Experimental Tour 3
RCE to Initiate Education for Sustainable Development in Bau
20th October 2021
The third Experimental Tour of Bau, Sarawak was held on Friday, 15th October 2021. The purpose of the excursion is to visit a number of the tourist attractions in Bau and explore the possibilities of working together with schools on educating students on environmental protection. The one-day trip was guided by Chairman of Hwa Gong Bau Historical Society Pemanca Bong Jong Long, Taiton Kapitan Phang Nyat Kiaw, Mao San Kapitan Chung Man Fook and Kapitan Pui.
The trip began with a short morning hike for about twenty minutes up the Golden Hill at Bau Lama. The route up the hill was steep for the first few metres before turning into a low slope, allowing hikers to easily navigate the terrain to reach the top. Throughout the hike, hikers can experience not only the peaceful solitude of nature, but also appreciate the flora and fauna along the trail such as jungle ferns, pitcher plants and many more. At the top of the hill, there is a temple where visitors can offer their prayers or appreciate the majestic view overlooking the Blue Lake (Tasik Biru).
Not far from the Golden Hill, is the 12 Company Flag Pole (Pavilion). The flag pole is sheltered by a pavilion, a remnant from an Indonesian mining company called 12 Company which was established more than a century ago in Bau for the purpose of mining gold. However, the company disbanded during the time of Rajah Brooke in Sarawak.
After Bau Lama, the participants went to explore the caves located at Taiton Lorong 9. Three cave openings were explored, these openings led to the same underground passage system of the Gold Mine Caves where the Angelic Rays is located. There are two small lakes at the exterior of the caves, facing several hill slopes that are known as the Sleeping Beauty. The interior of the caves are surprisingly dry, large and airy, without the usual musty smell that are associated with underground passages. Despite the caves gazetted as a totally protected area (TPA) under the custodian of Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC), there is some evidence of illegal gold mining on the ground and even on the walls of the caves.
After lunch, the group visited the Rock Maze in Paku where natural rock formations can be found jutting out from the earth in various shapes and sizes. These gigantic rock formations have unique shapes and the symmetrical cutting between the rocks make it appear as if the rocks are naturally cut into several pieces.
Exploring Rock Maze at Paku, Bau
The final destination is to the Borneo Keranji Farm where the visitors are able to experience local farming and animal raising activities as well as unique camping/ glamping experiences which include staying overnight in a refurnished bus. The Borneo Keranji Farm cultivates their own vegetables and fruits and raises farm animals. The farm aims to provide education and awareness to local and international visitors on cultivation activities.
The trip ended with a short networking session was conducted between Responsible Borneo (REBORN), Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) Kuching and Sarawak Research Society (SRS) with school board members and teachers from several schools in Bau. The purpose of the session is to discuss opportunities and avenues between REBORN, RCE Kuching and SRS on how to educate and empower students in Bau on sustainable tourism and environmental awareness through education.
From scenic hills, natural rock formations to historical sites, Bau is blessed with a wide range of natural attractions. However, these attractions do not attract enough attention because they are not well-known by tourists. With the many efforts that are underway to promote the many tourist spots Bau, it is hoped that this will bring in more visitors to area. Besides that, there should be more awareness among the locals on the need to preserve these attractions so that it can be enjoyed by our future generation. Evidences of illegal mining and littering around the caves indicate that more should be done to ensure everyone play their role to keep the natural attractions in Bau in its pristine condition.
SRS, RCE Kuching and community leaders meeting with school principal and teachers in Bau
This trip was led by Chairperson of RCE Kuching Mdm Mukvinder Kaur Sandhu, together with Assoc. Prof. Dr Hiram Ting, Mr Lucas Lim Tee Kiat, Nicholas Tiong, Solomon Wong, Fareiny Morni, Adlin Baizura Ariffin, Magdalyn Chan, Mandy Chen, Alice Lim and Onel.