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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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
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.