Serenely located at the foothills of Mount Serembu and built among the lush green jungle, the Serembu Eco Park in Siniawan is one of the latest additions to the list of tourist attractions in the Bau district. Located about 28km from Kuching, it features unique accommodations, a floating restaurant and a wooden bar that all blend seamlessly with their surroundings.
Charming mountain retreat
Serenely located at the foothills of Mount Serembu and built among the lush green jungle, the Serembu Eco Park in Siniawan is one of the latest additions to the list of tourist attractions in the Bau district.
About 28 km and half an hour drive from Kuching City, the resort is built in the natural setting of a tropical jungle, with big and tall trees intact to preserve the natural environment and to bring the visitors back to nature. Some of the huge trees in the park are believed to be over a hundred years old.
The park was just reopened to visitors last month. It is a nice weekend retreat for city folks to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life during the weekends and holidays. Currently, there are no entrance fees for visitors.
At the moment, the park offers two village-style houses for overnight stays. The Brooke House has two standard rooms (maximum four people each) and a family room (maximum nine people). The Kasah House is a dormitory-style room that can accommodate between eight and 14 people.
Breakfast is provided for in-house guests during weekends and public holidays only.
For those who love camping, Serembu Eco Park also offers camping sites for rent. There are also barbeque pits near the camp sites for both in-house guests and campers to use. Day trippers are also welcome to rent the facilities.
The Ayak Baroh Bar serves both alcoholic beverages and soft drinks, and it is a great place to chill and spend time with friends and family. It also serves as an eatery that sells basic cooked foods like noodles and light meals to visitors as well as caters for the breakfast of the in-house guests.
There is a spacious dining area which could be converted as a function room for private parties, social and corporate functions. Recently, several organisations have held their training and seminars here.
A proper restaurant is currently under construction to provide better service to cater to the needs of the visitors.
Among the other facilities available in the park include a swimming pool, a hiking trail around the park, and guided trekking up the 500m summit of Mount Serembu.
Mount Serembu, also called Bukit Peninjau, is known as Bung Muan by the locals. It is a settlement where the majority of people are Bidayuh natives. The ancestors of the Bidayuh villagers here used to live high up on the Serembu mountain during the Brooke Era.
It is a historical mountain as it was the site of the first White Rajah, James Brooke’s Cottage (1848-1850s). Also found on the mountain is the world-renowned scientist Alfred Wallace’s Trail (1854), the Old Bidayuh Longhouse Site, and the Rajah Cave.
The Rajah’s cottage has been re-constructed to mark the historical heritage site and as a tourist attraction.
In honour of the community, the owner of the park has also incorporated many Bidayuh and ethnic Sarawak cultural heritage into the park, such as the baruk, or Bidayuh ritual house; Bidayuh bamboo bridges; longhouse log ladders; handicrafts; and paintings. Two mural paintings by renowned Kenyah artist Mathew Ngau Jau and Bidayuh artist Melton Kais decorate the walls of the office building in the park.
At present, there are two certified hiking guides serving the mountain hike, and for larger groups of mountain climbers, more certified local guides are available upon request.
The hike up to the mountain is challenging in some parts, with steep gradients and rocky outcrops. Ropes and ladders are installed at some places. The whole journey up and down the mountain will take about four to six hours.
From the summit of the mountain, hikers could get a panoramic view of the surrounding jungle and the flat lands below the mountain, including the houses in the Siniawan areas.
During the durian flowering season, visitors can also spend their time having fun picking up the fallen durian flowers around the hiking trails and cooking them into a delicious dish for their lunch.
If hikers are lucky, they could encounter the blooming of one of the species of the tallest flower in the world, the Amorphophallus, commonly known as the Corpse Flower, on the way or within the park itself.
The park’s manager, Brandon Lim, revealed that beginning next year, more holiday villas and accommodation houses will be built to cater the influx of in-house guests. Also in the planning are longhouse style accommodation rooms and tree cabins.
“In the planning area, more facilities include a flying fox slide, monkey ropes, and mountain bike trails. More activities, such as night walks, frogging trips, bird-watching, and sabre music demonstrations, will be introduced later,” he added.
Another attraction of Serembu Eco Park is its infinity swimming pool. Interestingly, the pool is built in an open space surrounded by tall trees. The shadow from the trees provides natural sun shade to shelter the swimmers from the sun till the late morning and during the late afternoon.
The swimming pool is for the in-house guests only. However, it can also be rented out to day trippers during weekdays when there are no in-house guests staying.
The rental rates for the rooms and other facilities differs during weekdays and weekends. Weekend visits on Friday and Saturday or on holidays will cost extra, while guests who check in from Sunday through Thursday will pay the weekday rate, which is much cheaper.
The park is open from 10 am to 10 pm daily.
For inquiries and bookings, interested parties can contact H/P: 011 3676 8798 or 016 8600 121.