Hello to all, it's the time of the year again for the holidays season with Christmas and the New Year approaching. We would take this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a happy new year. And happy we are indeed, to reveal to you all, our plans to expand our operations to the coastal town of Sematan next year! In this article, we will give you a general introduction of Sematan and a sneak peek of what kind of offerings we will bring to the table next year.
Sematan is located approximately 120 kilometres from Kuching city and it is located along the coastlines. The town itself is very much quiet by the time we visited but we heard that the town is usually buzzing with visitors during the peak season from May to August. There's nothing much to do at the town area except for some vintage colonial era buildings and the pier in which you can technically walk to the sea to enjoy the scenery. There we took a walk to enjoy the view while waiting for our potential partners to arrive.
They say that all great days start with a hearty breakfast. We came to this newly opened coffee shop called Sematan Cafe to have our breakfast with our local partners and boy, we had were pleasantly surprised. We all ordered Sarawak Laksa, and even though we didn't expect much, it exceeded our expectations nonetheless. The noodle was abundant, they put quite a lot of protein in there, and the Laksa paste was simply delightful, we personally would give it an A.
But we've got no time to lose, as soon as we're done with breakfast, we're back on the road to explore the village parts of Sematan. We hopped into our car and began driving. Along the way we passed by some established beach resorts, as well as some paddy fields. We made a quick pit stop at a very old shop lot building; believed to be almost a century old, to take some pictures of it. It's an amazing feeling to see such an old building still intact. The dogs resting there though, did not welcome us much so we were back in the car and drove off without inspecting the building much.
Sematan Beach Part 1
We noticed a lot of road contructions going on and some of the roads we drove on seemed quite new. Our local friend, Mr Selian told us that the roads were only newly built and tarred a few weeks ago. Even some of the bridges we crossed appeared to be newly built, which stated the intent of the local authorities to develop these inner parts of Sematan as a major tourism area. We arrived at our first checkpoint amist all the construction going on around us. It was at the river mouth of Pueh River and just by the beach. We scouted the area and went to the sandy beach. If we ignore the noises of heavy machinery around us, it was all peaceful and quiet without anyone else. It is the same shoreline as the ones occupied by resorts, just unexplored.
Sematan Beach Part 2
We then hopped into our car and went around the river mouth to reach the designated site. Our partners have plans to build some lodges by the river and we obviously saw the potential of the site as the river was quite clean. In the future, this would be a prime site for the river cruising and fishing activities. A little walk of around 2 minutes past a wooden bridge brought us to another beach front and we were amazed by the vast but quiet beach. The beach itself was no doubt beautiful and we reckoned that guests would be able to do a lot of beach activities.
Pueh Village Longhouse
When our local partners told us about bringing us to the Selako Bidayuh tribe longhouse in the village, we were expecting that we would be going into another Bidayuh tribe longhouse that we have already seen. When we eventually arrived at the place, we were rather amused to see a longhouse that looked rather modern. We were told that the Bidayuh people there designed there longhouse differently from the ones in the Padawan area that we are familiar with; perhaps due to the flat land that was available to them. The longhouse had individual houses joined together on a common platform that is under one single roof, with a 'verandah' area belonging to each house. Opposite we saw some odd buildings and when we asked, we were told that those are storage rooms for rice; how intriguing.
Our final stop would the homestay accommodation built by a local here. The place was very nice and appeared to be well maintained. We suppose the owner, Mr Kutong made a lot of effort into making his place a wonderful staying experience for his guests. The facilities include several fish rearing ponds, including one rearing Empurau (a species of highly valueable fish), a common outdoor sleeping area, an outdoor kitchen, a man made pool for swimming, a beautiful garden, as well as several furnished rooms for guests. The homestay made use of natural materials for its decoration and Mr Kutong certainly had an eye for artistic features as these materials blended really well together to create a paradise in the jungle.
A Wrap Up
By evening it was eventually time for us to leave Sematan. With a heavy heart we bid our local partners goodbye and we hoped for the day where we could eventually bring visitors to this amazing place. If you are just as excited to visit the lovely beaches, scenic river as well as a comfortable stay, stay tuned for updates on our official website and our social media platforms- Facebook & Instagram.