Malaysia My Destination : Info about Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
Kuala Lumpur : Malaysia Capital - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
Putrajaya : Federal Territory - Malaysia
Selangor : Central Region Of Peninsular Malaysia - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
 
Terengganu : East Coast Region Of Peninsular Malaysia - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
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Perak : Northern Region Of Peninsular Malaysia - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
Perlis : Northern Region Of Peninsular Malaysia - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
 
Sabah : East Malaysia / Malaysian Borneo - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
Labuan (Federal Territory) : East Malaysia / Malaysian Borneo - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
Sarawak : East Malaysia / Malaysian Borneo - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
 
  Welcome
  Sarawak Tourism
  Getting There & Around
 
  Sarawak Map 1
  Sarawak Map 2
 
  PEOPLE & ETHNIC GROUP:
 
  General Info
  Bidayuh (Land Dayak's)
  Iban (Sea Dayak's)
  Melanau
  Orang Ulu
 
  Iban Longhouse Visit
 
  ARTS & CRAFTS:
  General Info
  Pua Kumbu, Pua Sungkit & Pua Karap
   
  Eating Out, Nightlife & Local Delicacy
 
  PLACES OF INTEREST :
 
  Adventure Nature & Wildlife
  National Parks & Wildlife Conservation
   
  KUCHING (STATE CAPITAL):
 
  General Info
  Bus Service / Transportation
  Map
 
  History & People
  Dining & Entertainment
  Nightlife
  Shopping
 
  Recreation & Sports
  Spa Retreats
 
  TOURIST ATTRACTION
  City Centre
  Kuching On Foot
  Heritage Trails
  Historical Buildings
  Museums
  Handicrafts
  Street Life
 
  Nature & National Parks
  Bako National Park
  Batang Ai National Park
  Gunung Gading National Park
  Kubah National Park
  Kuching Wetlands National park
  Matang Wildlife Centre
  Semenggoh Nature Reserve
  Talang Satang National Park
  Tanjung Datu National Park
 
  Santubong & Damai Beach
  General Info
  Irrawaddy Dolphin
  Sarawak Cultural Village
 
  Kuching Southwest
  Tourist Destination
  Teluk Melano & Sematan
 
  Sibu
  General Info
  Dining & Entertainment
  Shopping & Accommodation
 
  TOURIST ATTRACTION
  City Centre
  Bawang Assan Iban Longhouse
 
  Melanau's Heartland:
  Mukah Town
  Dalat Town
 
  Up Rejang River:
  General Info
  Kanowit, Song & Belaga
  Kapit
 
  Down Rejang River:
  General Info
 
  Miri
  General Info
  City Map
  In & Around Miri Map
 
  Lifestyle & Nightlife
  Shopping
 
  TOURIST ATTRACTION
  Must Visit Places
  Bario & Ba?kelalan
 
  Gunung Mulu National Park
  Lambir Hills National Park
  Loagan Bunut National Park
  Niah National Park
  Similajau National Park
 
 
 
 
SARAWAK - EAST MALAYSIA / MALAYSIA BORNEO
MIRI : TOURIST ATTRACTION - Niah National Park
 
 

NIAH NATIONAL PARK

MIRI DISTRICT

 

300 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. First gazetted as a historical site in 1958 due to the archaeological importance of the Niah Caves, it was further declared as a national park on 23 November 1974.

 

Although only 3,138ha in size, it is one of the most important parks in Sarawak. Forty thousand years ago, the caves at the Niah National Park provided refuge for early humans, making it the oldest known site of human existence in Southeast Asia. Today, however, the caves are home only to swiftlets, bats and other specially adapted forms of life, with the exception of a few locals who collect guano and bird nests. Apart from the caves, several kilometres of forest trails exist in the park, and the 400m tall limestone ridge, Gunung Subis, is also accessible.

