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Hostel in Niah NationalPark

Hostel in Niah NationalPark

Niah National Park has a number of chalets and hostels for visitors to stay over night.

These accommodation available here can be booked from the visitor’s info centre in Miri.

The alternative is you can use one of three Hotels in Batu Niah Town 3 Km away.

A guide is not essential as the trail is clear but they are not expensive and will give you some additional information.


Image: Sample receipt for room in Forest Lodge Type 7 (Hostel)
Room/unit
085-737450 or 085-737454
Facilities

Rate per night per room

Forest lodge type 2  ( VIP chalet) 3 rooms

Rm 250.00

Forest lodge type 4  (Class 2 chalet) 2 rooms, 4 beds & air-con

Rm 157.50

Forest lodge type 4 ( Class 3 chalet) 2 rooms, 4 beds & fan

Rm 105.00

Forest lodge type 7 (Hostel) 4 rooms with 4 single beds

Rm 40.00

 



 
Entry Pass for Niah National Park for Senior Citizen and disabled. Entry Pass for Niah National Park for Senior Citizen and disabled.


Entry Fees/Admission Fees


A nominal entry fee for all National Parks in Sarawak.


Entrance fee is RM10 for adult and RM5 for child. RM5 for Senior Citizen & Disabled.

Entrance fees are paid upon arrival at the park HQ. Remember to get a trail map of the park at the counter.

A permit is required for professional photography or filming, which should be arranged in advance with the National Parks Booking Office in Miri.


The Painted Cave


Shortly after the Moon Cave, the plank walk emerges into daylight and a short pathway through the forest leads to the Painted Cave. This is the site where the famous Niah Cave paintings and the 'death-ships' were found. The contents of the death-ships have since been transferred to the Sarawak Museum, but the cave paintings and some of the empty death-ships can still be viewed on the wall behind the fenced-off burial site.

The paintings can be difficult to see unless you allow your eyes to become accustomed to the light. They are rendered in red hematite and cover a long narrow strip (approximately 30m) at the back of the cave wall. They portray spread-eagled human figures, probably representing warriors and hunters, some of the animals of the surrounding forest, and - most importantly longboats carrying the souls of the deceased on the dangerous journey to the land of the dead.



"The Longboat to Heaven" Painted Cave, Niah National Park. 6-6-2015 SAT 1:11PM




"The Two Jumpers" Painted Cave, Niah National Park.  6-6-2015 SAT 1:09PM



"Drowning In The Sea" in Painted Cave, Niah National Park. 6-6-2015 SAT 1:12PM



"Big Sea Monster" Painted Cave in Niah National Park. 6-6-2015 SAT 1:20PM


Above images from photos displayed at the Painted Cave.



"Dancing Angel in Heaven" and "Arriving Heaven" in Painted Cave, Niah National Park. 6-6-2015 SAT 1:28PM



Close up of "Dancing Angle in Heaven" and "Arriving Heaven" in Painted Cave, Niah Park. 6-6-2015 SAT 1:28PM

"Dancing Angle in Heaven"
Painted 2,000 years ago in Painted Cave of Niah National Park, Borneo Island.


The Great Cave
At the entrance of the cave there may be further guides offering to guide you round. We hired one at 40 RM and Dicki from the local longhouse spoke perfect English and was a hugely informative and humorous individual who definitely added value to our tour. By hiring a guide you are also helping to support these very poor people. The Great Cave, at over 60m high and 250m wide, it is one of the world's most spectacular cave entrances, leading to an even larger chamber within. On the left of the cave mouth, the archaeological excavations are clearly visible.. On the left of the cave mouth the archaeological excavation are clearly visible.
 

Archaeological Interest
Niah's importance was first realised in 1957 when the curator of the Sarawak Museum, Tom Harrison, led an archaeological dig at the West Mouth. The excavations revealed a long period of human settlements; tools, cooking utensils and ornaments, made of bone, stone or clay reaching back into the Palaeolithic era (the earliest part of the Stone Age). As excavation progressed, the following year Harrison and his team unearthed a skull dated at 40,000 years old. This skull, of a modern human (Homo sapiens), disproved views that Borneo was settled much later and is a key piece in the jigsaw of early human colonisation of SE Asia.
The continued human presence over tens of thousands of years at Niah is evidenced by the gradual development of sophistication of societies that lived there. Burial sites date from Paleolithic times right up to the modern era, as late as 1400 AD. The earliest graves found in the deepest levels, were simple shallow graves without adornment. Yet moving up through the layer, coffins and urns appeared along with grave goods such as pottery, textiles and ornaments and even glass and metal items, which came comparatively late to Borneo.
The Great cave is not only important archaeological site. The Painted Cave as its name suggests, houses detailed wall-paintings depicting the boat journey of the dead into the afterlife. The meaning of the paintings was explained by the discovery of a number of "death-ships" on the cave floor-boat shaped coffins containing the remains of the deceased and a selection of grave-goods considered useful in the afterlife, such as Chinese ceramics, ornaments and glass beads. The death-ships have been dated as ranging between 1 AD and 780 AD, although local Penan folklore tells of the use of dead-ship burials as late as the 19th century. To avoid damage, you can only inspect the paintings from a wire fence some 10 m away..to be honest there is not much to see.

