Food Adventures in Malaysia: Day 14, Gunung Mulu Canopy Walk
On my last day in Mulu, I awoke to the aftermath of a nighttime rain storm. Water was everywhere again, and the rain was still lightly drizzling. And even though the early morning temperatures were low, the sticky humidity made my walk to the canopy tour a hot and sweaty one.
The walk was along the same ironwood boardwalk that took us to Deer cave the day before, but going first thing in the morning allotted for viewing new and exciting things. I got to see a giant spider web, still wet from the morning rains, glistening in the sunlight, with it’s creator hanging in the center. It was the biggest spider I’d ever seen. It was easily 12 inches wide (with it’s legs), and was bright yellow and black. Like an idiot, I didn’t take a picture of it, and now really wish that I had. We even got to see a glimpse of one of the small deer that gave Deer Cave its name. My guide was extremely excited about that, as I guess they are very rare to see.
Canopy Walk at Gunung Mulu National Park
After a good 30 minutes, we veered to the left on a tributary boardwalk, rounded a giant ironwood tree, and came to the base of the canopy walk, built up the wall of a small cliff face. Man was I excited about this thing! I wanted to go to Taman Negara and do the canopy walk there, but my schedule didn’t permit it. What a bonus that Mulu had one too! We climbed the stairs, unlocked the gate, then stepped out onto the rope bridge of the walk. Freaking cool! A little scary, perfectly safe, very creaky, and progressively climbed higher and higher into the treetops. Beautiful, exciting, and fun.
Mulu Vines and Parasitic Fig
The tropical rain forest of Mulu was the first I had been in, so all the crazy trees and climbing vines were really interesting to me. There was a big part of me that remembered being a kid and pretending to be in the jungle playing Tarzan, but this time, the jungle was real and the swinging vines were within reach. I restrained myself, and just stuck to the rope bridges instead. But those vines! Pretty awesome.
There were vines that grew from the forest floor, twisting their way up the host trees. There were other vines that grew down from the the canopy, looking for soil to plant themselves in. There were parasitic fig trees that wrapped themselves tightly around their host tree, spreading out their leaves and eventually killing their host. There were vines that grew from tree to tree, like giant suspension bridge cables. Truly awesome plant show.
As if the plants weren’t enough, there were also unique insects and bugs to look at. In fact, the canopy walk in Mulu was actually built for scientific purposes. The scientists are trying to catalog the unique insects that live there, many of which are found no where else in the world. Here is a picture of the giant bug catcher they use, as well as one of my tropical favorites, a Lantern Fly (this guy was probably about 5 inches long. My picture turned out like crap, so I’ve borrowed one from the web):
Leaving Gunung Mulu National Park
After walking back to park headquarters from the canopy walk, I packed up my things, bought a book about Mulu from the souvenir shop, and said goodbye to my new found friends. The ever so beautiful Jeanette walk with me out of camp. We wished each other luck and safe travels, hugged, said our goodbyes, and went our separate ways (me in a taxi to catch my earlier flight to Kuala Lumpur, she left to walk to catch her later flight to Kuching). I know that there are many things in Mulu and Borneo that I did not get to see, but my weekend in Mulu was truly awesome. I’ve never experienced anything like it before, and the memories of the experience will forever be with me and change my outlook on life. I can’t recommend going there enough.
The Bald Gourmet visits the Mulu Canopy Walk and enjoys the wildlife, forest, rivers, and life all around.
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