25 December, 2009

To the West, to the West

Two islands just off the coast at Sematan Beach, Western Sarawak.

On the 23rd December we drove west of Kuching to see the beaches and tiny rural towns of Sarawak. The last time I travelled west to Sematan must have been more than three years ago. There has been almost no change to the country side and the towns of Lundu and Sematan remain quaint, quiet and I guess trailing far behind to the rushing pace of development in Kuching or Bintulu for that matter. Both towns to me are ideal shooting locations for some truly romantic small town episodes or short story. Why our local film makers not make them popular shooting locations is beyond me. This is because the scenery is fantastic with rolling hills and countryside, the people are friendly and docile, food is relatively cheap and costs of living generally low and both towns are very accessible from Kuching city by a short one and a half hour journey by road. If I were a teacher and got transferred to rural towns like these I think I'll be able to save tons of money. I guess for young teachers its a place to get married and start a family early. Life can be so serene and I think crimes are a rarity. Is it? That could be the start of my short story.
Above is a picture of the only coastal road that links Lundu and Sematan to Kuching. Over the hills is neighbouring
Indonesia. They are hundreds of individual homes spaciously positioned along the whole stretch of the highway with large gardens and small subsistence farming plots.

This beautiful coastal vine has pale purple flowers and makes habitual presence in most coastal beaches of Sarawak. Immediately they remind me of the beaches at Bintulu where they are a welcome respite.

CU view of the common salt-tolerant beach creeper Ipomoea pes-caprae or sometimes called railroad vine or beach morning glory. Notice the pale grey coloured beach sand of Sematan.

A collection of sea shells that makes picking and beach combing a pleasant activity.

Shells on log. These tiny sea shells can be boiled and the soup is a delicacy among the locals.

Lundu Town

The street sculpture at the entrance of Lundu town depicts a touristic image. Around this locality are to be found the largest or biggest flower in the world called the Rafflesia. Above is the image of the flower done in ferro- cement technique . There are a few national parks around this area but not well promoted.
The town of Lundu seems well maintained and the little town park surprises me. Here we can take a leaf from rural town landscaping. The folks take pride and fully utilise their parks as meeting places, green corners for relaxation and I guess a fun place to be. The shophouses in Lundu retain much of their pre-war beauty - wooden, quaint, over-sized and shopping cum residence style living architecture. Residence is on the second storey. Dropping by at the local market place I stumbled upon tiny chillies of various colours and the price was reasonable (see inset)

Typical wooden shophouses prevalent in rural towns of Sarawak and in Lundu there are many.
Durian fruit sellers waiting for Customers

Take a leaf from Sarawak small town landscaping. There's always a small park right in the centre of town. This Lundu town park serves many functional objectives which I thought was excellent.

I was happy that I could make time for this short day trip to Sematan and Lundu because I'm not sure yet when I'll be back here. Maybe when I have a better idea of a truly romantic story.


  1. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



  2. Dear Sarah,
    Thanks always for droppin' by.Hav a nice weekend and a Happy New Year.

  3. Hi En MYussup,
    So far havent visited these two small towns.
    This marked a simple and lovely intro from you.
    Love the photos you are sharing here.

  4. It sounds and looks like a wonderful place. I would love to visit them on one of my next backpacking trips.


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