A reconstruction of the original scene and some of the artifacts can be seen at the impressive Sarawak Museum in Kuching.
 

Great Cave was formed in the past by the action of river water dissolving the limestone and progressively enlarging and deepening the cave. As this area of Borneo was uplifted, the river found a different route and the cave was left high and dry to be filled by the droppings of thousands of generations of several species of bats and of small birds called swiftlets.

Proceeding into the cave, the sound of disembodied voices mingles with the squeaking of millions of bats and swiftlets to create an eerie atmosphere. The voices belong to the guano collectors, who toil by the light of paraffin lamps to recover the guano (bird and bat excrement) covering the cave floor. You are probably standing on the biggest mountain of pooh in the world! The guano is then carried in sacks to the Sungei Niah, where it is graded and sold as fertiliser. As you proceed to the centre of the cave, you may meet the guano collectors sweeping the cave floor to accumulate the swiftlets and bats droppings. Digging is no longer allowed s as to preserve the appearance of the cave.

The guano collectors are not the only people who earn a living from the cave. Strategically positioned massive bamboo poles and ladders are evidence of the birds nest collectors, local people who have practised this dangerous occupation for generations. There are millions of swiftlets living in the cave of 6 different species. Swiftlets are amazing birds that can eat, drink, sleep and mate on the wing, soaring on thermals and updrafts from cliffs. They find their way to their nests I caves by means of “echolocation”, which is the ability to hear the reflected sound of high pitched clicks that the birds make and hence allows them top sense the walls and roof of the cave even in complete darkness. Swifts can catch up to a 1000 flying insects and form them into a single ball to feed to its chicks! The most common species is the glossy swiftlet, whose nest is of vegetation material cemented by salivary secretions and not marketable. A less common species however makes their nests purely from salivary secretions and when the nests are cleaned and cooked they produce the famous birds nest soup, which is as highly regarded in Chinese cuisine as caviar is in the West.

The best time to see the swiftlets and bats is at dusk when the swiftlets return and the bats come out of the cave.

Traditionally the Penan tribe has been the custodians and collectors of the nests while the Iban have the rights to the Guano. Both activities are now regulated and are now on a sustainable long term basis.

Inside the cave, the walk goes to the left and you traverse a massive central pillar which will eventually lead you back to the Great Cave entrance after a round trip. It is boardwalk nearly all the way.

The Padang
The passage at the back of the Great Cave leads to a large chamber known as the Padang, where shafts of sunlight stream down from large holes in the cave roof to illuminate the bizarre rock formations in the Burnt Cave (Lubang Hangus). Watch out here for the huge and rather ugly brown crickets with enormous antennae reaching out for easily 20cm in length!

From here you can fork left into the Moon Cave or continue to the traverse to the right back to the Great Cave entrance.

Gan Kira (Moon Cave)
After the Padang area, you enter a totally dark passage known as Gan Kira (Moon Cave) This is where the torch is essential, not only to find you way but to admire the remarkable rock shapes and weathering effects,

The “Lost World”
Between the Moon Cave exit and the Painted cave is a swampy lagoonal area characterised by giant sized Pandan tress with dramatic stilt roots..this area is very evocative of a “Lost World”, lying between the two cave entrances.
 


The Trader’s Cave
You then reach the first significant rock formation. This is called the Trader's Cave, which is really an extended rock overhang rather than a cave proper. This is where the birds nest and guano traders traditionally conduct their business, hence the name. A few minutes later, the West Mouth of the Great Cave comes into view, and you are left in no doubt that this cave deserves its name.

 

Though there are many caves in Niah National Park, tourists only explore the three main caves:
1- Traders Cave
2- Great Cave
3- Painted Cave

The Board Walk

The Board Walk


The board walk is enclosed on both sides by dense primary rainforest and the route is fascinating in its own right.

