Monday, March 11, 2013

Great outdoors

Dragons, volcanoes, and the garden of eden are more than mere myths at these national parks.
National parks, executive summary by darmansjah

Gunung Mulu, Malaysia

With an estimated 3,500 plant species and tens of thousands of different animal species, you can’t get any closer to nature than at Sarawak’s Gunung Mulu National Park.

Despite its thriving wildlife, the park is famous for tis limestone karst formations and its humongous caves. To date, close to 300 kilometers of caves have been discovered by explores. One of the most spectacular sights is the Sarawak Chamber, Measuring 700 meters long, 400 meters wide and at least 70 meters high, it is the largest known enclosed space in the world. For an idea of how massive this is, picture 40 Boeing 747s lining up wingtip to wingtip.

The nearby Deer Cave, was until recently, considered the largest is home to millions of bats that roost in the day and emerge at dusk. Camp around the entrance of the cave between 5 to 7 pm and you’ll witness a half hour long procession of bats leaving the cave in a strangely organized and continous serpentine aerial formation.

Walking through the Deer Cave eventually leads you to the aptly named Garden of Eden, a textbook example of a karst collapse. The shaft of light coming in through the collapsed roof illuminating the lush green garden is a scene right out of a Willard Price Novel. ‘Cave Adventure’ does have a nice ring to it.

Though it’s possible to travel to the area by riverboat, the easiest way to the park is by air. Gunung Mulu National Park has a small airport that lies just outside the park.  From the airport, tour operators provide shuttle service to accommodations. Daily direct flights to the airport via MASWings from Miri and Kota Kinabalu are available (

The Royal Mulu Resort is located adjacent to the park and is a five minute away. The resort is built on longhouses held three meters above the ground by stilts and is linked by a series wooden walkways (from US$90;

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