The World's Finest Example of a Karst Collapse

Mount Mulu (Malay: Gunung Mulu) is a sandstone and shale mountain. At 2376 m, it is the second highest mountain in the state of Sarawak, after Mount Murud. It is located within the boundaries of Gunung Mulu National Park, which is named after it.

The Mulu Park provides for guided hikes up the mountain. The usual schedule is a 4D/3N hike. There are forest huts along the route at Camp 1, Camp 3 and Camp 4 (there is no Camp 2). These forest huts provide shelter, cooking facilities (stove, cooking utensils, cutlery), toilets, and water (collected rainwater).

The elevation and distance of the camps from Mulu Park HQ are approximately:

Camp 1: 200 m asl, 5.5 km
Camp 3: 1300 m asl, 12 km
Camp 4: 1800 m asl, 18.5 km

Each of the camps is near a helipad for emergency evacuations and also for supplies.

The trail to Mount Mulu is clear and well-marked with red and white markers, and goes through a variety of ecosystems, from lowland dipterocarp forest to montane vegetations. The mountain is notable for its pitcher plant diversity. Five species have been recorded from Mount Mulu: Nepenthes hurrelliana, Nepenthes lowii, Nepenthes muluensis, Nepenthes tentaculata, and Nepenthes vogelii.

History

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.

Landscape

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.

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.

Get around

There is only one road in Mulu. It runs from Royal Mulu Resort to the settlement of Batu Bungan, passing Mulu airport (approx 5km). There are very few vehicles. To get around you can travel by longboat on the Melinau river which runs along the northern boundary of the park, and on the Tutoh river into which the Melinau flows. The park maintains a network of trails to the key sites. The most frequently used trails are plankwalks. Other trails are cemented, or improved with gravels. Some trails (Mulu summit trail) are wild and a guide is needed just to find them.

It is common to hire a guide during your stay in the park. Guides will take care of transportation, accommodation, food and guide you through the jungle. It's strongly recommended to use only Licensed Park Guides. It's for your safety and security. Upon payment you shall receive invoice from the guide all included listing the services.

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.

Caves

Clearwater and Wind Caves
Turtle Cave
Deer and Langs Caves
The Garden of Eden
Bat Exodus

Trekking

Paku Waterfall
Camp 5 and The Pinnacles
The Summit. A challenging 4-day, 3-night climb to the top of Mt. Mulu itself.

Adventure Caving

Racer Cave
Lagang Cave
Clearwater Connection
Stone Horse Cave
Sarawak Chamber

Canopy Skywalk

With its 480m of elevated walkway, Mulu's Canopy Skywalk is the world's longest tree based canopy walk.

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