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THE SIGHTS OF SARAWAK


View of the West Mouth at Niah
View of the West Mouth at Niah











NIAH CAVES

The caves are located close to the coast a couple of hours South of Miri. They are the sight of the earliest habitation by man in South-East Asia some 40 000 years ago. At the rear of the main cave is the smaller painted cave with its 1000 year old rock paintings of small canoe-like boats, which were possibly used as coffins, which indicates that the cave was probably used as a burial ground. 

Archeological Site in the Great Cave
Archeological Site in the Great Cave
Niah also supports birds nest collectors who climb up spindly scaffolding and poles to reach the roof of the cave some 50 metres above the floor to collect the edible white birds nests formed by swiftlets which live in the cave, and which are used in the famous Chinese dish - "birds nest soup". 

The caves are also inhabited by bats which deposit guano on the floor of the cave. Guano collection has become another thriving industry based in the vicinity of the caves. 

As a result of the swiftlets and the bats living together, when evening comes along there is a wonderful spectacle of the swiftlets arriving home as the bats depart for the night.

photographs on this page are courtesy of Sarawak Tourism