Visting the Niah Caves in Borneo

 

The Niah National Park features one of the ultimate must see caves in Borneo – the Niah Caves near the city of Miri.  It’s a massive cave system located inside of one of the top 3 National Parks in Sarawak. Featuring awesome jungle walks, Iban Longhouses, archeological sites and impressive limestone caves – visiting the Niah Caves is a great adventure!

 

Exploring the Niah Caves and the Niah National Park

First of all, the Niah National Park is really calm and less touristy than other National Parks in Borneo. The Primary Rain forest is still intact and home of many different plants and wildlife. Arriving at the headquater, you have to pass the river by boat. On the other side you are going to find the park entrance were you can pay the entrance fee.

On the other side you are going to find the park entrance were you can pay the entrance fee.Then you will find a beautiful jungle walk leading up to the cave entrance. The wooden walkway is very well maintained so the small hike is easy to manage! On your way to the caves you will also pass some Iban longhouses, which will give you an idea of the traditional indigenous life. From the Iban longhouses it’s a 20 minutes’ walk to the first cave entrance.

The Traders Cave is the first cave on the way. In the past, swiftlets trader set up their shops there.  Swiftlets traders from around the world visited this place to trade wares with the nests that were collected by the locals.

Niah National Park – Main Cave

Wooden stairs will take you further to the huge Main Cave which is home of thousands of swiftlets. Entering the Main Cave amazing: The enormous size is really impressive! It’s an incredible feeling to be inside of a huge cave in the deep jungle, just by yourself. We met only 5 other tourists on the entire jungle treck!

You can follow the trail that leads by all the caves on your own, but make sure you take a flashlight with you – the caves are unlit. Especially the walk through the main cave is really adventurous: Walking 15 minutes through the darkness can be really thrilling. No need to worry, the walkway is perfectly safe!

150 meters after the Main Cave, you will reach the Painted Cave, which is also interesting to see. The wall paintings are even dated to be 1,200 years old!

 

Niah National Park accommodation

Although all the main attractions of the Niah National Park can be explored in one day, we stayed inside the park for one night. There are basic accommodations next to the park headquarters with a small restaurant serving cheap food and drinks.

Getting from Kuching to Niah Caves (near Miri)

The Niah National park is located in the North of Sarawak/Borneo. From Kuching to Niah Park it’s about a 12 hours’ drive. It’s best to take a night bus form Kuching Sentral Station in direction Miri (timetable buses). From Batu Niah you can take a taxi (3km) to the entrance. Also you can reach Miri from Kuching by flight. Air Asia always offers good flight deals!

Getting from Miri to Niah National Park

The city of Miri is 2 hours by bus from the Niah NP. Take the express bus from Pujut Corner Bus Terminal in Miri to Ngu rest-stop. From there you will have to take a private taxi to the Niah National Park Headquater.

Niah Caves vs. Gunung Mulu National Park

If you are travelling through Borneo in Malaysia and you have to choose between the Niah Caves and the Mulu National Park we would recommend heading to Niah Caves!

Because you have to take a flight to Mulu, the excursion to Gunung Mulu is more expensive than the one to the Niah Caves. Additionally, what we really liked at Niah Caves is that the park is much less touristy and you can explore all the caves by your own.


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