Malaysia My Destination : Info about Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
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Sarawak : East Malaysia / Malaysian Borneo - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
 
  Welcome
  Sarawak Tourism
  Getting There & Around
 
  Sarawak Map 1
  Sarawak Map 2
 
  PEOPLE & ETHNIC GROUP:
 
  General Info
  Bidayuh (Land Dayak's)
  Iban (Sea Dayak's)
  Melanau
  Orang Ulu
 
  Iban Longhouse Visit
 
  ARTS & CRAFTS:
  General Info
  Pua Kumbu, Pua Sungkit & Pua Karap
   
  Eating Out, Nightlife & Local Delicacy
 
  PLACES OF INTEREST :
 
  Adventure Nature & Wildlife
  National Parks & Wildlife Conservation
   
  KUCHING (STATE CAPITAL):
 
  General Info
  Bus Service / Transportation
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  History & People
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  Recreation & Sports
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  TOURIST ATTRACTION
  City Centre
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  Heritage Trails
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  Nature & National Parks
  Bako National Park
  Batang Ai National Park
  Gunung Gading National Park
  Kubah National Park
  Kuching Wetlands National park
  Matang Wildlife Centre
  Semenggoh Nature Reserve
  Talang Satang National Park
  Tanjung Datu National Park
 
  Santubong & Damai Beach
  General Info
  Irrawady Dolphin
  Sarawak Cultural Village
 
  Kuching Southwest
  Tourist Destination
  Teluk Melano & Sematan
 
  Sibu
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  TOURIST ATTRACTION
  City Centre
  Bawang Assan Iban Longhouse
 
  Melanau's Heartland:
  Mukah Town
  Dalat Town
 
  Up Rejang River:
  General Info
  Kanowit, Song & Belaga
  Kapit
 
  Down Rejang River:
  General Info
 
  Miri
  General Info
  City Map
  In & Around Miri Map
 
  Lifestyle & Nightlife
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  TOURIST ATTRACTION
  Must Visit Places
  Bario & Ba?kelalan
 
  Gunung Mulu National Park
  Lambir Hills National Park
  Loagan Bunut National Park
  Niah National Park
  Similajau National Park
 
 
 
 
SARAWAK - EAST MALAYSIA / MALAYSIA BORNEO
KUCHING : NATURE & NATIONAL PARKS - Batang Ai National Park
 
 

BATANG AI NATIONAL PARKS

 

KUCHING DISTRICT :

NATIONAL & NATURE PARKS

 

Imagine cruising up fast flowing rivers, their banks lined with branches of trees reaching down to touch the water?s edge. During the dry season when the water level is low, you might even have to help push the boat upstream. This is one of the attractions of the Batang Ai National Park, located in Sri Aman Division, southwest of Sarawak near the Indonesian border.

 

Spanning 24,040ha, it was gazetted in 1991 and now shelters many protected animals, the most famous being the endangered orang-utan. It also serves as a water catchment area for a huge artificial lake created by the construction of the Batang Ai hydroelectric dam. The lake extends up to the Engkari and Ai Valleys, where the scenery is one of utter peace and tranquility. There are a host of activities to be pursued in Batang Ai National Park, but the highlight of any visit will most definitely be an encounter with the man of the forest, the orang-utan. This primate is the largest of its kind and can grow to 1.5m tall and weigh 200kg! It makes a nest in the trees to sleep in at night. The more energetic and adventurous souls can go for jungle treks, following any of five well-marked trails that traverse mixed dipterocarp forest, old secondary forest, active shifting cultivations areas and ancient burial grounds.

 

Iban longhouses upriver are another major attraction. Here, visitors can experience the authentic longhouse atmosphere as most of the longhouse dwellers still practise their traditional lifestyle. The Iban produce local handicrafts, like their famous pua kumbu or woven blankets, rattan backpacks, rattan mats and even gourd for collecting water.

 

In a unique arrangement, the local communi t ies are involved in the management and conservation of the park through a Community Cooperative, which provides boating services for trips to and within the park. Visitors are encouraged to use the cooperative services as the funds from this source are used for ongoing development purposes. A few days? stay is recommended for those who want to take in the tranquil surroundings and acquaint themselves with the local culture. Visitors staying in Iban longhouses need to be aware of local customs so as not to cause offence.

 
 
ATTRACTIONS & ACTIVITIES
  • River cruises

  • Jungle walks

  • Iban longhouse visit

  • Wildlife spotting: Orang?utan, hornbills and gibbons

 
 
FLORA & FAUNA
 

The terrain is rich in lush lowland mixed dipterocarp forests which is home to the Orang Utan.  High on the endangered list, this primate is the largest among its kind and can grow to 1.5m tall and weight 200kg! It makes a nest in the trees to sleep in at night.  The park also shelters many other protected species of wildlife such as the hornbills, gibbons and the white fronted langurs.

 
 

 
PLANNING AN ITINERARY
 

A few days stay is recommended for those who want to take in the beauty of the tranquil surroundings and acquaint themselves with the local culture. The trip upriver can be most exciting in itself. Imagine cruising up fast flowing rivers with the trees drooping their leaves over the water's edge on their side.

 

During spells of dry weather, when the water level gets low during the day, visitors alight to help push the boat upstream.   There are four marked jungle trails within the park for those hankering for a bit of adventure. In addition to the usual treks through mixed dipterocarp forests, these trails also go through old secondary forests and areas of active shifting cultivation.

 

And to satisfy the "Indiana Jones" in you, one trail actually passes through the ancient native burial grounds! Drop by the Iban Longhouse and learn a bit about their traditional lifestyle. The Ibans are noted for their intricately fashioned handicraft items such as the beautifully woven "pua kumbu"; the "selabit", rattan backpacks woven in a variety of fascinating designs; rattan mats and gourds for collecting water.

 
 
ACCOMMODATION

Accommodation facilities are not available within the park but there are several longhouses outside the park area that offer basic lodgings and the chance to experience local lifestyle. Stays in these longhouses are normally arranged by Kuching based tour operators. Independent travellers may experience problems if they arrive unannounced. The Hilton Batang Ai Longhouse Resort, much furtheraway, provides luxurious longhouse-style accommodation. Bookings are generally done through the Hilton Hotel in Kuching. There is no food available for sale inside the park or in the immediate vicinity of the park.

 
 
BOATING
 

The local Community Cooperative provides boating services for trips to and within the park.  Visitors are encouraged to utilise the Cooperative's services as the funds from this source are used for on-going development purposes.

 
 
GETTING THERE
 

The park is located about 250km from Kuching city.  The journey by road from Kuching to Batang Ai Dam takes about 6 hours.  The boat trip from the dam to the park station takes another 2 hours.

National Parks in Malaysia - Batang Ai National Park in Sarawak, East Malaysia or Borneo

 
 
 
KUCHING : NATURE & NATIONAL PARKS - Batang Ai National Park
SARAWAK - EAST MALAYSIA / MALAYSIA BORNEO