Sunday, 16 December 2012

Get To Know Niah National Park

Niah National Park is located on the Niah River, which is about 3km away from the small town, Batu Niah. In 1958, the park was first gazette as a National Historic Monument and in 1974, a total of 3100 hectares of surrounding rainforest and limestone hills were included to form the National Park. The discovery of the oldest modern human remains in Southeast Asia were found at Niah, making the park one of the most important archaeological sites in the world.

Picture show the map of National Park and the location of trails and caves.
The two main caves in Niah National Park are The Great Cave of Niah and The Painted Cave, with many interesting rock formation and magnificent view inside the caves. The painted cave is popular for its ancient cave painting.  Besides the archaeology, the cave is swarming with bats and swiftlets. In addition, the park has two well-marked walking trails, Bukit Kasut Trail and Madu Trail.

While walking in these two trails, you will be able to enjoy a majestic rainforest with abundant plant and animal life. This national park has a visitor centre, cafeteria and good accommodation that consist of chalets units and hostel style-rooms.

The Great Cave of Niah
Earliest phase of cave occupation is referred to as the Palaeolithic (old stone age) and occurs on the late Pleistocene epoch. The Pleistocence ends with the beginning of Holocene epoch around 10,000 years ago. At Niah, the human use of caves changes from a location of intermittent use by mobile foragers during the early Holocene and become a major repository of the dead around 4,000 years ago. At the same time, there is evidence for the use of pottery as funerary gifts and also burial jars, with much later evidence for imported metals, ceramics and glass.

Getting there

There are two easier way to reach Niah National Park; one from Miri (109 km) and the other is from Bintulu (131 km). Therefore, I suggest go to with Miri because it is near than Bintulu. Below I state the journey you can take to go Niah National Parks.   
From Miri       : Take a bus from Miri Bus Station to Batu Niah. The journeys take times about 1 hour and 40 minutes. From Batu Niah, take taxis (chartered on a daily basis) or self-drive car to the Niah National Park.
From Bintulu   : Take a bus from Miri Bus Station to Batu Niah. The journeys take times about 1 hour and 40 minutes. From Batu Niah, take taxis (chartered on a daily basis) or self-drive car to the Niah National Park.
*Note: To reach Niah National Park, the visitor must rent are private car or taxis but there are also mini bus that takes passenger from the rest stop junction for RM 10- 15 per person.

 Welcome to Niah National Park

 Main entrance 

The Park Headquarters
When you arrive there, you required to register at the park HQ. There is an information center where video about Niah cave and Archeology site a shown (based on request). The time open is 8.00 am until 5.00 pm. Every visitor need to pay for admission fees RM 10 each before begin the journey at Niah National Park.
 Niah Park Headquarters 


At Niah National Park also has provide chalet for visitor to stay. Below is the type of lodging and their prices that you can choose according to your budget.

Rate per night per unit (RM)
Rate per night per room (RM)
Forest lodge type 2 
( VIP chalet)
3 rooms
Forest lodge type 4 
(Class 2 chalet)
2 rooms, 4 beds & air-con
Forest lodge type 4
 ( Class 3 chalet)
2 rooms, 4 beds & fan
Forest lodge type 7
4 rooms with 4 beds each

Before go there, i suggest you to make a reservation with National Parks Booking Office. The contact number is 085-737450 or 085-737454, the fax number is 085-737918. To stay at their chalet, there are several rules that need to follow such as no cooking allowed in the chalet and hostel and the visitor need to check out at 11.00 am. 

 Hostel ( I stay here for 1 night)


Walkway to chalet and hostel

 Other type of chalet

Niah Cave
To reach Niah Cave, you need to across a river. The distant between jetty and hostel you live take about 5 minute walk. Below is the boat fee for per person.

Day operation
Price (RM)
07.00 - 17.30
17.30 – 19.30


Pic: Boat


 Boat that I take to across the river

 Take note "Beware Of Crocodile"

Friday, 14 December 2012

Interesting Facts about Niah National Park

Do You Know?

1. The oldest human remains in Southeast Asia along with many other relics of prehistoric man were discovered in the Great Niah Cave! And the carbon dating puts the oldest relic which is the skull of oldest human remains back to 40,000 years! This has made Niah Caves, one of the most important archaeological sites in the world[1] . Picture below shown the archaeology site in Great Niah Cave.
2. The most notable discovery done Harrison and his team was a human skull named as ‘Deep Skull”. The ‘Deep Skull’ was discovered in 1958 and was approximately at a level where stone tools had been found that yielded a radiocarbon date of around 40,000 years ago-the earliest evidence for human settlement in Borneo[2]. Pictures below shown from right:  Excavation site of ‘Deep Skull’, ‘Deep Skull’ and Barbara Harrison with ‘Deep Skull’ in December 27, 1958.

