Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Tusan Beach Miri - Natural attractions draw visitors from near and far


MIRI: Tusan Beach, located 40 kilometres from Miri, offers stunning sunsets and beautiful landscapes, including the cliffs of Tanjung Layang-Layang which has a unique natural formation known as “Horse Stone”, making it one of the top tourist destinations in Bekenu.

It draws foreign tourists, locals and even Bruneians who drive all the way from the sultanate to witness the natural wonders.

Other attractions in Tusan include several small caves and rock formations, a river stream, beachside stalls offering coconuts drinks and barbecued fare and a local music group performing on Sundays.

“More concrete efforts should be taken by the authority concerned to preserve the natural wonders like the rock formations which are the result of erosion or wind along the beach like at Tusan and Peliau beaches, and to provide guide services,” said visitor Awang Sapong Awang Pungut from Gadong, Brunei when met at the beach recently.

Awang Sapong, 30, said he came to know about Tusan Beach through social media where he saw photographs of its rock formations and the beach and eventually was motivated to visit to see the beautiful landscapes in person.

He said Tusan Beach is different from other beaches he has visited in Borneo including in Sabah and Brunei as it has rock sculptures and small caves formed by erosion.

He suggested that students should be brought on study tours to the beach, especially those studying geology to gain firsthand experience.

“Tusan offers stunning natural beauty which is the best in Sarawak so far,” he opined.

A local visitor from Miri, Abu Bakar, said the local music group performing every Sunday presented a variety of songs to entertain tourists enjoying the cool seaside breeze at the stalls there.

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Second edition of Baram Regatta set for Aug 25-27 this year


MARUDI: The second edition of Baram Regatta, which is scheduled for Aug 25 to 27 this year, is set to bring excitement to locals and participants.

A meeting for members of the main organising committee was held at Marudi District Office (MDC) yesterday, chaired by Mulu assemblyman Datuk Gerawat Gala who represented Assistant Minister for Local Government Datu Dr Penguang Manggil.

Penguang, who is Marudi assemblyman, is the organising chairman while Gerawat is in charge of the event’s cultural performance sub-committee.

Penguang could not attend the meeting due to an official duty in Kuching.

The session yesterday was meant to discuss and study the reports from various sub-committees handling the technical aspects, welcoming preparations for regatta and cultural performances to be staged during the ‘1Malaysia Night’ on Aug 26.

The technical sub-committee was represented by its secretary Marudi District Officer Mackos Sibong, who came on behalf of the sub-committee head, Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau.

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Up to 20,000 expected at Lun Bawang fest in Lawas


KUCHING: Between 10,000 and 20,000 visitors are expected at the 30th Irau Aco Lun Bawang festival in Lawas this June 1 to 3.

Sarawak Lun Bawang Association president Ipoi Datan said this year’s theme will be ‘Adat Tau Etu Tau’ (Our Culture is Our Identity).

“This festival is also listed in the calendar of events by the Sarawak tourism ministry,” he told a press conference yesterday.

Ipoi said besides the Lun Bawang community in Sarawak, those from Sabah, Brunei and Kalimantan will also be at three-day festival.

He pointed out that the festival would not only showcase the culture of the Lun Bawang community, but also be a platform to further promote tourism in the state.

“There are several historical attractions in the division such as the Batu Narit and the Buaya Tanah,” said Ipoi, who is also Sarawak Museum Department director.

The highlights of the festival will be a beauty pageant, traditional sports events, cultural performances, and an attempt to enter the ‘Malaysia Book of Records’ for the biggest bamboo band performance.

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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Skaugen Travel: Into the Jungle at Kinabantangen River


Our Jungle trip are about to start, waiting at the cafeteria in Sepilok, looking around to see if we can figure out who our travel companion will be.

As this is in the middle of the feeding time, most of the visitors in the cafeteria is probably there for a similar reason as us.

Mr Aji arrives and we are 8 adults + 1 child that will camp together for the following days.

Looks like a nice group, but there is one obstacle, the weather forecast! For the following 3 days it is mostly promising rain.

Should we cancel and wait for better weather or go and hope for the best???

We are optimistic, and on our way to the village of Sukau the weather is nice.

We arrive to our accommodation, which is simple but we didn’t expect anything else, and are ready for our first river cruise.

And just in case – bringing a raincoat! On this first afternoon river cruise we are heading downstream to look for crocodiles.

None seen, but we are passing close to the first family of Proboscis Monkeys.

Mr Aji, our guide, can mimic their sound, and the monkeys actually answers him.

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Backpacker Polish traveller shares her Sarawak travel experiences


MIRI: Going on a vacation without any pre-planned itinerary to South Asia and South East Asia countries turned out to be the best back-packing trip for Polish traveller Aleksandra Nowak.

Embarking on her long trip in October last year after saving for three years, Nowak made her first stop in India and thereafter to Nepal before returning to India for more exploration.

She continued her journey to Sri Lanka and the Philippines before reaching Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

“What was supposed to be several days in Kuala Lumpur before my last stop in Thailand turned out to be more than a month after I visited the National Museum. I was deeply attracted to the mysterious yet beautiful Sarawak and its people. I made a last minute change of plan, bought a ticket and everything started from there,” Nowak said when sharing her travel story with The Borneo Post recently.

Considering herself more of a traveller than a tourist, Nowak decided to do some deep exploration during her trip.

“When I was at the museum, I read about the old ethnic people, the tattoos, hole in their ears. The picture displayed was so amazing that I like to see them myself.”

Nowak arrived in Kuching, did some sightseeing and hitch-hiked to Sri Aman, Kapit, Belaga and finally to Miri.

Once she arrived in Sarawak, Nowak shared, one of the very first things that amazed her was ‘sape’.

“I was at a gallery and did some reading about ‘sape’. I also happened to cross paths with a talented Kelabit young lady from Bario who plays sape. She invited me to hear her sape performance. I am truly happy that I accepted the invitation, the performance was so beautiful,” Nowak said, describing herself as a happy child enjoying the first sape performance in her life.

Preferring to travel alone to places, either walking or hitching a ride from strangers, Nowak feels that Sarawak is a safe place for a female traveller.

“People say India is a dangerous place. But having been there twice, I really thought that it is not as scary as what people have said. At least, I managed it during the two times I was there.”

Nowak added that in Sarawak, the people are shy but nice. It could be because she was a foreign visitor and they were showing politeness and respect.

Nowak would first consider the availability of transportation before visiting places.

“To be honest, the choice of transportation is not much. There are places such as Mulu and Bario that can only be reached via plane, which is too expensive. While taxi is also out of question due to expensive fare, my only option to get to places would be the public bus. This alone poses a huge problem, thus backpackers hope the government could come up with a good solution,” she said, adding that she was grateful that there were nice local strangers who gave her a ride along the way.

Accommodation is easy for her, as there are cheap hotels everywhere.

“Backpackers would choose a cheaper option because we are travelling on budget, thus so far, I have had no problem deciding on that,” she said.

One of the most memorable moments during her trip here was when she travelled from Kapit to Belaga.

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