Exploring Niah Caves

Exploring Niah Caves


One of the must-visit caves in Sarawak that I had the opportunity to explore is no other that the world famous Niah Caves, which is located just two hours from the city of Miri in Northern Sarawak. The massive cave system is located in the Niah National Park, which is one of the top three national parks in Sarawak Borneo.

Niah Cave was once a trading cave, where traders from around the world would pay a visit to trade wares with the birds nest that was gathered by the locals from around here. The caves were also discovered by Alfred Russel Wallace in an expedition done back in 1855.

Niah National Park

The wooden stair climb up to the Niah Caves 

A hundred years later, couple Barbara and Tom Harrison made an attempt to excavate part of the Niah Caves and found some interesting discoveries. Till this very day, the Niah Caves are still being excavated. Scientific facts claim that the Niah Caves have been occupied since 40,000 years ago, and proof of human remains have been found here.

My trip to the Niah Caves coincided with a visit to the Patrick Libau Longhouse where the Gawai celebrations or Harvest Festival were held in June. It was my first time and the experience was something that I was looking forward too. From the longhouse, it was an easy trek for about 20 minutes to the cave entrance.

Niah National Park

At the Trader’s Cave, can you see the person in the photo?

Niah National Park

Remains of the traders outpost inside the cave

Trader’s Cave

From there, wooden stairs take you upwards into the Trading Chamber. This was where the Swiftlet Traders set up shop, and you can still see the remains of their wooden structures built into the cave walls.

The chamber is massive, with one side of the cave left open for more than enough light to come in. From the Trading Chamber, it was a short trek up into the main chamber of the caves. Here, I needed to climb a few flights of wooden stairs that had railings.

Niah National Park

Tom Harrison’s House inside the Great Cave

Great Cave

Arriving at the main chamber, Great Cave or Tom Harrison Chamber as I call it, you will be greeted by a house that was once lived in by Tom and his wife. The wooden home sits in one section of the cave entrance and has been preserved by the museum department. You are not allowed to enter the house though.

When looking into the main chamber, you see on your left, an area fenced up to about eight feet. This is where current excavations are ongoing by relevant departments. If you look carefully, you can see what has been dug up or what is in the process of being excavated.

Niah National Park

A fence surrounds the cave paintings at the Painted Cave

Painted Cave

Heading in another 150 meters will bring you the the star of Niah Caves, which is the Painted Cave. This section is also fenced up to preserve the amazing cave paintings discovered. The rock paintings also date back to some 1200 years old and some of them are in good condition while most of them have faded a little.

After attempting to take some photos, at the Padang Area, which is lightly deeper inside the caves, it was soon time to make that return back to the longhouse, as celebrations were still on going. In general, you can visit Niah for half a day, just to explore this fascinating caves.

Niah National Park

Part of the excavation area that is fenced up

Niah National Park

Some of the beautiful cave formations inside Niah Cave

If you are coming from Miri, you will make a stop at the Niah National Park office, where you buy your ticket in. From the park office, it takes about 40 minutes walk to the Trader’s Cave entrance. You will also be walking on a boarded walkway with the beautiful rainforest surrounding your journey.

The entire journey here is worth the visit, provided you love trekking, hiking, caving, nature and adventure. This would easily be listed as one of the main things to do out of Miri City, so if you are in Miri, do look up a tour company that organises trips to the Niah Caves.

Photos by David Hogan Jr


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Serikin Town Border Market

Serikin Town Border Market

Serikin Town Border MarketHaving been around for almost 20 years, the Serikin town border market is truly one of Kuching’s local hidden gems. My first visit here was back in 2010 and as a local, I was quite surprised that a market of this calibre existed just our of Kuching city.

A recent trip back to the Serikin Border Market in October 2017 was even more exciting as I had looked forward to coming back once again, to see if there had been any changes, and to my surprise, there were. The market grew larger, in terms of more vendors.

If you did not already know, the Serikin Border Market is mainly operated by the locals of Kalimantan, from across the border and also the local Sarawakians. Items sold are mainly catered to the local Sarawakians and the occasional tourist from Malaysia.

Serikin Town Border Market

The Serikin border market can get really hot in the afternoons

This rustic and very localized market caters mainly to the local Sarawakians, where products are brought in from Indonesia and sold at the border market which stretches about a kilometer long. From Kuching, it takes about one and a half hours drive through some of the local villages and towns.

What can you find here? Generally, a good combination of household items ranging from kitchen utensils, comforters, curtains and rattan furniture is spotted all over the market. Apparels for kids, men and women are also in abundance, but do not expect high street fashion.

Serikin Town Border Market

Some of the home decorations available at the border market

A number of Muslim religious prayer items are also sold by some while the local traditional medicine men can also be spotted selling some oils and cream. Costume jewellery for the budget savvy consumer can also be found here. A couple of stalls were seen selling local traditional Dayak handicraft and accessories.

Serikin is a border town that is located very close to the earth’s equator, hence over here, it can be extremely hot and humid. When I was walking here, I felt as if I was in an open air sauna, perspiring every step of the way. I would advise for visitors here to bring an umbrella and drink lots of water to avoid being dehydrated.