 

There are two marked walking trails, Jalan Bukit Kasut and Jalan Madu. Jalan Bukit Kasut is colour coded with green and white markings and leads to the summit of Bukit Kasut, passing through primary rainforest and kerangas forest at the foot of the hill. The trail is steep but the summit offers a sweeping panorama of the rainforest canopy. The Jalan Madu trail has red and white markings. It sticks close to the banks of the Subis River and takes about an hour to complete. The trail passes through both alluvial and peat swamp forest.

 

After passing through the large chamber and Moon Cave, the plank walk emerges into daylight again and a short path through the forest leads to the Painted Cave. This is famous for its wall drawings of spread-eagled human hands and other animals drawn using red haematite. An Iban longhouse is located just near the park and visitors are welcome. A short walk along the Niah River from the park headquarters will take you to Batu Niah town.

 

 

Early excavation in 1957 of the west mouth of the Great Cave revealed evidence of a virtually continuous habitation of the cave for many thousands of years. In 1958, the skull of a modern human was found and is carbon dated to 40,000 years before present. This simple find sealed Niah?s importance as one of the world?s important archaeological sites.

 
 
FLORA & FAUNA
 

 

The limestone vegetation is predominantly represented by the Balsaminacea and Begoniaceae species.  Peat swamp vegetation and dipterocarp forests dominate the lowlands with fig plants Ficus, 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 Bulbuls, Tailor birds, Crested wood partridge, Trogons and Hornbills are easily spotted by their exotic and brightly coloured plumes.

 

Look out for the nocturnal Barred eagle owl and Bay owl which also inhabit the forest. The surrounding forest is mainly peat swamp dipterocarp forest with large numbers of fig trees. The limestone vegetation shelters balsam and begonia species as well as scrub growth. At night, many luminous fungi can be clearly seen. There are two well-marked trails. Jalan Bukit Kasut takes you to the top of a limestone hill from where you can look at the forest canopy below while Jalan Madu skirts the banks of the river Subis and takes about an hour to walk, passing through alluvial and peat swamp forest.

 

Wild orchids, strange fungi and giant pandanus plants are also common. 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.

 
 
 
ATTRACTIONS & ACTIVITIES
  • Archaeological cave site

  • Swift nests and bats

  • Giant Pandanus

  • Iban longhouse

  • Jungle trails

 
 

 
 
MUST DO
  • Explore the forest trails

  • Visit the iban longhouse nearby

  • Enjoy a boat ride

  • Explore the Great Cave to see the excavation sites

  • Visit Niah?s famous Painted Cave

 
 
PLANNING AN ITINERARY
 

A side from visiting the caves, visitors 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 lif 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 Guano, a rich source of fertiliser, on the cave floor and the swiftlets whose edible nests are greatly favoured for their medicinal value.

 

The Painted Cave

An interesting feature of this cave is the red hematite 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!

National Parks in Malaysia - Niah National Park in Sarawak, East Malaysia or Borneo

 

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 colour combinations.

 

Mountain Climbing

Scale the 400m 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 he others back home.

 

Collection Of Bird's 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 bird's 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 but that would mean missing out on some quaint things along the way.

 
 
 
ACCOMMODATION
 

National Parks in Malaysia - Niah National Park in Sarawak, East Malaysia or Borneo

 

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. Accommodation consists of chalets and hostel-style rooms with electricity and shower . However , cooking facilities are not available. If you need to stay in Batu Niah (to catch an early bus, for example), there are a range of lodging houses and small hotels. Batu Niah is a bustling little township where you can find coffee shops and restaurants.

 
 
 
GETTING THERE
 

Niah is within easy reach of Bintulu (131km) and Miri (109km). Visitors can charter taxis from Miri City, which will take them to the national park. Rental cars are also available ? visitors can enquire at their hotels or refer to the Yellow Pages.

 

They can also take an express bus from Miri or Bintulu to Simpang Ngu and from there, take a taxi straight to the national park. Another option is to join the guided tours offered by local tour operators.

National Parks in Malaysia - Niah National Park in Sarawak, East Malaysia or Borneo

 
 
 
 
MIRI : TOURIST ATTRACTION - Niah National Park
SARAWAK - EAST MALAYSIA / MALAYSIA BORNEO