A lot of options – or you can visit them all, of course:
– Clearwater Cave
– Cave of the Winds (or Wind Cave)
– Deer Cave
– Langs Cave
– Fastlane (which we didn’t visit)
There’s really something to like in all of them. Deer cave is large with a dramatic opening while Langs cave is smaller and more intimate with spectacular stalagmites and stalactites throughout the cave.
Clearwater cave is Asia’s longest cave and is reached by a staircase. Apparently there is still quite some part of the cave unexplored to date.
The Cave of the Winds has a river flowing through it, which has a whole different sighting to it.
Every day before dusk – between around 4 and 6pm – there’s the famous sighting of hundreds of thousands of bats flying out of Deer cave. Best place to see is from the bats observatory area, a few metres outside of the cave.
We were so lucky… Weather conditions have to be just right. If it starts raining, then the chances are a lot slimmer for the bats to fly out. And of course, when we were doing our tour in the Deer cave, we heard thunder rolling and already made up our minds we wouldn’t see any. We could always come back the day after, but of course again without guarantees that we would be more lucky that time. But then – all of a sudden – when we were at the end of our tour, our funny guide Kevin pointed out that bats were actually flying out, despite of the weather! Not sure if it would last long, my husband and I didn’t doubt for a second and started making our way out of the cave, to the observatory area. In the meantime it had stopped raining and we could observe the exodus for quite a while. Hooray!
(Harmless) Snake encounter
Right after visiting Clearwater Cave and Wind Cave, we went for a dip in the river area in front of the caves. Idyllic setting. Afterwards, it was time for lunch on the terrace, overlooking the river.
After a while a few other visitors were making some fuss at the other side of the terrace, so we went to take a look and saw a snake – a racer snake to be more precise – making his way up the board sign and along the handrail. Wooow… it was a very tall one. And apparently it came out of the water a few seconds earlier. Yep, the water that we were in about 15 minutes before. Not sure if we would have been so relaxed when we saw that thing gliding over the water…
Great hiking trails
Making your way to the caves is a great experience all by itself. It’s ridiculously easy, as the road is well paved with wooden planks. Amazing how our guide Kevin was able to spot the tiniest insects (well, tiny – not really – in Borneo all insects are super-sized!) along the way – both when it was still light as well as when it was getting darker, after the bat exodus.
On the last day we went for a walk on our own and did the Paku Valley Loop, which is an 8 km loop and took is a little more than 3 hours.
Luxurious hotel to come to rest after all this adventure
Not too many options to choose from when it comes to spending the night in Mulu. There are B&B’s and then there’s the Marriot… Because of the rather limited price difference, it was rather easy for us to go for the Marriott. And we didn’t regret it…
The setting is really unique – a luxurious accommodation in the middle of the jungle. Large rooms with amazing bathrooms, all surrounded by nature. Food was good as well – sufficient breakfast choices (mmm, the crêpes were delicious). The dining area outside has a real vacation vibe to it. The only downside is that the menu choice as such is limited and is the same for both lunch and dinner, so if you would stay longer, that could get boring. And there’s no option to get some of the dishes less spicy, which is a pity for such a high-end place. We didn’t let this spoil things however.
They also have a great pool area, which we gratefully used to relax after some busy days. And as it didn’t stop raining for the rest of the afternoon of our second day we also tried the gym.