Fairy Cave (also known as Gua Pari) is an impressive show cave near the former gold mining settlement of Bau and about 40km from Kuching, Sarawak.
It is just a few minutes’ drive from another show cave, Wind Cave, and most tourists would combine both on a half-day trip from Kuching.
Access to the cave is via a four-storey concrete staircase which brings you to the cave entrance.
You pass through a dim, narrow passage and up some steep wooden steps. It is fairly dark but you can manage without a torch, unlike Wind Cave where a torch is essential.
Some might find this part rather claustrophobic but bear with it as the passage soon emerges into a massive cave with a huge opening which allows the light to flood in.
To get an idea of the scale of this cave, look for the person in the photo below:
The cave is crisscrossed with concrete footpaths and steps. It is best to stick to these paths for safety and to avoid damaging the fragile eco-system.
The combination of light, water and thin, guano-enriched soil allows plants to survive here, mostly ferns.
There are a lot of birds (swiftlets) and bats living in the cave, including this small guy who was lying on the path and may have fallen from the cave roof, high above.
The mouth of this cave is complete with a uvula-shaped stalactite.
In a shadowy recess of the cave is a stalagmite which looks like a statue of Guan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy. Many people obviously see her resemblance too as there are many joss sticks sticking out of cracks in the rocks in front of the “statue”.
Nearby is a depression in the cave floor shaped like the giant footprint of a yeti or some other huge creature. It seems the fairies in this cave are very large and heavy footed!
From the opening high up above the cave floor you can get a good view of the surrounding fields and forested hills.
The cave is open from 8.30am to 4pm.
Most tourists arrange a tour from Kuching covering Fairy Caves and Wind Cave. These tours usually last around four hours and cost around RM100 per person including lunch.
This article first appeared on thriftytraveller.wordpress.com