6th World Ecotourism Conference & 1st Malaysia Ecotourism Summit
28 - 30 January, 2016
- Malaysia | Sarawak | Kuching| Miri | Mulu National Park| Canopy Skywalk | Deer Cave and Lang Cave|
Clearwater Cave and Wind Cave | Caves in Mulu | Trekking and Trails | Adventure Activities
Malaysia is a country in Southeast Asia, located partly on a peninsula of the Asian mainland and partly on the northern third of the island of Borneo. Thailand, is connected by a causeway and a bridge (the 'second link') to the island state of Singapore, and has coastlines on the South China Sea and the Straits of Malacca. East Malaysia (Borneo) shares borders with Brunei and Indonesia. On ecotourism in Malaysia, here is a write up - Seven Wonders of Malaysian Ecotourism
- Duration: 42.32min
- Borneo with an area of 743,330 square kilometres (287,000 sq mi) is the third-largest island in the world, and is the largest island of Asia (the largest continent). The island is divided among three countries: Malaysia (Sarawak and Sabah) and Brunei in the north, and Indonesia to the south. Approximately 73% of the island is Indonesian territory. In the north, the East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak make up about 26% of the island. Its highest point is Mount Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia, with an elevation of 4,095 m (13,435 ft)
Borneo has significant cave systems. Clearwater Cave, for example, has one of the world's longest underground rivers. Deer Cave is home to over three million bats, with guano accumulated to over 100 metres (330 ft) deep.
The Borneo rainforest is 140 million years old, making it one of the oldest rainforests in the world. There are about 15,000 species of flowering plants with 3,000 species of trees (267 species are dipterocarps), 221 species of terrestrial mammals and 420 species of resident birds in Borneo. There are about 440 freshwater fish species in Borneo (about the same as Sumatra and Java combined). It is the centre of the evolution and distribution of many endemic species of plants and animals. The Borneo rainforest is one of the few remaining natural habitats for the endangered Bornean orangutan. It is an important refuge for many endemic forest species, including the Asian elephant, the Sumatran rhinoceros, the Bornean clouded leopard, the Hose's civet and the dayak fruit bat..
- Sarawak State
- Sarawak is Malaysia's largest state. It lies in East Malaysia and shares the island of Borneo with the eastern state of Sabah, the separate country of Brunei and the Indonesian provinces of Kalimantan.
More information on Sarawak State.
- Kuching City
- Kuching is the capital and largest city of the East Malaysian state of Sarawak and the district of Kuching, as well as the largest city on the island of Malaysia Borneo.
More information about Kuching City.
- Miri is a small city in northern Sarawak on the Malaysian island of Malaysian Borneo. It has a population of about 300,000.
Malaysia's first oil well was drilled here in 1910, and petroleum has continued to drive the city's economy and development ever since. Sarawak Shell Berhad and Petronas Carigali are headquartered here. As a result, Miri has a cosmopolitan whiff as it hosts expatriates from all over the world. These expats work in many of the multinational oil and gas giants that are headquartered in Miri.
Visitors stop for transit here to change planes heading onward to Gunung Mulu National Park or the famous Kelabit Highlands.
Miri boasts a diversified population, which consists of Chinese, Malay, Kedayan, Iban, Bidayuh, Melanau, Kelabit, Lun Bawang and many other ethnic groups. International students from a foreign university campus based here and expatriates from international corporations add much spice to Miri as well. Almost all locals speak a tiny smattering of English, along with Mandarin. The main language is the Bahasa Sarawak which is a local Sarawakian language; it is similiar to Malay but with local slang.
- Mulu National Park
- Named after the 2,377m Mount Mulu (Gunung Mulu), the park is famed for its limestone karst formations both above ground and underground. The massive cave systems, which contain the 12 million cubic meter Sarawak Chamber (the world's largest), are still in the process of being mapped. Clearwater Cave at 151 km (Feb 2007) is the 10th longest cave in the world.
- Archaeological evidence from excavations in Cave of the Winds indicate that the cave was used for burial between 1500 and 3000 years ago. In 1977-78 the Royal Geographical Society/Sarawak Government organized a major expedition and survey of the area. An account of the expedition results, environment and biota was published in July 1982 in The Sarawak Museum Journal (Vol.XXX No 51, Special Issue No.2). In 2000 UNESCO inscribed Gunung Mulu National Park on the World Heritage List. Today it is one of Sarawak's most popular travel destinations.
