If you are into caves Mulu National Park makes a great place to visit. Nestled into a fairly remote area of the Borneo rain forest, Mulu National Park boasts some of the world’s top caves. In the caving world Mulu is well known to hold titles for: the biggest chamber, the largest passage, the largest cave by volume of air and the longest underground river in the world.
There are still some other amazing caves in the world each holding their own bragging rights like Mammoth Caves in Kentucky which is the longest known cave system in the world or Hang Son Doong Caves in Vietnam which has the largest caves in the world, but Mulu can hold it’s own. We spent twelves day exploring this World Heritage Area and if you are into nature, hiking, photography, insects and adventure caving, this is a place to spend some time.
The park is well set up and safety standards are strictly enforced. Mulu has a variety of caves and for those wishing to do adventure caving, it’s mandatory to pass successful completion of a less challenging cave. We really wanted to try and see the racer snakes, so we choose to do the intermediate cave, Racer Cave. We were not disappointed as we saw the snakes within about ten minutes of heading into the cave!
So let’s have a look as to what it was like to go Adventure Caving in Racer Cave!
Ok! Let’s get ready to go! Safety gear on – check! 🙂
Now let’s squeeze through this crack to enter the cave.
Within about 10 minutes of being in the cave, hurray! We see a racer snake!
There’s no reason to be afraid. Racer snakes are part of the python family and are not poisonous.
These snakes have actually stuffed themselves up into the ceiling of the cave. There they wait for either the swiftlet swallows to fly back into the cave or for the bats to fly out of the cave. With precise striking, they will grab their prey.
We had to put away our good cameras and use our smaller point and shoot. Plus it was quite dark in the cave so you will notice the quality of these photos are not as crisp.
As you can see, we didn’t want to have the good cameras out for these climbs! 🙂
If you look in the rock here, you can see the remains of shell fossils. I always think finding fossils is so cool!
And we found a tiny blind cave crab!
Further into the cave was another racer snake, but it was shedding it’s skin so it was not stuffed into the ceiling.
Despite the torches making it appear light, had we turned them off it would have been completely dark in the cave.
This broken stalagmite was the ending point of our journey into the cave. Our guide made sure to let us know that this stalagmite has been dead for years and that was the reason we were allowed to stand on top of this one. Throughout our time there the guides were strict and I saw it kindly enforced that no one touched most features of the cave. (side note: There has recently been news of people pushing over rock formations and showing a lack of understanding and respect for the natural world. Don’t be that person or tourist that is responsible for the death of unique natural features and formations.)
Chris as you can see, was a bit to tall to fit under, but did have a cool shadow in the back ground.
With that we went back the way we came and climbed out of the cave.
Chris was having a great time!
Not too much worse for the wear, this was our after shot. Unlike many other caves, Racer Caves was a comfortable temperature inside and was a great cave for an adventure.
If you love caves or want to find out if you would like adventure caving, Mulu National Park is a great place to check out. You can start off in the easy show caves and then try your hand at a slightly more adventurous cave to see if you enjoy. No matter what you decide, Mulu is a great place for an adventure.
If you go:
Check out Mulu National Park website – this is the official park website.
If you are traveling peak season or with limited time, book ahead via the park office for caving and activities. Space is limited and does fill up.
Unless you do a multiple day hike in via the Headhunters Trail, you will need to take MAS Wings to park. Do NOT cut yourself short on your flight days! While we were there they often cancelled the flights and/or changed the times. It’s not a big deal if you have the time, it is a big deal if you booked your flight out of Mulu and an international flight the next day. Save a lot of stress and give yourself a BUFFER day.
We stayed at D’Cave Homestay and highly recommend this as our first choice. You can stay in the park, but it’s a lot more expensive. Staying in a homestay just outside the park (D’Cave is about a six minute walk) is a great way to help support the local community. There are a handful of options leading up to the park, D’Cave is one of the only ones that leaves the generator on all night from about 6 pm to 6 am – which means you’ll have a fan all night long. Best if you can call them at 01115085990, 0128729752 , 01115117599 or email firstname.lastname@example.org (there may be a delayed response via email because of a lack of internet.)
Plenty of little restaurants just outside the park and again, great way to support the local community. We just ate a different place each day and sometimes ate at the park canteen.
You can buy simply snacks/supplies and there is a small shop if you were to walk towards the Marriot. You shouldn’t need anything major foodwise while you’re there as the restaurants are sufficient, but if you were hiking the Pinnacles for instance, better to buy your food before hand and bring it with you.
There are NO ATMS so come prepared with cash. If you read the park website it says cash advance can be done at the office for a fee, but the entire time we were there it was unavailable.
Don’t plan to need internet. The park office says they have it, but we couldn’t get a page to load. Perhaps it would be better if you were just using a phone. If you get in a pinch, you can go to the Marriot and either buy a meal or pay to use internet there, but again, it’s not a guarantee it will work. Book any plane tickets and pay your credit cards ahead of time to avoid stress.
Enjoy your time at Mulu! It was one of our favorite parks!
Have you been to a cave that you really enjoyed?
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P.S. – I know I sent out one post saying I was doing the Freedom Plan Blog Challenge and I still am. After talking with Nora Dunn, who we worked with to contribute to her book, Live and Work from Anywhere, I got some inspiration and made another website here to post those updates. After I thought about it, 10 posts was too much to just push out here. Plus, it’s been on my to do list to experiment with some other websites, so this was a great way to accomplish two things at once.
Also, for anyone struggling to learn a new skill, alter a habit, etc. I set this new website up in literally five minutes. Of course it’s not super fancy or customized yet, BUT, a year ago this would have taken me HOURS if not DAYS to figure this out. Now I could zip through this and at the very least, get these basic things figured out in five minutes! I felt so hopeless and lost when I first tried to do this a year ago, but clearly I’ve learned something. So if you are trying to learn new things or incorporate a new habit into your life, keep at it because you are surely learning too. Onwards! 🙂