Why Niah Caves, one of the oldest human settlements in Sarawak, is worth a visit

Niah Caves in Miri Sarawak is located within the Niah National Park. What is so special about Niah Caves in Miri? The Niah Caves in Miri Sarawak is one of the worlds’ important archaeological sites. The Niah Caves in Miri Sarawak is home to one of the oldest human settlements in the world. Archaeologist discovered this ancient Stone Age settlement in 1954. The sights of Niah Caves in Miri Sarawak are something that you should not miss out.

The Niah Caves are just 3 kilometres away from the Niah National Park Headquarters. Your journey to the Niah Caves from the Niah National Park Headquarters will take you through a beautiful rainforest. After a short trip across the river on the boat, you will then pass through the visitor centre before proceeding to the Niah Caves.

Niah Caves in Miri Sarawak

Niah Caves in Miri Sarawak

The first cave you will reach within the Niah Caves system is the Great Cave. The 60 metres high and 250 metres wide cave is indeed worthy of its name. The view is spectacular to say the least. You can see clearly the archaeological excavations in a spot on the left side of the cave. During the previous excavations of the Niah Caves, archaeologists have discovered an ancient human skull that dated back to 40,000 years ago. This indeed shows that there have been human settlements in Borneo during that period. The squeaking sounds of the bats and swiflets that inhabit the Niah Caves does add atmosphere to this large cave system. You will also see collectors in this cave gathering the bird and bat droppings for them to sell all fertiliser.

The Moon Cave is a series of dark passage that you will take on the way to the Painted Cave. Navigating through this short passageway is an exciting adventure in itself. You did remember to bring your flashlights along, didn’t you? Once you exit the dark passages of the Moon Cave, you will immerge into a beautiful forest. After a short walk from here, you will finally reach the Painted Cave.

The Painted Cave, the smallest cave within the Niah Caves system, is where you can find all the pre-historic wall paintings left behind the original settler of Niah Caves. You could see drawings of boats and human figures etched on the walls as reminder of those who have lived here thousands of years ago. It is remarkable to see that these drawings have survived for millennia. You could also see artefacts such as coloured beads, pottery shards, shells and human bones in the Painted Cave. This cave also contained some burial sites dating from 1000 years ago. The peaceful atmosphere of the Painted Cave undoubtedly made the early inhabitants felt that it is a suitable place for their loved ones’ final resting ground. Do take some time just simply to absorb this unique and historical surrounding. The experience is unlike any other.

A visit to Niah Caves will indeed be the most unforgettable experience that anyone can have. Here you will be able to see glimpses of how the earliest inhabitants of Borneo lived and died. It is indeed worth it!

 

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