Visiting Mulu National World Heritage Area is like journeying into Jurassic Park (without the dinosaurs of course). Mulu is in the interior of Borneo and to access it you must fly over impenetrable jungle, which is exactly what we chose to do. Looking out of the plane you can see the Baram, Tutoh and Melinau rivers which lead up to the mountains, if you are brave you can spend all day travelling up these rivers to reach the National Park. (There are no buses, highways and no taxis to Mulu).
Getting off the plane you feel like you have just stepped back in time, surrounded by vast jungle you are told you can walk down the street to the entrance. Carrying our massive backpacks we navigated our way to the entrance by following the group in front of us.
At this entrance there is a massive swing bridge over the river which takes you from the luxury rich tourist side into the national park to some amazing accommodation. Oh and by the way a poisonous snake just hangs (literally hangs) outside the cafe in the garden all day long!
In the park we slept in a large fan cooled dormitory with 20 beds and shared bathrooms. This is not as bad as you think, we got a room at the back of the dormitory which had only three beds which was rather private and the bathrooms are great too (for those of you like me who hate sharing bathrooms).
The dorm was rather cheap costing RM43 ($16 NZD, $14 USD or $10 Euro) per night and it included breakfast. (Warning: book in advance as when we arrived some tourists where trying to get a room and it was fully booked up. You are in the middle of a national park with no easy access to return to the main towns).
Optional activities are endless and some guided tours around the park you have to book in advance. On the first day we just went exploring the Paku Waterfall and tracks - you put on your walking shoes, togs of course, some light fitting clothes and off you go. Walking on the board walks through lush jungle for hours on end was amazing, stopping at waterfalls and natural ponds to take a dip. Just don’t wear denim shorts like I did, by the end of the day I was walking in my bikini as my shorts had managed to give me a massive bruise right by the crotch area.
Luckily we decided to do a night walk around the park ... NOT! On the walk we were told that while walking around the park you need to be quite so animals would come out, this sounds logical right? Wrong! We were placed with a family group who decided they would yell and talk the whole way through the tour, even our guide got annoyed.
At one point B said to me, in a whisper voice, 'Nikki look over there' and pointed in the direction of the forest. I slowly walked up to the edge when the girl in our group pushed me over and ran in front yelling to her family to come have a look. That was it with the night walk, me and B were over it an over the rude families that were around us. Let’s just say our guide told us that this is not the first family to be like this.
The other day spent there we just explored the park; there are many paths that lead to different attractions in the jungle. Along one path you can go up a tree top tower where you look out into the canopy of the forest. At night you can also take a walk along the path to the big cave at the end. Here at twilight millions of bats come flying out, which is a spectacular sight to watch. The bats are also the reason why Mulu has little to no mosquitos. There is also a boat ride up the river to a spectacular swimming spot and caves which is amazing to explore and a walk through the jungle with guides to some of the waterfalls and caving experiences.
On our last day before we did the Mulu Canopy skywalk along all these bridges between trees. At one stop along the way there was a snake hanging out, but mostly it is a walk to see the birdlife. Whichever adventure you chose to do at Mulu you will not be disappointed, it is truly one of the best national parks we have been to.