Gunung Mulu National Park

Gunung Mulu National Park, Miri Overview

Named after Mount Mulu, the second-highest peak in Sarawak, the Gunung Mulu National Park in is a spectacular national park located in the Mulu World Heritage Area. These rainforests took 60 million years to develop which is why it is one of the most prestigious natural sites in South East Asia and has even been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The national park is home to numerous caves and mountains amidst its pristine rainforest setting and is the perfect place for those looking for an escape from the hustle-bustle of everyday life. And for those looking forward to some adrenaline rush, there are the physical challenges of trekking and climbing through the caves!

Even though the Gunung Mulu National Park covers a total area of over 85,000 hectares, visitors can see only a part of it, because other than walking and longboats, there is no third mode of transport available. Additionally, connectivity inside the national park is highly limited, which means that a visit to the place offers tourists with solace at its peak!

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Gunung Mulu National Park Entry Fees

It is mandatory for tourists to purchase a 5-day pass to visit the national park, which offers unlimited entry for the period.

The charges for the same are as follows:

Adults: Malaysian: RM 15, Foreign: RM 30
Children: Malaysian: RM 5 (6 to 18 years), Foreign: RM 10 (6 to 18 years), Below 6 years of age: Free Entry
Malaysian Senior (above 60 years): RM 7
  • The fee is not reduced in case tourists wish to stay for less than 5 days in the national park.
  • For those staying longer than 5 days, buying a second Park Entry ticket is required.
  • Entry fee does not include additional fees chargeable for tours and activities.

Show Caves Tour

Explore the Deer and Lang Caves
Entry Fee: MYR 35 per person (includes guide fee)
Duration: 3 hours +
Start time: 02:00 PM at the Park HQ
A total walk of around 9 kilometers, you will first be taken to the Bat Observatory, and then to the Deer Cave, whose high ceilings are home to over 3 million Wrinkle Lipped Bats! This is followed by a visit to the Garden of Eden, and then finally to the Lang Cave, which features some wonderful limestone shawls, stalagmites, and stalactites.

Clearwater Cave and Cave of the Winds
Entry Fee: MYR 67 per person (includes guide fee and longboat fee)
Duration: 4 hours
Start time: 08:45 AM / 09:15 AM
Enjoy a cruise up the Melinau River in a longboat, and then visit the Penan longhouse, the Cave of the Winds and the Clearwater Cave. The Clearwater cave is one of the biggest caves in the entire world and is over 220 kilometers in length. Even though swimming inside the cave is not permitted, you can enjoy floating with the fishes in the waters at the picnic deck!

Fastlane
Entry Fee: MYR 65 per person (includes guide fee and boat fee)
Duration: 2.5 hours
Start time: 02:00 PM
The tour involves a boat ride up the Melinau River, and then a walk through the rainforest to finally reach the caves. The cave is home to huge amounts of prehistoric sediments, including a volcanic ash layer, and is held in great awe by the scientists. You will also be able to spot various cave fauna and some of the best formations of Mulu once inside.

Treks and Trails

Night Walk
Entry Fee: MYR 22 per person (includes guide fee)
Duration: 1- 2 hours
Start time: 07:00 PM
Mulu is home to a wide variety of nocturnal species, and the Night Walk is an excellent tour to discover these animals of the night. Make sure that you move very quietly to catch sights of these animals, and that you remain patient throughout.

Canopy
Entry Fee: MYR 45 per person (includes guide fee)
Duration: 2 hours
Start time: 07:00 AM, 08:30 AM, 10:00 AM, 10:30 AM, 01:00 PM, and 02:00 PM
Suspended 25 meters above the floor and one of the longest tree-based canopy walks in the world, the Mulu Canopy Walk is an experience in itself. Enjoy the walk with the rivers flowing underneath you as you explore the treetops and the nearby cliffs.

For bird watchers, morning tours are recommended, and early booking is advisable for all, since this tour sells out pretty fast.

Adventure Caving at Gunung Mulu

Lagang Cave
Entry Fee: MYR 160 per person
*Advance booking required, and minimum 3 people needed for the tour (minimum age is 12 years)
The Lagang Cave is a scenic one with numerous stalactites, stalagmites, and cave sediments. You will have to scramble over ancient riverbeds to explore the wonders of the underground world. The best part is that there is no climbing involves, which makes the tour ideal for the entire family.

Clearwater Revival
Entry Fee: MYR 220 per person (includes longboat ride)
*Advance booking required, and minimum 3 people needed for the tour (minimum age is 12 years)
This tour takes you through an ancient underground river, and depending on the water levels, you will have to swim, wade or climb to the different areas of the cave.

Note that the tour is suitable only for intermediate cavers, who have some previous experience, and are comfortable in waters and rock climbing.

