off area where paintings can bee seen once your eyes are accustomed, but it was like looking at a magic eye picture, half an hour later and you still can't see the bloody thing. We ate our packed lunch at the back of the cave before having to retrace our steps and follow the same path back to base, a total of 12.4 km, which we did in about 4 hours.
On Thursday we headed back to Miri, we arrived there late afternoon so didn't really do much with the rest of the day.
On Friday we had a really lazy day, we didn't wake up till after 11am and then didn't get up until 1pm. Chocking I know, but a much needed break. We then went to the Malaysian cafe for beef noodles before going to the shopping centre for a walk around and to use the internet. We had a coffee and a piece of brownie cheese cake at a coffee shop which filled us up that much we didn’t eat for the rest of the day.
On Saturday we travelled to Brunei, 4 hours, 5 buses and 1 boat later we were in BSB again and checked into a hotel. For our last Asian meal we went to Pizza hut, I know we should have had something eastern but there isn't a great deal of choice in Brunei and it is expensive for us backpackers. As we were about to leave the restaurant it started thunder and lightening, the heavens had opened, it went from glorious sunshine to floods in seconds, luckily by the time we had paid the bill it had settled down and we made it back relatively dry.