Old Boards
New Boards



Jetty of Niah National Park

Jetty of Niah National Park

1- From Park Headquarter
2- This side to the caves
3- Niah River

The Great Cave is 3.5 km from the Park Headquarters. The start of the boardwalk that leads to the caves is on the opposite side of the Niah River, so a short but fun ferry ride across the river is the staring point.

1 Ringgit each before 5.00 pm. 1.5 Ringgit each after 5 (last crossing 7.30).
 


CANTEEN

CANTEEN

There is a cafeteria that serves simple local dishes and various soft drinks  for thirsty travelers.


Park Headquarters
This is located at Pangkalan Lubang and is a showcase centre for Sarawak and has received a sizeable investment.

The museum has some interesting displays on the geology, archaeology and ecology of the area and is well worth a visit before the walk.

Entry tickets are 10 Ringgit for adults and 5 Ringgit for children payable at the office in the HQ.


 


BUS SERVICE TERMINATED - From Miri Town to Batu Niah Town
 

The regular direct bus service to Batu Niah Town (4 km from Park HQ) from Miri Bus Station is no more in service for several years. This is due to insufficient passengers as now a day most people own a car.

Now you have to take the indirect buses from Miri Town to Pujut Express Bus Terminal to Batu Niah Junction then to Batu Niah Town

Or if you are willing to pay higher fee to charter a Taxi directly from Miri Town to Batu Niah Town.


Car Park in Niah National Park

Car Park in Niah National Park


Entrance to paved path from Niah Park to Batu Niah Town

Entrance to paved path from Niah Park to Batu Niah Town

The paved path to the town is 2.5 Kilometers along the Niah River.

The path is running parallel to the river leading to Batu Niah 2.5km away.

This is a  pleasant stroll along the riverbank  to Batu Niah Town when you arrived at the red Tua Pek Kong Chinese Temple.



Sungai Niah Bridge
Image above : Sungai Niah Bridge
 

Distance from the above Sungai Naih Bridge to following points:

To Miri 96.5 Km
To Bintulu 115 Km
To Niah Rest Stop (Batu Niah Junction) 100 meters
To Batu Niah Bazaar 11 Km
To Niah National Park 15Km


Last Updated On : Saturday, October 10, 2015 08:53:08 PM

Niah National Park
from Batu Niah Bazaar


Niah is one of Sarawak's smaller National Parks, but it is one of the most important and has some of the most unusual visitor attractions.

The park's main claim to fame is its role as one of the birthplaces of civilization. The oldest modern human remains discovered in Southeast Asia were found at Niah, making the park one of the most important archaeological sites in the world.

 

 

 

Niah National Park is 31-sq-km in area. Places of interest and sight seeing include the following :

1- Vast limestone caverns  - Among Borneo’s most famous and impressive natural attractions.

2- Great Cave - One of the largest caverns in the world.

3- Niah’s caves have provided groundbreaking insights into human life on Borneo way back when the island was still connected to mainland Southeast Asia. In 1958 archaeologists led by Tom Harrisson discovered the 40,000-year-old skull of an anatomically modern human, the oldest remains of a Homo sapiens discovered anywhere in Southeast Asia.

4- Rock paintings and several small canoe-like coffins (‘death ships’) indicate that the site was used as a burial ground much more recently. Some of the artifacts found at Niah are on display at the Sarawak Museum in Kuching; others (a handful) are in the park’s own museum.

5- Niah’s caves accommodate a staggering number of bats and are an important nesting site for swiftlets, some of whose species supply the vital ingredient for bird’s-nest soup. Traditionally, the Penan are custodians and collectors of the nests, while the Iban have the rights to the caves’ other commodity, bat and bird guano, which is highly valued as fertilizer (no prizes for guessing who got first pick). During the harvesting season (August to March), nest collectors can be seen on towering bamboo structures wedged against the cave roof.

6- We’ve heard travelers say that if you’ve been (or will be going) to Gunung Mulu National Park, going to Niah might not be worth the effort – unless you’re fascinated by human prehistory, of course.
 

The oldest human remains in Southeast Asia along with many other relics of prehistoric man were discovered in the Great Niah Cave! And the carbon dating puts the oldest relic which is the skull of oldest human remains back to 40,000 years! This has made Niah Caves, one of the most important archaeological sites in the world.