Serikin Town Border Market

Dayak and some other ethnic clothing and accessories being sold here

For the international tourist, this place is worth a visit if you love all things markets, probably just to walk around and see how a border market operates. Who knows as you may even pick up a souvenir or two here.

Best is to go early, before the mid day sun or late in the evenings before they close around six. There are some tour companies that offer local tours here, but I would recommend you rent a car and self drive here as it is quite easy.

Serikin Town Border Market

Rattan furniture is one of the great buys at the Serikin border market

Overall, it is an experience worth doing if you have the extra time in Kuching. You will not see the common tourist, but more locals, Singaporeans and Malaysians coming here for the great prices being offered.

Serikin border market only opens on the weekends and does get crowded especially during the school holidays and festive seasons. There are only local Indonesian restaurants found here and very casual type restaurants or coffee shops.

Photos by David Hogan Jr


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Business Networking In Singapore Generates New Opportunities

Business Networking In Singapore Generates New Opportunities

Singapore, Wednesday –  11  Sarawak  travel partners took part in the business networking session  in Singapore yesterday  opening opportunities for more Singaporeans to travel to visit the State.

40 Singapore tour operators turned up for the session sharing business opportunities and to update Sarawak product experiences to be marketed to Singaporeans and also its expats communities.

‘Singapore has been one of our focus markets and favourite destination for students and family travel with a penchant of our diverse culture, nature and adventure,’ said the Sarawak Tourism Board’s Marketing Manager, Gustino Basuan.

Meanwhile the Managing Director of Sibu-based Greatown Travel, Ling How Kang, has expressed his satisfaction on the outcome of the business networking.

‘We discovered good business prospects with the interest showed by the Singapore agents on Sibu and Central Sarawak and we look forward to much better arrivals next year arising from the aggressive promotion that we had over the years in Singapore,’ he added.

However, we faced challenges post by non-availability of direct flights from Singapore and Sibu, he lamented.

The Sarawak industry partners today continued their promotion in the City State making their presence felt at the three-day ITB Asia held at the Marina Bay Sands.

Singapore’s visitors’ arrival to date stood at 25,922, an increase of 1.53% compared to the same period last year.


Picture shows the networking session.


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LEGOLAND® Malaysia Resort Launches the World’s First LEGO® Virtual Reality Roller Coaster

Themed “The Great LEGO® Race”, the Refreshed Ride Will Immerse Families in a New Exhilarating Experience Together


Artist’s impression of The Great LEGO Race entrance at LEGOLAND® Malaysia Resort.

Ready, Set, LEGO®! Prepare to embark on the wildest LEGO ride as LEGOLAND® Malaysia Resort will be the world’s first LEGOLAND Park to launch the LEGO virtual reality roller coaster in November 2017, followed by LEGOLAND Florida Resort and LEGOLAND Deutschland Resort in 2018.

Combining cutting-edge virtual reality technology with roller coaster thrills, the new attraction was developed under the supervision of Merlin Magic Making – the company’s global creative division that designs and develops attractions for Merlin sites around the world. The Great LEGO Race will transform three existing “Project X” roller coasters into an exciting, high-octane experience that puts kids and parents alike in the driver’s seat and asks, “Are you brave enough to face, race and beat the best of the best in all of LEGO world?”

The Great LEGO Race was inspired by the way kids play with LEGO toys at home. It’s a unique LEGO adventure that lets kids enter an epic imaginary world made entirely from LEGO bricks, featuring a host of different themes and fun LEGO characters, all mixed up together.

Featuring a colorful lineup of racers drawn from the ranks of the popular LEGO Minifigure mystery assortments, The Great LEGO Race builds a universe of imagination that will unleash the inner child of everyone. It pits riders in a rollicking race against wild, brick-built contraptions driven by Trendsetter, Pharaoh, Surfer Girl, Wizard and Pirate Captain, including a rocket-powered surfboard and a stylish scooter fueled by espresso. Wearing VR headsets, guests will experience the action from every direction – up, down, forward, backward and all points in between – in a spectacular environment completely made of LEGO bricks.

LEGOLAND Malaysia Resort are honoured to be the first LEGOLAND Park to launch this experience in the world. This November’s launch will further testify to that commitment as guests visiting LEGOLAND Malaysia Resort will be among the first in the world to embark on The Great LEGO Race and lose themselves in a virtual world with captivating storyline suitable for adults and children alike.

Still image of LEGO® Virtual Reality Roller Coaster, The Great LEGO race

The adventure begins the moment guests approach the ride’s bold new entry portal enveloped in the sounds of roaring engines fill the air. Nearby, the coaster’s queue will resemble a pre-race space where pit crews for each of the five LEGO racers prepare for the competition, including interactive and hands-on elements to entertain riders in the queue.

During the ride, Bluetooth technology will sync the virtual visuals with the roller coaster’s twists, turns, drops and climbs, creating an all-new experience filled with thrills, spills, surprises and humor – done in LEGOLAND’s brilliance.

The Great LEGO Race can be ride with or without the VR headset, and is suitable for children ages 6 and up.

For further information on promotions and activities, visit LEGOLAND Malaysia Resort’s official website



Chloe Chow
LEGOLAND® Malaysia Resort | Merlin Entertainments Group
Tel: +6 07 597 8816 | Mobile: +019-612 4737

[email protected]



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