Discovering the green gem of Sarawak (Travelogue, Day 1)

The entire cave system is majestic with the walls as if painted in jade and emerald green colours.

By D’Drift Team

SERIAN, June 29: The D’Drift Team’s 10-day adventure started today in Serian — a town which is still able to surprise visitors and tourists with its spectacular hidden gems for those who like to wander off the beaten track.

The first hidden attraction we uncovered today was the stunning Mount Silabur Caves or Jade-coloured Caves which lurked deep in the jungles of Kampung Lobang Batu, some 30km from here.

The ride on the brand-new Isuzu D-Max 1.9L Blue Power from Serian town to Kampung Batu Lin which marks the start of the trail to the caves, was smooth, pleasant and comfortable.

The brand-new Isuzu D-Max 1.9L Blue Power takes D’Drift team to its first destination, Mount Silabur Caves, which can be seen in the background.

We passed through many small villages scattered among the greenery of the land where the locals are friendly and have a much simpler and laidback way of life.

Along the way, we spotted Kampung Sebintin, which, according to locals, derived its name from the English word for ‘seventeen’, as the village is located 17 miles from Serian town.

Kampung Sebintin derived its name from the English word for ‘seventeen’, as the village is located 17 miles from Serian town.

We arrived at the Kampung Lobang Batu Birds Nest and Mount Silabur Cave Entrepreneur Association premises and were greeted by our tour guides, Merasang Nyaun who is the association’s chairman, and Benedik Yos.

Putting on the most reliable pair of trail shoes, which is none other than the ‘Adidas Kampung’—which is light, waterproof and offers a good grip—we started trekking at 11.30am.

The most reliable pair of trail shoes — ‘Adidas Kampung’.

The trail to the entrance of the cave is about 3km-long but the walk until the rest stop (about 2km), where we had a quick lunch break, was an easy flat jungle path with light bamboo bridges built across muddy and watery areas.

The lush green canopy of tropical rainforest overhead provided us shelter from the harsh heat of the sun.

Then we started to go uphill which was quite challenging as some parts required quite a bit of strength to climb and the rocks could be slippery. The climb itself took another hour before we finally reached the cave entrance at about 1.30pm.

Before entering the cave, we put on our headlights because the first path was pitch dark and some parts of the floor were quite muddy with guano. We could feel the cooling breeze as we made our way in.

There are numerous chambers within the Silabur cave tunnel system but only four are currently allowed for exploration. The first was the Simet Chamber, followed by Tayang Batu Chamber, Simangkap Chamber and the Lobang Tirasan Chamber.

The entire cave system is majestic with the walls as if painted in jade and emerald green colours. Some parts in the cave ceiling which had openings allowed curtains of light to shine through brilliantly.

As we moved deeper in, the bats and swiftlets haphazardly swarmed over their nests when strong lights were shone in their direction.

Going uphill is quite challenging as some parts required quite a bit of strength to climb.

There was also water dripping from the ceiling, continuing to create stalagmites and stalactites.

We took quite a bit of time to explore and took plenty of photos of the stunning cave system and its surroundings. We made our way out at 3pm.

On the way down, we stopped by Gua Siturib Jungbinawa, which is a small cave pool, where we took the opportunity to dip in the cool water and soothe our tired feet.

Then, we made our journey back down to the association premises at 4.45pm.

After over three months’ of staying at home due to Covid-19, it was a great experience to immerse ourselves in the greenery, take in all the fresh air from the trees and plants in the jungle and listen to the symphony of birds, insects and cicadas all around us. — DayakDaily

Visitors interested to explore Mount Silabur Caves can contact the tour guides.

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