Reconnecting with Nature at The Village House

Dreaming of sinking your feet into flour-soft sand, forging through the depths of the rainforest and enjoying the beautiful evening sunsets? While we wait to get the OK to travel again, plan out your trips to enjoy the outdoors at The Village House, located near Santubong.

Fun In the Sun
The Village House one (1) night stay with breakfast, lunch and dinner provided and Bike Tour for only RM180 nett per person
*Twin sharing basis in Village Double/Twin room

Get Wild at the Wetlands
The Village House one (1) night stay with breakfast, lunch and dinner provided and Bike Tour for only RM300 nett per person
*Twin sharing basis in Village Double/Twin room.

Summit Mount Santubong
The Village House one (1) night stay with breakfast, lunch and dinner and Bike Tour for only RM250 nett per person
*Twin sharing basis in Village Double/Twin room.

Book now till June 30, 2020 for stays from June 10 to December 31, 2020.

The Village House only accepts guest above 12 years of age.

For further enquiries, visit The Village House at https://villagehouse.com.my/.

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Legends of Sarawak’s Floating Natok Kon Sebauh Temple

Located about 48km from Bintulu, Sebauh is a small town with over 20,000 residents. Seated on an island directly opposite Sebauh is the floating Natok Kon Sebauh Temple.

Locals believed that the temple houses three deities that possess immense powers and will come to aid anyone in need. To get there, one must take a boat from the jetty. Upon arrival, you will notice that the temple is completely separated from land, surrounded by water. There are many legends on how the temple came along. The Chinese have their own version while the Ibans have theirs.

According to the local Chinese community, the legend involves three fishermen on board looking for wild ferns across the river before their boat was struck by a storm, flipped over and disappeared at the scene. A huge rock that resembles a boat then appeared at the spot where the boat sank. Apparently, when the moon is high, three figures in white robes can be seen lurking on the island.

A slightly light-hearted version involves three Malay fishermen; Haji Salleh, Tuanku Silai and Mohammad Su who were fishing at Kuala Sebauh a month before the Lunar New Year.  While having lunch on their boat, two fishes suddenly jumped up from the river and landed on Haji Salleh’s plate which made his friends laugh out loud. Then, a lizard from the roof of their boat dropped on to his plate, making them laugh even louder. They laughed so hard that the boat sank. Half a year later, an island appeared at the very site the boat sank and the three figures can often be seen on the island when the moon is high.

Meanwhile, the Iban folklore tells that there were three Malay sailors on a boat from Kuala Bintulu to Sebauh. One day, the cook had made some sago porridge. Instead of eating it, they played with the porridge by stretching and stirring it around each other’s heads. Their foolishness angered the Almighty, turning them into stones. A powerful shaman came along and charmed the stone boat, moving it to the current site. A long time ago, the island resembled a boat however, over the years, erosion took its toll.

Floating Temple Sebauh

Discovering The Heart Of Borneo: Bario Highlands

Bario, or pronounced as ‘bariew’, is a village located at the northeast of Sarawak, bordering the Indonesian Kalimantan. It is home to the Kelabit tribe, one of the many Orang Ulu (upriver) tribes in Sarawak.

Lying at an altitude of 3,500 feet above sea level, Bario surrounds you with air that is cool and light, where one long breath would instantly refresh you, hence, its name ‘bariew’ – which means wind in the Kelabit language. The wind here is as gentle as life itself mainly for farmers who still call it home.

It is also affectionately known as the ‘Land of a Thousand Handshakes’, which signifies how friendly the locals are as they will greet you as you wander around the community.

The Kelabit population is only about 6,000 in Sarawak, out of which only about 1,200 Kelabit are still in Bario and the Kelabit highlands as most of them, especially the younger generations have migrated to urban areas such as Lawas and Miri.

There are two ways of getting to Bario; by air and by road. The most popular method is to fly using MASWings from Miri to Bario, which takes about 45 minutes. However, for those who favour more adventure and have extra time at hand, take a road trip through the oldest rainforest in the world, from Lawas to Ba’kelalan via a 4-wheel drive and then a two days trek on foot to Bario.

