The Mulu National Park Show

Despite growing up in a country with various tribes and cultures, travelling to national parks and protected areas, and above all being a part-time tour-guide and experiencing out-bound and in-bound eco-cultural-tours in Iran, nothing had prepared me for what was about to come at the Gunung Mulu National Park.

All it took was a 30 minute flight from Miri to Mulu and there I was, about to start my journey through one of Sarawak’s greatest treasures. “Here we are, welcome to Mulu,” said my friend. Passing a bridge I was finally at the park and my eyes were wide opened, hypnotized by the beauty and serenity of this sanctuary. It felt like I was in heaven, as if I had just stepped into a different world. As if to welcome me, a cool and gentle breeze blew causing the trees to dance; all in all a sight I will never forget. Mulu National Park had plenty to offer: Borneo’s flora and fauna coupled with its enormous caves. I had travelled into a new world and with its canopy walk, limestone pinnacles, the sounds of the jungle night (something I termed as ‘Mulu’s Rhapsody’) and a visit to the villages of the Penan tribe, I had found myself on a holiday that I truly wanted.

Our tour guide was a young Penan boy who could speak limited English, but thankfully that was not a problem as the Penan are a welcoming and warm people who don’t think twice of sharing their lives with us. Our guide also enriched our experience through loads of information on the biological and geological features of everything we came across. Mulu National Park was deemed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000, and in the past 15 years of successful community based engagement, it is still one of the few places in the world that never ceases to truly amaze. Just before we had to head home, this great park had one last show for us, the ‘Bat Exodus’. Millions of bats formed a swarm that could have blocked out the sun, a mesmerizing sight that left me in awe of the wonders of Sarawak, and this was only the beginning of my journey through Borneo.

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