Break away from the city at Santubong
FOR A QUIET getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city, staying the night in the tranquil area of Santubong might be a good idea for a change of scene.
Santubong is famous for its untouched natural jungle and its sandy beaches, making it a popular tourist destination. With plenty of attractions and activities such as hiking, mountain climbing, touring around Sarawak Cultural Village, sightseeing and enjoying the beach, Santubong offers a diversity of choices for you to explore.
Trekking and Mountain Climbing
The legend of Mount Santubong is the tragic tale of two sisters, Santubong and Sejinjang, princesses believed to have descended from heaven.
Santubong was an expert weaver while Sejinjang was an excellent rice thresher. When both princesses fell in love with a handsome prince, they began to quarrel over him and exchange blows. To put an end to the quarrel, the King turned both princesses into mountains. It is said that both mountains resemble women lying on their sides and the crack on Mount Santubong is said to be the scar on Santubong’s cheek left from Sejinjang’s fury.
Although only 810 meters high, the mountain is rather intimidating due to its steep slope towards the summit. Climbing to the top would require about three to four hours while it would take less time to descend. So it would be advisable to start climbing very early as the jungle can get dark as early as 3-4 pm.
While climbing up to the top, enjoy the amazing view of the jungle and the listen to the sound of nature. Along the way, you might have cuts and bruises, a few encounters with insects and bugs and come across slippery and muddy pathways but once you reach the summit, it’s all worth it knowing that you made it to the top due to your own perseverance.
If you live near the water, there is absolutely no way you should miss the chance to at least swim in the sea or go for a boat ride. Ask any villagers with a boat and they would be happy to take you out on a cruise to catch the glimpse of the rare and elusive sight of the Irrawaddy dolphins which is quite common in that area between April to September.
The Irrawaddy dolphin or the snubfin dolphin are mostly found in rivers, estuaries and shallow coastal waters such as Burman, India, Southern Thailand, Mahakam River in Kalimantan, Phillipines, Northeastern Australia and Santubong also happens to be one of the best places to spot them. Due to increased human activities that threaten their existence, the population of these dolphins are slowing declining.
In 2004, WWF and TRAFFIC, the world’s largest wildlife trade monitoring network supported a ban on the international live trade of Irrawaddy dolphins by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
However, visitors may have to keep a keen eye on these gentle creatures as dolphin sightings are not guaranteed on every boat trip. When you do see them, however, they can be seen swimming and diving around small fishing boats.
Located not far from Kampong Santubong, Kampong Buntal is currently the favourite place for both local and tourists for seafood.
With a variety of dining places to choose from, visitors get to enjoy fresh seafood in an airy open space restaurant surrounded by the sea and with a spectacular view of Mount Santubong in the background.
Not your typical homestay
Homestay Santubong is located in the peaceful and charming Malay fishing village called Kampong Santubong, with Mount Santubong as a backdrop. You can take a picture anywhere in the village and will still see Mount Santubong in your picture. With its spectacular view, fresh air and friendly community, it has a lot of attractions and activities to offer.
With over fifteen houses offering with more than 21 guest rooms as your second home during your stay in the village, visitors get to experience the authentic lifestyle and culture of the local community.
Accommodations provided at reasonable prices, visitors get the opportunity to experience and participate in a traditional cuisine cooking demonstrations by their hosts. What better way to learn about a certain local culture if not through spending some time with and engaging in various activities with the local community itself?
A short stroll through the village will lead to the beautiful beach where you can enjoy the sunset and various beachside activities. If you feel like enjoying the cool breeze during the night you can always opt for camping at the beach.
Plan your own mock wedding
Not only do visitors get to experience the food and culture of the local community in Kampong Santubong, they also get to experience a Malay wedding ceremony. Owner of Santubong Homestay, Jamilah Shukri hosted numerous mock wedding for previous visitors.
Since she also happens to be the owner of a boutique “Anggun” which is located at Jalan Satok, various wedding costumes and bridal makeup packages are provided and you can be sure that your mock wedding is in the hands of an expert.
Sultan Tengah Mausoleum
The tomb of Sultan Tengah is one of the more historically significant sites in Sarawak. Originally from Brunei, Sultan Tengah was the second son of Sultan Muhammad Hassan, Brunei’s ninth Sultan who reigned from 1582 to 1598.
He was appointed as the first Sultan of Sarawak by his eldest brother, Sultan Abdul Jalilul Akbar circa 1599. Before sailing to Johor he appointed four state ministers to govern Sarawak upon his absence.
Upon his return to Sarawak however, Sultan Tengah was shipwrecked near the coast of Sukadana. There he met his wife, daughter to the Sukadana ruler. She gave birth to a prince named Radin Sulaiman who eventually was married to the daughter of Ratu Sepuduk and became Sultan Muhammad Saifuddin I in Sambas. Sultan Tengah and the Princess of Sukadan also had two other sons, Pengiran Badaruddin who later became Pengiran Bendahara Seri Maharaja and a third prince, Pengiran Abdul Wahab who later became Pengiran Temenggong Jaya Kesuma.
In 1630, Sultan Tengah went to Matan and married one of the princesses of Matan who gave birth to Pengiran Mangku Negara who later became the Sultan of Matan. After a few years in Matan, Sultan Tengah went back to Sarawak where he stopped at a place called Batu Buaya in Santubong and was killed by one of his followers.
When his state ministers heard of the news, they buried him according to royal Brunei tradition in today’s Kampong Batu Buaya. With his death, came the end of Sarawak’s one and only Sultanate reign.
Plant your own tree
Leaving and saying goodbye to place that you fell in love with might be one of the hardest thing to do especially if you ever consider moving in permanently. In Santubong Homestay, visitors get to plant their own tree on the Santubong Homestay yard as a momento of their visit.
But do not worry about leaving your tree as they will be taken care of by the locals while you are gone. If you do plan on coming back for a visit the following year, don’t be surprised to see your tree has bloom to bear fruits and the whole yard has transformed into a full-fledged fruit orchard.
Homestay Santubong offers a package of three days/ two nights from RM380 per pax (minimum 10 pax) which includes accommodation at foster’s family home with breakfast, lunch and dinner, village tour, local cuisine cooking demonstration, visit to Sarawak Cultural Village, entertainment and games, and beachside activities.
Meanwhile package of four days/ three nights from RM500 per pax (minimum 10 pax) which includes accommodation at foster’s family home with breakfast, lunch and dinner, village tour, local cuisine cooking demonstration, visit to Sarawak Cultural Village, entertainment and games, mountain climbing or day trip to longhouse, beachside activities and a visit to Kuching Waterfront via sampan.
Lastly, the package of five days/ four nights from RM600 per pax (minimum 10 pax) which includes accommodation at foster’s family home with breakfast, lunch and dinner, village tour, local cuisine cooking demonstration, visit to Sarawak Cultural Village, entertainment and games, sea or river cruise, a visit to Semenggoh Wildlife center and Sarawak Cultural Village, a tour around Kuching City and beachside activities.
For more information or to place a reservation, please contact Jamilah Shukri at 082-250495/ 0198879495, fax 082-251495 or email [email protected]