- The limestones belong to the Melinau Limestone Formation and are estimated to be 4000 to 5000m thick. In the south-east of Mulu Park sandstones are dominant. The hightest relief in the region (Gunung Mulu) is located in these sandstones. Mulu's landforms are outstanding examples of erosional processes on both of these rock types (limestones and sandstones). Among the most remarkable karst features are the world's finest example of a karst collapse (The Garden of Eden) and the sharp pointed bladed limestone Pinnacles, some of which are 45m high on the northern end of Gunung Api. There are also numerous examples of cone karst and tower karst. Another interesting feature of the landscape is the drainage through deeply incised gorges (Sungai Melinau at Melinau Gorge and Sungai Medalam to the north) in the limestones.
- Most visitors come to Mulu for the caves, but there are also good jungle and mountain trekking options in the area. Guides are obligatory for all cave visits and most treks.
For more information about this amazing World Heritage Site, you can log into the following websites UNESCO World Heritage Website, Mulu Park Website
- With its 480m of elevated walkway, Mulu's Canopy Skywalk is the world's longest tree based canopy walk.
- Deer Cave and Lang Cave
- Deer Cave is reached by following a three kilometer plankwalk which passes through peat swamp, alluvial flats and limestone outcrops. There is much to see on the way to the cave, including some superb rainforest, jungle streams and an ancient Penan burial cave.
- Clearwater Cave and Wind Cave
Clearwater Cave is Asia’s longest cave, measuring some 107 km. It has a subterranean river, part of which is navigable by boat. There are two ways of reaching Clearwater. Firstly, you can trek along a 4 km nature trail which takes approximately one and a half hours. Alternatively, you can travel by long boat along the Melinau River, usually stopping off at Wind Cave along the way. It normally takes about 15minutes to reach Wind Cave by boat. When the water level is low the journey takes longer as the boatman often has to jump out of the boat and push.
A plank walk leads from the riverbank to the entrance of Wind Cave, so named because of the cool breezes which can be felt at the narrow parts of the cave. Wind Cave, which is part of the Clearwater system, has many impressive stalactites, stalagmites, flowrocks, helitites and rock corals, some which are illuminated in the ‘King’s” Room.
From Wind Cave you can either follow a plank walk or take a boat to a picnic area near the entrance of Clearwater Cave. Either way the journey takes about 5 minutes. 200 steps lead up through the forest to the mouth of Clearwater Cave. With its underground river, Clearwater is fascinating cave to scroll around. Plank walks, paths and small floating bridges make this an easy and enjoyable experience. There are excellent photo opportunities for those who have the patience for cave photography.
After a tour of the cave you have to climb down the steps to the picnic area. At the base of the steps there is a crystal clear pool that is filled by water that flows out of the cave. This is an excellent swimming spot and many visitors decide to take a refreshing clip. The less energetic can relax on the picnic benches and admire the rainforest scenery, or perhaps watch the swarms of butterflies that are often found fluttering around near the river bank. If you are lucky you may see the Rajah Brooke butterfly with its huge bright-green coloured wings.
Caves in Mulu National ParkClearwater and Wind Caves, Turtle Cave, Deer and Lang's Caves and The Garden of Eden
Trekking and TrailsPaku Waterfall Camp 5 and The Pinnacles
- The Summit. A challenging 4-day, 3-night climb to the top of Mt. Mulu itself.
Adventure Caving ActivitiesRacer Cave, Lagang Cave, Clearwater Connection, Stone Horse Cave and Sarawak Chamber
- For enquiries: WEC@ecotourismmalaysia.org
When you reach the cave entrance you are left in no doubt that you are about to enter the largest cave passage in the world. Deer Cave is simply huge – it is just over 2 kilometers in length and never less than 90metres high and wide. The main chamber, which is partially lit by sunlight, is 174 meters wide and 122 meters high. This is the area where deer used to shelter so the local Penan and Berawan people named the Gua Payau or Gua Rusa (Deer Cave).
A path leads into the cave and winds its way around, following the natural contours of the cave floor. Although the path is lit, a flashlight is useful for examining the guano-covered cave floor and its population of insects. The path eventually leads to the “Garden I Eden” where a hole in the cave roof lets in a shaft of light which allows the rich green vegetation to thrive. Another feature is the famous profile of Abraham Lincoln, which guards the southern entrance of the cave.
Not surprisingly, Deer Cave is home to many species of bats. Between 5 and 7pm, if the weather is fine, visitors may be treated to the spectacular sight of a black cloud of free-tailed bats emerging from the entrance of the cave to go in search of food. Originally, this cloud was thought to contain hundreds of thousands of bats but a recent study that the figure is well over a million.
A visit to Deer Cave is usually combined with one to Lang’s Cave, whose entrance is a short distance away from that of Deer Cave. Lang’s Cave is the smallest of the show caves but its rock formations are well worth seeing. These are made all the more attractive by the strategically positioned spotlights which highlight stalactites and stalagmites. As the cave is relatively small and well-lit, it offers good opportunities to see some of its inhabitations such as bats, swiftlets and even cave-dwelling snakes.