Thursday, 13 February 2014

Dormitory in Gunung Mulu National Park

When we tried booking a room at Gunung Mulu National Park headquarters via email in December 2013, we were told that all the rooms were occupied, even the dormitory (dorm). 

But when I called up the office to ask, there were 2 beds available in the dormitory. We grabbed it of course. Rate was RM41 per bed per night, inclusive of a set breakfast.

This is the very spacious dorm. It's a mix dorm, mind you. So you'll probably see some guys sleeping in their underwear ;-)

Staying in dorms is a surefire way of meeting people to exchange travel stories and tips. Dorm living may not be everyone's cup of tea as some people prefer privacy, but I sure like it! 

When we checked-in at the park office, we had to pay a refundable deposit of RM50 each for a pillow cover, bed sheet, blanket and bathing towel.

The pillow cover, bed sheet, blanket and bathing towel all came nicely packed.

We had to make our own beds. 

Tough luck if you have maids to make your beds at home. Here in Gunung Mulu National Park you have to do these things yourself. 

I was so proud of our beds ;-) And mind you ... these beds were damn comfy. 

This is the bathroom in the dorm:

There were 2 cubicles for bathing and 2 more with WC.

This is the cubicle for bathing:

Warm water is available 24 hours a day, which is a huge relief as the weather can get cold towards the evening and early morning.

At the back of the dorm there's a place to hang and dry your clothes:

It was raining almost everyday and our clothes were wet most of the days. So a drying area is always good to have.

Cupboards are available inside the dorm for you to store your valuables:

Another thing which I like about this dorm is the sink and facilities where you could boil water to make a cup of coffee or instant noodles:

The park sells mineral water at exorbitant prices: RM5 (big bottle) and RM2.50 (small bottle). But I don't blame them since everything has to be flown into the park from the city. So to cut cost, we boiled our own water and refilled our bottles daily. 

I love the spaciousness of the dorm.

The two brown doors facing the camera leads to the bathroom (left door) and the drying area (right door).

Breakfast is included in the room price and served in the cafe beside the park office.

Nasi lemak is one of the items in the set breakfast menu, and a substantial meal to begin a day of walking and trekking into the caves and forest. However the sambal portion is small and when I asked for more the waitress said I need to pay additional RM2.00. I was like ... WTF ... and vowed to blog about it so that travellers like you would know about it.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Getting to Gunung Mulu National Park

I spent the last few days of 2013 at the Gunung Mulu National Park in the state of Sarawak.

To get there, we took an AirAsia flight to Miri and then changed to Mas Wings which is the only airline that flies to Mulu National Park.

Mas Wings also operates flights from other parts of East Malaysia to Mulu National Park. So it's best to check the website here.

I love their tagline: Wings of Love

Despite its tiny size, the plane had a small screen that screens the safety procedures.

Each passenger was given a Milo drink.

Minum Milo Anda Jadi Sihat dan Kuat :-)

The Mulu airport is one of the smallest airports I've seen. I think most to most only 2 flights arrive and 2 flights depart daily.

The flight from Miri to Mulu was only 30 minutes. This means by the time you get comfy in your seat, it's time to land. Well, thank heavens for short flights.

The Mulu airport does not have any ATM. If you need to withdraw cash, you would need to do all your banking in Miri airport or whichever airport you're coming from.

I had forgotten to withdraw cash in Miri and wanted to do so in Mulu but alas the airport does not have a single ATM. Thankfully we had just enough cash between us to spare. Credit cards are accepted at the Mulu National Park but there is a 2% surcharge and the minimum transaction is RM100. More on that later.

After exiting the Arrival Hall, you'll see this counter on the right side of the steps:

We bought our return tickets to Mulu National Park headquarters as what most people told us to do when we were researching for this trip.

This is the van that brought us to the park:

The drive is only 5 minutes from the airport. So you can actually walk but you need to know the way.

I always feel good seeing a rosary hanging from the rear view mirror.

Upon arrival at the park we got down and crossed the bridge to check-in at the Mulu National Park.

This is the Gunung Mulu National Park office where we registered and paid for our lodging and trips:

I was impressed with the office - it is air conditioned and clean despite being in the middle of the jungle. In fact it looks like any office in the city.

As I mentioned earlier, credit cards are accepted at the park for transactions of minimum RM100. Be reminded that there's a 2% surcharge for all credit card transactions, which is quite negligible if you've exhausted your cash and need to pay by credit card.

All visitors to the park will need to purchase a 5-day pass worth RM15. You will be given a waterproof wristband which states your arrival date and this must be worn throughout your stay at the park.

If you decide to stay longer than 5 days, you would need to pay for another 5-day pass and replace your wristband.

The wristband is valid for 5 days in tandem with the duration of the 5-day pass. Different coloured wristbands are distributed daily. So if you want to know which day a particular traveller had arrived at the park, look at his/her wristband :-)

Next: Dormitory in Gunung Mulu National Park

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