Extreme Adventure Packages

Pinnacles
Entry Fee: MYR 433.00 per person (includes guide fee, camp fee, and boat fee)
Duration: 3 days and 2 nights
Start time: 09:15 AM from the PARK HQ
Difficulty Level: Extreme
*Advance booking required, and minimum 3 people needed for the tour (minimum age is 16 years)
On the first day of the tour, you will enjoy a boat ride on the Melinau, followed by a visit to the Batu Bungan and the Penan Longhouse. On the way, there is also a halt for the Wind and Clearwater Cave Tour (completely optional and the cost is addition RM 30 per person), before heading towards Kuala Litut.

Overnight accommodation will be at Camp 5.

From the Kuala Litut on the next day, you will begin your walking trek. Even though the trail to the top is only 2.4 kilometers long, you will face numerous obstacles on the way. The last section of the trail is almost vertical, and you will have to rely on rope sections and ladders to climb. The descent is equally challenging, and takes around 5 hours.

Note that this is an extreme climb and not a trek; thus making it unsuitable for people with a fear of heights or those who are not fit enough.

Important tips to keep in mind if you opt for the Pinnacle Climb:
  • No visitor is allowed to climb the Pinnacle unaccompanied. Having a licensed guide along is mandatory.
  • You could hire a porter if you want to, at an additional charge of RM 150 per person. The porter can carry a maximum weight of 17 kilograms, and the park entrance fee of RM 15 and accommodation charges of RM 10 per night will have to be borne by you.
  • Only sleeping mats are provided at Camp 5. Additional facilities like bedding, blanket, towel, mosquito nets, etc. need to be either brought or rented.
  • There will be no cell phone reception. Only radio communication is possible.
The Summit
Entry Fee: MYR 650 per person (includes guide fee and camp fee)
Duration: 4 days and 3 nights
Difficulty Level: Extreme
*Advance booking required, and minimum 3 people needed for the tour (minimum age is 16 years)
A climb to the Summit is perhaps the most difficult of all the activities in the Mulu National Parl. In fact, expert trekkers have described this trek to be even tougher than a climb up Mt Kinabulu and Mt Kilimandjaro. Thus, only experienced trekkers are advised to take part in this climb.

The first day involves a trek to reach Camp 3, following which you will have to trek to Camp 4 on the second day. The third day is the final day of trekking to reach the Summit, wherein you finally get to admire the views and also explore the flora and fauna en route.

Important tips to keep in mind if you opt for the Summit Climb:
  • The camps only provide basic cooking equipment, and thus trekkers are required to carry everything else.
  • Ensure that you pack light, and keep the weight of your bag as less as possible.
  • Wood fires are not allowed anywhere on the trail, except for the fire pit in Camp 1.

Unguided Tours

Visitors can also opt for unguided tours at the National Park, and explore the area at their own pace.

Mulu Botanical Heritage Tour
The trail has 2 loops of 1.5 kilometers each, and there are information panels all along to provide the relevant information to the visitors.

Paku Waterfall
From the Deer Cave, walk ahead for about a kilometer and a half, till you reach a clearly marked trail that will take you to the Paku River. Enjoy the birds, insects, and ferns on the way, and make sure you wear good walking shoes.

Kenyalang Loop and Paku Valley Loop
The former is a 2.5 kilometer long trail that gives you the option to explore the areas of the park that most people don’t mostly visit, and that too without a guide. The latter on the other hand is an 8 kilometer long trail, which normally takes around 5-6 hours.

Tree Top Tower
The 30-meter high treetop tower is just a 10 minute walk away from the headquarters, and is a haven for bird watchers. You can pre-book a time slot that you prefer, though the tower remains locked for safety reasons. Additionally, you will have to pay RM 50 to take this tour, which is completely refundable once the tour ends.

Bat Exodus
A one way walk to the observatory is 3.8 kilometers long, and usually takes around 45 minutes. As the sun starts to set, the bats gather at the entrance of the cave in millions, and then circle higher and higher before moving out to the rainforest in spiraling ribbons. This is indeed a sight one cannot miss.

How to Reach Gunung Mulu National Park

The area is located in isolation, and the only practical way to reach the national park is via a flight. A subsidiary of Malaysian Airlines by the name of Maswings operates daily flights from Miri (30 minutes), Kuching (1 hour and 20 minutes) and Kota Kinabulu (55 minutes) to Mulu.

Best Time to Visit

Even though the Mulu area can be visited all year round, the months between June and September are the peak months, when most people plan a visit to the national park.

Tips

  • Make sure that you plan in advance, since the national park is in a remote location, and rainforests tend to have unpredictable weather.
  • Plan a flexible itinerary, since rainfall may result in flight cancellations, and a lot of activities might have to be rescheduled in case of unfavorable weather conditions.
  • Make sure that you make all bookings for accommodation and guides well in advance because the management will be able to do nothing to help you in case they are already booked.

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