Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Niah NP Weekend

It's been a while since we overnighted at Niah NP, the weekend after the trip to the West country seemed ideal to recuperate from jetlag and just hang-out listening to the sounds of the rainforest. We booked a fan-cooled chalet at Niah Park and stayed for the long weekend.

It was a quiet weekend of just lounging about with windows open and ears perked up to listening to the incessant calls of barbet, broadbills, hornbills and numerous sunbirds that flit through the idyllic minimalist garden setting. With comfy chairs set up on the verandah facing flowering hibiscus, we savored the views of a pair of Brown-throated Sunbird that came to visit flowers on an hourly basis. Fleeting about the same path, beautifully painted butterflies came and went.

Male Brown-throated Sunbird.

Female, Brown-throated Sunbird.

Male, Purple Sunbird/Van Hasselt's Sunbird.

A beautifully marked male Golden Birdwing Troides Amphrysus.

Our chalet situated not far from the river afforded us unparalled views of the comings and goings of visitors to the park. The weekend being a three day weekend proved to be busy for the boatman and park staff. Visitors came and went at all hours from 7am till late in the afternoon. Outside of those hours we had the park to ourselves, it's akin to living in a simple manor surrounded by a large well tended garden.

We took our meals at Batu Niah rest-stop, 30minutes away by car. Reason being the canteen was rather sluggish with limited fare on offer. At the rest stop, food on offer ranged from chicken wings, roti canai, mee kolok and all sorts of other delectable local meals simply prepared.

Milky Way in the garden.

The drive out gave us a chance to scan the skies for some magical dark sky wonders. Being away from the brightly lit Miri City ie. less light pollution gave us clearer views of the surrounding nite skies. On one of those nights, perhaps only the 3rd such occasion in our umpteen years in Sarawak, we were blessed with a spectacular view of the Milky Way ... right from the front porch of our humble chalet.

The stay Niah NP gave us the quiet weekend we longed for, delectable little pleasures meant to be taken in small doses.

Information for visitors:-

Niah Caves NP offers a range of accomodation choices :
a) Fan-cooled dormitory rooms-4 rooms per house, 4 single beds per room with attached bathroom and shower and a huge common living area. Best value for money at $40/room.
2) Fan-cooled chalets-2 rooms per house, 4 single beds per room with attached bathroom and shower. Comes with a refrigerator, living and kitchen area. A steal at $159/house.

Also on offer are the air-conditioned VIP chalets and air-conditioned chalets. For enquiries, please call Niah Caves NP at 085-737450/737454 or fax 085-737918.

More information on the park can be found here.

Images and text by Nazeri Abghani/MNS Miri/2011

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