By Nancy Nais
PADAWAN, Jan 1: Fancy having a meal right in the middle of a real rainforest and sip hot coffee or tea while gazing at a waterfall?
Unlike many themed restaurants or cafes in the city that says visitors can experience ‘authentic dining in the rainforest’ with all the natural decorations, nothing beats the real scene.
Regardless if it was authentic Dayak cuisine or even fusion instant noodles, who would have thought that after 90 minutes of jungle trek in the Padawan area, visitors can actually savour these meals while gazing at the beautiful Bak Buan Kukuot (BBK) waterfall.
Not forgetting piping hot coffee or tea while you relax and keep yourself warm after a dip in the freezing cold waterfall.
Located on top of a hill in a Bidayuh village called Kampung Sadir, Ban Buan Kukuot is a powerful two tier waterfall, visible from far away and the hike to reach took slightly over two hours.
Starting from the village, visitors will first hike across huge paddy areas, planted on several hills.
After that, they will enter the forest, hiking through lush flora following well maintained trails and small streams.
The trail can be quite muddy especially after heavy rain the night before, therefore proper hiking shoes or ‘Adidas kampung’ (local rubber shoes) is very essential.
Upon arrival at BKK, dipping yourself in the cold water after a good workout to get the muscles moving is extremely soothing.
After a cold dip, head to BKK jungle cafe located just a few feet away from the waterfall.
Obviously, the atmosphere and scenery at this jungle cafe are charming and beautiful as visitors can have light hot meals and drinks while they enjoy the serene environment and watch the loud gushing water from above BKK waterfall.
According to village guide and cafe owner Andy Hosen, he decided to build a rest hut with simple kitchen in November last year.
At that time, Kuching underwent the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) from Nov 9 to 22 following daily increases in Covid-19 cases.
“During this time, we close our village and all recreational activities for visitors. This gave me opportunity and time to build a resting hut with simple kitchen area for cooking and bamboo pipe to collect the cooling and clean mountain water.
“With the help of my family members, we completed the construction about two weeks before Christmas. Now, visitors who come to BBK waterfall don’t have to worry about bringing too many food or drinks which can be heavy for them to carry while hiking.
“Here, I sell hot drinks including forest tea in bamboo, fresh coconut and my special instant noodles with a touch of ginger buds (bunga kantan) served on a handmade tree bark plate,” Andy told DayakDaily.
Apart from that, he also make pineapple salad with bunga kantan, bamboo chicken (ayam pansuh), local jungle vegetables such as midin or paku, glutinous rice in bamboo (lemang) and wrapped rice but this is upon request with prior reservation.
How does Andy serve the food?
Hollowed bamboo stalks are used as natural, disposable cookware.
Bamboo and banana leaves were used as wrappers in the cooking process and all these made it a unique, produce-driven food that’s completely in tune with their natural surroundings.
On his future plans, Andy said he will set up a barbeque corner to cook chicken wings for sale, as well as constructing toilet and dressing room area.
“I want to see my village progress. Since we have a few beautiful waterfalls here, I will continue my efforts to make our visitors happy, comfortable and bring back with them good hiking memories at BKK,” Andy added.
Waterfalls are indeed magical, but nothing beats the journey to get to this one because at the end of it, visitors could dip in the water and sit-down in a fresh jungle café, a the perfect way to revive your spirits right inside the dense jungle of Padawan.
On the side note, although this spot is fascinating, it is located off the beaten path, so visitors are advised to be a responsible traveler, wear appropriate shoes, respect the nature, be vigilant during the hike and swim at your own risk in the waterfall. — DayakDaily