Borneo and nature are so interwined that it is almost impossible to engage into activities that are not nature-based. Semadang kayaking was indeed the highlight of the Tsdayout Special Edition : Selangor Meets Sarawak. After having a jolly good time at Semenggoh Wildlife Centre, we continued our journey to Kg Bengoh. Our bus stopped at the main road and we had to walk down the sharp turn.
After filling up the liability exemption form, we were given a paddle each. We were all ready for kayaking. But first, group pictures a memory.
Descending down the staircase with a paddle, we meandered carefully to avoid falling from the slippery surface. As most of the participants were amateur kayakers, we were briefed the how-to, paddling technique, controlling the kayak etc. As a matter of practice, we were asked to paddle in the air. Convinced the little practice we had was enough to last us the entire trip, we paired up and chose our tandem kayak. I paired up with Mieza who repeatedly told me she was afraid of water.
As we began our Semadang kayaking journey from a narrow river, we were released in stages to avoid collision. Even that, our kayak still collided into one another. Though I had done kayaking before, it was not my forte. Thus, combo with Mieza did not seem to work. The safety kayakers who were responsible to ensure our safety throughout the kayaking trip, asked if we would want to change partner so that we could paddle faster. Glad they came for rescue within the first 15 minutes.
I was quite a struggle at first as I alternately paddled and taking pictures with go-pro.
My new partner aka the safety kayaker introduced himself as Noh, the Melanau climber. The Semadang river offers the idyllic setting of Sarawak rainforest cropped with limestone hill and unique rock formations. The water level was quite low so there was time when our kayak hit the bottom and had to be pushed to deep water. The width of the river was huge, maybe 20-50m.
Along the journey, we stopped for a dip in the river which is crocodile-free. There were so much laughters and water splash. The pictures below is evidence of how happy we were during the trip.
We continued our journey to Kg Danu where we stopped for lunch. Semadang Kayaking tours feature authentic lunch specialty that is the freshly cooked Manok Pansuh (chicken cooked in bamboo). Also served was Asam Pedas Terung Dayak. Terung Dayak is a sour egg plant native only in Sarawak. Even the pineapple fruit tasted super sweet and delicious. The food was really good. I spotted many who filled their plates again and again.
Kayaking continued. The second league of the kayaking (after lunch) was a struggle. We started to feel tired and the level of excitement subsided. Noh was bubbly that he kept on filling me with his outdoor activities. He hikes mountains too, so we shared stories. He would interrupt our conversation by pointing out the landmarks such as Batu Gajah and untouched caves which have been explored recently. I could imagine how beautiful the caves are. If I were to come again, I would definitely go caving!
20 minutes before we reached end point, we fed fishes with fish food brought by the safety kayaker. They were huge. The water was murky that we could not see the kind of fishes clearly. Not long after, it was drizzling as though the earth was crying for we would soon part with it.
Apart from the kayaking tour, Semadang Borneo Adventure also provides Klasik Bamboo Rafting. You don’t have to build the raft but you need to do the rafting on your own. According to Noh, bamboo rafting would take double the time spent for kayaking.
As of the published time, the packages offered by Semadang Adventure are as follows:-
i) Semadang Discovery Kayaking – RM198 per person / Daily Departure : 9.30 /Difficulty Level : Easy (5 hours) Minimum Pax : 1
ii) Klasik Bamboo Kayaking – RM228 per person / Daily Departure : 9.30 /Difficulty Level : Challenging (6 hours + over time) Minimum Pax : 3
iii) Kayaking + Caving Combo – RM268 per person / Daily Departure : 9.30 /Difficulty Level : Intermediate (7 hours) Minimum Pax : 2
iv) Add-on Orang Utan Tour – RM30 per person / Daily Departure : 8.00
The package includes:- Home-cooked lunch, Life Jacket, dry bag, drinks, camera and photo cd.
The Semadang kayaking trip was made possible by Tourism Selangor and Sarawak Tourism Board as part of #tsdayout Special Edition Selangor Meets Sarawak. Airasia flies direct to Kuching from Kuala Lumpur 12 times a day.