Thick in the woods of steamy jungles of Borneo, in Malaysia, there is an enormous crack in the limestone outcrop that directs to a detailed system of caves. Entering into the caves is not for the squeamish. In the dark interiors, there are millions of bats hanging from the top, while the floor and walls are surrounded with cockroaches, beetles, rats, and other creepy bugs that prey on dead swiftlets that drop out of their nests.
The caves are also the house for snakes that sustain themselves on the rats and cockroaches. The air stinks thick with ammonia because of the bird droppings. The guano residue on the floor is estimated to be 10 feet deep. Wooden walkways through the explore-able area of the caves keep tourists safely above the awful creatures that litter the ground.
The Gomantong Caves are the largest in the state of Sabah, which are located on Gomantong Hill inside a conserved forest reserve of the Sabah Forestry Department. The caves are mostly known for their bird’s nest which has been harvested for centuries and utilized in the preparation of birds’ nest soup.
The major cave system is split up inso two parts, one is the more convenient Simud Hitam or Black Cave, and the other is the larger Simud Putih or White Cave which lies above.
Several species live within the large, 300-foot-tall caves comprising swiftlets.
There are also hundreds of Wrinkle Lipped Free-tailed bats inhabiting in the upper portion of the cave. Their nightly exodus from the cave mouth is a famous site for visitors.
Something which is less prominent, at least for those looking for genuine rain forest beauty, is the hundred foot tall mound of guano that has developed inside the cave.
There are numerous roaches in the caves which can be seen climbing the walls in mobs, making the cave a completely creepy dive.
Outside hundreds of cockroaches and bats, one can also see numerous raptors comprising crested serpent eagles, kingfishers, and Asian fairy-bluebirds.
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