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Clearwater Cave at Mulu National Park Sarawak

Mulu National Park Clearwater Caves

To get to the Clearwater Caves at the Mulu National Park in Sarawak, you will need to take a traditional long boat ride here, especially if you are staying outside the park area. 

These are one of the must-visit caves when you visit the national park, and if you did not already know, Mulu Park is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, here in northern Sarawak.

Clearwater Cave in Mulu National Park

Passing local longhouses along the Melinau River 
For those planning to visit this place, there are actually two methods of getting to the caves. Longboat ride or trekking by foot.

One one of my trips here, I took the longboat from the then Mulu resort and my entire trip was booked via the tour desk there.

Overall, the 30 minute journey via longboat is a good one, where you can see the everyday life of the up river people here.

Arriving at the jetty to get to the caves
Arriving At Clearwater Caves in Mulu National Park

Most adventurous people would stop at the Wind Caves first, and then make their way by foot via a wooden walkway along the river to the Clearwater Caves.

If you decide to do this, it will take you about 5 to 10 minutes to walk to the next cave. Others would just go the the caves one by one using the boat.

The longboat will bring you off the Melinau river and into the Clearwater Cave area where you actually see the water really clear here.

As you arrive, there is a small wooden jetty where you get off. A shaded area is also provided with chairs and tables, and public washrooms are available.

I have seen people swimming at the clear water pool in front of the jetty, while others make a stop here for lunch after visiting the cave.

Stairs up to Clearwater Caves Mulu
It takes you about 200 steps to get to the entrance of the cave
Once everyone is ready, the park ranger or park guide will lead you up a flight of 200 steps to the Clearwater Cave entrance.

It is quite a nice climb so come prepared with some good walking or trekking shoes. Funny thing was I saw a Chinese couple, most likely from China or Taiwan where the woman was wearing heels! Oh well.

Entrance to Clearwater Cave Mulu Sarawak
The main entrance into the Clearwater Caves of Mulu
On reaching the entrance to the Clearwater Cave, you will see from the outside that it is well lit inside and there are wooden walkways with rails for safety and conservation reasons.

There will be a few groups entering at the same time, so follow your guide as he will be explaining the history and all about the caves.

If you stay behind, you will not hear him, hence it is best to stay close. They will also inform the guest not to go off the walkways.

Sarawak Monophyllaea plant
Single leaf Monophyllaea plant
Before going in, take a look up and you would see some single leaf plants growing on the rocks. I forgot what my guide told me but these leaves have some sort of medicinal values as in herbs.

From my research, they are only found in Mulu, Sarawak, and there are about 23 species of this Monophyllaea which is a genus of the limestone. Some cave flora lovers would love to see this.

Gua Air Jernih Mulu Sarawak
Entering the caves using wooden stairs
When you are going into the cave, the platform keeps descending lower as you get deeper into the caves.

For serious photographers, this would be a wonderland to test out your camera skills. For the general photographers, just do not bother because the pictures will not turn out nicely.

Even with your flash, you will only see the subject posing, and everything behind will be dark or black in color. For the best results, you need a tripod to take photos inside here.

As you get in deeper into the caves, lights will reflect against the walls making the caves look really beautiful and mystical, as if you are in a movie.

Clearwater Cave Stalagmites and Stalactites
Stalagmites and Stalactites inside the caves
For the tour inside here, your path goes up and down in the caves, and you encounter lots of stalagmites and stalactites formed tens of thousands of years ago.

Please do not touch them, as your guide will also remind you. It is highly important that you do not touch anything, as you do not want to be bitten or stung by some insect.

Large Spider Clearwater Cave Mulu
A large cave spider spotted inside the cave
While exploring, you will also encounter cave-dwelling critters such as spiders, bats, cockroaches, centipedes, even swallows who make their homes in the caves.

I was lucky enough to encounter a large cave spider during my walk inside here, and if you just walked without looking down, you would miss a lot of these critters.

Mulu Clearwater Cave Photo
The unique rock formations inside the Clearwater Caves
There is also an underwater river running through the Clearwater Cave, and your cave guide will lead you to it.

A sturdy bridge goes over the river to the next part of the cave where you will see huge rock boulders.

Please keep in sight of your guide as you would not want to get lost here. Torch lights are recommended on this trip. It may be hand held ones or those you use on your head.

Video of my journey back to the Royal Mulu Resort

Entrance Ticket To Clearwater Cave in Mulu - Visitors are not allowed to visit any of the caves without a park ranger or guide. Price for the tickets are RM10.00 per person and the long boat ticket both ways are about RM30.00 per person.

How Long Does It Take To Explore Clearwater Caves? - Generally, a trip here and visiting two caves will take you around four to five hours long. This is also depending on your itinerary.

Where To Book A Clearwater Cave Tour? - If you are stating at the Mulu Marriott Resort (Formerly Royal Mulu Resort), they have a tour desk that organises trips here. Otherwise, you can visit the Mulu Park office and book a tour from there.

Map to Clearwater Caves Mulu
Map of Clearwater Caves in Mulu

For the family travelers, this would be an excellent place to bring your kids and teach them about nature, flora and fauna and experiencing the Borneo Rainforest.

Seriously, I hardly saw any kids here on most of my trips. As for the tourist crowd there, I would ratio it at 90% foreigners and 10% locals (South East Asians).

Again, after three trips here from 2006 to 2009, I never get tired of exploring these beautiful and natural caves in Sarawak.

I have also visited the Deer Cave, which is the most famous here, and also the Lang Cave, which is spectacular for photography.

Overall, if you are visiting the Mulu National Park, you should make it a point to visit all these caves, as they are incredibly beautiful.

I just found out that the Clearwater Cave at Mulu is also the 8th longest cave in the world and is the longest in South East Asia. That is pretty awesome if you ask me.


Borneo Falcon said...

Ha....Ha.... i saw a number of Chinese tourists also wearing heels and carrying handbag when I was in Niah Cave

CathJ said...

Oh.. I would love to visit this on my Swak tour in future.. :-D (and without the heels.. ;-p)

Malaysia Asia said...

Hi Falcon and Cath, Well, Aisans are famous for the heels! lol. Cath, you should. It is really peaceful and nice there. Spend at least 2-3 nights there.


nkkhoo.com said...

Seriously, I hardly saw any kids here on most of my trips. As for the tourist crowd there, I would ratio it at 90% foreigners and 10% locals (South East Asians).


I saw similar phenomenon in late 90s. I'm only local on that day.