3. In the ancient, the prehistoric human buried their dead by floating them down river in funeral boats! There are artifacts and cave drawings found in the caves that showed that they have their own unique and beliefs. The death-ships have been dated as ranging between 1 AD and 780 AD, although local Penan folklore tells of the use of death ship burials as late as the 19th century [1]. Pictures below show wooden boat death ship (up) and cave drawing (down).

4. Niah Cave is also called as ‘Hell Trench. This name was given by Harrison’s excavators because of the heat and humidity in the particular part of cave’s entrance. And you can feel the heat, especially in the afternoon when the sun shone directly overhead [4]. Interestingly, this phenomena was said is one of the cause of rocking process in the archeological establishment (picture below).

5.Why Niah Cave is called The Great Cave? This is because Niah Cave covers an area of 11 hectares as large as 13 football fields! And the cave is also remarkable for the millions of bats and swiftlets. At after 60m high and 250m wide, it is one of the world’s most spectacular cave entrances[1]!

6.. Have you ever visited a long house? You can visit and stayed in a longhouse of Niah National Park named Chang House. What is a longhouse?  A longhouse is a whole village of a community under one long roof that may be consists of 20 families or more! How long and how big is the longhouse? Come and experience yourself!

7.The excavation in Niah Caves dug out many human settlements in the area with chopping tools and flakes, axes, adzes, pottery, shell jewelry, boats, mats and then iron tools, ceramics and glass beads dating to the Iron Age [1]! The archaeologist also found cooking utensil made out of bone, stone and clay. These artifacts are said to be buried with the dead in the boat-like coffin.

8.The Painted Cave is named after the red hematite clay painting of human-like figures drawn on the rocks. These painting dates back at least 1000 years! The painting is located near a big burial ground and the detailed-painting was depicting the boat journey the dead into the afterlife [1].
9. The passage at the back of the Great Cave leads to a large chamber known as the Padang, where shafts of sunlight stream down from large holes in the cave roof to iluminate the bizzare rock formation in the Burnt Cave[1]. This is another excellent spot for taking photos.

10.. During the rainforest walk, you will be able to enjoy and witness the beauty of the tropical rainforest.  There are diverse species of flora and fauna can be seen. During morning and if you are lucky, you will be seeing these small little creatures along the plankways that will stop you from continue walking and stopped by to take picture!

4.World Archaelogy : 

Monday, 3 December 2012

What you should prepare for the visit

Always get yourself prepared to avoid disappointment. Here’s a list of things you should bring along for your trip to Niah National Park.

  • Suitable clothing.

Comfortable clothes and suitable shoes. Avoid wear out shoes, because some of the paths are quite slippery.

  • Torchlight or headlamp

There are not much light in the cave, so make sure to bring your own torchlight/headlamp.

  • Enough drinking water.

You will have to walk a few hours to the cave, and then walk a few hours back to the headquarters. Bring enough water to avoid dehydration.

  • Some snacks

Snacks can keep you energized while exploring in the forest or the cave.

  • A camera

To capture the views and scenery, sometimes forest creatures that you see during your trip. Who knows, you might capture something amazing!

Niah National Park awaits you!

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Videos and Links


Still hesitating whether you should visit Niah National Park? Read other people’s review on what they think about Niah National park!

1. Blogger Pas De Nom shares his experience visiting Niah Cave.

2. Blogger Happy Lim encounters a reptile while she is on her way to Niah Cave. Find out what it is!

3. Blogger uchanleo shared her family trip to Niah National Park.

4. Blogger Yamiya show us photos of Niah Cave, including photos of the Painted Cave.

5. Blogger Ryo Azhar shred some tips on what to bring for your trip to the Niah Cave. (in Malay)

6. Blogger Mr Hafidz Rohani show you the beauty of Niah National Park. (in Malay)


1.  This video shows you some the amazing creatures that you may encounter along your way. 

2. A video recording of the video uploader’s visit to Niah Cave, from the start to the end. 

3. A video with a guide explaining along their tour to the cave. (in Malay)