We have been planning for this trip to Semban village since 2009. It was a rather impromptu decision to join a local Kuching guide, Mr Danny Voon after his relentless invitation to visit this ‘magical’ place. Meun and I have always loved Sarawak and this was our perfect excuse to go there again. Having returned from the trip, we’d say this is a very memorable trip indeed.
Semban is a Bidayuh village located roughly about 42km from Kuching, the capital city of Sarawak. The hike to Semban is nostalgic in a way actually. Though Semban is spared, it’s road access will be submerged together with the 3 other Bidayuh villages (Kampung Bojong Pain, Kampung Rejoi and Kampung Sait) located at lower elevations once the Bengoh dam is completed.
There were four of us in the group, both of us and our good friends Jan and Aric. We departed from Kuching about 10pm towards the trail head. Our first stop was the small town called Batu Tujuh or Seven mile, Danny’s favorite stopover for supplies to be carried to the village. Some fresh food, packed lunch, cans of 100plus isotonic drinks and an entire carton of 500ml drinking water were among the supplies purchased.
The drive to Semban’s trail head was pleasant. As we drove along, I can’t help but feel like we are in Ipoh. The limestone hills remind us so much of beautiful Ipoh but without the scarring of quarries and buildings.
From Kuching, the drive to the trail head is about an hour. Just before we enter the dam area (which is under construction), Danny picked up his trusted guides and porters…Nyun, Glen (both from Semban) and Desmond (from nearby village Danuk).
Danny did tell us about the dam being in construction. Sad to say, the works on the dam during our visit looks like it is nearing completion. What an awful sight and the idea that it will be swallowing large tracks of jungle is really hard to swallow.
It was getting late; the sun is almost directly above our heads, so we hurried on with our gears. As we (visitors) were loading on our gears, Nyun and Glen were busy putting on their ‘improvised’ packs. And they carried all, ALL including the entire carton of drinking water for the entire groups.
With all our packs on our back, we started or climb to Semban, the village above the clouds.
Other posts/ videos on Semban:
- Part I- A visit to Semban, the village above the clouds
- Part II- The hanging bamboo bridges of Semban
- Part III- The long walk up to Semban
- Part IV- The waterfalls at Semban
- Part V1- The Bidayuh’s traditional cutting tools
- Part V2- The kitchen and bamboo blades of the Bidayuhs in Semban
- Part VI- Traditional bamboo smoking pipe and great food
- Part VII- Sunrise and morning walk around Semban
- Part VIII- Old tools used by the Bidayuhs in Semban
- Part IX- Ladies of the rings in Semban
- Video- The bidayuh’s hill paddy
- Video- The home made wooden pack that carries EVERTHING up Semban!
- Video- Bidayuh’s traditional furnace
- Video- Bidayuh’s traditional blades