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Gunung Mulu National Park and Borneo Jungle

The third day of our little trip was by far the most exciting because we got to stopover at Miri’s Gunung Mulu National Park. We had to take a boat to get there but it was well worth it.

By: Anton Lucanus + Save to a List

In the summer of 2019, while deciding between a luxurious desert safari in Dubai and a holiday in Borneo, I decided to pack up my friends and go on a week long road trip around Malaysia because we wanted to try a new experience and go somewhere different. While we were all Malaysians, we had never been around our own country, often choosing to go someplace exotic and foreign and overseas. 

The start of the trip with a sunrise on our backs

We started with a rented van and the first day was truly amazing because we set out at dawn and the traffic-less roads seemed so welcoming and we made good time heading out of the city of Kuching. We managed to reach a quaint little town by sundown and we camped out at a village house with bamboo walls. Everything from this point onwards was so foreign yet familiar to us, it was quite disconcerting but exciting at the same time. 

Getting to the highlight of our trip

The third day of our little trip was by far the most exciting because we got to stopover at Miri’s Gunung Mulu National Park. We had to take a boat to get there but it was well worth it. We brought our camping gear with us because we wanted to spend the night on the reserve. There were ceilings of bats in the Deer Cave and we tried our best not to startle them by going really quietly. However, we did not seem to affect them in the least, despite how sensitive bat hearing was, they were not much bothered by us and our crashing underfoot. We camped at the Garden of Eden which was situated in a valley. It was the perfect spot for us to rest for the night as there was a beautiful waterfall for us to bathe and drink from. 

A new experience: cooking outdoors

There had never been any cause for us to cook in the great outdoors so it was a fun experience when we broke out our gear and began grilling under the open sky. We brought some instant food instead of whole foods so it was quite interesting, being out in nature but cooking instant pasta on an electric stovetop. After dinner, we curled up for the night because we’d be conquering the pinnacles in the morning! 

Conquering the pinnacles and accomplishing our objective

It turned out that the pinnacles were a bit of a trek so even though we woke up extremely early to start the hike, it was well past the afternoon when we arrived at the base camp. We happily booked a room and decided to rest up as we were not very fit so we welcomed the reprieve. This, of course, put a little damper on things as we had to re-shift our itinerary. We managed to sort it out, but being tired and achy and sour was not the greatest feeling in the world. However, come night, all the tension melted away as the stars sparkled into view. Neither one of us girls knew that it was possible to see the Milky Way from any place in Malaysia (although that was a little silly - anywhere without light pollution will show you a beautiful starry sky) and we marveled at how bright the sky made the forest. Everything was bathed in moonlight and it was breathtaking. We couldn’t stay up the entire night because we had an early day, but we would have if we could have! 

The next day was torture. We spent hours trekking to the pinnacles and whilst the view was indeed magnificent, we were too tired to admire it… So I would suggest that you get in shape and whip up your stamina before embarking on an adventurous journey like ours. One good thing that came out of it was that we now know that we can conquer whatever we want as long as we put our minds to it! 

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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