Go back to the days of serene river travel with Semadang Kayak. While most working longboats have switched to the rude noise of the outboard motor, the weekend outdoor warrior is returning to the river on the back of a banana yellow boat. This trip takes you through one of the most beautiful landscapes in Sarawak. The Semadang River, flowing into the upper reaches of Sungei Sarawak Kanan, is still an area of clearwater streams running through lush rainforest, the river revealing carved rock formations on its way down towards town. The kayaks are easily manoeuvred and always travelling in the right direction, so there is all the happiness of a drift downstream without too much of the heft needed to go against the tide. It is ideal for families and friends, the boats so light that they can be driven by a small child. You can opt for the simple river excursion or up your output to include a little more adventure – trekking, caving and even cycling – but all finished off with a good feed and a great feeling of Sarawak’s natural splendour.
JALAN PUNCAK BORNEO
VAN PICK UP AVAILABLE FROM KUCHING
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SEMENGGOH NATURE RESERVE
Almost every visitor to Sarawak has ‘see orang-utan’ on their checklist and Semenggoh seldom disappoints. A short trip from the city on a reasonable road, a miniscule fee, an easy stroll into the middle of the park and voilà, orang-utan! With over thirty at home in the reserve, it is rare that at least one or two won’t make their way down to the feeding platform in response to calls from the rangers. These are rescued or born into the reserve and they know the ropes, literally. It might not be ‘the wild’ exactly, but it provides these great primates with a natural habitat, also accessible for visitors to fulfil their fantasy. They look at us, we look at them, and the exchange is one of the greatest experiences a human being can ever have. Appreciate what it is and you are guaranteed to go home filled with awe at the majesty of these magnificent creatures.
FEEDING TIMES: 9AM TO 10AM AND 3PM TO 4PM
BUSES LEAVE FROM JALAN MOSQUE IN CENTRAL KUCHING
BUT IT’S BETTER TO TAKE A TOUR OR GET A GRAB
BAKO NATIONAL PARK
Bako is simply beautiful. A National Park since 1957, it is Sarawak’s oldest, most diverse and most accessible and every part of a visit pays dividends. The boat ride in leaves from a charming, technicolour kampung, past mangroves and crazy coastal rock formations with a view of magical Mount Santubong thrown in for good measure. Round the spit, a clear white beach comes into view and a low-tide arrival will see travellers wading into shore. From there, the beach rises up into jungle, hemmed into this peninsula by cliffs, creating the enclave that is a wildlife haven. Macaques, bearded pigs and troupes of proboscis monkeys are simply commonplace here. It is nothing short of astonishing. With multiple jungle trails and more flora and fauna than you can imagine, it is worth a longer stay, though the accommodation on offer is reportedly rustic at best. Day trip or extended outing, utterly unmissable.
TRAVEL BY BUS OR MINIVAN FROM OPEN AIR MARKET
TAKE A TOUR OR A TAXI
DBKU ORCHID GARDEN
Just a short trip by perahu tambang (sampan) or a stroll across the new, soaring ‘S’-bridge lies a secret garden. It is a tropical paradise with rows and rows and rows of orchids of every size, shape and colour in every direction. The bromeliads run wild in giant groves, sending out alien blooms to loll over belian stumps at the edge of soothing pools. Wander around the landscaping or take a seat along the way to soak up the display. Whether you are an orchid enthusiast or just idly interested, it is worth the trip. Entry is free so take your tapau, find a tiny corner of the cool house and eat your lunch taking in one of the best views in town.
OPEN EVERYDAY EXCEPT MONDAY
WALK ACROSS BRIDGE IN CITY CENTRE
TAKE A PERAHU TAMBANG (SAMPAN)
NATURE AND NATIONAL PARKS
MARKETS AND SHOPPING
TRIPS AND WALKS
PARKS AND GARDENS
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