Encompassing a relatively small area of 26.8 square miles (6,952 hectares), Lambir Hills National Park protects what might be the planet’s most biodiverse and complex forest ecosystems. This jungle-covered swathe of land is home to a staggering 1,173 species of trees, as well as monkeys, deer, flying squirrels, wild boar, gibbons and 237 counted species of birds.
While the wildlife is reason enough to visit, it’s the park’s numerous jungle waterfalls that tend to attract visitors, many with pools at their bases where trekkers can go for a cooling afternoon swim. About a dozen marked trails range from a short 20-minute walk to the Latak Waterfall to strenuous, all-day trek to the highest point in the park. A 130-foot (40-meter) wooden tree tower along the Pantu Trail gives visitors a glimpse into the jungle canopy.
You can get to Lambir Hills National Park by taxi or bus (30-40 minutes), but keep in mind that the Lambir bus does not actually stop at the park.
While small compared to Sarawak’s other national parks, Niah National Park is one of the most unusual and archaeologically important in the world. It’s also a place of great natural beauty and biodiversity, thanks to the rainforest and vast cave system where swiftlets, bats and a host of other wildlife thrive.
Niah earned a spot on the map when an archaeological dig in 1957 led to the discovery of the oldest modern human remains in Southeast Asia inside the park’s Great Cave. A 40,000-year-old human skull, discovered a year later, gave evidence that humans have lived on Borneo for tens of thousands of years. Another cave within the park, the aptly named Painted Cave, contains ancient cave paintings as well as a few canoe-like coffins, called death ships, indicating that the cave was once used as a burial site.
Niah National Park is located about 90 minutes from Miri and can be reached by bus or taxi.