Sunday, May 24, 2009

Visit To Mulu National Park--Day 3 & 4 (Final)

Last night it rained heavily and nonstop, until probably 4 am. We woke up at 5.30 am to prepare for the canopy skywalk which our guide told us would commence at 7.00 am. We would not have time for breakfast so we brought along drinking water,some biscuits and energy bars. At the park hq area we met these two lovely girls who would also be joining us for the canopy skywalk.

After some friendly conversations and introduction, I was quite surprised when Miss Linda (wearing red sleeves) said she was familiar with my name. It turned out that Linda was an ex SEGi student and I took her graduation photos last November at Hotel Nikko, KL.What a small world! The park guide (above right) gave us a briefing before we started trekking to the world's longest tree-based canopy skywalk.

45 minutes later we had arrived at the destination. From the ground below, the skywalk was just like a rope. I told myself it must be a very interesting and exciting experience walking so high up between the trees.

Our guide said since we were the first group we did not have to rush. The rule is 2 persons at one time walking on the same section of the skywalk, although it is built to support 3-4 people our size. I chose to be alone, and the last person in the group so that I could take more photos uninterrupted.

This canopy skywalk is 480 m long, with 15 sections suspended 20 m high on the trees. Opened to public in 2005, it was constructed by the local communities with advices from experts on designs and structure.

There is a platform at each of the 15 trees it passes through, allowing visitors to stop and admire the tranquility of the lush tropical rainforests, the soaring heights of the nearby limestone cliffs and the clear river below.

One would be disappointed if you were hoping to meet birds and wild animals among the trees.May be our group was unlucky.We did not see any of these animals during our entire canopy walk. But it was breathtaking already being able to watch different species of trees and plants at close range on the tree top.The skywalk follows a circular route and it must have taken us an hour to complete the walk.

On the ground again, we saw this giant tree, towering 100 feet towards the sky. It has several huge buttresses, some of which must be 5-6 feet wide.
As it was still early, we decided to do jungle trekking again. Our guide advised us to take the Mulu Summit Trail which could be explored without a guide until a small waterfall.

The trail was clearly marked with stones, but some sections were muddy and flooded due to the heavy rain the previous night.

The trek to the two small waterfalls took us more than an hour. A big sign on a tree warned visitors not to proceed further without a guide.Our purpose was not to see the waterfall. We were all the way searching for different species of flora and fauna and to take their photographs. I would say it was a very fruitful trip as we managed to take many interesting photos. Below are some to share with you.

I saw this wild fruit 21 years ago during my first trip to Mulu. We affectionately called it Mulu Apple and now people are still calling it the same name.

Many trees here have large buttresses. These two are side by side but they do not collide.

Looks like someone has tied a rope around this tree until the top. But can you do it as perfectly as nature?
There were lots of different sizes,shapes and colours of mushrooms and lingzhi every where. This one (above) is almost twice the size of an ordinary human face.

I looked in amazement a few different types of lingzhi growing the length of this rotten log. I have no idea if they are edible.

Then on another dead tree trunk...I saw this "smoking" mushroom. Water vapour was evaporating from the top and bottom of this wet mushroom as it was being exposed to the mid morning heat.

The one and a half hour trek back to the hostel was completed casually as we did not expect anything interesting to photograph on the same route.Upon arrival, we immediately reported to the park hq to inform them that we had returned safe and sound. Our guide then told us we had been upgraded from the hostel with ceiling fan to a chalet with airconditioning. That was a very welcoming gesture since we had completed our tour and needed a good rest.

Our chalet is called Garden Of Eden. It is located 100 m beside the cafeteria, with the forests infront and behind. After a short nap, I headed to the park hq where the guide had prearranged for me an interview with some senior officers. My initial target was the park's Australian Manager, but unfortunately he had earlier in the morning gone down to Miri. All the staff there were very polite and helpful and I managed to obtain all the information I wanted.

We had early dinner at the cafeteria, it was a good one. After dinner it was a final tour of the Mulu Discovery Centre and hunting for a few more souvenirs at the gift shop. The night was still young as we retired to the comfortable bed. We shared our experiences of the last few days until suddenly it went so quiet and then hearing my companions snoring like express boat engines in full throttle! Amidst all these non-stop madness in the room, I was still wondering how god created this amazing and wonderful place called Mulu.

The above 4 pictures were taken on the morning of Day 4 while we were waiting for our return flight to Miri at Mulu Airport. I am determined to come back again and the next trip I will spend longer time to explore more of Mulu.


Nelson said...

now i feel like going to mulu and as a sarawakian, i have never been there yet. thanks for the massive introduction.

ubek said...

this is the best place to be.nice picture...make my day...

M-Knight said...

nice place, make me wanna go there already

fufu said...

wow gorgeous!! i am planning my trip to sarawak though... wish i could go to mulu as well =p

Philip said...

Nelson: Many Sarawakians are like you...never been to places like Mulu, but been to most countries in the world. You must go to all interesting plces in Sarawak.

Ubek:Hi, thanks for dropping by. Shall we one day organize a Mulu tour for the bloggers?

M-knight: You wanna join the Bloggers' tour to Mulu some day? Thanks for coming to my blog. You take wonderful pictures too.Keep
it up!

fufu:When exactly are you coming to Sarawak and Sibu? Keep me informed.

M-Knight said...

Philip thanks for the invite, I would love to tour Mulu someday.

ubek said...

mulu trip for blogger!!!Nice...

sarawaklens said...

I was in Mulu last year, saw that peculiar fruit and asked a porter what it was and he said "Mulu Apple". Asked him if there was a local Penan name or malay name, he just shooked his head and repeated "Mulu Apple." Did you give it that name? haha nice blog BTW.