27 October 2014

Lambir Hills National Park

Miri may not have the range of architectural sights that we were blessed with in Astana but that does not meant that there is not plenty to do - most of it outdoors taking full advantage of our wonderful weather and gorgeous, tropical location.  

Miri is the gatepost/stepping stone to many of the wonderful sites Sarawak has to offer.  Some of these – like Mulu require a flight (out of the question for us at the moment until our passport problems are resolved) but some are practically next door.

There are many National Parks close to Miri showcasing the
stunning Sarawakian forest in its natural state.  
Lambir Hills national park is just 30km from Miri and makes for an easy day trip.  The Sarawak  Forestry Commission claim that Lambir Hills is the world’s most diverse forest eco-system.  The park is small but within it there is, apparently, the greatest level of plant biodiversity on the planet as well as a huge range of birds, mammals and insects; it is a centre for international research.  All this on our doorstep! 

The paths in Lambir Hills are well maintained
making the walking easy for everyone.
Trekking along the well worn forest trails with a family of small children means that we are guaranteed not to see much of the wildlife (and this even though our kids are silent as they can be in the hopes of catching sight of something truly interesting).  What we can see, however, are the stunning waterfalls.  The closer ones are easily accessible – just a 2 km walk to Latak where it is possible to swim in the pool and enjoy a picnic.  There are plenty of longer trails as well and they are all interconnected so you can mix and match your route quite easily.

Latak Waterfall - an easy, short walk and perfect
for a swim and a picnic.
The trails themselves are well maintained meaning that the walking is relatively tame and easy.  Unless you are doing some of the longer treks you will not need to wear specialist footwear or clothing – you see many weekend trippers doing the walk in flipflops.  Do not, however, underestimate the effects of the heat and humidity – it is enervating, particularly for visitors from abroad who have not yet acclimatised so make sure you stock up on water.  The ladies who run the café at the entrance to the park are very friendly – just go to the fridge to stock up and leave the money on the side if they are not there. 

Rivers flow through the Park creating some spectacularly beautiful
waterfalls - the hallmark of Lambir.
The wardens do keep track of the people who go in to the park as you have to pay an entry fee but we were not required to check in on our return so be punctual in leaving before the end of the day so that you are not locked in!

Our kids love Lambir – the bridges over the rivers give a sense of adventure and the sounds of the forest are intriguing.  There are some rope bridges across gaps in the path which are, of course, a magnet for kids.  They take it in turns to 'lead the group' and keep a careful ear out for any wildlife.  Lambir  was our baby daughter’s first walk in the woods although she did not get to see much as she was safely snuggled up in the baby carrier and covered against sun and insects!  With the heavy rains we will not be making quite so many trips there for the moment – rains mean mud and mud is slippery particularly when your centre of gravity is off with a baby in a carrier. 

Lambir Hills is safe for even the youngest children.
If covered up against sun and insects. (Our daughter  was 3
weeks at this point).  Sadly not a flattering look for me!
Click on the picture for more information on life in Borneo.

Ersatz Expat

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