Visiting Mulu World Heritage Area is a journey into the interior of Borneo. To get from the coastal city of Miri you must fly over impenetrable jungle or travel all day up the Baram, Tutoh and Melinau rivers to the mountains on the far horizon.
Trips overland to a nearby longhouse, then a 2 hour boat ride to the Park, are possible but very difficult. The only access is via logging roads which can be locked, washed out and in very poor condition.
There are no buses, no highways and certainly no taxis to Mulu. So it’s the easy way by air or the scenic and slow, winding cruise by river.
You can also arrive from the north flying in from Kota Kinabalu in Sabah or hiking down the Head Hunter’s Trail from Limbang.
Which ever adventure you choose to get to Mulu it is just an introduction to the jungle experience waiting for you.
Park entry tickets to a Sarawak World Heritage Area permits visitors to enter the park for an unlimited number of times over 5 calendar days. (Tickets are non-transferable).
Mulu World Heritage
5 day pass Foreign Adult Rm30
Foreign Child Rm10 (7 – 18 years) 6 and below no charge
Malaysian Adult Rm15
Malaysian Senior Rm 7 (60 years and above)
Malaysian Child Rm 5 (7 – 18 years) 6 and below no charge
Daily flights from Miri to Mulu and three times each week from Kuching and Kota Kinabalu by MASWings, a wholly owned subsidiary of the National Carrier – Malaysian Airline Services.ysian Airline Services.
Alternatively, a ten hour river trip from Miri to Mulu is possible. First catch an early morning taxi from Miri to Kuala Baram where an express boat takes you up the Baram River to arrive at Marudi around lunch time.
Here you must change to a second, smaller boat to take you to Long Terawan, a small community of Berawan people on the Tutoh River, where you must hire an even smaller local longboat to bring you to the Park.
This is not a very reliable service as boats between Marudi and Long Terawan can be cancelled without warning if the river level is too low or there simply aren’t enough passengers. Visit the Visitor Information Centre in Miri if you want assistance to organize this trip or call
Amiho travel Services 085 755025
Lee Yong Express Company 085 756749 ( Marudi)
It is possible to walk into Mulu via ‘The Headhunter’s Trail’ which takes its name from its historical role as the route taken by warring parties between the Tutoh and Medalam rivers. The trail runs between Limbang, a picturesque town on the Limbang River, entering Mulu on its northern boundary and trekking down through Camp 5 and then onto Mulu Park Head Quarters. (or visa versa).
The area is very isolated and the nearest town is many hours away, the trail is well marked and maintained but tree falls and river floods can cause confusion. If you want to travel the Headhunters Trail you must contact a licensed tour operator to make arrangements for you.
Mulu is not strongly affected by the monsoonal seasons that most of South East Asia experiences. July – September are the driest months (it only rains about 3 days in 7) but it is also hotter without the cooling rains. March and April have a little less rain than the wettest months of October – January and May – June.
A Typical day in Mulu
Each Mulu morning usually dawns with a clear sky and a temperature around 23 degrees.
By early afternoon the temperature has risen to about 34 degrees and 60% humidity; around 3.00 – 5.00 pm it will start raining and the humidity increases to 90%. Showers may last 30 – 60 minutes, but after the rain the air is cool and fresh, the evenings are usually fine.
As it rarely rains in the morning those doing the Pinnacles climb go up in dry conditions and if they are slower to return they may get wet towards the end of their walk. Cancellation of the Pinnacles climb due to wet weather would average no more than 10 days per year.
Yes we do get between 4 – 7 metres of rain each year so you will experience wonderful tropical down-pours which swell the rivers and sometimes make them flood.
July, August and September are usually busier than other times of the year we recommend that at all times you should make bookings for accommodation and guides in advance to avoid disappointment. Once the facilities are full and the guides booked then there is nothing we can do to help even though you have traveled a long way to visit.
EXPLORING THE PARK AROUND PARK HQ
Besides exploring Mulu’s underground world there are many other activities which can be enjoyed as short day trips out from Park Headquarters. They include trekking without a guide, longboat river trips and guided walks. Bookings can be made at the Park Office.