Places like Bario and Ba’Kelalan are almost untouched by the modern, fast-paced, technology-driven world. This is why they are perfect for when you need to disconnect and unwind from the outside world while reconnecting with yourself.

To know more, visit Sarawak Tourism Website  https://sarawaktourism.com/story/bario-highlands-the-heart-of-borneo/

Photo shows a breathtaking view of one of the villages in Bario.  (Photo by Bario Travel Network)
Photo shows a breathtaking view of one of the villages in Bario.
(Photo by Bario Travel Network)

 

Touring Sarawak In The Safety Of Our Homes

Sarawak, the largest State in Malaysia is home to 27 ethnic groups, with 45 different dialects spoken every day and each has its own unique stories, traditions and beliefs to tell.

It’s most important festivals such as Eid al-Fitr (or Hari Raya Aidilfitri) and the Gawai Festival (Hari Gawai) are just around the corner, amidst a controlled Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO). Travelling is still restricted at the moment due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

While we await to travel again, Sarawak Cultural Village (SCV), in cooperation with Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) is offering virtual tours of the different ethnic homes in Sarawak.

As these ethnic homes are geographically dispersed around Sarawak, the virtual tour will be centred in Sarawak Cultural Village (SCV) itself, an award-winning Living Museum located just across Damai Beach Resorts and Hotels. Visitors to SCV can experience Sarawak in just half a day by touring this 17-acre village as it provides a glimpse of the culture and lifestyles of the diverse ethnic groups in Sarawak.

This is an opportunity to relive the daily lives of the various peoples of Sarawak such as the Iban, Bidayuh, Orang Ulu, Penan, Melanau, Malay and Chinese at https://scv.com.my/plan-your-visit/ethnic-house/.

Photo of Orang Ulu Longhouse at Sarawak Cultural Village. (Photo by Borneo Travel Network)
Photo of Orang Ulu Longhouse at Sarawak Cultural Village.
(Photo by Borneo Travel Network)

Discovering Bintulu’s Giant Tortoise

An exciting discovery has been made at a little town called Batu Gajah, located in Bintulu, in Sarawak’s central region. Here, visitors can find Bintulu’s first ever Giant Tortoise!

Measuring at a size similar to a 2-storey building, the Giant Tortoise rock formation can be seen at the Samalaju Beach, Bintulu, which is about one and a half hour’s drive from Bintulu town.

Photographer, Michael Wong, who first visited the location with other photographers in September 2019, again visited the Giant Tortoise this year to capture some shots. “It was definitely a great experience for me. For those who are interested to visit this place, it is better to go whenever the weather is good via a four-wheel drive vehicle,” he said. 

Another visitor, known only as Mr. Ung said that the journey to the Giant Tortoise will also include driving through a 5km muddy road and sometimes, visitors might need to walk to get there, but it is worth the visit.

Photo shows Bintulu’s Giant Tortoise at Samalaju Beach.  (Photo by Michael Wong)
Photo shows Bintulu’s Giant Tortoise at Samalaju Beach.
(Photo by Michael Wong)

Closure Notice For Visitors’ Information Centres in Kuching, Sibu And Miri

To minimize the spread of COVID-19, the Government of Malaysia has issued a Restricted Movement Order which includes temporary closure of all government premises starting March 18 to May 12, 2020.

However, tourist information services are still available as follows:

Monday – Friday: 9am to 6pm

Saturdays, Sundays & Public Holidays: 9am to 3pm

Visitors’ Information Centre:

KuchingSibuMiri

Mr Loji Tungging
(+6012-8821711)

Ms Angela Linsam
(+6013-5396787)

Ms Jane Chong
(+6013-8165566)

Ms Nujaimi Laudin
(+6011-19832186)

Mr Alfonso McKenzie
(+6016-8785947 – National Parks)

Ms Affisiah Sijali
(+6014-2086488 – National Parks)

Ms Siti Nabzah
(+6010-9630572)

Ms Prisca Wong
(+6014-6567321)

Mr Jessie Mangka
(+6013-8282168)

Mr Mohd Amirul
(+6013-8131977)

Mr Yusup Labo
(+6013-8371007)

Ms Audrey Foo
(+6019-8904886)

For further information, visit our Visitors’ Information Centre Official Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/vicsarawak/ or www.sarawaktourism.com.

