Mulu Deer Cave: Abraham Lincoln Face!

Once I checked into Mulu National Park, I went straight for a 2-hour trek in the jungle and took a walk up in the canopy to get my bearings of my new surroundings, and home for the next 4 days.

gorgeous caves

Living among the most beautiful cave region in Malaysia is such a thrill, not to mention a thrill to get stung by mosquitoes every second of the day.

Staying in the dorm instead of a resort meant that there was hardly any food options around. And being situated in the middle of the rainforest far away from civilization also meant that these scarce food offers were going to cost you.

According to them, in order to get food supplies from the nearest town, they have to take a boat out on the river for couple of hours.

I had a tuna sandwich for lunch that cost RM8. The menu stated the sandwich was served with a salad side dish.

sandwich that cost me RM8
You called a slice of tomato and cucumber a salad serving?

The inside looked even sadder than the presented form.

sad looking tuna sandwich

And that was one of the cheapest choices I had on the menu. Sigh.

I visited the Deer and Lang Cave on the second day. So I woke up, tip-toe to the restroom and showered under cold water, got dressed and was waiting in front of the office at 8am with other travellers for a ranger to take us into the jungle again.

The Deer cave was the largest cave passage on Earth (until it became second last year after a cave in Vietnam) and I was pretty excited to visit it.

largest cave passage in the world

But first, as a teaser, we're visiting a neighbouring cave - Lang Cave.

shadow within

They're (Deer and Lang) situated next to each other and it only made sense to visit both of them in the same day after walking 2 hours out into the jungle.

(click link to see the overall view of the Deer and Lang Cave)

stalactite cave

Any ancient limestone cave in the world is normally swarmed with stalactites and salagmites. It's what makes exploring a cave so interesting.

A stalactite is a form of drip stone and can only grow 0.005 inches per year from the top of the cave.


Some of these salactities have been growing for millions for years.

lots of stalactites

Whereas the formation that rises from the floor of the limestone cave is called a stalagmite.

stalactite meeting stalagmite

Sometimes, over a LONNNNG period of time, these two formation meet and they become pillar in the cave.

pretty stalactite structure

And they come in different shapes and sizes.

bubbly stalactite

serene cave hiking

Caving in Mulu gave a whole new meaning to cave exploring. You're walking in caves that were at least 40-90 millions years old.

stalactite stalagmite in a cave

Every corner in the cave spoke a long standing history. Histories that were hidden inside a dark passage unknown to human for centuries until recent decades.

the power of water

Just think about it, some of these caves used to be filled with water, had a lake as vast as mississippi lake once upon a time (well maybe).

girl squatting down

Isn't that something to think abt? :)

Moving on I proceeded to trek up to Deer Cave.

deer cave sign

Now I've heard a lot about Deer Cave before I visited the place, but no amount of anticipation had prepared me for what I was about to experience. It was a sight that blown me away.

deer cave

deer cave entrance

When people told me it was big, I registered in my mind and exagerrate it by ten times of how big the cave could be.

But no one could have prepared me for the expansiveness of what the cave was about to present to me.

Simply put, it was beyond my wildest imagination.

Just a little tip on how BIG Deer Cave was, here's a photo I've taken from afar, the best angle I could manage to cover the whole cave (which was impossible).

expansiveness of deer cave

Now look closely at the bottom left corner.

Could you see it?


little human in deer cave

A tiny human photographer is squatting on the platform trying to take a photo of the cave.

Right?! It's THAT BIG. And I couldn't even reach the roof of the cave in this photo.

Oh, and I, too, went to the same spot where the photographer was to take a photo (copycat :p). It was how this photo came about.

cave light
can you see the millions of bats hanging at the top?

The most iconic symbol of Deer Cave was Lincoln's face appearing on the rock.

Moved inside the cave and from a certain perspective, you could see the shadow of Abraham Lincoln's prominent nose and chin staring at you.

lincoln cave face

It took me a while to actually see it. But it was really funny when we spotted him. If only he knew when he was alive a 'carving' of his face was in the biggest cave in the world.

There were lots of living beings in the cave. Some carefully hidden in the dark and could attack when you least expected.

tiny spider in the middle of the web

close up on spider

big spider

Imagine my fright when climbing on one of the wooden staircases leading to a platform inside the cave, where it was completely dark, the ranger suddenly shouted at me: "Don't touch the railings!".

Stood there mid-frost with arms in the air, the ranger shone his torch down at the railings next to me and there they were...

big mutated red ants

Big Fat Gross Mutated Red Ant-like Insects crawling all over the wood. It was all I could do not to leap yelping down the stairs crashing few other tourists with me.

Which was why I felt pity for this little bird who has clearly had its wings broken and couldn't fly. What was to become of it? The ranger didn't allow me to pick it up and bring back to nurse :(, something to do with no disrupting the nature of the cave.

poor bird

broken winged bird in deer cave

broken winged bird
Trying to fly but couldn't. :(

Poor birdie. *sob sob*

Oh, did you know why is Deer Cave named so?

The ranger told me the secret, just me. :p
Near the entrance of the cave there was a quirky shaped natural rock lying on the ground.

deer rock inside deer cave

Doesn't it look like a deer on its back with its four limbs in the sky?

Before we exit the cave, here are two photos of me taken by another photograher walking abouts in Deer Cave.

Thank god for him else I would have no photo of myself in Mulu caves. T_T

me in cave view

nicole walking into deer cave

The best part came when we stepped out of the cave and it was near dusk. The golden moment of Mulu caving.

This was the moment when millions of bats would fly out of the cave in search for food for the night. It was supposed to be the most spectacular scene anyone could observe in the nature's world.

This was a photo I took from the internet.

bats leaving deer cave
This might not looked much but there were millions of bats there in the sky.

Tourists were already gathering at the open space outside the cave waiting for the moment to come.

people waiting for bats

So we waited. As the sun slowly set, we waited.

beautiful mulu deer cave

I waited for 30 minutes before the first sign of bats started fluttering outside the cave.

bats circling in the sky
Can you spot the tiny dark specs in the sky?

Here's a shot of the live camera in the shelter where we were waiting.

bats on surveillance camera

And we waited.

With anticipation.

6pm came around.

We waited.

More bats fluttering outside the cave, circuling about.




The sun set.


awaiting for bats at dusk

The ranger finally declared the bats were not coming out that evening due to the likelihood of a rainy evening.

And I already ran out of evenings to visit Deer Cave again, since I was visiting other caves the next day.


I came all the way to miss the marchings of millions of flying mammals in the sky.

Damn emo kan.

So with that, I left and walked back to camp base in the dark.

Back to my very expensive cheap-looking dinner at the sad restaurant for some bite.


6 kissed Nicole

  1. Wow! Really, that cave is huge! But that rock that gave the cave its first I thought you were going to say it looked like a deer antler.

    As for the tuna sandwich...better buy your own tuna and bread...and salad :P

  2. OMG! The big mutant ants are so freak O_O eeek!!!!

    But It would be a wonderful tour~you are so lucky~

    bye Nickole~
    I luv your blog :3

  3. hi nicole, when you say 'bottom right corner', do you mean 'bottom LEFT corner'? made me frantically search for something, and realize the bottom photo is the spoiler. funny.

  4. donny: thanks for notifying. i've changed it already. :)

  5. actually, dat insect is d earwig insect. Juz 2 share d info..

  6. hahaha i LOLed at that sad looking expensive tuna sandwich and the "salad" that came with it. that cave is huge! I'll be visiting the caves next month too, hope I'll have better luck with the bat exodus. thanks for sharing these photos!