Mulu Canopy Skywalk
Scheduled tour with World Heritage guide
RM35 per person(maximum of 8)
Dense vegetation clings to every surface and trees are draped with orchids, ferns and creepers. Insects, lizards and squirrels dash up and down the tree trunks with butterflies and dragonflies adding a burst of colour as they glide by. Peculiar insects buzz past in search of a mate and a wild perfume wafts down from the canopy where tropical flowers bloom.
How do you discover all this and understand why Mulu is one of the World’s biodiversity ‘hot-spots’? Try one of our rainforest activities.
Guided tours leave the office daily; the return trip will take approximately 2 hours. Bookings are essential and group sizes are limited to 7.
The Mulu Canopy Skywalk at 480 metres is the longest tree-based walkway in the World. As you walk among the ferns and vines 15 – 25 metres above the forest floor and river you will enjoy this unique opportunity to get closer to the rainforest ‘web of life’
Discover and understand:
Why there are more birds, squirrels, monkeys and insects found in the forest canopy.
Why some trees are covered in plants and mosses and others have smooth bare trunks.
How plants get food and moisture even if they don’t have roots in the soil.
Why some plants have invited insects to make themselves at home and how others ward them off.
Tree Top Tower
Soaring into the treetops like one of the nearby massive trees this 30 metre tower and bird hide provides the opportunity to ‘spy’ on squirrels arguing over their territory and to watch canopy birds swooping through the branches. During fruiting season there is a chance to see hornbills or macaques feeding on the fruits of the fig trees that surround the hide.
A 10 minute walk from the Park Office takes you to the base of the tower, designed for you to comfortably and quietly wait for passing wildlife without them being aware that you are watching.
Bird watchers can arrange private use of the tower for dawn (5-8am) and dusk (5-8pm), ask at the office for the cost and to make a reservation.
Apart from private bookings the Tree Top Tower is free.
For safety reasons the tower is kept locked, but ask at the Park Office to book a time slot and pick up the key. There is a Rm50 fully refunded key deposit to pay.
Scheduled tour with World Heritage Guide
2 hour (RM10 per person)
The ‘Night Shift’ tour leaves the office at 7.00pm. Bookings need to be made before noon each day.
The 2km walk winds its way through Kerangas and Lowland Riverine Forest where amazing Pitcher Plants hang in the under-growth and fluorescent fungi glow in the dark. Your Guide will help you discover giant insects that hide among the leaves, frogs calling a mate and show you where Bearded Pigs have recently passed by. If you are lucky and very quiet then you may spot a Moon Rat (not a rat but a beautiful white insectivore) – if he has been there in the last few hours you will certainly smell him.
If it is raining at 7.00pm the tour will be delayed for 30 minutes as early evening showers often pass by quickly. If the tour is then cancelled due to bad weather you can claim a refund from the office on the following morning. Refunds are only available if the tour is cancelled by the guide.
Paku Waterfall – unguided (4 – 5 hours)
If you want to walk by yourself and just enjoy being alone in the forest then this is the walk for you. Walk at your own pace to discover the rainforest and follow your particular interest looking for birds, insects, ferns or just the chance to be alone.
Enjoy a refreshing swim in the cool waters of the Paku river and a picnic lunch before returning to HQ.
This walking trail begins on the Deer Cave plank-walk but after about 1.3km you climb down to the forest floor and follow the clearly marked trail. It is an easy walk but there are streams to cross and water levels can rise quickly so you must check at the office and register when you are leaving and later inform Park Security of your return.
You need good walking shoes and it is often a very muddy trail so be prepared to get dirty.
Do not proceed past the waterfall towards Camp 1 without a guide. You WILL get lost and search parties are expensive!
EXPLORING THE PARK FROM CAMP 5
Nestled beside the beautiful Melinau River and facing the Benarat cliff, ‘camp’ is a poor description for this spectacular area which has excellent facilities and is a far cry from ‘roughing it’ in the forest.
Facilities include large open air sleeping rooms with raised platforms and sleeping mats, fully equipped kitchens, a dining space, toilets and showers. The World Heritage Guide, who is in charge of the camp, and the housekeeper will show you how everything works when you arrive. A ‘please be quiet now’ curfew comes into operation at 10.00pm each night because climbers are usually either tired from the day’s climb or getting ready for the early start up Mount Api the next day.
