Obligatory pose at the entrance to the Park HQ.
Nearby a company 4×4 stands. Petrol here costs more than twice the standard price, transported by 11-hour boat trips.
Then a pleasant stroll across the fast-flowing (esp. in rainy season) Melinau River, to the Park HQ complex proper.
But be careful. If a bunch of fatsos crash this suspension footpath, a lot of people would be extremely upset.
While suspended in the air, look out for colourful tourist boats whizzing below.
Or the odd kid-studying-for-important-exam-when-he-gets-back-from-the-jungles on a fast boat ride.
Empty tourist boats moored on the other side. Make sure they have life-vests, serviceable ones at that.
The Melinau River is normally shallow with exposed rocky bed. Rains in the previous days have made it look vicious. It’s part of the park border – Mulu National Park on right side, normal land to the left.
On the other side of the river, it is Mulu National Park territory, and you won’t miss the Park HQ main building.
Looks much better when the sun is out.
Friendly and helpful staff await you. Don’t be shy.
Opposite, a glassy overview of the Park. Very well done.
Boardwalk to the lodgings and the all-important Cafe Mulu, with the guard house on the right …
… where you can have delightful chats with the locals.
This is a wonderland! Very well-landscaped, it’s the perfect base to explore Mulu NP.
Accommodation in comfy setting.
A home away from home.
The perfect place to laze and doze off.
And to observe flora …
… or fauna, just an arm’s length away. A Rajah Brooke’s Birdwing.
Or you can choose a more spartan place.
Cafe Mulu is just next door, the only F&B outlet on campus.
A relaxed, (fresh) air-y mood permeates the spot.
A great place to have a drink and unwind.
A modest menu, but tasty fare on show. Perishables are air-delivered from Miri in the morning passenger planes, others by day-long boat trips, so do expect to pay a bit of premium.
Iddylic view from Cafe Mulu … I feel like dozing off already …
Cell-phone coverage is reasonable (thanks to telcos for spotting a major tourism site), otherwise you can try this public phone here …
… linked to the outside world by good old-fashioned wireless. So too all the HQ’s phones, faxes and internet. But quality has been poor, and internet speed excruciatingly slow …
… until they installed this puppy last month, which gets everybody excited. But should I tell them about satellite latency and such? Naaaaah!
Rainwater is also collected and conserved here.
Can’t expect less from a premier eco-tourism promoter, right? 😀
All trails into Mulu NP virtually start at the Park HQ, which is apt since you have to register here before entering the forest anyway.
There are boardwalked trails to some popular sites, to save you from sloshing and sliding around in the water-logged riverine forests.
Yes, this area is a swampy jungle.
Educational material are well-displayed at strategic places. Very readable indeed.
A simple walk around the Park HQ and you start noticing all these beautiful Creations. I’ll let the pictures do the talking.
I’m looking for a plant to treat brain damage.
A Common Sandpiper, normally a water-bird, but at the moment, off-duty.
TO BE CONTINUED …
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