Sunday, June 7

Six bio-tourism products identified at historical site


NATURE’S TREASURE: Dawos (left) together with participants taking a closer look at some bamboo plants on their way back from the site.

KUCHING: Six bio-tourism products have been identified at the mystical Bung Brunggu historical site near Kampung Simpok and Kampung Sarig and have the potential to attract tourists interested in history and nature.

Deputy Minister of Tourism Datuk Dr James Dawos Mamit who launched the Bung Brunggu Heritage Trail yesterday said the defence system by the Bisapug clan long ago to fight their enemy was one of the products which had historical significance.

As the hill was a 40 degrees slope, logs were tied together to be rolled over the enemies, he explained.

Another product is the ‘Tapang’ tree where the bees would build their hives, and the villagers would harvest the honey using a bamboo ladder.

“The third product is the natural spring water which would not dry up during a drought, and according to a legend, a young beautiful woman had died there.

“The site also has a beautiful mini waterfall. The other tourism product identified is an old grave and families of the dead had planted mangosteen trees nearby as they believed the spirit of the dead could be protected by the strength of the trees,” he said.

The Bung Brunggu was also an ancestral home of the Bisapug clan of the Bidayuh community, and it contained the history of their origin.

“There are artefacts telling the history and origin of the Bisapug clan. This is very interesting as it can also attract tourists,” he added.

According to him, the difference between bio-tourism and eco-tourism was that eco-tourism must be undisturbed and a ‘virgin’ area, while bio-tourism was an area that had already been developed but no longer disturbed such as proper foot trails for tourists’ convenience.

Dawos said several amenities should be added to improve Bung Brunggu heritage trail including building a better footpath, to build a mini museum made of bamboos to store artefacts and to build ecolodge for tourists.

Meanwhile, Sarawak Bisapug Association (SBA) president Paul Kawin Pipo said the site was their ancestral settlement 300 years ago before the James Brooke era.

The clan started moving out after their village of 200 doors was burnt down by pirates before the James Brooke era.

Only 15 doors of families survived the incident, he said.

“We are the descendants of the 15 surviving families. And today, we are divided into Simpok, Sarig, Mundai and Pesa villages comprising 650 doors within the Bisapug clan, totalling about 7,000 people,” he said.

The 600-metre high hill has a variety of unique flora and fauna in addition to its historical significance.

During a site survey on May 15, the association accompanied by a consultant and an environmental expert Dr Alexander Sayok found many artefacts including pottery and porcelain, providing evidence of trading between the villagers and Chinese traders some 300 years ago.

There are a variety of herbs and plants including large bamboo plants, and they also found a species of very small land crab.

Paul said they had prepared a proposal to be forwarded to the Ministry of Tourism to improve the infrastructure, such as building a tourist information centre at the foot of the hill and building steps up the hill.

The hill is located about 40 minutes drive from Kuching and takes about 35 minutes to walk up to the top.