Self Catering at Camp 5
If you are travelling with a Tour Operator your meals are usually provided for you but if you are travelling independently and using a World Heritage Guide you need to organise your own food. Our suggestion is to have a picnic lunch from the Café on Day 1 and perhaps take some frozen Curry Chicken with you which will be just right with some boiled rice for dinner that night. For breakfast – eggs and toast, or noodles are easy and don’t forget some food for the climb. Maybe a vegetarian stir fry in coconut milk and rice or some pasta for dinner on Day 2 and instant noodles the next morning. Ask the Camp 5 Housekeeper about buying one of the snack items such as chocolates, nuts, biscuits and soft drinks for in-between meal nibbles.
Traditionally Camp 5 has been used by those climbing the Pinnacles and using the Head Hunter’s Trail to and from Limbang. But, you do not have to be an adventurous trekker and climber to take advantage of this great place, more and more visitors are going there just to enjoy the surrounding forest and scenery by walking to the Kerangas Forest or Melinau Gorge.
To maintain the essence of being secluded in a remote forest and to protect the environment, accommodation is restricted to 50 visitors per night. Solar power and a small generator are used to pump water from the river, provide radio communications for safety and for low level lighting at night.
A rubbish recycling and removal service is provided to ensure that the trails and rivers remain free from pollution and litter. Please help us by using the bins correctly.
The Pinnacles Trail (Park Guide essential) (minimum of 3 persons)
You can book this trek through a local Tour Operator who will provide an escorting Guide from Park HQ and back with food catered for you OR
As an independent traveler making your own arrangements you can book direct with the park, meeting the World Heritage Guide at Camp 5.
Advance booking required
RM325 per person includes guide fee, accommodation 2 nights and longboat return to Park HQ. Maximum of 6 persons per guide.
The pinnacle formations of Gunung Api and Benarat are spectacular examples of this limestone feature.
Mulu’s Pinnacles tower above the surrounding landscape, some reaching heights of 40 to 50 metres. Centuries of water have eroded and dissolved the rock into razor sharp spikes which knife skywards through the surrounding rainforest.
After visiting Clearwater and Cave of the Winds and enjoying a picnic lunch climb back into your longboat for another 40 minute ride to Kuala Litut. If you are in luck and the river level is high you will arrive without pushing the boat too many times. Your boat operator leaves you at the beginning of the trail to Camp 5, he will return in 2 days to pick you up again. You will be walking on flat ground most of the 8km and will arrive in Camp 5 before dark where your World Heritage Guide will meet you and brief you on your stay and tomorrows climb.
Camp 5 sits besides the Sungai Melinau and faces the spectacular Benarat cliffs. This comfortable jungle accommodation has fully equipped kitchens, dining room and bathrooms.
You need to take your own food with you and the staff will allocate you a kitchen space, please keep it clean and tidy. Settle in for the night on a sleeping mat provided in one of the 5 open space rooms and look forward to getting up at dawn.
The trail to the Pinnacles viewing point is only 2.4 km long but it rises 1,200m and the last section is near vertical with ropes and ladders to climb. Slow down, take time to enjoy the limestone forest, glimpse the tree shrews running past and as you reach the higher altitudes see some spectacular pitcher plants and rare orchids.
Fit, experienced trekkers may reach the top in 2–3 hours, the not so fit around 4–5 hours. For many, the descent is more difficult and can take 5 hours or more. Back at camp relax, cool off in the river and rest those weary legs in preparation for the return walk to Kuala Litut in the morning.
Essentials to bring –
Camera, raincoat, trekking shoes, insect repellent, drinking water for the first day, torch, first aid kit and personal medications and food. Blankets can be hired from the office before you go and snacks and soft drinks are on sale at Camp 5.
Kerangas Forest Walk (an alternative to climbing) (minimum of 3 persons) -Advance booking required
RM200 per person for 1 night in Camp 5, a ½ day trek with a guide and the return longboat trip from Park HQ
RM270 per person for 2 nights in Camp 5, a 1 day trek with a guide and the return longboat trip from Park HQ
Exploring the Kerangas Forest or the spectacular Melinau Gorge from Camp 5 are great rainforest experiences but both require a guide.
The poor sandy soils of the Kerangas are the ideal habitat for pitcher plants. You can also see the ‘dancing grounds’ of the Great Argus, hear their calls and hopefully catch sight of one.