After an easy and quite scenic bus trip, we arrived in Miri. We had decided to spend 3 full days there, because we had read that it isn’t very good and tourists should avoid staying there. Sounds perfect right?!
The town itself was in fact quite nice, and felt, for lack of a better word, local. There were almost no tourists, and even the hotel staff were happy to welcome us for “such a long time”! But it turned out to be the perfect amount of time there. The first day we just explored the town. The usual. Although we did suffer from “it’s hotter than the fucking sun-itis”.
Ok, so we didn’t just go to Miri because very few people stayed there. We went there because of Niah National Park, the site of huge caves and archaeological sites. So, on day 2, we hired a Grab driver for the day (which was actually cheaper than the taxi-bus-taxi-taxi-bus-taxi option) and went for look. We were the first to arrive after it had opened, which sounded good. But, after we crossed the crocodile infested river on a boat, proved to be somewhat nerve wracking. You see, it had rained heavily for the previous few days and, about 30 minutes into the trek through the jungle to the caves, we came across this:
Yeah. That would be flooding from the river we had crossed earlier. The one with the crocodiles. And “keep out of the water” signs. Great. But we had come all this way, so decided to keep going and try to shimmy along the railing, which went well until we realised that all of the other creepy crawlies of the jungle were using the railing to keep out of the water too. It was when Will saw a spider the size of his hand next to his hand, and Sam caught a glimpse of a snake slithering away that we really started to freak out.
Fortunately a local fella then appeared. He took off his flip-flops and proceeded to nonchalantly wander past us in bare feet. Somewhat embarrassed, we thought fuckit, and just jumped in and waded to the other side. Wet feet aren’t so bad in super hot jungles anyway.
We reached the caves after more stunning jungle and geared up. We had been advised to wear hats and gloves due to the bat droppings, and bring torches for the darkness of the caves. Will had a shower cap which made him basically look like a model. Sexy is not the word. Sauve, sofisticated…Those words also don’t do the look justice.
Exploring the caves was one of the highlights of the trip. Being places where people lived 10,000 years ago was indescribable, especially seeing the cave drawings that they had made. Walking through pitch black caves and turning the torches off was somewhat unnerving, and the gigantic size of the caves was overwhelming.
On the final day we took a walk along the coast along a coastal pathway which was unfinished. It was quite odd. But the end was worth it and we spent some time lazing by the sea gazing out to the horizon.
I don’t get why more people don’t go to Miri. It’s a lovely local town, and the closeness of Niah (completely unmissable) makes it even better.