Saturday, 27th September 2014.
Being again in Bintulu for the second time brings back great memory. When I first came here for a work trip in 2010, it feels like being back home. All these shop lots and buildings in this old town really doesn’t change much all these years. However, I noticed that there are vast development projects happenings towards the new township area.
Today, the STB team has prepared a tour program for us. A tour to the Similajau National Park. Geez! I can’t even remember the last time I went to visit a national park. 2008 maybe? But that was a different national park. With my current fitness condition, I don’t know how far can I trek or hike in this humid tropical rainforest. Well, lets see…
After having our breakfast at the hotels’ cafe that morning, we took a ride to the park. The drive took us about 30 minutes. Similajau National Park is located 30 kilometres north-east of the town of Bintulu and is reached via an unsealed. There is no regular bus service to the park so independent travelers usually take a taxi from Bintulu. Local tour operators also offer transport and guided tours to the park. Alternatively, you may charter a fast boat from Bintulu Wharf, a somewhat more expensive but enjoyable option. Upon arrival, we are required to register at the Park HQ. Next to the registration counter there is a good information center.
The following table provides details of one-way trekking times from the park HQ:
- Viewpoint – 1km – 50 min (30 min via shortcut)
- Batu Anchau – 2km – 1 hour
- Turtle beach – 6km – 2 hours
- Golden beach – 10km – 3 hours
After a short discussion, we all unanimously vote to go for the shortest route. To the Viewpoint hehe.
For nature lovers, Similajau National Park provides nature trails. As you trek along the trail you will feel the tranquility of the forest. You are not lonely but are entertained by the music from the friendly insects and beautiful whistling of the birds. The thick forest canopies provide you with fresh air and shades as you walk along. I’m not kidding when I say those things. You really can hear those insects, cicadas and birds chirping along the way.
I’m a slow trekker. To compensate on the slowness, I took my time to look around and check out those interesting floras and faunas I could found along the way. While picking up my breath, I came across this ‘Helicopter fruit’ or locally known as ‘Buah Engkabang’. The fruit literally spins down from its tree like a helicopter.
By the time I found this fruit, we are actually about 3 or 4 min to the Viewpoint checkpoint. I was beginning to wonder if we are going the right way. Reaching the Viewpoint was the best thing ever after a non-stop 50min walk. Plus, the Viewpoint checkpoint comes with a beautiful sea view and soothing sea breeze. I have to admit, a 1km trekking in the jungle doesn’t feel easy like a 1km walk on a paved sidewalk.
Listening to the sound of the waves crashing over the rocky shores with cool sea breeze sweeping over the face feels so good in this hot day. I just want to spend the entire morning sitting here at the Viewpoint. I wish I brought some foods and more drinking water. You will never feel time passes by at this place. Everything feels so serene and peaceful, and the best part is…THERE IS PHONE RECEPTION WITH 3G CONNECTIVITY! 😛
After about an hour admiring and embracing the peace, with lots of ‘selfies’ we decided it is time to head back to the parks’ HQ. Furthermore, it’s almost noon, but before we head back to civilization, here’s another one for the album…
After being so long leaving my outdoor life, I’m surprise that I can still make it. I guess the spirit and will is still there somewhere. Hope hasn’t lost yet haha, but I still can’t beat my team member that day, Ms Rose Tan. She’s a veteran yet she strides in the jungle like a leaf swept naturally by the swift wind. I really admire on how she keep check on her fitness. Most of all, I really thanked the Sarawak Tourism Board for this national park tour. It really helps me get back on my feet and made me soak myself in my own sweat haha. If given a choice or opportunity to hangout with these bunch of people again, I’ll gladly take my chance and jump ‘head-first’.
For more information about Similajau National Park, please visit http://www.sarawakforestry.com/htm/snp-np-siminajau.html
You may also call or write to these address:SARAWAK FORESTRY
Tel: (+6) 082 610088 Fax: (+6) 082 610099
Toll free line: 1 800 88 2526
Similajau National Park
Tel: (+6) 086 489003 Fax: (+6) 086 489002