Monday, August 17, 2009

Canopy Walk at Mulu National Park Sarawak

Canopy Walk at Mulu National Park Sarawak
The Canopy Walk at the Mulu National Park in Sarawak is the longest tree-based canopy walk in the world with a distance of 480 meters long. Located in the state of Sarawak in Borneo Island, this hard to access park is one of the must see attractions in this region if you are a nature or outdoor lover. As for me, this was my 4th visit to the Mulu National Park in a span of 2 years from 2007 to 2009. (I visited the Park again in 2014)

The flight to Mulu is taken with a MASwings turboprop Fokker or ATR airplane will take about 1 hour before landing in one of the smallest airports in Malaysia. On arrival, I was ushered to the Royal Mulu Resort (Now Mulu Marriott) where my rooms were pre-booked in advance. I would recommend you book in advance if you plan to visit Mulu or the National Park here.

Walkway at the Mulu National ParkWooden walkway at the park

From the Royal Mulu Resort, you need to make your way to the National Park entrance where you register at the park headquarters. Here, an English speaking guide will be assigned to lead you on your park exploration. Usually, guests would have an early start at the Mulu park as they would want to visit all the interesting places which include the nature walk, canopy walk and then ending the day at the Lang and Deer caves watching the millions of bats fly out in the evening. So expect a full day of trekking in the park.

As for me, I was there on assignment so we got our regular nature guide and headed straight for the canopy walk. During your walk, you will encounter much flora and fauna and your walk will be on a wooden platform build over the park grounds. Some of the amazing things to see are huge tall rainforest trees, bugs and if you are lucky, a giant Hornbill flying overhead.

Walking at the Mulu National ParkExploring the rainforest

The walk there will take you about 30 minutes before you branch off to the left after crossing the main bridge of the national park. The wooden platform as you see in the picture above becomes a little narrow and without rails.

Mulu Canopy Walk Start tower

After about 5 minutes, you will reach the main entrance tower where a three-storey wooden tower is constructed for the entrance and the park ranger or guide will open the locked door to the walk that you will remember for the rest of your life.

Malaysia Borneo Skywalk PhotoAlso known as the Skywalk

They have some rules you have to follow when walking on the suspended walkway. There should only be two people maximum walking at any one time on each walkway. The walkways are connected to trees and they have a station at various trees. If you have a fear of heights, I would recommend you do not attempt this walk.

Sarawak Canopy Treetop WalkView from below of the tree station

The canopy walk is built about 15 to 25 meters (50 feet - 80 feet) above ground level but from up there, it looks much higher. Honestly, every time I walk up here, I get the little shivers on my first few steps but it goes away after you pass the first station.

Mulu canopy walk video

The canopy walkway is actually made up of a bunch of aluminium ladders connected and bound by ropes and the walking part of this is covered with wooden planks. Steel cables hold the walkway from tree to tree so you will experience some floating feeling when walking here.

Canopy walk in Mulu National ParkTree station to station

Nets are used from the base to the handrail for security reasons. They are very sturdy so you need not be afraid. This canopy walk was build by locals with the supervision and advice from experts from around the world. The canopy walk is also changed once every 5 to 10 years due to wear and tear.

Mulu Sarawak Treetop Walk Green surroundings at the canopy walk

Every morning before anyone can visit the park canopy walk, the park rangers and maintenance people will go and check the canopy walk before opening it to the public. So, the National Park here is on par with the international standards with proper licensed nature guides who speak a good command of English as most of the guests are foreigners. In my honest opinion, very few locals would enjoy this kind of nature trips but it is a growing trend nowadays, I hope.

Skywalk in Sarawak A longboat passing the Paku River

While walking on the canopy walk, we managed to see a group of locals traveling in a longboat down by the Paku River. Looking down, thy happily waved at us as they went about on their daily chores. As we continue, there is no time limit so we were busy asking all sorts of questions to our personal guide.

At the canopy walk station, there are informative signs about the trees and about the rainforest. It is here where you can relax and just observe nature at its best. Sounds of the rainforest will amplify here while an occasional squirrel may pass you. If you are lucky, you may see local monkeys (Macaques) or flying lizards. But more commonly, the general rainforest birds will be sighted during your trip here and this would be great for bird watchers.

Photo of the Mulu Canopy WalkView of the canopy walk from the ground

Walking the 15 stations took us about 2 hours as we were so mesmerised by the greenery around us. Never have I seen so much green when usually it is just green and brown on the rainforest grounds. I spent a good amount of time just capturing this serene beauty on my camera.

Even at some parts of the canopy walk, you will see jungle vines hanging from 80 feet all the way to the grounds. It reminded me of Tarzan when I saw these huge long vines. Asking the guide if it would work, he just smiled at me and said that only if I was a monkey, it would.

Canopy Walk in Sarawak BorneoThe writer walking and enjoying the view

The smell up here is really fresh too, compared to the bottom part of the rainforest. Almost as if it was pure oxygen with a hint of freshness. In the picture above, me and a friend were busy exploring every possible part of the canopy walk.

View from the tree station

Finally, at one of the stations you see a break in the greens and a mountain side is in view with the blue skies in the background. I tell you, to experience pure rainforest pleasure, you have to visit the Mulu National Park. This is one place where you will not see hoards of people cramming the park. Because of it's logistics to get here, most Asians will not bother to come here. You tend to see single, couple or small family nature lovers here.

Another canopy walk to check out in Borneo is the Rainforest Discovery Center Canopy Walk in Sabah which is very different and unique as it is made entirely from steel. 

Information:
  • Mulu National Park Entrance Fees : RM 10.00 per head
  • Total Canopy Walk length - 1.5 Kilometers
  • Total time to walk - 30 minutes to 1 hour
Getting to the Mulu National Park requires one to take a flight from the town of Miri in Sarawak. The flight here via MasWings, a subsidiary of Malaysian Airlines which flies to all the rural towns of Sarawak. Alternatively, you can take the original way to get here which is via a longboat. This journey will set you back about 7 hours.

Overall, if you love all things adventure, rainforest and wildlife, this is the place you should be visiting as Sarawak is one of the most dense rainforest with many national parks to choose from. Some offer different types of experiences while one of the best would be experiencing the Canopy Walk at Mulu National Park in Sarawak.

Author:

Malaysia Asia is a multiple award-winning travel blog site with information on unique and interesting places around Malaysia, Borneo, Indonesia, Southeast Asia and the World. Malaysia Asia is also under MyAsia Services, a Digital Travel Solutions Company based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest. We are also not your regular travel bloggers. 

4 comments:

Cath J said...

Interesting!!!!

Tricia Wee said...

David,

The canopy walk, how much does it cost? the travel agent charge RM55, is it that expensive?

cheers,
Tricia

Stephanie5788 said...

This looks really cool!!! I hope I have time to do this is as well!! =D

Anonymous said...

your words bring back my great memories of my Mulu trip in 2010