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The Megaliths of the Bario Highlands

The Megaliths of the Bario Highlands

The Megaliths of the Bario Highlands

During my many visits to the Bario Highlands in northern Sarawak, I always love trekking and exploring this beautiful place as there is so much nature to absorb. At some of the trekking trails, you will come across massive man made stone structures or even stone carvings.

The man made structures or carvings are called Megaliths, which date back thousands of years and is an incredible sight when you stand next to them. One of the most popular megaliths is known locally as Batu Ritong, a strange rock structure which was clearly created by man.

The Megaliths of the Bario Highlands

Batu Ritong (Ritong Stone)

Who put it there? How was it put, no one seems to know. I have visited Batu Ritong two times in the last couple of years, and on both occasions, different experienced guides could not give me an accurate explanation to this phenomenal structure.

Locals claim that this is actually a burial ground for a Kelabit nobleman named Ritong hundreds of years ago. The site was excavated in 1962 by British soldier Tom Harrison, and originally, it was standing straight upright. But over the years, Batu Ritong has slanted to a 45 degree angle.

The Megaliths of the Bario Highlands

One one of my trips, I spoke to a team of international university students who were there to study thee megaliths, and one of them has told me that there were in fact over 800 megaliths, large and small found all over the highlands area. Only a handful of them are being studied and till this very day, the answer is still not conclusive.

The size of the Batu Ritong with a trekker next to it

When you visit the Bario Highlands, make sure you ask the local guides about a trek to any of the megaliths as it will surely give you a sense of mystery.  The famous ones are the Batu Narit which is a huge boulder with strange carvings on it and the other is Batu Ritong, a 4-5 hour trek from Bario to Pa Lungan village.  Bario is accessible via Miri using MasWings flight.

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Photos by David Hogan Jr

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The Megaliths of the Bario Highlands

The Megaliths of the Bario Highlands

The Megaliths of the Bario Highlands

During my many visits to the Bario Highlands in northern Sarawak, I always love trekking and exploring this beautiful place as there is so much nature to absorb. At some of the trekking trails, you will come across massive man made stone structures or even stone carvings.

The man made structures or carvings are called Megaliths, which date back thousands of years and is an incredible sight when you stand next to them. One of the most popular megaliths is known locally as Batu Ritong, a strange rock structure which was clearly created by man.

The Megaliths of the Bario Highlands

Batu Ritong (Ritong Stone)

Who put it there? How was it put, no one seems to know. I have visited Batu Ritong two times in the last couple of years, and on both occasions, different experienced guides could not give me an accurate explanation to this phenomenal structure.

Locals claim that this is actually a burial ground for a Kelabit nobleman named Ritong hundreds of years ago. The site was excavated in 1962 by British soldier Tom Harrison, and originally, it was standing straight upright. But over the years, Batu Ritong has slanted to a 45 degree angle.

The Megaliths of the Bario Highlands

One one of my trips, I spoke to a team of international university students who were there to study thee megaliths, and one of them has told me that there were in fact over 800 megaliths, large and small found all over the highlands area. Only a handful of them are being studied and till this very day, the answer is still not conclusive.

The size of the Batu Ritong with a trekker next to it

When you visit the Bario Highlands, make sure you ask the local guides about a trek to any of the megaliths as it will surely give you a sense of mystery.  The famous ones are the Batu Narit which is a huge boulder with strange carvings on it and the other is Batu Ritong, a 4-5 hour trek from Bario to Pa Lungan village.  Bario is accessible via Miri using MasWings flight.

___________________
Photos by David Hogan Jr

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Visiting Merarap Hot Spring Lodge in Lawas

Visiting Merarap Hot Spring Lodge in Lawas

Merarap HotspringFor the adventurer, there is a hot spring lodge located deep in the Lawas district in northern Sarawak. Operated by a local Sarawakian, this very rustic and basic lodge can only be accessed via 4WD. From the town of Lawas, it is around 70 kilometers drive through old logging roads and thick secondary rainforest.

Once here, the warm Lun Bawang hospitality is seen as the owner is very passionate about his place. The natural hot spring water is pumped into his man made pools from a source about 100 meters away.

