The caves seems to have been given a revamp as there are walkways and concrete staircases made for tourists or local who go there. I asked my regular guide Selvem why the Sarawak Government has not paid any attention to these caves here and even he did not know how to answer me. It is a unique cave within Kuching but is not promoted. Seems like the government made the signboards but never really followed up.
Upon reaching the Fairy Caves, you will be greeted by the local Sarawak Tourism signpost with the cave name on it. This way you know where you are and we parked the van just outside the entrance. There used to be a counter that probably collected money but it seemed abandon for a while. So entrance is free. But you pay in kind by walking up a concrete staircase 5 floors high or 30 metres high. Sorry no lift service here.
On the way up, you would probably be half out of breath like me and stop to look around. I saw an old staircase by the limestone walls and asked Selvam, my pro-Sarawak guide what was the staircase for? He mentioned that back in the day before this concrete structure, the only way up was a steep and narrow staircase which was very dangerous. Locals used to make their way up to the caves to perform prayers there.
Back to the concrete stairway up the caves. Finally after five floors of climbing, we reach the entrance. Wait a minute, more stairs! Bah. So the journey continues.....
After the last flight of stairs, you see.... more stairs! Seems like it never ends....Ok, never mind, lets just get it over with. This time, the stairs lead you into a cave and you think you reached the Fairy Caves. Well, sorry to burst your bubble.
As you can see in the picture above, I am looking at... yups, you got it! More stairs! This time the stairs are from concrete to metal. There is an opening up above the ceiling where only one person at a time can climb through. So we make it to the opening which leads us into this other world. You should mind your head here as one wrong move and it will hurt.
An amazing world of greens with the sunlight hitting part of the caves. Sadly there is no info on the Sarawak Forestry website on these caves. So, what you are reading here is what I learned from Selvam, my pro-Sarawak guide and what I observed from my trips here. By the way, I have visited the caves 4 times in the last 3 years on various exploration trips.
As we walk deeper into the cave, we see the mouth of the cave with the sun penetrating through giving the cave plants a bright green aura. An amazing sight to see on a good clear sunny day.
We reach the centre of the cave and look around to see that the cave is really huge with abundance of plant life scattered throughout the main cave area. The smell of Guano (Bat Droppings) is quite strong too so ladies, come prepared with your perfumed hanky.
You may also want to be careful when holding the wooden rails as they are pretty guano covered. Apparently there is no one who looks after these caves so just be extra careful when moving around.
As I inspect the cave plants closely, they look similar to a fern species but I was wrong as Selvam pointed out to me. He gave me the scientific name which was French to me. So, they just looked really beautiful and so full of life happily growing with very little human interference.
Walking in deeper, we climb up...yes, more stairs inside the caves. They should have just called this place Stair Cave. There are stairs located everywhere in the Fairy Caves. On reaching the top back end, I turned around to see the cave mouth with the sun hitting the cave with full light. Awesome sight if you love nature and caves. A great photo moment too.
Venturing around you get to see many stalagmites and stalactites which some are over 15 feet tall. They have been here for ages according to Selvam. There is even a stalactite that resembles the Chinese Goddess of Mercy deeper into the cave and this figure has been attracting the local Chinese people here to pray to the figure for years.
There are even some that resemble animals and other figures. I was even pointed to one that resembled Jesus Christ. No kidding. But when I tried to take the picture, it did not turn out. You have to see it for yourself. Also, do not be surprised if you see joss sticks or pieces of cloths around some rock formations as these place have been used by locals to perform prayers.
As we walk along the stairs (again!), we head to the mouth of the cave. You have to be extra careful when walking here as the floor can be slippery with the guano (bat droppings) and the natural water mixed. So, wear some proper shoes and take your time here.
Just at the mouth of the Fairy Caves, I turn around to look back and you see this amazing huge cavern with limestone formations and green plant life. Now, if you explore deeper into the cave, you will need a flash light as it gets darker inside. There is a small stream of water that flows out from inside the Fairy Cave. Most people go in until it gets pitch dark and then turn around. If you want to explore further, please bring along an experienced guide for this.
From the picture above, you can compare the size of the people in the bottom of the picture. This cave is really huge. So, if you are a cave lover and love exploring, do make a trip to the Fairy Caves here in Kuching, Sarawak. In my 4 visits to this cave, I think there were only 8 people I saw who came to explore this cave.
Apparently there are some Rock Climbing enthusiast who come to the Fairy Caves to do some rock climbing outside. I have never seen them but here are some coordinates for those interested. Latitude, Longitude: 1.38080, 110.11966
Directions to Fairy Caves:
Take the Batu Kawa-Tondong Highway towards Bau town. When you reach the traffic lights near Bau, turn right and continue driving. The t-junction to Wind Caves is on the right and the Fairy Caves on the left. Keep driving till the end of the road and you will see the Signpost for the Fairy Caves. Anyway, there is a 5 storey structure at the entrance of the caves. Do not go alone, best to go in a group if you plan to explore without a guide.
Public Transport to Bau:
There is no public transport to the Fairy Caves. Only to Bau Town and you have to engage a taxi to take you there. Bus Sarawak Transport Company STC No.2 from Kuching to Bau (Rm3-4). Taxi costs about RM20.00 (US$6.30).
My advice: Engage a proper nature guide service for this.
Opening Times: Everyday
Exploration Time: 1-2 hours
Things to bring:
2. Torch Light
4. Mini First Aid Kit
For those who enjoy a little adventure, be sure to visit this place in the day. Again, you should not come alone as there is no one around the area so best to come in a group or use a tour guide service. It is pretty decent and you need to be semi-fit to explore the Fairy Cave in Kuching, Sarawak.