Bau Travelogue Day 10: Praying for safe deliveries at quirky roundabout temple along Jln Datuk Salau

Amitabha Buddhist Temple sits in the middle of Jalan Datuk Salau, Bau. Photo taken on May 27, 2024.

By D’Diggers Team

BAU, May 28: Bau’s quirky roundabout temple, formally known as Amitabha Buddhist Temple, is renowned as a place where women go to pray for safe deliveries and survival during childbirth.

The temple sits in an unusual spot in the middle of the road, serving as an iconic landmark and a roundabout for vehicles entering and exiting Bau along Jalan Datuk Salau.


The D’Diggers have passed by this landmark many times and spoken to numerous people in search of answers about the existence of the roundabout temple, but to no avail. No one could really confirm the stories behind this iconic temple, so we turned to community leader Pemanca Bong Jong Long.

He said before the Amitabha Buddhist Temple was built, a ‘belian’ (Bornean ironwood) post stood in its place with the name ‘Amitabha’ (Buddha of Eternal Life) engraved upon it.

“In the olden days, medical care was lacking. For women, especially, after giving birth, they (mothers) tend to pass away. This (post-delivery death) happened a lot.

“Some of the women would then go to the ‘belian’ post to pray for safe deliveries. Since then, the number of deaths dwindled,” he told DayakDaily when contacted today.

People began making donations and offerings, leading to the construction of a temple at the site of the ‘belian’ post. The temple itself, according to Bong, has been around for almost a hundred years.

The Amitabha Buddhist Temple is still actively used, most recently during this year’s Wesak Day, which fell on May 23.

Apart from the roundabout temple, D’Diggers visited three other local temples, namely the Fu De Temple, Zhi Yin Chi Temple, and the Wan Lau Seng Temple.

Bong said the Zhi Yin Chi Temple near Tasik Biru is one of the oldest in the area, having existed for about 145 years.

The Zhi Yin Chi Temple located near Tasik Biru.
One of the residents of Zhi Yin Chi Temple.
Archway leading to the Wan Lau Seng Temple.
Wan Lau Seng Temple, Bau.

D’Diggers crowns top choice of destination in Bau

Although Bau is very close to Kuching—a mere 43 minutes’ drive away from one town centre to another—the trip however has been a journey of many firsts for the D’Diggers.

Among all the destinations in Bau that we have explored, from nature to culture to heritage, one unanimous favourite emerged—Bung Jagoi.

Though Bung Jagoi is neither a brisk nor easy climb, the journey to the peak was an enlightening experience, particularly with the expert guidance of a local guide, Juis Megan.

Bung Jagoi embodies all—culture, tradition, belief, history, and nature—culminating in a spectacular view of the surrounding landscape from its summit, enriched by an evocative love story from long ago. It holds memories not only from a cultural standpoint, but also tells the story of the hearts of its people.

Our top pick does not in any way diminish the unique charm of other places. The Paku Rock Maze Garden (PRMG) fascinated D’Diggers with its rock formations, sparking debates over their shapes and best viewing angles.

Meanwhile, Serikin provided new experiences, with each visit offerings fresh discoveries, for returning D’Diggers and new visitors alike. Whether it’s a first-time excursion or a return visit, Serikin always had new surprises up its sleeve.

The challenging trek to Bronang Waterfall will forever remain etched not only in our memories, but also in our bodies; having tested our stamina and spatial awareness from the beginning of the trail, all the way leading to the majestic destination—the Bronang waterfall.

And of course, the rich experiences within both the Wind and Fairy Caves as well as the surrounding flora and fauna also left an impression. D’Diggers reached for the stars in the darkness of the cavern, observed hanging bats and experienced educational journey that engaged all five senses.

Bau proved to be an amazing destination, connecting D’Diggers with nature and the warmth of the locals’ hospitality. Despite being strangers, they welcomed us into their homes with great kindness.

Thank you, from D’Diggers

Today marks the final and 10th day of the D’Diggers’ trip in Bau.

Without the support of Deputy Minister for Transport (Maritime and Riverine) Dato Henry Harry Jinep, who is also Tasik Biru assemblyman, and the Bau District Office, this amazing 10-day adventure would not have been possible.

We will also never forget the incredible kindness of the locals we encountered during our journey whose generosity has left a lasting impression on us, and for that, we thank you.

To all the readers of DayakDaily, thank you immensely for your steadfast support and feedback throughout the D’Diggers’ adventure in Bau. We hope you have enjoyed the journey as much as we have. — DayakDaily

D’Diggers Team posing alongside Henry (third left), Bau District Officer, Constantine Gerald David Jonas (second left) and others after the Bau Gawai Parade on May 18, 2024.