KUCHING: Another eco-tourism destination in upper Padawan has been identified and developed to become Rafflesia Eco-Park.
Located at Kampung Begu, about 60 kilometres from the city, the place besides having Rafflesia also has a cave, making it ideal for eco-tourism destination.
Yesterday, Deputy Tourism Minister Datuk Dr James Dawos visited the place to see for himself a Rafflesia flower and the nearby cave and promised to set aside RM100,000 to develop the area.
He said the area has at least seven tetrastigma plants that provide the breeding ground for the Rafflesia flower.
“The place (Kampung Begu) will be one of the tourist attractions because it is has Rafflesia flower.
“Besides having the Rafflesia, it also has a cave which will be another tourist attraction,” Dawos said.
Kampung Begu is only about 45 minutes drive from Kuching and to reach the place it takes about three minutes walk.
The Mambong MP said at least RM100,000 was needed to improve the infrastructure, including building public toilets, shelter and the path leading to the cave.
“I will try to get the allocation and I hope the improvement to the area can be carried out this year,” he said, adding that Padawan Municipal Council (PMC) would be given the responsibility to execute the plan.
Dawos also said that developing the Rafflesia Eco- Park would further promote Kampung Annah Rais hot spring, which is located nearby.
He also said the suspension bridge and public toilets at Tiang Bekap, also in upper Padawan, would be improved.
He said the place was suitable for river activity and presently being used by students of Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) and Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) to carry out their field work.
Besides visiting Begu together with officials from Ministry of Tourism and PMC, he also visited Annah Rais hot spring, and Kampung Danu where they travelled by boats and kayak to Kampung Giit.