sign in a cave in Laos

26 March 2012

Snoopy in Gua Batu Kuda, Mulu

Every time I went to Gua Batu Kuda, Stone Horse Cave, in Mulu, I said hello to Snoopy. Snoopy was a rock formation but it had a real likeness to the cartoon character in Peanuts.
These photos were taken in 1993
Everyone liked to pose as they kissed Snoopy.

Then on one visit in 1996 I was shocked to see that Snoopy was broken. I don't know when it happened. I don't know if it was a natural breakage.

As with Humpty Dumpty, "all the cavers couldn't put Snoopy together again"

© Liz Price
No reproduction without permission

25 March 2012

Mulu airport opening ceremony 1992

When I started going to Gunung Mulu National Park, the only way there was by boat. That was in the late 1980s and early 1990s. From Miri it was a series of 3 boats, usually overnighting in Marudi. Alternatively it was possible to fly to Marudi, and then take 2 boats to Mulu.

The travelling time has now been very reduced since the opening of Mulu airport in 1992. I happened to be in Mulu at the time and was able to go to the opening celebrations.

The first plane flew in on 29 May 1992.

Locals waiting in the new airport building. When the plane was due to arrive a welcoming group were waiting by the runway
The plane has arrived. A Twin Otter. The VIPs and photographers are waiting
Datuk Amar Dr Wong is greeted off the plane
The local ladies give small gifts (above), and Penan men (below)

The headman with long ears

At the end of my stay I was able to leave the park by plane, flying to Miri. The locals on the flight were all very excited, especially as they could see their homes from the air.

© Liz Price
No reproduction without permission

24 March 2012

Phou Khoun, Luang Prabang province, Laos

On the January 2007 caving trip to Laos, we spent a couple of days caving at Phou Khoun. Phou Khoun is in Luang Prabang province, but is not a tourist destination. It is simply a stopover on the journey between Luang Prabang and Phonsavan.

It about a 2.5 hour drive from Luang Prabang and the road is quite windy and hilly, but scenic.

Phou Khoun is a small town built along the road junction. As soon as we arrived, we checked into a guest house, then set off caving. We walked past a small hill on the way to Tham Muay, or Bear Cave.
We had a few officials and even an armed guard with us

The cave is short but pretty

Next day we went to an area off Route 7. I was with the team that explored Tham Dout, or Jumping Cave. A small entrance leads to a passage with lots of stal, then there are climbs down and a low passage.
The guide caught 3 bats for his dinner.

A stream passage leads to a sump.

Next day I joined the team in the nearby Tham Deu. Very nice cave, basically one flat passage, with various holes in the floor.

We saw some pink leeches in the end stream passage

View of the Phou Khoun area

For more on Laos caves, see the BHB publications.

© Liz Price
No reproduction without permission

19 March 2012

Pencil Rock aka The Needle of Tambun, Perak

Pencil Rock is an impressive limestone pillar. It is located by Gunung Datuk, near Tambun in Perak. Across the valley is Six Mile Tunnel.

In 2003 or earlier, Sunway City took over this whole area, and began an extensive housing project (photo 2003).

Since then the area around Pencil Rock has changed a lot. The area now comes under the Lost World of Tambun theme park and there is an entry fee.

The 40 m high Pencil Rock, now called "The Needle of Tambun" has been bolted by international climbers and is used by rock climbers.

These photos show how the area has changed over the years.

2001 view -

March 2004 -

The lake in front was being prepared for recreational boating.

By Dec 2004 the area was more developed -
the show houses -

By Jan 2006 there were more houses -

By Feb 2008 there was a nice park between the houses and the rock -
The area has been cleared right to the base of the pillar
Looking back at the houses

Google Earth image 2003

© Liz Price
No reproduction without permission