Monday, April 22

Sarawak’s beautiful panorama, ethnics’ wonderful hospitality a world class tourism potential

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KUCHING: Sarawak also known as the Land of the Hornbills offers a beautiful panorama of its landscape and the wonderful hospitality of its 23 ethnic groups.Whoever had visited this place is bound to return with friends or family.

This is what the writer himself felt after participating the Cuti-Cuti 1Malaysia programme in Sarawak organised by the Gaya Travel Magazine with the cooperation of the Tourism Ministry.

The programme from March 26-29 was participated by media, Tourism Malaysia representatives, and the tour agents from Malaysia and Indonesia.

The group had the opportunity to tour many places of interest, among others the Borneo Highlands Resort, Homestay Santubong, Homestay Kampung Darul Islam Belimbing Padawa, Kampung Budaya and the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching.

The group members were tired after stopping at numerous places, and their stomachs were full after eating non-stop.

The stay at Homestay Kampung Santubong located about 42 kilometres from Kuching city was a memorable experience.

Here visitors can savour and feel the natural splendour at the foothill of the Santubong mountain, among others the beaches and jungles that hold the myth of the Santubong Princess.

Nestled within the fishing village with 2,000 residents, the homestay is being operated with the cooperation of the locals since 2007.

It is beautiful, clean and unspoilt by development.

Throughout the stay guests were entertained with songs and dances along with activities like tug-of-war and beach football.

According to Jamilah Shukri, the Homestay Santubong coordinator, the visitors there could also scale the beautiful Santubong mountain, visit the Sultan Tengah’s mausoleum and get up and close with dolphins.

“Visitors can take pictures of these dolphins at sea, but the dolphins are only present between April and October only.

“Even if it rains the dolphins won’t appear, visitors here can follow fishermen to see the dolphins and feed them, they like to feed on small fishes especially anchovies,” she said to Bernama.

For more information on Santubong Homestay please go to www.santubong homestay.com.my.

Being the biggest state in Malaysia covering an area of 124,450 square km, Sarawak has many places of interest waiting to be explored and has the potential to emerge as a world class tourist destination.

However, due to certain reasons many of the places are yet to be promoted on a big scale overseas.

The Director of Tourism Malaysia Sarawak, Ahmad Johanif Mohd Ali provided Pulau Talang-Talang as an example where the number of visitors had to be restricted to seven only at any one time to safeguard the turtle’s habitat there.

“We conduct studies on the respective places before promoting the place, and this is why at times people get the wrong impression that the government is not helping to promote a particular area, that is not the case, it is due to factors that I have mentioned earlier and others,” he said. — Bernama