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.
The global COVID-19 outbreak has severely impacted the Tourism industry in Sarawak. In an effort to kick start recovery of the tourism sector, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak, Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said that the state is shifting its strategy, to focus on ASEAN and domestic markets.
“We are narrowing our focus to key markets, to be more integrated but achievable post-Covid-19,” adding that the state would be participating in domestic and regional marketing initiatives for this purpose. Domestic travel will play a huge role during this recovery. Hence, the reason for realigning our marketing strategy”, he said.
While travelling is unlikely at the moment due to health and safety reasons, Sarawak will focus on digital marketing as its core approach to increase destination visibility and connect with consumers to create confidence among partners, as well as travellers. We need to leverage on digital marketing to create ripple effect messages and remind travellers that Sarawak is waiting to be explored”, he added.
In the meantime, Sarawak is looking into improving the standards and quality of the state’s tourism products which includes creative packages, new tourism infrastructures, facilities and identifying other “wow” factor to push for arrivals.
KUCHING – The 3rd Bung Sadung Climbathon Challenge scheduled to take place on August 30, 2020 has been postponed to a later date due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Those who have registered for the event will be reimbursed accordingly.
“It is unfortunate that the climbathon will not take place this year, but the safety and wellbeing of participants and the community is our top priority. We need to do our part to help break the transmission of COVID-19”, said the organising committee’s spokesperson.
This year’s climbathon is organised by Kampung Bunga’s Development and Security committee in collaboration with the Serian District Council and supported by Serian Resident Office and Tarat Sports and Recreation.
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.
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.
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.
KUCHING – The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak, Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah believes that by re-strategizing the state’s tourism industry, it will help to rebound the industry back to its glory days.
“I strongly believe with the kind of products that we have like our greenery, our rivers, our cultures, and with the right support from the Government, I think maybe in a year and a half we would be able to restore our tourism sector,” he told reporters after a press conference with the Chief Minister of Sarawak, Datuk Patinggi Abang Haji Johari Tun Openg on the formation of the Sarawak Economic Action Council (SEAC).
In the press conference, the Chief Minister of Sarawak had also announced that the Council had reviewed the development strategies under the 12th Malaysia Plan as part of the State Economic Exit Strategy Post Covid-19.
Sarawak will anchor on two core principles; Digital Economy and Environmental Sustainability which consists of ten key propositions, which includes those beyond leisure tourism that affects the tourism industry.
On May 1, 2020, the Malaysian Government had announced the implementation of the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) to allow economic sectors to re-open from May 4 onwards.
With the announcement of CMCO, the Sarawak State Government had prepared guidelines and standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the re-opening of the state’s economic sectors starting May 12. However, any sector and activities involving mass gatherings, bodily contact, or where social distancing is not possible, cannot be implemented and shall remain restricted.
For latest updates regarding other sectors and industries, stay tuned to the Sarawak Public Communication Unit (UKAS) official Facebook page or any of the trusted local news publications as mentioned above.
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.