Chào bạn! (hello in Vietnamese)
We are back from Hanoi, the city of bustling vehicles, motorcycles especially. Being a bystander there for ourselves was an amazing encounter. Would love to share the stories of this developing country bits by bits with all of you.
Prior to that, let’s finish off with the astounding landscape and rainforest of Miri.
Since we were fed with a bountiful amount of Sarawak local goodies for the past 2 to 3 days, it’s time to get up on our feet and prepare for some serious workouts. Miss Jean sure know where is the best getaway to waste away our adipose tissues and flabs. Mulu Cave was actually one of her ideas but we have to catch a plane from Miri City.
What’s the alternative?
1. Take the no. 33 bus (Miri Transport or Kingswood ) to the Long distance bus terminal about 20mins away or catch a taxi for RM12 – RM15.
2. Take any bus going towards Bintulu, Sibu or Sarikei and stop at Simpang Ngu junction (this takes 1hr45min). Bus fare at RM10
3. At Simpang Ngu, there’s a supermarket and an open market so you can either grab lunch here or pack some for the journey. From here, take a taxi or private car for RM30 to the park entrance (about 30mins away).
4. Returning, it’s best to leave a little earlier about 4.00pm so that a taxi can be arranged for you by the ranger to take you out to Simpang Ngu
Many taxis are available that can take you to the park for RM120 per way. Try negotiating with them and sometimes it can drop to RM 80 per way.
By Private 4 wheel drive (WD) or Vans
This was how we traveled. Lead by Miss Jean and her bro-in-law, we reached Batu Niah, a small town where the Niah National Park is located in about 1 hour.
If you have decided to rent a 4WD alternatively, you can catch one of these at the bus stop just across the road from the local bus station (at the tourist information centre).
On reaching the Niah National Park, be prepared to bath yourself with sweat and work out to the max as you play with the hundreds of steps! Approximately 4 hours of exercise surrounded by a luxuriant, dense forest of tropical Sarawak and architecture of natural caves.
Miss Jean’s tips:
- Wear long pants to prevent bites. great.. we only have jeans. so smart.
- Wear a cap/ hat if you are sunlight sensitive like me. I don’t want my face tanned.
- Bring torch lights loaded with enough batteries. Huge ones better. It’ll be pitch dark in the cave. The torch light will be your best friend.
- Wear comfortable shoes. It was really slippery inside the cave. Every step we move have to be done cautiously.
- Bring gloves (optional), if you don’t wanna dirty your hands with bats’ droppings on the railings and bars. Hmmm… good fertilizers.
- Do not call out each others name in the forest. I guess everyone knows why ;P
Let’s begin, shall we?
Take a boat ride across the Niah river, which is only less than 30 meters away and it costs RM1 for one way.
Making our way to the cave, passing by the mighty forest.
We befriended the trees and petite residents of the forest.
The ground resembled the moon surface. So we did some moonwalk. We moonwalked up and out of the Trader’s Cave, marching towards the Painter’s Cave.
the beauty of Niah Cave. Please ignore the odour of the fertilizers.
On our way down this time
On our way out from the forest, we changed track, walking towards the longhouse quarters of the natives or bumiputras. There, you can witness how native youngsters spend their leisure time. Swimming, fishing, bathing and washing clothes in the same river. Some climbed tress, some stared straight at us. We smiled back and they looked confused somehow.
We finished our Niah Cave outing around 3.30pm, Miss Jean and her bro-in-law decently suggested that we should try the well-known Tutu fish located in Siputi, Bekenu, an outskirt area from Miri. Highly recommended by the Miri-ans here, be sure to drop by this restaurant named Sing Chiong.
One of their signature dish served: the Tutu Fish
Also known as Ikan Betutu, Ikan Hantu or “Sun Hok” in KL. You could feast on Tutu at a much cheaper price.
Steamed Fresh Water Prawns – another wonder of Sing Chiong. Besides the unexplained freshness, the silky smooth steamed egg to go with the prawns were too married with the taste of fresh jumping prawns.
Stir Fry Sweet Potato Leaves with Egg. Sweet and tasty. I could finish a bowl of rice with just this dish.
Sing Chiong Restaurant
These end our amazing Miri trip.
Thanks to Miss Jean who continuously drove us around for local delicacies and the interesting hotspots of Miri. She definitely made Miri even more interesting, romantic and yummier.