Caves filled with bats, rats, and millions of insects still a hit with tourists

A cave system filled with rats, thousands of cockroaches and bats has become a popular tourism destination.

The Gomantong Caves in Malaysian Borneo are not your usual holiday hotspot, yet thousands of holidaymakers flock to them each year.

There are two cave complexes; Simud Hitam or the Black Cave, which soars up to 90 metres high, and Simud Putih or the White Cave.

Dark tourists who don’t shudder at the sight of hordes of bugs, claustrophobic areas and moving around in the dark are welcome to take a detour from a popular boat ride along the Kinabatangan River to the Black Cave's entrance.

When you enter, the first thing you spot will be the beautiful cave system which is expansive and detailed.

But, then you’ll be smacked in the face by a hideous stink, reports the Mirror.

The source of the rancid odour is guano or bat poo, which has built up over the centuries and now stands in a huge pile on the cave floor.

The impressive-if-terrifying manure mound is the work of both the approximately two million bats that sleep there by day, and the thousands of swiftlets that roost at night.

But, even worse than the pungent smell is the layer of insects coating the cave’s floor.

Cockroaches crunch under the feet of anyone brave enough to enter, scuttle through the bat and bird waste, and occasionally fall from the walls onto visitors' heads.

Giant, long-legged centipedes move freely across the walls and floor, their huge bodies stretching the length of a man's hand.

Not only are their alien bodies enough to scurry into your dreams for months following your visit, they can pack a venomous and sickening bite.

They have to compete for floor space with fat, darkness dwelling rats, who fight for survival among a fearsome population of snakes.

Giant cave crickets and massive spiders also happily live side-by-side.

While the caves' adult population of bats have little to fear from their neighbours, their young often fall from their nests onto the floor below, only to be devoured by the cockroaches.

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We’ve got the shivers just thinking about it…

And, it is the unfortunate job of a small group of brave people to spend a large chunk of their lives in the cave.

The swiftlets beautifully crafted nests are considered such a delicacy that poachers will go to great lengths to steal them, including climbing up the caves' walls in the dark of the night.

To deter them and keep the birds' population booming, a 24 hour watch is kept, deep in the cave's bowels.

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