Spelunking in Sabah’s heartland

  • Community
  • Wednesday, 24 Aug 2016

The writer (right) at the entrance of Punigton Cave.

IT ALL started when a friend of mine posted a video of a trip packed with adventure and activities on Facebook. Being a “couch potato”, the video looked a bit extreme to me at first glance, but still, I was intrigued.

After thinking about it, my friends and I decided to take a four-day, three-night trip to Sabah.

We started our journey by travelling from Kota Kinabalu to Keningau, a district about 130km away, by bus. Upon arrival, we were greeted by a group of facilitators of a programme we had signed up for.

They quickly ushered us into a minivan and we then continued our journey to Pungiton Camp by boat.

After a quick tea-time snack, we quickly geared up for a trek to Pungiton Cave.

We had to trek through the jungle for less than 15 minutes before reaching the mouth of the cave.

As we descended into the cave, we were greeted by the cold, underground stream that washed beneath our feet. Venturing on inside the cool and dark cave, we were amazed by the formation of stalactites and stalagmites.

The amazing stalactite formations in Pungiton Cave.
The amazing stalactite formations in Pungiton Cave.

It took us approximately two hours to trek through the cave before we headed back to camp.

After descending from Batu Punggul, we had a picnic lunch by the riverbank, followed by a quick swim. Then we were transported to the modern longhouse where we stayed for the night.

During our stay at the longhouse, we were treated to a traditional Murut tribe dance by the village’s children and even took part in the dance and learnt the moves from the locals.

Not only that, the villagers were also generous enough to give us a taste of their traditional rice wine.

A picturesque waterfall seen by the writer during the hike up.
A picturesque waterfall seen by the writer during the hike up.

The following day, we went to a hidden waterfall where we had a lovely time swimming and exploring the area.

We slept in a hut overlooking the waterfall, which was a new experience altogether.

The next day, we were given a ride back to Keningau before taking a bus back to Kota Kinabalu.

Spending time in the jungle, surrounded by nature and breathing in the fresh air, was a memorable experience that cannot be acquired in the city.

The explorers and their guides at the top of Batu Punggul.
The explorers and their guides at the top of Batu Punggul.

It is truly a memory that shall be treasured in my heart for years to come.

For details on similar activities, visit http://www.orousapulot.com/

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