The Sleeping Beauty, covered by a blanket of cloud, with its reflection inside the lake, forming a magnificent scenery.

Bau, which is some 35km from Kuching, is well known for its prime attractions like Tasik Biru, Wind Cave and Fairy Cave. Besides these spots, there are several other potential tourist attractions that were discovered recently.

A spot full of tourism potential

Bau started as a gold mining town, and it maybe small, but it has plenty to offer to anyone willing to explore its colourful heritage and terrain. Recently, some new potential tourist spots were discovered, hidden beauties that can turn the district into a hotspot for tourism in the future.

New Limestone Cave

The entrance of the newly discovered cave at Mount Krian (Photo courtesy of JP Jong).

Bau’s Chinese community leader, Bong Jong Long was among the pioneer natural lovers and community leaders who made the most recent discovery, the New Limestone Cave.

“Among these new places, there is a newly discovered limestone cave in Mount Krian, or Mau San, located some distance behind Tasik Biru. There is a large chamber which is connected to a long tunnel, leading to an opening at the other side of the hill. At the back, there are at least two other small caves,” he explained.

The cave entrance and the opening at the back allow sunlight to reach parts of the cave, enabling several species of green plants growing in it which adds to its beauty.

Besides that, the usual stalagmites and stalactites that Bau caves are famous for, formed interesting rock formations inside.

The large chamber inside the cave at Mount Krian (Photo courtesy of JP Jong)

The cave is quite easy to climb, as the entrance is not too high from the ground and it can be turned into another attraction like the popular Wind Cave. However, there is a section of the access pathway that is just a foot-wide — and is sometime wet and muddy — that needs further improvement.

The Sleeping Beauty

The Sleeping Beauty

Another newly discovered spot is the beautiful outcrop of a limestone mountain range at Taiton, located several kilometres away from Wind Cave. Bong named it as the “Sleeping Beauty”, as from afar, the outline of the mountain resembles the head, chest and body of a woman sleeping.

It is quite similar to the famous rock features found in tourist spots in Guilin or Guizhou in China. Behind the mountain, there is also a cave, but at the moment, it is not easily accessible.

Federal Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri (centre) and her entourage posing in front of the beautiful mountain range at Taiton.

In front of the rock formation is an abandoned goldmine lake. On fine weather, it forms a beautiful scenery with the reflection on the water surface against the clear blue sky.

“This place can be developed into a tourist spot like Tasik Biru, but we need to do proper planning according to the nature conservation concept, in order not to spoil the natural environment, to preserve the beauty of these natural heritage,” Bong added.

Not far from the lake is an artificial cave, formed by a series of man-made tunnels left behind by gold miners. This spot can also be turned into a popular tourist spot if it is properly developed.

Datuk Nancy Shukri (front row, second left), Datuk Sebastian Ting Chiew Yew (front row, third left) Datuk Henry (left, front row), Bong Jong Long (back row, left) and the entourage posing at a cave formed by abandoned gold mine tunnel.

Bong, who is also the chairman of the Committee for Bau Chinese History and Culture Heritage said that the lack of financial support is the biggest problem at the moment. All they could do is wait for the government’s support.

Tabai Rock Garden

The limestone mountain of Mount Krian can be developed as a potential tourist attraction for caving, jungle trekking and mountain climbing.

At the Taiton area, hidden among the bushes, is a patch of protruding rocks with uneven surfaces. The partially exposed limestones of various shapes lying on the ground are overgrown with wild plants and flowers including some species of wild orchids and pitcher plants.

A beautiful wild orchid at Tabai Rock Garden.

Bong revealed that they discovered the rock garden with the help of a drone. It is currently known as Tabai Rock Garden.

Some of these places are gaining popularity among the locals who love adventures and explorations. But due to the lack of safety facilities, basic amenities and proper access roads, it is not opened to the public yet.

In early July, federal minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri, state’s assistant mnister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Sebastian Ting Chiew Yew and their entourage visited these places. Accompanying the minister were the assemblymen for Tasik Biru and Serumbu, Datuk Henry Harry Jinep and Miro Simuh.

They visited a few other attractions in Bau, including the historical relics of the “Kongsi” era and the memorial of “Kongsi” leader, Liew Shan Pang at Bau Lama or Mau San. They also went to the Serumbu Eco Park near Siniawan which is still under construction, as well as the Siniawan Old Bazaar’s night market.

Serumbu Eco Park, which is still under construction, is another future tourist attraction for Bau.

Bong revealed that the Bau District Office, the Bau District Council, and Datuk Henry Harry Jinep are all showing keen interest to develop Mount Krian into a major destination not only for caving, but also hiking, trekking and mountain climbing and other activities.

Bong hopes that the state and federal ministers in charge would provide the necessary assistance to enable these development projects to be carried out in the future.