The Niah National Park, although smaller than most of Sarawak’s other National Parks, is highly significant as an archaeological site, together with geological, environmental and historical interest. It gained World Heritage Status in 2010 after first being listed as a National Historic Monument in 1958.
The caves at Niah were used by humans as far back as 40,000 years ago during the Old Stone Age (the Palaeolithic era) and this is the oldest recorded human settlement in Borneo. Tools, cooking utensils, ornaments and even a human skull from that era have been carefully unearthed, and there is a large burial site inside the Great Cave that was used from the Palaeolithic Era to as late as 1400AD.
The Painted Cave contains rock paintings that are dated at 1,200 years old, depicting warriors and hunters, animals, and longboats carrying the deceased into the after-life. There are a number of “death-ships” that can be viewed, coffins in the shape of boats dated between 1AD and 780AD.
Niah National Park has a Visitor Centre and very good accommodation. As well as the caves there are two beautiful walking trails, both no more than one hour one way. Niah is a very special area not only for its caves – the complex ecosystems of both plant and wildlife are likewise incredible.
For a day tour from Miri or Bintulu, or a package tour from Kuching to Niah National Park please contact us for a current costing.