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Published: August 6th 2011
Mulu National Park
Returned now to Kuching after 6 wonderful days in the huge Mulu National Park in Sarawak. We stayed in surprisingly luxurious accommodation at the park HQ, big bungalow with a garden to sit out and watch the birds. The weather was also kind to us, it only rained at night and only one leech was spotted in the whole time!
The park is a World Heritage site and known particularly for its caves and bats. We did lots of long (and short) walks around the park and visited all four of the show caves. These are spectacular in their size. The caves are all different with species of insects, bats and swiftlets living in them that the guides point out. One day we did what is called the Garden of Eden Valley walk, a whole day expedition in a small group of six people. We walked through the vast Deer Cave that would fit St Paul's cathedral and several football pitches into its huge entrance cavern. As part of this trip you go beyond the boardwalks and scramble through streams and over rocks to exit at the back of the cave into a beautiful valley caused by the centre of a limestone mountain having collapsed a long time ago.
For me the most spectacular thing in the park is watching the bat exodus at dusk, they come out of Deer cave where you can see them as a great cloud of blackness on the ceiling, and they come out as a stream, like a twisting snake in the sky, the longest we watched them for was an almost continuous stream for 40 minutes. There are around 3 million bats exiting to feed on insects.
We enjoyed walking slowly around all the boardwalks, searching for insects and amphibians. The variety of small life forms is amazing, so many different stick insects and other bugs in variety of camouflages and bright colours. We could hear lots of birds but they were hard to spot due to the density of the forest. We did see some more rhinoceros hornbills flying over the canopy.
After so long listening to the noises of the forest we're back to a big town the the usual city noises, no more sitting with a cup of tea listening to the forest waking up.
We'll spend a few days here in Kuching then go to stay in Bako Narional Park, not far from here.
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