Sunday, December 21, 2008

Borrneo Break: The Great Cave of Niah

The Great Cave of Niah, as has been said, is about3.5 km from the Park Headquarters. Walking along the wooden walkway, one is supposed to pass giant Tapang trees with enormous buttress, Padanus plants twice the size of a person and exquisitely formed orchids and fungi. The brochures also said that if you take your time and walk quietly, you'll get to see some of the Park's wildlife too like colourful birds, squirrels, monkeys,lizards, butterflies and other unusual invertebrates and insects. I didn't see all those things of course and I would like to think that was because I had rushed my way there. The Big Cave has seemed so far away and it was almost lunch time when we made our way from across the river. I thought we should have started off very early in the morning. Occasionaly, when we met people who were on their way out, I would inadvertently asked in Malay, Masih jauh ke gua? which means, Is it still far from the cave and of course, each time, I was assured that the cave was near, much to my relief. It was therefore a great welcome when we reached Trader's Cave. A few minutes from there, one would get to the West Mouth of the Great Cave which at 60 m high and 250m wide makes it one of the world's most spectaccular cave entrances. The West Mouth opens into an even greater chamber and forget for once the unique and jagged stalatites and the overhangs and dangling creepers of the cave -you could see stalatites, overhangs and creepers in every other caves elsewhere but here in the Great Cave of Niah, there is a traditional Malay house inside but then of course, you may be more interested in the left of the cave mouth where there remained signs of past archaeological excavation...

At the Great Cave...

Traveling Tip: Start Early!

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