We picked to stay in the national park because we had heard the Royal Mulu Resort was under renovation and the pool was out of action. We had also heard it was not that good. Once it is a Marriott Resort and Spa I am sure things will be different. Anyway, I am delighted to report that we had a bungalow for our stay, complete with two terraces and a great a/c. Very clean. The food was great. The guides were super and the location is second to none being AT the national park and that means we could walk from our front door on the night trek one night and the botany trail one morning. If we had more time we would also have walked to the treetop canopy and more great things. No one can get into the caves - Deer, Lang and Clearwater without a guide anyway, and there is a gate, but the other activities are wonderful. We even hired a longboat for a 2 hour trip down river as the longboat 'taxi stand' is right there.
I need to tell you about the Garden of Eden trip we did though. We are both 50+ and pretty able, not terribly fit, but we walk a lot and have done the hash a few times here ( a running club that does a 3-4km route in the jungle). It looked great - with caves, swimming in pools and trekking to a waterfall. What we had not realised was that the entire trip was about 8 km in total and that it would take about 7 hours. We had to climb rocks covered in bat guano, abseil, walk through pools that reached our necks and carry our backpacks on our heads. We all got leeched and we all stank to high heaven. Walking through river beds with streams running through was great, but very slippery indeed. I even fell over on the rain-slicked boardwalk on the 3km walk to the cave! It was tough. Very tough and 3 days later I still ache from head to toe.
However, this was mainly because we wore the wrong gear - to wear proper hiking clothes might have been better against the leeches. To wear the best non-slip shoes you can - remembering one pair will get soaked and you will swim in your clothes. I wore a new teeshirt that is now stained for ever with guano and dyed blue from my backpack on my sodden back. I might also wear gloves against the guano.
I am actually not normally worried about getting dirty and smelly, nor of being covered in bat poo. I do not mind my hand landing in a heap of the stuff nor sliding down a mountain of it on my bum. But I want to warn the faint hearted and unfit that this is tough. Also, I wish we had had a watertight baggie as both our video and our camera got damp (one fell in!) and died.
Sitting in our wet cooling clothes outside at the viewing area where one can see the amazing bat exodus at around 6pm I got very cold indeed. I wished I had had a change of clothes for the 2 hours we sat there.
It was an incredible day and I would definitely do it again - but this time I would be prepared and practise my squats before going as the climbing involved lots of leg lifting!
I did actually blog about the trip, so if you want to read it you can see it here http://brieflybrunei.wordpress.com/2013/04/28/saving-the-best-til-last/
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.