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