Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Sarawak Hidden Gems 2015 - Wind Cave and Clearwater Cave

Wind Cave and Clearwater Cave are usually visited together. The tour starts at 8.45a.m. and will take around 4 hours to finish. To reach the caves you need to take a longboat up river, and along the way there is a visit to a Penan Village. This village is built by the government and is fairly modernized. There is a small handicraft market for some local products and souvenirs.


Once you arrive at the jetty the Wind Cave is just a short walk away. As you arrive at the cave entrance, you can feel a cool breeze flowing through.


Not far down the entrance of the cave you will see the cause of the breeze - a large opening on the cave ceiling. It looks like a missile silo - a Bond villain would love this cave as a secret hideout.


There is a small cave inside the Wind Cave called the King's Chamber - it has the most beautiful collection of stalactites and stalagmites. They look like the chess pieces on a chess board - hence the name of the cave.


After visiting the Wind Cave, you take a short walk on a thrilling plank walk on the side of the cliff and arrive at the rest area outside Clear Water Cave. The water that flows out of Clear Water Cave is crystal clear, having been filtered through the limestone hills. There is a wonderful small lake for a swim.


To get to Clear Water Cave you need to climb a flight of around 200 steps. It is slightly challenging but doable for most people. The cave itself is amazing - with water stream running through it. The cave tunnel system extends for over 200 km, and new areas are still being discovered. Plank walks provide an easy access to the show cave area, and the walkway has been extended quite a bit since my last visit.


Taking photos in the Mulu Caves is a huge challenge as the caves are mostly very dark with limited lighting. Flash doesn't help much as the caves are too big, and tripods are not allowed unless you apply for special permission. This is entirely understandable as you can imagine the damage that can be done to the precious stalactites and stalagmites with hoards of careless visitors tugging their tripods along. You need a camera with good low light abilities, but the best thing to do is just forget about taking photos for a while and just enjoy the natural wonder. 

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