Merarap Hotspring

The owner poses in front of the Merarap Hot Springs

Lodging is as basic as can get, a homestay style accommodation with traditional local food served. Visitors can also request for trekking or hiking around the hilly area here.

A class four or five rapid runs along the Merarap hot spring lodge, but there are no water activities allowed as it is quite dangerous on the Trusan River. However, the natural landscape Is just beautiful, especially in the mornings.

Merarap Hotspring

Entrance to Merarap Hot Springs

Merarap Hotspring

Basic accommodations at the lodge

Merarap Hotspring

Merarap Hot Springs in Lawas

For travelers heading to Bakelalan in the highlands using the original way by road, this hot spring is one of the recommended places to make a stop and spend the night. Your experience here would surely be something out of the ordinary.

This place is also popular among the 4WD and biker clubs from around the region, especially those traveling in convoys. Bruneians also love to visit here for the weekends.

For inquiries or bookings, head over to the Merarap Hot Springs Facebook Page (link: https://www.facebook.com/meraraphotspring/)

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Photos by David Hogan Jr

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Aiman Batang Ai Longhouse Resort

Aiman Batang Ai Longhouse Resort

aimanbatangai

One of the most unique and exclusive resorts found in Sarawak is no other than the Aiman Batang Air Longhouse Resort, which is located at the Batang Ai National Park. This special resort Is one of a kind, as it emulates the traditional Iban longhouse.

The beautiful thing is that there are no other resorts found in the national park, making this the only luxurious resort here. Those looking for a pure nature and adventure getaway, this resort is one of the best to experience in Sarawak, Malaysia Borneo.

aimanbatangai

One of the rooms at Aiman Batang Ai Resort

Activities at the Aiman Batang Ai Resort include nature walks, hiking, a canopy walk, visiting an authentic Iban longhouse, bird watching, kayaking, traditional spa treatments and even learning how to use a traditional blow pipe. The rustic yet contemporary designed rooms complete your staying experience in a peaceful and quiet environment surrounded by pure nature and the centuries old rainforest.

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Photos by David Hogan Jr

 

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Enhancing Tourist Maps In Collaboration With Local Institutions

Enhancing Tourist Maps In Collaboration With Local Institutions

Kuching, Thursday – Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) is in collaboration with Kuching Polytechnic Sarawak (PKS) to enhance the tourist maps for Kuching, Sibu, Bintulu and Miri through the Kenyalang Creative Map Competition (KCMC).

KCMC jointly organised by Land Surveyors Board Sarawak (LSBS), HERE Malaysia Sdn Bhd, The Association of Consulting Licensed Land Surveyors Sarawak (ACLS) and Royal Institution of Surveyors Malaysia (RSIM) aimed at giving students to be creative in producing maps.

KCMC was organised from August 1 to 31 and was opened to students from Polytechnics, universities and colleges in Malaysia. 73 maps submission were received from students of Ungku Omar Polytechnic (PUO), Ipoh; Geomatika College, Kuala Lumpur (IPTS); Tuanku Sultanah Bahiyah Polytechnic (PTSB), Kulim; Merlimau Polytechnic (PMM), Melaka; Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) Kuala Lumpur Branch and two Sarawak’s Polytechnics – Kuching Polytechnic Sarawak (PKS) and Metro Betong Polytechnic, Sarawak.

Out of 73 maps received, 21 were Kuching maps, 10 Sibu, 13 Bintulu and 29 Miri maps.

A pre-selection was done last week by the panel of judges before the final round which was held last Wednesday.

Kuching Polytechnic Sarawak (PKS) won all the four categories for the Kuching, Sibu,  Bintulu and Miri maps. Each winning team took home RM600.00 in cash, plaque and certificate for each participant in the team.

The prizes were presented by Lt. Kol. Bersekutu (PA) Kamaludin Daud, Director of Kuching Polytechnic Sarawak (PKS).

The collaboration with PKS has given good opportunities for participating students to gain more knowledge about tourism products in Sarawak specifically in Kuching, Sibu, Bintulu and Miri.

Map Judging

Issued by:

Communications Unit
SARAWAK TOURISM
T: +6 082-423600  F: +6 082-416700
E: [email protected]

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