Thursday, April 2, 2009

Sematan - The Beach Paradise

Gold Arawana on His Holiday at his Kampokng (hometown)

It was a terrible weeks for past few weeks. I forced myself to work overtime, not better than for nothing. I am thinking too much on my workloads and my surrounding issues. And of course, I try to force myself as well not to care about the other things that are not related directly to me, unfortunately, I feel that all are related! As the results I even dont have time to update my own blog..

I am lucky, in the midst of muddles, I have chance to relax my mind, forgetting at least a moment on the office works and etc..etc… I went to Sematan, my hometown where my kampong is situated. I feel so anxious, and I plan to stay overnight at a resort, a popular on his name for the locals, most likely because of its newly established. And I decide to stay there.

Driving about one and half hour from the Kuching City is a pleasure for me. I almost switch off my handphone so that I can really enjoy my holiday, this time at my hometown! Arrived at Sematan, I called my old friend asking on the location of the resort, Palm Beach Resortwhich is located about two or three kilometers from the town. I really surprise! The site is at Sungai Kilong which is my place looking for lokan and fishing “puyu” on my childish time. Today, it is totally different, a modern resort decorated with its environmental friendly landscape.

I park my car, met the friendly security guard which leads me to the registration counter, a sweet young lady greet me than. I was given a pamphlet on the room list, and of course I choose the cheapest one. When I check in, I think it just not worthy for paying RM 180.00 per night for a small room equipped by very basic facilities. At last, I change my mind after I enjoy the beach beauty on sunset. Far in the middle of the sea is Talang-Talang Island, The Turtle Sanctuary which being gazette by the Sarawak Government. It is the place where the Dayak Selakau celebrates their annual celebration on the “Nyamah Pulo” before it was totally extinct few years ago. I remind me to my childish young engineer dreams of building a transparent tunnel from the main land to the island. I wish I could, but it was never happened, anyway.

On my left and right is a long white sandy beach, families enjoy swimming, a young couple playing their kite and a western tourist enjoy the sunsets. Ohhh… I feel great. I let my son to enjoy the beauties, play with sand and swim, as me myself enjoy on my hobby taking on the scenic view.

Far on the mainland is Gunung Pueh, where my kampong is located on its leg. Suddenly I feel on “If” I have the opportunity to build my own house here, the dream that will never happen….

At night, I enjoy my dinner on the resort restaurant, the food needs improvement anyway. I think I don’t mind to pay more for local seafood and beers! While my enjoying their sleep, I spent few hours on the beach with few of my old friends, telling lots of stories about our future and ambitions. No need to elaborate on this…

The next morning, I continue enjoying the beautiful of the beach. It’s even more beautiful, I guess. On this time, the fishermen boats are on the sea, pouring their full efforts for as many catch as they can. On the beach is local who share the profits with the resort, catching the shrimp or better known as “bubok” by the locals.

On the way back to my Kampong, I notice that resorts are built along the road which leads to the former Sematan Airport. The last I drive through this “haunted road” as describe to me before, it was still a sandy road.

At Sematan Town, nothing much changes, except for two new buildings known as Medan Selera by the locals. It is a beautiful architecture; my first impression is that Sematan has built a win of Beijing Olympic Birdnest Stadium!

Oh ya…Sematan is among the cleanest town in Malaysia, no 4d, no snooker or billiards, no karaoke and no “chicken”, as far on my acknowledgement. With the well development of transforming himself to be a leading tourist attraction, one day this title have to taken off anyway… Until that time comes, just enjoy the beaches, and if lucky you can buy and taste the turtle eggs which is normally trade as smuggle. The price is not cheaps, I used to buy it sometimes three years ago, and cost me about RM 1.00 for an egg that is just as small as a table tennis ball. Believe me, once you taste it, you will try to find more, only in Sematan!

On my way back to Kuching, my mind is just too heavy to go back to my office. Tomorrow, I again have to force myself on the workloads which I think at the end nobody will appreciate it. I miss the beautiful of the paradise of Sematan Beach.

Sematan has tremendous potential to become a leading tourist attraction because of its beaches. As one of the native here, I am day I lost my identity, lost my land, lost my native's certification....

More and more resorts and hotels built for the tourists. Some says that the locals (like me) could take advantage on this, taking opportunities on the soup and bones whiles the "others" take the meats (direct translation).

This is from the bottom of my heart, the Selakau needs their land title, assurance that we will not be neglected from the future developments. Thanks to Government for the infrastructures built for us, but I think whoever the Government, to look into my first time wish for our land.

Is my wish too much?


Kerry said...

I was in Sematan a couple of weeks ago. My memories of it were when there was only the dirt road and ferry across Lundu and the journey took half a day. This time the road was tarred and it was a beautiful sunny day and the beach was stunning. I was taken by how wonderfully unspoilt it still is but for how long? It cross my mind to buy a piece of land to build a holiday shack to retire for part of the year before the hoardes arrive and ruin it all. The Biduyuhs could perhaps register land titles before the developers take everything away from them. Perhaps they can look into setting up small businesses, such as taking holiday makers fishing, snorkelling on the reefs, outrigger canoeing, jungle treking etc to take advantage of tourists coming to Sematan, otherwise you might become marginalise in your own land in the future. Surely as bumiputras they are elibigle for loans to start small business. Sematan is so much more beautiful than Santubong. It's just a suggestion from my vantage point of looking at in as an outsider.

Gold Arawana said...

Mr Kerry;

Thanks for your superb comments and suggestions. Hope that more Bidayuh read this blog and take your suggestion for their further moved..

Kerry said...

As a Sarawakian living overseas, I had noticed that the tourism industry in Sarawak is pretty undeveloped compared to Sabah, that facilities and activities are very limited. there is little done to attract foreign tourists nor is much marketing done. But then before you want to attract more tourists there has to be the facilities before you can market the region. So it is a catch 22. However, places like Sematan should try to tap into the eco-tourist sector especially since there is a national park nearby, diving possibilities around Tg Datuk etc. Maybe your people should do a sort of feasibility study of what is possible. Ask someone from Tourism S'wak/M'sia for advice, see what the Tourism Sabah does as they are similar to us. When I visit Sematan again next time, it would be nice to see something else happening other than Palm Beach Resort. Why do they have to resort to a cliche Americanism! It's definitely not Palm Beach.