Deep in the remote rainforests of Borneo lies one of the most spectacular cave networks in the world – the Mulu Caves. Located in Mulu National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Malaysian state of Sarawak, these massive caves are renowned for their unique formations, immense chambers, and thrilling adventure activities. With stunning stalactites, rock paintings, and ecosystems unlike anywhere else on earth, the Mulu Caves are a must-see destination for any nature or adventure lover visiting Malaysia.

Exploring the Majestic Mulu Caves in Malaysia

Getting There

Mulu National Park is rather remote, located in the northern region of Sarawak. The nearest airport is Mulu Airport, which has flights from Kuching and Kota Kinabalu. There are also bus transfers available from Miri.

The park itself can only be explored with a licensed guide and permits must be booked in advance through the National Park’s website. Guided longboat trips are required to access most of the caves from park headquarters.

When to Visit

The best time to visit these caves is during the drier months between March and October. During the wetter months from November to February, some caves may be inaccessible due to rising water levels and floods.

Temperatures stay consistent throughout the year, averaging 27°C during the day and dropping to 20°C at night. Humidity is high year-round.

Exploring the Majestic Mulu Caves in Malaysia

Top Caves to Explore

Mulu National Park protects over 300 caves, but only a handful are open to visitors. Below are the top caves and karst formations that should be on every Mulu itinerary:

Deer Cave

One of the largest known cave passages in the world. It contains the world’s largest cave passage, 2 km long and 174m high. Home to millions of bats and cave swiftlets.

Lang’s Cave

Contains interesting cave formations and unique rock art paintings dating back to 1630 AD. One of the few caves open to unguided visitors.

Exploring the Majestic Mulu Caves in Malaysia

Clearwater Cave

The longest cave in Southeast Asia, with a subterranean river and one of the park’s most popular attractions. Visitors take longboat tours along the river.

Wind Cave

Noted for its remarkable stalactites and stalagmites shaped by wind and water over centuries. Requires climbing 100 steps up a steep staircase.

Sarawak Chamber

The largest cave chamber in the world, big enough to hold about 40 Boeing 747s! Access is restricted to research groups only.

Exploring the Majestic Mulu Caves in Malaysia

Adventure Caving

For thrill-seekers, Mulu offers adventure caving opportunities through its 3-day Mulu Discovery Package. Visitors can climb, crawl and swim through undeveloped cave passages with a guide.

Highlights include traversing narrow ridges in Clearwater Connection and climbing 15m up a bamboo ladder in Lagang Cave. No caving experience needed, just reasonable fitness.

Wildlife in the Caves

The caves of Mulu are home to fascinating ecosystems and wildlife found nowhere else:

  • Millions of bats and swiftlets inhabit Deer Cave and emerge in giant columns every evening.
  • Rare cave racer snakes, spiders, fish, crickets, scorpions and other species adapted to the perpetual darkness.
  • Unique habitats like the Deer Cave rainforest with its own weather patterns and species found only within the cave.
  • The limestone shale supports specialized ferns, mosses and vegetation.
  • Exploring the Majestic Mulu Caves in Malaysia

Where to Stay

There are a few options for accommodation within Mulu National Park:

  • Park Headquarters – This is base camp for most cave tours. Offers hostel beds or chalets.
  • Mulu Marriott Resort & Spa – Luxury hotel with rainforest villas, spa, pool, dining and acceptance of Marriott points.
  • Garden of Eden Valley – Remote, back-to-nature accommodation with twin-share huts in a beautiful jungle setting.

Most visitors choose to stay right inside the park to be close to tour departures and the airport. Book well in advance as demand is high.

Exploring the Majestic Mulu Caves in Malaysia

Other Mulu Attractions

Aside from caves, Mulu National Park offers rainforest trekking, nature trails, and sights like:

  • Canopy Skywalk – “Bird’s nest” platforms high up in the trees for panoramic views over the rainforest.
  • Pinnacles – Sharp limestone peaks protruding from the jungle, accessed via a challenging multi-day hike.
  • Mulu Racer Trail – Riverside boardwalks with good chances of spotting the Mulu Racer snake.
  • Nightwalk – Guided walk to spot nocturnal wildlife like sambar deer, civets, flying squirrels, tarantulas and glowworms.


From its immense cave networks shrouded in mystery to the endemic wildlife found nowhere else on Earth, Mulu epitomizes adventure. While the remote location requires effort to visit, intrepid travelers will be rewarded with an experience of a lifetime exploring and discovering the majestic caves of Mulu. Its fragile karst environment requires responsible tourism, but those who tread lightly will uncover amazing natural wonders in one of Malaysia’s greatest national treasures.

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