Exploring Niah Cave Part 4

this shot look like a water color painting but it's not. taken at the great cave resting point.

It was raining drizzling and while the group was resting at Gan Kira resting point, we quench our thirst (sik cukup sebotol aik deng. lain kali mbak sebaldi baru cukup ;p ) and had light meal – tuna flake with crackers brought by one of the group member.

 found this on the plankwalk rail. what type of species (tekoyong) is this?

It is advisable to wear a proper shoe (good grip) during such ‘expedition’ as one tends to derail on the plankwalk when it’s wet. Not forgetting to wear proper outdoor attires unlike other visitors that we bumped into along the way, some were wearing like they’re going to a shopping mall with wedges shoes, casual sandals, sling bags and bloody strong odor of perfume (stail miak nek tok masuk utan kali nak, yang pasti bukan stail aku lah. aku yang malu nanga).

 you can see your location in the cave based on this signage

After approximately resting for half an hour, the group decided to precede the journey to the Painted Cave. One has to walk the plankwalk through the forest and along the way; I seem to be ‘disturbed’ seeing  the poor infrastructures. It was totally different kind of feeling walking along the plankwalk before reaching the Great Cave as the plankwalk seems to give me the impression that it is well maintained by the national park management.

 the plankwalk towards painted cave

rusty nail/screw on the plankwalk railings (there's no railing attached to it) ;p

Apparently, the plankwalk to the Painted Cave are not well maintained (semenak nya sik bergoyang jak). I just don’t feel safe at all walking on it plus it was damn slippery due to the rain. I started to question on the national park management credibility and the list goes on. It was really a disappointment to me.

 missing railings on the plankwalk

watch out your steps here. many more up ahead.

Disappointed on the fact that I/we had a world recognized national park due to the archaeology findings yet the facilities provided are poor. Disappointed on the fact that I have to pay RM10 for the park entrance fee but at the end paying more for hospitalization due to unforeseen mishaps in the park (palis palis eh).

Conclusion- I was disappointed.. devastated (tok tahap melampo dah la ;p)

 moss covered the stairs going up to the painted cave

The unique-ness of Painted Cave is that it is the only painted cave in the park and it is also where the ‘death ships’ were found. The ‘death ships’ artifacts you’ve seen here are empty as the contents has been transferred to Sarawak Museum. The painting on the cave (hence the name-Painted Cave) still can be viewed on the wall behind a fenced off burial site. The paintings can be difficult to see from a distance however a row of photographed paintings were on displayed by the park management. 🙂

 the fenced painting. cant see it clearly from the picture though. ;p

the photographed paintings on display to visitors

the actual painting after zooming to the max from a digicam

another actual paintings on the cave wall from another angle

the death ships

As we were admiring the paintings and the cave environment, from a distance I saw a familiar red and white stripe string of which indicating ‘No Entry’. Being a curious person, I decided to check it out and to my surprise, it has lead me to the new burial sites found in year 2007 which was told to us by our lecturer during one of the lecture session. I was damn happy and started to day dream that one day, I will sign up or will be part of the archaeology team in their next archaeology research expedition (mok rasa camnei migang palak tengkorak nenek moyang ku, rasa2 dirik ya tek CSI lah ;p).

 the future explorer ;p the new burial sites is on my right side.

the recent new burial findings excavation site

a close up look on the excavation sites.

 it is so windy in this cave, just look at our hand towels 'fly' based on the wind direction

Here are the links on the recent new burial findings at Painted Cave (Gua Kain Hitam) for your reading pleasures.

Ancient Burial Site Discovered in East Malaysia
Latest Findings from Prehistoric Cemetery in Borneo
Six new Neolithic burials from Sarawak Revealed

Now, after exploring and experiencing my caves exploration expedition, do you think the Niah National Park deserve a better and proper management?

I have a great time exploring the caves as well as fascinated by the surrounding flora and fauna in the park and looking forward to see all of these well taken care of for the younger generation to appreciate. I look forward to come back to the park again be it just a casual outing adventures or it may be for a ‘real deal’ of archaelogy exploration adventures. 😉


  1. Aradia

    8 April, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    That’s very informative. Thank you for sharing.

    1. ladybirdmollyz

      9 April, 2010 at 6:20 am

      im glad to know this and its my pleasure to share. after sharing is caring. 🙂

  2. zaharibb

    8 April, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    I always hope to tour Niah Caves and hope it become a reality one day.

    I agree that facilities in Malaysia are not well maintained here in Malaysia.

    I visited the Orang Utan Sanctuary before and I can understand what you are mentioning about the slippery plankwalk you mention gets so slippery when it is wet. They should think of how to minimse the it.

    1. ladybirdmollyz

      9 April, 2010 at 6:24 am

      do drop by to visit the niah national park one of this day coz you will not regret it.

      yes, im looking forward to improvements by the park management in the future coz i intend to come back and explore the park one more time. 🙂

  3. Rodz

    9 April, 2010 at 10:42 am

    I think the best way to improve all the facilities is “alert” our state gov about it (though this have been done so many times before). The management is not to be blame fully for that matters as they depends on what gov gave them. It’s a pain to see our parks like Niah pictured some unpleasant view of unmaintained infrastructure. Believe me, thare’re more recreation places in Malaysia that’re not well maintained (I guess it’s the trend maybe, built, leave and let die hahaha). You should explore other national park in our states and leave your comments or even compliants at every parks management office as they have the form for that if i’m not mistaken (done that before but….)

    1. ladybirdmollyz

      9 April, 2010 at 12:37 pm

      it is very painful for me (or whoever shares the same concern as me) to see the ‘sad’ condition of the park and it is even worst to know the fact that the effort of maintaining, retaining, alerting relevant bodies in keeping the park a ‘safe’ place doesnt reach (or intentionally not to hear) its goal/objective. i believe if the flora and fauna in the park can speaks, wonder what will be their inputs??

      i have to accept the fact that to see all of these things materialised/executed/implemented will take time but for how long? the national park is not getting any younger each year and its still welcoming more and more visitors each year. something has to done.

      for a start, imho, perhaps the relevant authorities can consider of privatising a section maintaining the park, closely monitored by the government.

      anyway, its just merely a suggestion and it may or may not be practical. 🙂

  4. Rodz

    9 April, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    That’s a very good suggestion actually. Privatising or other word outsourcing of management is good. But when that’s happen some “big headz” will be the first to jump in to offer their “service” managing the park (that’s happen to mulu)and of course they will be accepted when they’re “related” to the “big white headz”. The biggest problem is, are there any private companies willing to manage Niah when high profit is what they seeked? Actually they doesn’t have to wait for govt, they can even offer themselves (such as the big “six” timber companies). It’s just the matter of interest. FYI there are a few national parks that are in the process to be taken over by “a private company” and from what I’ve heard they’re related to “mulu’s company”. What they aimed for is those parks that’re already well established and generates high profit (WTF, they take credit and take advantage of what management have been done for so many years), I dunno if Niah is the list> when they took over, you will pretty much see what almost like Mulu have become :p

    1. ladybirdmollyz

      10 April, 2010 at 6:39 am

      greed is the root to all of these. sad thing to know but for as long as we stay united in doing whatever to wake ’em up from their ‘sleeping beauty’, i think it will heard somehow.

      the thing here now is to ask ourselves how far can we go to achieve our goal (to protect the flora & fauna and also the local/society welfare)?

      i bet niah is in the list too as it is very precious of archaeology values.

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