 

Niah Cave is called The Great Cave because Niah Cave covers an area of 11 hectares as large as 13 football fields! And the cave is also remarkable for the millions of bats and swiftlets. At after 60m high and 250m wide, it is one of the world’s most spectacular cave entrances


Niah National Park is  3km away from Batu Niah Town:

When you arrive the park hQ, you are required to register at the park HQ. There is an information center where video about Niah cave and Archeology site a shown (but you must request for it). The time open is 8.00 am until 5.00 pm. Admission fees RM 10 each before begin the journey at Niah National Park.

1- Arrive at Niah National Park Headquaters, register with the counter and pay Rm 10.00

2- Cross the narrow Niah River with boat available waiting. Rm1.00. The jetty is only 5 minutes walk from registration counter.

3- Visit the Niah Cave Museum (* The museum close on Monday).

4- Plank walk to explore three main caves:
Traders Cave
Painted Cave
Great Cave

 

From the accommodation hostels to the boat jetty is only 5 minutes walk

To reach Niah Cave, you need to across a river. The distant between jetty and hostel you live take about 5 minute walk. Below is the boat fee for per person.
 

Gunung Silungen

The Gunung Subis complex is made up of several voluminous, high ceiling chambers. The main cave is isolated from the complex and separated by a valley that is about 492 to 656 feet (150-200 m) wide. At the highest point, the Gunung Subis complex rises about 1,293 feet (394 m) above sea level and is about 10.5 miles (17 km) inland from the South China Sea.

 

The Great Cave lies in a large limestone block, about a kilometre long in general north to south direction and about half a kilometre wide, that is detached from the main Gunung Subis complex, by a valley between about 150 to 200 meters wide.

 

The park has two well-marked walking trails,
1- Bukit Kasut Trail and
2- Madu Trail.

This national park has
1- a visitor centre,
2- cafeteria and
3- accommodation that consist of chalets units and hostel style-rooms.

How to reach Niah National Park; one from Miri (109 km) :

From Miri : Take a bus from Miri Bus Station to Batu Niah Town. The journeys take times about 1 hour and 40 minutes. From Batu Niah Town, take taxis (chartered on a daily basis) or self-drive car to the Niah National Park.
 

Express buses do not go to Batu Niah Town. These big buses only drop passenger at the highway junctions which is 11 Km from Batu Niah Town. To continue to reach Niah National Park, the visitor must rent a private car or taxis or there are also mini bus that takes passenger from the junction for RM 10- 15 per person.

They call the junction "Rest Stop Junction"
 


TAMAN NEGARA NIAH
Niah National Park
Tel: 085-737450

尼亞國家公園

 

National Parks Booking Office
c/o Visitors Information Centre
Lot 452, Jalan Melayu, 98000 Miri,
Sarawak, Malaysia.

Tel: 085-434184 no answer to call. Fax: 085-434179

official contect 085 737450

 



 

Checklist trip to Niah National Park

Head lamp (or torch light)
First aid travel kit with personal medicine
Tripod for your camera (to make pictures in low light conditions)
Mosquito repellent
Walking shoes or hiking shoes
Poncho (or umbrella)
Zip lock bags to keep your spare clothing dry
Towel (in dry bag)
Bottle of water
Gloves
Plastic bags to put over your shoes when you are walking through guano (bat poo)
 


Accommodation in Niah National Park

 

 

Accommodation in Batu Niah Town - X Km before Niah National Park


• ACCOMMODATION

A variety of accommodation facilities are available in the park.

Hostels

• Asrama Agathis A

10 rooms (with 4 beds per room)

• Asrama Agathis B

10 rooms (with 4 beds per room)

• Jungle Lodge

2 rooms (with 2 beds per room)

• VIP Chalets

Camping

Campsite 200-300 campers

 

Niah National Park

 

On the way from Bintulu to Miri, 109km south-west of Miri, you will pass the gorgeous Niah National Park (3102 hectares). Together with Gunung Mulu National Park this is one of the most beautiful parks in Sarawak. The park is especially famous for the many limestone caves in which people used to live. It is said that Niah NP is the birthplace of civilization in Southeast Asia, as the oldest modern human remains discovered were found in the caves. Unlike Mulu NP, the caves within Niah Park can be visited without a tour guide. The Niah caves are also known for the swiftlet nests. In Hong Kong and Singapore swiftlet nests are sold for extremely high prices; sometimes over US$1,000 per kilogram. These nests get regulated and harvested under supervision. Climbers will look for the nests in the higher sections of the enormous caves, and risk their lives standing on stepladders made of bamboo. Visitors can witness the swiftlets flying back into the cave at the end of the day, and more spectacular, millions of bats flying out around sundown to go on their nightly hunt for food.

