Wednesday, April 02, 2008

News - Sarikei Pala Munsoh Waterfall, the next tourist attraction?

I think you folks will be interested in the news below. Give your ideas to Sarawak Tourism Board of Sibu. In my humble opinion, Pala Munsoh should not be another modern park like Sarikei's Sebangkoi Falls. Why would tourists travel all the way there to see a modern park?

Pala Munsoh Falls should be marketed as an adventure trek amongst tropical forests with well marked trails and tagged trees like Bako in Kuching. Tourists will be rewarded with sparkling clear mineral water straight from the stream at the falls.

Partner with the longhouse there to showcase traditional Iban culture, handicrafts, food and tuak (rice wine). Please keep the traditional state of the longhouse to sustain ecotourism potential. No tourists would be interested in a modern and brightly painted longhouse with satellite TV, sofas and glass panelled windows.

Rudy (left) and Ling in front of Sungai Munsoh Waterfall in Ulu Sarikei.
Source: Eastern Times

Waterfall in Ulu Sarikei a good tourist attraction

By Roger J Duyong

SIBU: Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) Sibu has identified another potential tourist attraction in Ulu Sarikei - a waterfall.

Tucked away in the secondary rainforest, Sungai Munsoh waterfall was about the best one could find in Sarawak, according to STB Sibu executive, Rudy Anoi. Easily accessible through easy jungle trekking from Rumah Nyuka longhouse at Lubuk Lemba, the waterfall should be an ideal get-away destination especially for those who like to escape from the hustle and bustle of busy town life, he added.

Incidentally, Rudy had been very busy of late trying to locate new pristine spots in the interior of central region of Sarawak which could be promoted as new tourism products to boost the tourism industry.

The discovery of Sungai Munsoh waterfall was definitely very rewarding, according to Rudy. He and his team, comprising a travel agent and staff from STB, made the discovery during a recent trip to Lubuk Lemba in Ulu Sarikei upper-river interior region in search of potential tourist destinations. The 10-member team was led by Rudy and Ling How Ming of Greatown Travel.
“As part of our tourism product identification programme, this new discovery having the good potential as a tourist destination has been very promising, considering the perfect location and surroundings,” he said.

“It (waterfall) is also tucked away in a secondary rainforest where the air is clean and fresh - good for rejuvenating one’s body and soul.”

Rudy said he and his men had been to the area before but “didn’t have enough time to explore” then. “However, after our first trip, we realised Ulu Sarikei, especially in Lubuk Lemba, has the potential to be developed into a tourist destination in Sarikei area. that would likely add to the variety of tourist destinations within the SCORE borders,” he remarked.

Rumah Nyuka, a settlement nearest to the waterfall, has the advantage of being easily accessible by road, according to Rudy. Moreover, he said, the longhouse has basic facilities like water and electricity supply. During the trip to Rumah Nyuka, Rudy and his team were welcomed by Mr Ikau and members of his family. Ikau became the host as well as guide to help Rudy and his team to reach the waterfall.

While some members of Rudy’s team had some idea of what Sungai Munsoh waterfall was like, they were surprised to find the place more beautiful and captivating than they first thought, according to Rudy.

“The waterfall is fantastic and beautiful. Clean, fresh water falling from a height of 10 metres or so,” he said. “We didn’t bring any mineral water from the longhouse because we were told that we could get our drinks from Sungai Munsoh waterfall. At first, I didn’t believe it, but on arrival, we found the area amazingly clean and the water sparkling. We drank straight from the waterfall. That was our pure mineral water.”

Rudy soon learned that Sungai Munsoh waterfall was frequently visited by members of the local community and some members of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) who made outings there from time to time.

According to his opinion, Rudy said the waterfall was as attractive as that found in the Mulu National Park. Feedback from the longhouse folks convinced Rudy that the place could become a good tourism product if marketed well.

“What we need now is to initiate serious planning and strategies in developing it,” he said while suggesting that local authorities and travel agents put their heads together to think how to promote and market the waterfall to potential tourists.


Daniel Yiek said...

I read my old post on Pala Munsoh. Looks like the falls have a high tide and low tide (see pic for much taller falls in the old post). Search for Pala Munsoh

Reader Fred left a comment before that Pala Munsoh means Enemy's Head in Iban. There are 2 routes to go there:

a) Enter via Bayong Road. A government website said it's a 45min trek from the nearest longhouse to the falls. OR

b) Trek from Sebangkoi Falls. If anyone knows more details, pls post comment.

sarawakiana said...

Thank you for your interesting article. I am wondering if someone has already been "appointed" to write a book on Waterfalls of Sarawak.

This waterfall should remain in its pristine state to be the source of mineral water for Sarikei people in view of water shortage in the other parts of the world.

Your source of water is your life!!

Who will protect your water? Your people!

One bottle of mineral water at 1.20 is more expensive than the same bottle of diesel.

May Sarawakians always have natural water to drink.

Nelson said...

Sarikei must be creative in attracting tourists. It's not necessary that we must bring them to see the nature as Mulu, Bako etc can do better. Hotels here can instead provide packages to interesting places like tiger prawn farms, deers' farm, pepper plantations, 'swallows' house' and even sawmills! They will surely be thrilled by these visits that are so different from normal vacation, different from the rainforest kind of thing. They will be surprised and these trips are enriching too. Furthermore, those are among the top economy generators for Sarikei and these are what Sarikei is famous for!

sarawakiana said...

I have found out that in the early days Sarikei used tubewells as a source of water for standpipes.

Where were the tubewells? What developed later? Where is the present water purification plant?

Just curious as I am deeply interested in clean water supply.

Daniel Yiek said...

There's a Sarikei travel agent that's listed in S'wak tourism brochures that do the type of tours you mentioned. I will blog more on that in future.

Sorry, I dont have the answers to your questions. We have water tanks at Taman Tasik and Kampung Seberang but I'm not sure where the water purification is done.

fred said...

My only fear is that the waterfall itself become polluted due tourist activity. Irresponsible tourist that is.

changyi said...

Tourists depending on where they come from are usually very responsible people who are environmentally conscious. We and the rest of the world need to become cleanliness conscious - don't drop our tissue paper everywhere, don't spit,don't dump our plastic bags in sinks,etc. If all of us can be clean, then our environment will be pristine and pure. It starts with one person, one family, one community and one country being responsible forone's rubbish and this will spread hopefuly.

Nelson said...

Sarikei water is purified in Bayong, near Jakar.

burunghelang said...

Would not want to see another ruined childhood paradise like Sebangkoi.

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