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Exploring the Upper Reaches of The Sarawak River

Kayaking, a water sport which involves paddling using a double-bladed oar and a kayak, has been gaining popularity as one of the must-try activities among adventure lovers and thrill seekers while visiting Sarawak.

The experience will become more valuable when kayaking and enjoying the beautiful sight of our Borneo rainforest canopy, encountering wildlife and sharing the experiences with the people of the area. 

The package started out as a family-based business in 2011, the Semadang Borneo Adventure, also known as Semadang Kayak, features their tour focusing on adventures along the Upper Sarawak River with products ranging from river kayaking, bamboo rafting, caving and jungle trekking.

Semadang Kayak has well trained, friendly professional staff and certified guides to ensure the safety of all their guests during any of its activities.

With the risk assessments duly undertaken, Semadang Kayak has been consistently providing an adventure of a lifetime for all guests.

With their motto, “Arrive as guests and leave as a friend”, Semadang Kayak provides a personalised service and having you to leave home with memorable experiences in Borneo.

At present, tours have been temporarily suspended since March 18 to adhere with the government’s decision of the restricted movement order due to the current Covid-19 outbreak.

To know more, visit its homepage  at https://www.semadangkayak.com/ to get an insight of what are the tours and adventures available.

Picture shows the kayaking and bamboo rafting tour.  (Photo courtesy of Semadang Kayak)
Picture shows the kayaking and bamboo rafting tour.
(Photo courtesy of Semadang Kayak)

Temporary Closure of Accommodation at Niah National Park

KUCHING – Accommodation facilities at Niah National Park, including the Madu and Bukit Kasut Trails, will be temporarily closed for major renovation and upgrading works until January 2021.

The project to upgrade facilities at the Park will take a period of approximately a year to complete.

The public is advised to adhere strictly to all the safety notices at all time while undertaking activities within the National Park area and any inconvenience caused is very much regretted.

For further inquiries and clarifications, the public may contact the Niah National Park’s office at +6085-737454/450.

Photo of the Great Cave, Niah National Park.  (Photo courtesy of Borneo Adventure)
Photo of the Great Cave, Niah National Park.
(Photo courtesy of Borneo Adventure)

Animals at Matang Wildlife Center in Good Hands

KUCHING – A team of committed staff and individuals will continue to take care of more than 30 animal species at the Matang Wildlife Center during the current Movement Control Order (MCO) imposed due to the current COVID-19 outbreak.

With minimum manpower present, they will still continue to give attention to these animals particularly feeding, cleaning the enclosures, behavioral enrichment exercise and minor maintenance works at the center.

To know more, visit Sarawak Forestry Official Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/sarawakforestry/

Picture shows staff at the Centre preparing meals for the animals.  (Photo courtesy of Sarawak Forestry Corporation)
Picture shows staff at the Centre preparing meals for the animals.
(Photo courtesy of Sarawak Forestry Corporation)

Thank You, ADAP 4ORTY Global!

BINTULU – For the third time, a local company, Adap 4orty Global presented personal protective equipment (PPEs) to the hospitals, polyclinics and quarantine centres in Bintulu, as well as the Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) in Kuching for the frontliners involved in fighting the COVID-19 outbreak.

Previously, the organisation donated about 11,000 hand gloves, 688 disposal suits, 200 pairs of shoes and 40 boxes of face masks.

Apart from that, they also presented electrical equipment such as fans, refrigerators, spraying machines and toiletries.

“This is one of our corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives. We are always ready to help, and we recommend the hospitals to continue contacting us for futher assistance”, said Adap 4orty Global spokesperson Francis Ngu Hown Hua.

Photo shows the donations presented by Adap 4orty Global to Hospital Bintulu.  (Photo by New Sarawak Tribune)
Photo shows the donations presented by Adap 4orty Global to Hospital Bintulu.
(Photo by New Sarawak Tribune)