Exploring Niah Cave Part 1

It has been only 4th week of my first semester, my unit mates and I went for a field trip on the last weekend. It was our 1st field trip organized and there will be plenty more to come in the future (hearsay we might have our future field trip as far as Kalimantan-tba). Whatever it is, I just can’t wait. 😉

The 1st field trip organized was to the Niah National Park, Miri. To Mirians, it might be a boring place but for a student like me, that is just the right place relating to my area of studies. Personally, this is my 2nd time visiting Niah National Park. The 1st visit was back in the 80s, merely an educational trip organized by my school.

niah national park hq signage

Niah National Park may be the smaller national parks in Malaysia but it is one of the most important visitor attraction spot. Why? Because Niah National Park is one of the world most important archaeological sites where the skull of the oldest modern man (homo sapiens) in Southeast Asia was found at Niah Cave. It was excavated in the year of 1957 which was led by the late Tom Harrison whom by then was the curator of the Sarawak Museum.

Our university bus departed from campus at 7:40am and it was approximately 2 hours drive (via coastal highway) when we finally reached the Niah National Park. We get ourselves registered at the park HQ office and paid the entry fees (RM10 for adults, RM5 for student, FREE for children below 5 years old) for 8 person.

Later, we continue the journey by crossing the Niah River. During my 1st visit here, there was no proper boat jetty and no life jacket. I was impressed with the improvement upon boarding the boat to go across the river. Niceee.. 😉

 on the way to the boat. look at the jetty, niceeee..

to cross the river, its just a 2min boat drive

the boat operating hours

yes that's me-caught in the action ;p

Upon reaching the other side of the river, we visited the Niah Archaeology Museum. It was built in the year of 1998 (officially open on the 11th Oct 1998) and there is no entrance fee imposed. The museum exhibits stone age artifacts (stones, jars, metals, beads, bones artifacts) found in the caves, old pictures that portrays the culture and life style of the people living in those area and replicas of the ‘death ship’ or also known as the coffin found in the caves.

 the archaeology museum signage

Visiting the archaeology museum was such an informative mission where one gets to know more about the history of pre-historic people back then. However, I was a little sad to see some of the exhibited old photos on the museum wall where the picture frame was without any glass. One tends to touch the photos (coz I did that out of curiosity) and over time, it will lead to a blurry picture quality. I was sad too upon looking at the ‘un-maintained’ chalets near the museum. I stayed in one of the chalets during my 1st visit (malu bah mok ambik gambar rumah buruk, cnei kah dah tuju duit sidak tok).

We spent approximately half an hour exploring and studying the museum and I personally quite disappointed coz no photograph taking are allowed in the museum. Perhaps the museum management has a reason for that. 🙁

 direction signage to respective desire destination

To walk into the caves, one has to walk along the plankwalk as far as 3.5km from the archaeology museum. Along the journey, one will get to cherish and enjoyed the flora and fauna surrounding of which is certainly a fascinating experience for me. I took my sweet time strolling along the plankwalk where I took pictures and jotting down some notes.

 only realised that i am that 'small' when i look up

see how wide a 'tapang' tree can be

explaination in progress

limestone along the plankwalk

 another limestone view spotted along the plankwalk

limestone hill along the plankwalk

another rows of limestone hill along the plankwalk

 log full of moss

i dont know the scientific name of this plant but i used to use this as my fishing rod back in kampung ;)

 a species of wild palm family tree

another species of wild palm tree that has torn all over the branches

a stream that flows in a limestone cave along the plankwalk

a species of wild tree root - i'll be 'jane the jungle girl' if i were to cling on it and swing from one tree branch to another branches

So far, are you following me? Wait till I post my Part 2. 😉


  1. cyril

    2 April, 2010 at 2:47 am

    Ahh.. hope to come here someday..

    1. ladybirdmollyz

      2 April, 2010 at 9:44 am

      do come and visit the niah national park in the future. its worth it. perhaps it can be part of your school educational trip to miri. ohhh don’t forget-visit my campus is a must too. 😉

  2. Nayi

    2 April, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    first semester… dah jalan-jalan.. ni study ke, makan angin… hehehe..

    1. ladybirdmollyz

      2 April, 2010 at 7:34 pm

      2 in 1 la tu huhuhu…dah nature course yang i ambik, nak wat camner kan.. 🙂

      1st semester blum abis lagi, pas study free week ni abis nanti ada lagi satu field trip lalala..g maner tu lak, i blum tau lagi tapi yang pasti i lah orang yang paling seronok.. 🙂

  3. Rodz

    2 April, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    Nice, u visit one of our state’s national park. Our state have over 20 national parks all over our state land and each of them has their own reason why they’re established. Niah national park itself is one of the world renowned park (proud of that hehehe). Well as for the old chalet you find near the museum I heard it belongs to the museum and not used anymore. And i’ve heard that our state and the management authority had a very hard time to maintain a lot of national parks in our state and the budget that given is very tight and not many local visitors came to visit our national park. If you notice, the walkway all the way to the caves has been rebuilt and as you mention the jetty as well. That’s cost millions. Anyway i hope you guys visit other national parks in our state and it’s worth your visit if you know why each of them were established. I try to post something regarding our national park soon to give you guys the overview of our precious nature heritage.

    1. ladybirdmollyz

      3 April, 2010 at 10:25 am

      hei thank you for following my entry. im flattered and for the record bcoz of you, i bumped into ‘the house of sengalang burong’ of which is a very useful domain related to my area of studies now. i guess there’s a blessing in disguise hah. 😉

      anyway relating to the relevant authority managing the park, apparently from what i observed, there are 2 different entities – Sarawak Forestry Dept & Sarawak Museum. And talking about maitaining the park, i personally think it’s just an excuse aka ‘bullshit’ reason on the tight budget (i see it as mis-management of funding). the park received minimum 100 visitors (during non peak period) per day and that is not inclusive of charges of rm5 for camera & rm10 for video cam.

      anyway, will write more on that in my upcoming post about my adventures. 😉

      1. Rodz

        3 April, 2010 at 9:42 pm

        “the house of sengalang burong” recommended to me years ago but i didn’t bother to read it until when i start blogging myself hehehe.

        Actually national parks in our state managed by Sarawak Forestry Corporation not Sarawak Forestry Department and they’re really tight on budget, the profit the parks like Niah gain goes directly into state’s account and what i’ve heard even they seems to earned a lot of profit but in the end the states gov that decide how much budget to be given to the managing authority, If they earned millions and states gov decide to give only 100k, that’s what they get, nothing more. that’s a bad thing of being the state gov’s subsidiary. Anyway, as long as there are people like you and me (and many more) still have the interest to explore our heritage, place like Niah hopefully will last long…

        1. ladybirdmollyz

          4 April, 2010 at 9:08 am

          then in that case, the public esp. people like me should ‘alert’ the state government on this. give ’em the pressure. 😉

  4. gladysdavid

    4 April, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    I’ve been wanting to visit niah, but I guess I did not make obvious effort towards this end and came back to KK never leaving a footprint there.

    Hopefull I’ll be able to visit soon.

    1. ladybirdmollyz

      4 April, 2010 at 5:20 pm

      there’s always next time but better make it fast ya. btw, thanks for dropping by and looking forward to ‘see’ you again. 😉

  5. Rodz

    4 April, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    Yup public should give ’em the pressure, what I’m hoping is that our state gov will realized that place like niah is our state’s future assets (when our land goes “botak”).

    Anyway, glad that “house of Sengalang Burong” is useful for you 😉

  6. amore

    10 April, 2010 at 9:30 am

    must visit Niah next time i am around. Rugi if not.

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