Oct 8, 2011

Gunung Mulu National Park - Best caves tourism destination

If you like caving, head on to Gunung Mulu National Park as they are considered one of the best caves to go spelunking. While you are there, don't forget to explore other areas of the national park and climb up and view the breath taking 'Pinnacles' and of course enjoy the nature of the tropical rainforest of Sarawak.

Don't forget to try the world's longest canopy walk at the National Park too, ya?

Best caving destination
Saturday October 8, 2011

Dubbed the “most spectacular caves on earth” by international cave experts, Gunung Mulu National Park is unsurprisingly picked as the best caving destination by speleologist and freelance journalist Liz Price.

Kuala Lumpur-based Price has been caving in South-East Asia for more than 20 years.

One of the spectacular caves at Mulu National Park that draws visitors from all over the world.
One of the spectacular caves at Mulu National Park that draws visitors from all over the world.

With one of the longest networks of caves in the world, the Unesco World Heritage site is bestowed with a long list of superlatives. It houses the world’s largest underground chamber – apparently, you can squeeze in 40 Boeing 747 airplanes in the Sarawak Chamber.

The world’s biggest cave passage, the Deer Cave can fit cathedrals the size of Saint Paul’s in London and is where you can watch millions of bats swarming out at dusk. Then there’s Clearwater Cave, the longest cave in South-East Asia.

“Many caves have spectacular formations and are home to a wide variety of cave fauna,” says Price.

The adventurous can opt for adventure caving where you crawl, climb, scramble or squeeze through narrow cave passages while marvelling at the spectacular formations and creatures. -- The Star

Unique stromatolites in Deer Cave will encourage research
By Zora Chang
Tuesday July 26, 2011

The discovery of a unique type of freshwater stromatolite in Deer Cave at the Gunung Mulu National Park will open doors for research on the mineral deposits and exploration in other caves.

Researcher Prof Joyce Lundberg from the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies of Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, said the stromatolites found near the northeastern entrance of the cave were the only sample of their kind in the world.

“It will also be a tourist attraction for Deer Cave, which is already famous for its huge passages and vast bat population,” she said at a public talk entitled “Freshwater Stromatolites in Deer Cave, Sarawak — A Unique Geobiological Cave Formation” here recently.

World’s first: Lundberg showing a piece of stromatolite during the talk at the Sarawak Museum.
World’s first: Lundberg showing a piece of stromatolite during the talk at the Sarawak Museum.

The talk also featured Prof Donald A. McFarlane of Claremont Colleges in Claremont.

Lundberg said since these type of stromatolites were being studied for the first time in the world, there was no one who could say whether the mineral deposits had any medicinal value or if weather patterns had a hand in forming them.

Stromatolites are laminated, usually mounded sedimentary fossils formed by layers of cyanobacteria, calcium carbonate and trapped sediment.

They are present as horizontal shelves arranged in a series on a steep rock face that is vertically under a guano-laden shelf.

The rock face undergoes active dissolution from acidic guano drainage water and from aggressive rainwater from an overhead discharge.

It is corroded by the running water except for the parts protected by the stromatolites, creating a form-like tiny pillars or hoodoos.

The stromatolites grow upwards in annual laminae but are, at the same time, destroyed from underneath by biological corrosion and laterally by mechanical breakage.

A dynamic equilibrium is established between upward accretion of the fresh surface and destruction at the base such that the base of the stromatolite moves over time.

Therefore, over time they climb up the wall. -- The Star

Mulu walkway is longest ever at 480m
Monday July 25, 2005

MULU: The Mulu National Park has opened the world’s longest canopy skywalk, a 480m walkway suspended 20m above the forest floor.

Experts advised and helped the local communities design and build the structure.

The canopy skywalk is part of the Gunung Mulu world heritage area opened by Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud yesterday.

Other facilities there include a plants-for-life trail, an 8km non-slip plank walk, radio communication systems, interpretive signage, renovated facilities at Camp 5, new public toilets and upgraded facilities for future on-site research.

Also built were new bridges, new park lighting and sensor-activated lighting in the four caves – the Clearwater, Wind, Deer and Lung Caves.

The Deer Cave boasts the world’s largest cave passage while the 107km Clearwater Cave is the longest in South-East Asia.

Mulu also has the world’s largest natural chamber – Sarawak Chamber – which can accommodate 40 Boeing 747 aircraft with room to spare.

The Mulu National Park has seen a significant increase in tourist numbers after it was made a Unesco world heritage site five years ago.

State national parks and nature reserves controller Datuk Cheong Ek Choon said the new facilities at Mulu Caves were fine examples of the private sector and government working together to promote eco-tourism and biodiversity conservation.

He said it was made possible through the joint efforts of Borsarmulu Park Management and Sarawak Forestry.

Cheong, also Sarawak Forestry managing director, commended the state's commitment to conserve more areas as national parks, nature reserves and wildlife sanctuaries, and its contribution to raise the profile of the Mulu National Park on the world stage. -- The Star