Back from a really nice trip to the Sarawak highlands. here's a quick summary of our trip to miri, niah, bakalalan and gunung murud.
Lambir Hills National Park was nice, some beautiful waterfalls there! spent a night in the park and did the short but popular waterfalls trail. then got up very early the next day and went to batu niah to meet a friend for breakfast before driving to Niah National Park nearby. we spent the whole day there and left around 5pm. i was the only one who made it all the way to the last cave, the painted cave.
zipped back to miri in the evening and met another friend for dinner. then packed and left for bakalalan the next morning. we snapped photos from moment we got onto the small plane to moment we got off again, days later in miri! we felt like kids who'd never been to such a beautiful place!
kids in bakalalan speak english well, and their school puts all schools in kch and the rest of the country to shame. was told that they rose from bottom 10 or so (national ranking) to top 10 and they also won multiple awards including the commonwealth good practice award. it just shows u what a little determination and cooperation from all parties can do!
murud - i personally enjoyed this adventure very much. one of my friends had a hard time cos of leg pain but one of our guides came to his rescue by sorting out his ligaments the night before we returned back to bakalalan. otherwise we would have had to leave him behind for "kakak" to marry. :) kakak = inside term for a ghostly apparition seen at tg datu np.
on the way to murud, logging damage is extensive. u cannot point your camera at a spot and not have a logging trail in the frame. :(
joy bridge trek was the hardest n most challenging part for me cos the plank walk is almost completely destroyed so we had to walk on the ground next to the walkway. weather was bad when we reached the mountain so ground was wet and soggy and so very cold. our guides told us the people there have been waiting 3 years for the authorities to fulfill their promise to fix up the walkway or make a completely new one. they cannot do any fixing up themselves as they are prohibited from cutting any trees. ironic when all around on the way up u see logging activity.
i stripped off all my wet clothes and took a bath when i got to the church camp... at first it felt okay, then after applying soap etc and my body had started to cool down, it felt like i was hit with a giant hammer each time i poured the icy cold water onto myself! but i did it just so i can say i did it haha.
we didnt make it all the way to the top of murud cos of very bad weather conditions but that's okay. overall, it was a really fun trip for me and i look forward to flying out there again soon! oh and we met lots of nice people and got to know our fellow travelers too. for now, here are a handful of photos taken during our trip…
light shafts coming thru sink holes in the cave roof (Niah National Park).
golden rice paddies at Bakalalan.
beautiful Dendrochilum orchid at Mt. Murud.
wide logging track. these tracks crisscross the landscape on the way to Mt. Murud.
scenery along the way to Mt. Murud. lots of beautiful montane bird species. birders would have a fun time!