Niah Caves = fail.

Imagine sitting on a 5-hour bus ride to see an attraction, only to find out upon arrival that they’re are closed due to flooding. And has been for a few days. They suggested I “try back in a week or so.”  Ahhh!

My saddest face after learning we burned two days and wouldn’t even get to see Niah. Apparently it had been closed for a few days; there was no notice on their website, no hotline, no notice to the 8 hotels in the nearby town.

The attraction I’m referring to are the Niah Caves, supposedly the most impressive of Malaysia’s natural wonders. We were in Brunei, ultimately headed to Kuching on the northwest region of Borneo, so instead of taking a 45min flight, we took a 5-hour bus ride to Junction, a small town near Niah, and would have another 15 hour bus ride afterward to get to Kuhcing. It’s quite a bit of effort but people told me it’s worth it! We negotiated into our hotel price (that’s right, in Asia hotel prices are often negotiable) a shuttle from Junction to Niah, 45 minutes away. Our “shuttle” turned out to be space in the back of a flatbead truck, as part of the driver’s errands. We checked the Niah website and called ahead to check the hours so we could get there when it opens, but upon arrival they said not only is it closed, but it’s been closed due to flooding for 3 days. Ahhh!  They apologized and said they were thinking of updating their website to tell people. But they didn’t. Thanks Malaysia.

They’re just not set up for travelers on a limited time schedule. That was our Niah Caves 2011 experience. But that’s traveling – you need to roll with it and make the best of challenges.

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