As you’re getting nearer to the caves, one will get to pass along a souvenir stall located at the side of the plankwalk. These souvenir stall operators are local from a nearby Iban longhouse – Sungai Tangap. Apart from selling souvenirs, soft drinks were also on sale here so one can get to quench their thirst while appreciating the surrounding flora and fauna not forgetting to bargain on the souvenirs for remembrances.
Being a very curious person, I asked the stall operator lady on a suspicious an over-size almond shape. It was called as ‘Bua Kayu’ that comes from a tree known as ‘Pokok Arut’. When asked whether the fruit can be eaten, she laughed at me (aku memang kedak muka orang paloi lah bila ditetak urang, sabar jak lah aku). Soon I found out that the almond shape size fruit is used for massage on the head and other body part to get rid of ‘wind’ (pakei buang angin katanya). It is on sale for RM2 and I’ll write about it if it really works, ok? ;).
I also bought myself an ironwood (belian) ladle for RM8 as part of my support to the community here. I’ll share the tip with you on differentiating a genuine ironwood and a fake one, by just smelling it. 😉
Trader Cave (Gua Dagang) is first significant rock formation that you’ll get to see before reaching the Great Cave. This is where the birds’ nest and guano traders do their businesses back then hence the name.
As I was enjoying and appreciating the Trader Cave surrounding, I realized that I am at a height of 2,850 meter above the sea level. Coollll.. 😉
After having going through the Trader Cave, within few minutes walk, you’ll be at the west mouth of the Great Cave and from here; you’ll get the see the famous sight which you normally see in the leaflets or in tv.
For the record, Niah National Park is located beside the Niah River which is about 3km from Batu Niah town (110km south-west of Miri). The Niah Caves were first gazzetted as a National Historic Monument in 1958 and in 1974, some 3,100 hectares of surrounding rainforest and limestone hills were included to form the Niah National Park.
Exploring Niah Cave Part 3 will be coming up soon. 😉