 

Three hundred miles up the coast from Kuching, hidden in the forests of Miri are the Niah Caves and the surrounding park, spread over 3/140 hectares of peat swamp and dipterocarp forests and the massive limestone outcrops within which the caves are concealed. The caves consist of one big cave (the Great Cave) and some smaller caves. At the centre of the park/ is Gunung Subis, 394 meters above sea level.

• FLORA AND FAUNA

The limestone vegetation is predominantly represented by the Balsaminaceae and Begoniaceae species. Peat swamp vegetation and dipterocarp forests dominate the lowlands with fig plants Picus. found in abundance. The crown of these plants shades the tiny seedlings on the forest floor and keep them moist to ensure their survival.

The mischievous and opportunistic long-tailed macaques, ever on the look-out for food to forage, are conspicuously to be seen and heard in the forest. Birds such as the Bulbuls, Tailor birds. Crested wood partridge, Trogons and Hornbills are easily spotted by their exotic and brightly colored plumes. Look out for the

nocturnal Barred eagle owl and Bay owl which also inhabit the forest. The great Woolly Horse shoe bat can be found in the caves and crevices in which they roost. Another interesting inhabitant is the Bornean tarsier, a Nocturnal primate which feeds on insects and small vertebrae animals. There are also squirrels and Flying lizards and a large population of Swiftlets.

• PLANNING AN ITINERARY

Aside from visiting the caves the visitor can find a lot of interesting things to do and see.

'Exploring' The Caves  : The caves are accessible via a 3km pathway, part of which consists of a raised plank walk through lowland forest. The walk to the caves can therefore be an interesting activity in itself if you enjoy observing the variety of plant life and birds and insects along the path.

The Great Cave : The discovery of the oldest human remains in Southeast Asia along with other pre-historic relics in this cave, makes this Borneo's most important archeological site. The relics point to the existence of human activity in this area almost 40,000 years ago. However/ the cave is now home to the bats which deposit their droppings or quano, a rich source of fertilizer, on the cave, floor and the swiftlets whose edible nests are greatly favored for their medicinal value.

The Painted Cave : An interesting feature of this cave is the red haematite painting of human-like figures drawn on the rocks. The painting dates back at least 1,000 years. The cave itself seems to have served as an ancient grave site as evidenced by the boat-shaped coffins containing the bodies of the dead.

Forest Trails : Explore the jungle trails and get a feel of the tropical forest- see what makes it tick! There are two clearly marked trails you could follow, namely Jalan Bukit Kasut' and Jalan Madu.  So pack some snacks and drinks and go uncover the secrets of the jungle!

Iban Longhouse : The Ibans are reputedly skilled craftsmen and a visit to their longhouse nearby is bound to fascinate you. See the wide range of fine and beautifully made handicraft and ordinary household items for daily use and you will marvel at the intricate designs and clever color combinations.

Mountain Climbing : Scale the 400 meter high limestone ridge for a bit of adventure! You might not be the first one to reach the summit, but it sure is exciting and exhilarating; and something to tell the others back home.

Collection Of Birds' Nests : Usually carried out between August to December and January to March each year, this is one activity that attracts a lot of interest. Local gatherers climb up tall "ladders" to reach the birds' nests high up in the caves. The nests are valued for the medicinal properties of the bird's saliva binding the nest. Boiled with rock sugar it makes a highly potent, not to mention delicious brew!

Visit To Batu Niah Town : If the fancy takes you/ stroll along the river bank and explore the local haunts in Batu Niah town. You could also rent a boat to get there.

 




• OTHER FACILITIES

These include the plank walk to the caves and within it, public toilets and washrooms, a canteen, and an information centre.

Applications for permits and reservations for accommodation can be made at the National Parks booking office, Miri or Niah National Park.

• HOW TO GET THERE

The Park is accessible by road from Miri or Bintulu. It takes approximately 2 hours from Miri to Batu Niah and 3 hours from Bintulu to Batu Niah. From Batu Niah it is a short boat trip to the Park Headquarters.

 

ENQUIRIES

Niah National Park
98200 Batu Niah
Tel: 085-737450
Fax: 085-737454

National Parks Booking Offices
Sarawak Visitor Information Centre
452 Jalan Melayu
98000 Miri
Tel: 085-434180


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