Tabi basa and greetings everyone. In this post, I would like to our recent visit to Bakun, where we visited Busang Denak Resort specifically, in the middle of Bakun reservoir.
BRIEF HISTORY OF BAKUN
Bakun Hydroelectric dam itself deserves has its own long history, but suffice to say, its survey was started back in 1960s, but its construction was not started in the in late 1990s.
It was eventually completed in 2010, partially commissioned in 2011, before it was being fully commossioned in 2014, with max capacity of 2400MW. In comparison, Batang Ai Dam at Lubok Antu was only 100MW, and Murum Dam at Belaga is 944MW.
JOURNEY TO BAKUN
Our journey to Bakun started early in the morning. I personally have to wake up at 3.30 am to get my stuff ready. I actually packed it the night before but excitement wakes me earlier than my alarm clock.
Around 4.30am, I departed to meet my friends, from which we used Grab taxi to go to our rendezvous point at the heart of Miri city.
From Miri, we departed around 0530hrs. It rained heavily, but it didn’t stop our expert transporter to drive, weaving through the traffic, which we believe he was flexing his driving prowess as we head to our first stop at Niah.
From Niah, we continued on our journey, whilst taking rest along the way. There were once we stop at nowhere because nature calls.
One of our female participants was trying her best to hold her pee, but in the end, we had to find a place to pee, somewhere at R&R not far from Bakun.
The other lady was smarter as she consumed only minimal drinks, just enough to make it through the journey to avoid these kind of bladder crisis.
ARRIVING AT BAKUN’S CHECKPOINT
Upon arrival at Bakun Hydroelectric, we had to make a stop for security purposes. It is understandable since Bakun is considered as a national property, hence has to be given due respect.
Once we’ve cleared security checks etc, we proceed to the jetty, where our host has been waiting for us.
We actually promised Uncle Busang Denak (the homestay that we’re going to) around 11am. But due to rain, our rain took longer than expected.
Anyway, we managed to arrive safely, and for me, that is what really matters.
There is no point to rush things only to hurt along the way, thus defeating the purpose of having a holiday.
BOAT RIDE TO BUSANG DENAK
Once we have arrived at jetty, we boarded the express to Busang Denak, our destination. First thing that was handed to us was its lifejacket, an essential item for boat travellers in case unwanted event occurs.
Despite being bombarded with drizzle along the way, it was fairly a smooth ride.
Lake journey was different from sea journey that I am used to. But a lot of us took that opportunity to enjoy the view, a sight to behold to see such a huge body of water in the middle of Sarawak’s lush rainforest.
HELLO BUSANG DENAK!
Our arrival at Busang Denak was welcomed by Ufun, Uncle Busang’s helper. We arrived at the jetty, and marvelled at the beauty of the house. “Heaven on earth” – as one of us called it.
We kept on wondering on how it was being built. Eventually Uncle Busang told us that it was actually built throughout the span of two years. It was not easy to do, bu they managed to do it successfully.
Aunty Busang invited us for lunch, since it was about time for lunch anyway.
Their cat and dog also welcomed us. It seems like they enjoyed human’s presence and was not afraid of us. In fact, they actually go and approached us, especially Meow (Busang Denak’s cat nickname that I gave).
Meanwhile, Poppy (Busang Denak’s dog nickname that I gave) kept on looking at us for some delicious treats.
During that lunch session, we also ate the sambal that was made by one of the ladies’ that supposed to join, but didn’t due to some personal problem.
After lunch, we proceed to go to our own respective home stay room. It was a tiring journey, therefore we took that opportunity to have some “siesta”. In other words, short afternoon nap.
We resumed our activity about 3.30pm, where we planned to visit its nearby waterfall, which is quite beautiful.
VISIT TO WATERFALL
Upon arrival at the waterfall, I can’t help but to think, that this waterfall ais actually a tall waterfall, somewhere in the middle of the jungle.
Bakun dam actually raised the water level for about few hundred feet high, and one can only imagine the height of the actual waterfall.
Nevertheless, it was an amazing sight to be seen and we took a lot of photos there.
KAYAK ACTIVITY & SWIMMING
After waterfall visit, we actually tried some kayak activity. I took solo kayak. It was fun, and reminds me to my kayaking days at uni long time ago. The other participants go in couple, and we explored some area of the lake.
We didn’t wander far from the jetty and ensures that we are within sight of the other members to enable them to give timely emergency response should it occurs.
After tired in doing kayak, we took a dip at the water. It was surpisingly warm for a large body of water. This is a good experience for me. Thanks to my previous experience at kampung life, Pichin, I managed to float myself. At least the basics of swimming is still there.
Last time during my childhood, it was a challenging time, especially for boys because our afternoon are filled with lots of outdoor activivties, including swimming, exporing nearby jungle and in the end, fishing.
Jungle procude and fishes that we managed to catch will be eaten together in what Bidayuh Serian called “nyara”, simply means “eating together”.
We always invite our family members to “nyara” as well. No matter how humble the food is, it is always taste better when we eat it together / when we “nyara”.
For this Bakun trip, I went for a “nyara” with my friends, but food itself is being prepared with love by Aunty Busang.
We are being served with fresh tilapia and also some beef, including chicken.
It tastes delicious and I gave it 5 out of 5 stars.
It was a tiring day indeed and we had an early night off, because the following day we are going to have to wake up early to go back to Miri.
For that night, we lined up our mattresses outside of our hostel actually because we want to experience close-to-nature night experience.
The closest we can get is to sleep outside, but still under the roof. It is risky to sleep outside as it often rains.
TIME TO SAY GOOD BYE
The following day, we grabbed our breakfast. Whilst waiting for the other members to come, we signed the guests book. After taking group photo, we made our move to the express and head back to Bakun’s jetty. Bye-bye Busang Denak.
Throughout the journey, I had a long chat with Uncle Busang about his history at Bakun, Belaga, Busang Denak and future planning.
ARRIVAL AT BAKUN’S JETTY
Before we left the express, Aunty Busang thanked us for choosing Busang Denak. In return also, we thanked her for her first-class hospitality and 5 star food.
JOURNEY BACK TO MIRI
We travelled back to Miri using the common route, and stopped somewhere near Murum Dam’s junction to eat some durian.
Along the way, we also took a stop at Batu Niah.
Once we arrived at Miri, it is time to say goodbye to our friends. Hopefully one day, we can go on a journey together again. God bless.
My social media: https://linktr.ee/claudiusweson
Note: Claudius is a “tukang rantek” (photographer in Bidayuh Pichin) based in Miri.