Friday, September 17, 2010

Mulu Caves Backpacking Expedition: Getting There

Now that we're through with my travellings and finish publishing advertorials, it's back to me leaving Kuching behind to embark on my East Malaysia Expedition.

Kuching Food Quick Tour.

Kuching Orang Utan.

Kuching Native Long House.


As you probably have guessed from my title, I was heading solo to the National Park of Mulu Caves.

Why? Because after being a Malaysian for so long, the idea of not yet visited one of the most famous UNESCO World Heritage locations in Malaysia - World Largest Cave, shamed me, when most of the foreign travellers I've met have been there done that.

mulu_caves
Mulu Cave image taken off google image.


Hearing the legends of the Deer Cave, it's hard to imagine to be standing in the middle of the largest cave chamber on earth and has an easy fit of 100 boeying 707 planes without a hunch.

However, this was true until last year (2009) where Son Doong Cave in Vietnam overtook the largest cave title in the world. (Damn, now I have to make a trip to Vietnam again)

Now after a month of research, I found the one cheapest way to get to Mulu Caves.

First I need to get to Miri.

So from KL, the only way is to fly to Kuching, and not wanting to spend the extra money on a flight from Kuching to Miri, and since I have all the time in the world to spare then, I decided to get on the road.

kuching to miri


More like 13 hours on the off-road.

Urgh. Remind me never to do that again.


Once you've arrived at Miri, head straight to the airport to board another short flight to Mulu.

miri to mulu


Here you would experience riding a Fokker 50 properller that would rendered you wondering if it would actually be safe to fly in the first place.

mas wings at kuching airport


I meant, gosh, the plane was so tiny!

maswings fokker plane


It was like boarding a toy plane.

fokker plane back
the only airline that flew to Mulu: MASwings


With plastic propellers.

propeller


Oddly, the sight of a stewardess inside the Fokker was comforting. Perhaps it took the resemblance of one of those shitty American budget airlines with horrid tiny planes that shook the entire flight journey out of my mind.

mulu airport stewardess


So I turned back to take one last glance at the runway, prayed and boarded the plane.

miri airport runway
God be with me


Soon I was off the ground.

Trapped like a sardin in a tin can, I peered out the window to stare at a seemingly wobbly weak wing of the plane piercing through the sky.

mas wing right wing in the air


Called me a chicken, but I was feeling slightly uneasy. With every cloud the plane passed through, came turbulence that had me on the edge of my seat and hands gripped at the side.

As close as the distance looked on the map, it was a 30-min journey from Miri to Mulu.

So after quarter of an hour, the pilot was announcing our descend soon.

The sight down there, was br.ea.th.ta.king.

air view of sarawak jungle


In that instance, I forgot all about my fear and realisation of me hovering on top National Park of Mulu Caves has hit me.

air view of mulu national park


It's Mulu. I was in Mulu!

mountain


The very essense of Malaysia. East Malaysia! The reason why Malaysia was such a beauty, the reason why travellers flew thousand miles from their homeland to see. A true blue rainforest in the heart of Borneo.

Now I've been to the national park in West Malaysia, but this was entirely different. Nothing could compete with the wilderness on offer here. Like I said, a true blue rainforest in the heart of Borneo.

beautiful mulu


Oh Em Gee was that a river?


river in mulu


A real river inside a real rainforest!

God it was so beautiful.

mulu river view


My heart was thumping like crazy, I couldn't remember the last time I was this excited looking at a view out of a plane.

Not with Spain, not with London, not even with Japan.

Soon we arrived in front of a very expectedly tiny airport that was of Mulu airport.

small mulu airport


And a sign that would really make your heart skip a beat.

welcome to mulu


A quick unload of luggages, locating my luggage,

picking up bags


An ungrateful and speedy wave to the smallest plane behind...

mas wing flight


And I was out of the airport and on my way to the National Park of Mulu Caves.

mulu national park


Standing in front of the long green walk-way with a luggage behind me, I eagerly anticipated the discovery of this journey ahead.

13 comments:

  1. that was amazing.. anyway, have you been to Danum valley in sabah? it's just same as this one :)

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  2. traveling from kuching to miri is insane!

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  3. You can opt to fly from KL to Miri instead. Dont have to go Kuching

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  4. Lol i am from Miri! Glad you like the east malaysian rainforests. My family did the roadtrip from miri to kch once, and that remains to be the only time... ever...

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  5. kyuubi: no i haven't. will check it out :)

    janice: yea i know, though back then when i travelled there was no cheap flight to miri. this was the cheapest.

    vaveh: must be hell. LOL. it's a lonnng way.

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  6. Hi Nicole. Actually that plane is ATR72, they have de-commissioned all of their Fokker fleet.

    Glad that you have come to Miri my hometown :)

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  7. i grew up travelling from miri to kch every year... and i know it's very hard for west malaysians to "experience" the road trip :P

    u should take the old way, miri - kuala baram - marudi - mulu all by express boat and long boat... but that will take u half a day to reach mulu... but it's fun... especially during dry season, u have to get off from the long boat and help to pull it up stream...

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  8. u're so close to my hometown, come to Sibu too!! :D

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  9. I haven't had the opportunity to visit Mulu National Park yet although I been to Miri twice already. Will visit it some day

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  10. yes, there are no more Fokker in Mas fleet..the smallest plane in Maswings is the Twin Otter which sits less than 20 people. The one you flew with is an ATR-72 which sits 72 people. not small actually....

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  11. hi Nicole, love the newhairstyle, why hate the stylist? i think you look great, you look very nice and young and fresh with the fringe :)

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  12. Hi nicole,
    May i known is that need advance booking to visit Mulu cave?
    what is ur cost for 2D1N Mulu trip ?

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