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Fairy Cave of Bau, Sarawak – nature wonder near Kuching

Fairy Cave entrance

The Fairy Cave Nature Reserve, located near Bau in Borneo, Malaysia, is a magnificent limestone rock formation. It is the largest cave entrance in the Kuching area and dates back to approximately 60 million years ago, during the Jurassic-Cretaceous period. The cave features an array of stunning rock formations, including stalagmites, stalactites, and other unique natural wonders, making it a must-visit tourist attraction.

For nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers, Fairy Cave is an ideal spot deep in the lush rainforests. It’s just half an hour’s drive from Kuching City, making it an easily accessible destination.

We visited Fairy Cave in the morning and plan to explore Wind Cave Nature Reserve in the afternoon. The Sarawak Forestry Corporation manages both caves. In this article, we’ll focus on our experience at Fairy Cave. We’ll publish another article about Wind Cave once we finish writing it.

multi flights of stairs at Fairy Cave

We arrived at the limestone hill and noticed it was covered with lianas and other vegetation. There was plenty of parking available. At the entrance is a counter where we could buy tickets and get information about the cave. After purchasing the tickets, we had to climb several concrete steps to reach the cave’s main entrance.

Fairy Cave stairs to the main cave

The cave had three trails: the Twilight Trail, the Dark Trail, and the Gunung Kapor Summit Trail. We decided not to take the Summit Trail as it would have taken too long for our schedule.

fairy cave mountains

Before entering the cave, a viewpoint offered a great view of the surrounding mountains, including Gunung Spodong, Gunung Budu, Gunung Bengoh, Gunung Gumbang, and Gunung Jagoi.

The Twilight Trail

We climbed through a narrow passage to enter the main chamber of the Fairy Cave. This is where the first trail, the Twilight Trail, began. The vast cavern was filled with beautiful rock formations, mosses, and plants that thrive in the cave’s environment.

the main cave

twilight trial of Fairy Cave

As we descended into the cave, we were amazed by the stalactites and stalagmites with various shapes. Light and darkness created a mesmerizing ambiance, making it the perfect setting for exploration and photo opportunities.

rock formation

The cave’s interior had concrete steps and paths, making walking easy. Viewing platforms were strategically located, and sunlight streamed from the opening of the roof of the cave passage, shining onto different formations of rock, making it exceptionally grand and attractive.

The cave ceiling continually drips mineral-rich water, leaving calcium carbonate deposits behind. This constant cycle of dripping water and mineral buildup gives rise to the stunning stalactites hanging from the ceiling and the stalagmites from the cave floor.

rock formation

The name Fairy Cave was super fitting because of how ethereal it felt inside. The way the light and darkness interacted created a magical atmosphere resembling a fairy tale.

stair in the cave

Entering the Dark Trail

After hiking the Twilight Trail, we had to switch on our headlamps as we entered the Dark Trail. Fairy Cave, or Gua Kapor, is home to various unique flora and fauna.

(swiftlets in the nest)

I was fortunate enough to observe different species of bats, black nest swiftlets, and the Monophyllaea plant, characterized by its single leaf. A small stream that meanders through the cave, possibly leading to an underground river.

stair in the cave

guan yin statue in Fairy Cave

Each stalactite and stalagmite in Fairy Cave is unique in shape and texture. It’s like walking through an art gallery where nature’s masterpieces are displayed at every turn. Some formations resemble delicate icicles, while others take on more intricate and elaborate forms. The Chinese community believed Fairy Cave was the home of a Chinese goddess. In particular, a stalagmite structure resembles Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy statue.

steep climb

Tips for visiting Fairy Cave

Before you set out on your journey to Fairy Cave, here are some essential tips to help make your experience smooth and enjoyable:

  • Wear comfortable, light clothing and sturdy footwear to explore the humid and slippery cave.
  • Bring a flashlight to appreciate the intricate details of the formations and navigate through darker areas.
  • Stay hydrated by bringing water to make your journey comfortable.
  • Respect the environment by avoiding touching or damaging any formations, leaving footprints, and taking only memories.

Nearby attractions and activities

If you’re looking to extend your adventure beyond Fairy Cave, there are several other attractions nearby worth exploring:

  1. Wind Cave: This attraction near Fairy Cave is known for its refreshing cool breeze that flows through its passages.
  2. Bako National Park: Bako National Park is a must-visit destination if you like nature. This diverse ecosystem is home to many wildlife, including proboscis monkeys, bearded pigs, and various bird species. The park features beautiful hiking trails and stunning coastal scenery.
  3. Semenggoh Nature Reserve: A visit to Semenggoh Nature Reserve is highly recommended for those interested in wildlife conservation. This sanctuary is dedicated to preserving orangutans, and you can observe these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.

Getting to Fairy Cave Kuching

Let me share some tips with you if you plan on heading there.

  • Fairy Cave is about 50 kilometers away from Kuching’s city center, and the best way to get there is by private transportation. You can self-drive or hire a taxi; the journey takes around an hour. Signboards along the road will guide you to the cave entrance, so it’s easy to find.
  • If you’re not up for driving, you can take a local bus from Kuching to Bau town, which is the nearest town to Fairy Cave. You can hire a taxi to take you to the cave.
  • The cave is open to visitors all year round. Still, I recommend going during the dry season (March to October), when there’s less chance of encountering slippery conditions inside the cave.
  • The cave can get crowded, especially during weekends and public holidays, so I suggest going on weekdays or early in the morning to avoid large crowds. This way, you can fully immerse yourself in the cave’s mystical ambiance without feeling rushed or crowded.

Safety precautions and guidelines for exploring the cave

Here are some guidelines and precautions to keep in mind:

  1. Stick to designated pathways: Fairy Cave has well-marked paths that guide visitors through the cave. Staying on these paths is essential to avoid getting lost or accidentally damaging the cave formations.
  2. Watch your step: Some cave areas may be slippery, and some places are wet and full of bat droppings (guano), so always watch your step and take your time when moving around.
  3. Be mindful of your surroundings: The cave is home to various creatures, some of which may be venomous or sensitive to disturbances. Avoid touching any wildlife you encounter, and respect their space.
  4. It is recommended to hire a local guide while visiting Fairy Cave. The guide can provide all the details you want about the place, suggest the best angle to take photos, and explain anything you need clarification on.

Entrance fee and opening hours

The entrance fee is RM1.00, and visiting hours are from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm daily from Tuesday to Sunday and on public holidays. It is closed every Monday, and the last entry/cut-off time is by 3:00 pm.

We use Brighton Travel & Tour Sdn Bhd to organize our trip. A few months ago, they also planned a trip for us to the other places in Sarawak, covering Bario, Miri, Mulu, and Niah. Also, check out our recent articles about the best places to eat in Kuching!

Kong Sow Lai

Saturday 6th of January 2024

Interesting and detailed explanations on places of interest in Kuching.