Niah Caves National Park

Niah Caves National Park lies near the coastal highway between Bintulu and Miri, close to the small town Batu Niah. The park has some good trails but most people come for the impressive limestone caves. We stayed for one night on our way to Miri.


All trails start on the other side of the small river at park HQ. After crossing the river in a small boat one follows a paved walkway and a plankwalk through the jungle, directly to the caves. It’s a flat and easy 3km walk with some stairs leading up to the caves at the end. We heard all kinds of birds and saw squirrels, macaques and a flying lizard from the plankwalk.

Flying lizard, most likely Draco quinquefasciatus

The caves are breathtaking. They don‘t feature many special stone formations, but their size and the light flooding into them from the entrances and collapsed parts of the ceiling are unbelievable. Photography is extremely hard in there though, bring a tripod and a bright ultra-wide angle lens if you want to give it a shot — I had neither because I didn‘t feel like carrying it around for 4 weeks.

Trader’s Cave

The path leads through Trader’s Cave, Niah Great cave and the dark Moon Cave passage and then out into the jungle again. After a short walk you reach Painted Cave, which has cave paintings and an ancient burial ground with death ships. Some of the artifacts are about 40,000 year old.

The caves have been used for decades by people collecting swallow nests and bat guano (used as fertilizer). Parts are wet and slippery and there are no lights in there, so bringing a good torch is essential.

Entrance to Niah Great Cave

Inside Niah Great Cave