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THURSDAY, JUNE 28, 2012

Going through the Headhunters? Trail to hunt for adventure

The Headhunters’ Trail is definitely the most complete way to explore Gunung Mulu National Park. Considered as one of the best trekking path in the whole of Borneo, the Trail is a must of those who wish to see the whole of Mulu National Park comprehensively, and also Northern Sarawak.

 

Mulu Pinnacles at Gunung Mulu National Park, Sarawak Borneo

Mulu Pinnacles at Gunung Mulu National Park, Sarawak Borneo

Once, when headhunting was practiced more than a hundred years ago, Kayan warriors from Baram foraged through the Mulu area to attack the Murut longhouses and Chinese settlers who lived along the Limbang River.
 
Those fearsome war parties paddled their boats up the Melinau River up to the Melinau Gorge, before dragging the boats overland for 3 km towards the Terikan River. The so-called ‘Kayan Road’ where the boats were dragged was a 4-metre wide trail, having poles laid across the path, is now called ‘Headhunters’ Trail’.
‘Headhunters’ Trail’
 
A trek along the Trail would be of high preference for those who wish to ultimately challenge their muscles, as well as those participating in a teambuilding trip.
 
Mulu National Park can be reached by air from Miri or Kota Kinabalu, and upon arrival at the Mulu Airport, visitors would be transferred to their Benarat Inn for lunch. After lunch, they would be led for a 45 minutes walk to visit the Deer and Lang Caves via the plankwalk.
 
Both of the Mulu Caves in Gunung Mulu National Park, Sarawak is a part of the largest cave passage in the world, and perhaps the most well-known Mulu cave, Deer Cave, with its enormous chambers is home to
more than 5 million bats.
Deer Cave entrance at Gunung Mulu National Park
 
Here also visitors can witness one of the most popular attractions in Gunung Mulu National Park, the wonderful display of the bats coming out in waves from the cave as they move towards the jungle to hunt for food at night. Visitors then would return to the Mulu National Park headquarters in early evening, and be transferred by van back to Benarat Inn for dinner and a restful slumber.
 
Day two would start just after breakfast, and visitors would be brought by boat to the source of the Clearwater River for a visit to the Wind and Clearwater Caves, another two of the famous Mulu caves. Lunch would be at the Clearwater Spring, and then visitors would be transferred by boat to Long Lutut. They would then have a 3-hour trek through the lowland jungle to Camp 5, a very basic accommodation for the night. And in rather basic conditions, visitors would enjoy dinner and then sleep.
 
Jungle trekking at Gunung Mulu National Park
 
The breathtaking Mulu Pinnacles of the Gunung Mulu National Park beckons visitors on the morning of the third day. After breakfast, visitors would make the climb to Mount Api, and during the ascent, they could see how the vegetation changes as big trees gradually give way to bushes and plants such as rhododendrons. Reaching the top, visitors could enjoy their packed lunch while admiring the brilliant view across the Pinnacles towards the Brunei Bay. They would then move down to Camp 5 for rest and dinner, and a well-deserved sleep.
 
Some trees could be a thousand years old.
 
Once breakfast for the fourth day is completed, visitors would then move along the Headhunters’ Trail, crossing through two rivers to reach the both at Kuala Terikan. From there, they would go down the river to the Iban longhouse. They would spend a night as guests there, in basic conditions without much comfort, but providing the first-hand experience for the Iban lifestyle and their customs. Visitors could expect to sleep on simple mats on the ground, and having their own sleeping sheets would be very helpful. The Ibans are rather a very friendly group of people, and are generous to share their traditional music and dances.
 
The Ibans are rather a very friendly group of people, and are generous to share their traditional music and dances.
 
Morning of the fifth day arrives, and visitors would bid their Iban hosts and friends goodbye, before making their journey home to Medamit by boat. From Medamit, they would travel by land to Limbang airport before taking the flight to Miri, and those going back to Kota Kinabalu would be transferred by boat to Labuan, before reaching Kota Kinabalu.
 
 
Visitors exploring the Headhunters’ Trail should be prepared by having the usual essentials such as long sleeved shirts and pants, T-shirts, water bottle, towel and toiletries, torch light, raincoat, sun lotion, and of course, a bed sheet and a pair of good trekking shoes.
Tags: Headhunters trail | headhunter trail | gunung mulu | mulu national park | show caves of mulu | deer cave | borneo adventure |