Bau Travelogue Day 8: Kpg Stass the second Serikin, Bung Teramou’s durian bounty, villagers’ heartfelt friendliness

The clock tower of Kampung Stass, Bau.

By D’Diggers Team

BAU, May 26: Following in the footsteps of Serikin, Kampung Stass may become the next major rural settlement along the borders of Sarawak due to its proximity to Kalimantan, which is only a 15-minute walk away.

Located approximately 40km from Kuching, Kampung Stass comprises three Bidayuh villages, namely Kampung Stass itself, Kampung Krawong, and Kampung St Mark—together with a combined population of over 2,000.


Like the Bidayuhs in other parts of Sarawak, the residents of Kampung Stass originated from Bung Jagoi and, prior to that, came from Bung Bratak.

The Bidayuh village was established around 1900 and stood out among the many villages in its vicinity due to its role during the Confrontation when there were frequent raids and attacks from the Indonesian side.

“During that time, the Australian army was stationed here (as part of the larger British and Commonwealth force under British command).

“All residents from other villages from around Kampung Stass were asked to move here,” Peter John, the village chief of Kampung Stass, told the D’Diggers.

Pointing at SK Stass, he explained that this was exactly where the army camp had been located. The plateau where his house and the public library now stand was actually an airstrip.

“Even until now, every year, some Australians will travel back here to visit the campsite.”

SK Stass sits on the former site of the Commonwealth Army Campsite, which was set up to protect Sarawakians during the Confrontation.

New border post at Kampung Stass

At a road junction near the Kampung Stass roundabout, Peter John described how close this village settlement is to Kalimantan.

“From the beginning of this junction to the end of this road, it will take about a 10-minute drive. From the end of the road to the Indonesian border, it will take a 15-minute walk,” said Peter John.

Proximity to the Kalimantan border has given Kampung Stass an advantage as Tasik Biru assemblyman Datuk Henry Harry Jinep announced that a border control post will be set up in Kampung Stass, and a location has been identified. To Peter John, this is wonderful news.

He hopes that with the construction of a border post, new opportunities will emerge for the villagers, especially in trading and tourism. In fact, Peter John hopes that Kampung Stass may become another Serikin.

When contacted, Harry said that a border post will be built at Kampung Stass, similar to the one in Serikin, which will be upgraded to a proper Immigration, Customs, Quarantine, and Security (ICQS) Complex.

“This is to facilitate the movement across borders while we prepare Bau to be a transit town between Indonesia and Kuching,” he told the D’Diggers.

The quaint village of Kampung Stass.

Bung Teramou Heritage Walk

The drive from Kuching to Kampung Stass follows a tar-sealed road bordered by greenery and villages. Sometimes, mountain ranges appear in the distance, and at other times, stretches of blue skies.

The scene is a picturesque combination of good roads, blue skies, distant mountains, lush verdure, and houses surrounded by flowering plants.

Kampung Stass is named after ‘Tass’, which means ‘belian’, or Borneo ironwood, in Bidayuh.

Having been born and raised in Kampung Stass, Peter John took the beauty of his birthplace for granted, unlike travellers like us. It’s a scenic village nestled on undulating slopes within a valley.

Despite Peter John’s claim that there are no tourist spots in Kampung Stass, the journey to the village itself is delightful. Not to mention, the village holds historical significance with places like Bung Teramou, one of the historical dwelling places of the Bidayuh.

For hiking enthusiasts, the trail to Bung Teramou is a must-try and should be added to the list. It winds through durian orchards, especially at the beginning. The hike is guided by a pathway all the way up to the peak, which is approximately 1,000 feet high, according to Peter John.

While introducing the heritage walk, Peter John abruptly shifted to the topic of durians, likely due to the numerous durian trees and even some durian flowers found along the pathway.

It so happens that Kampung Stass is quite famous for its durians, as their ancestors left behind many old durian trees which still bear fruit to this day.

Observing the durian flowers along the pathway, Peter John predicted that by August this year, durian season may begin.

During the season when durians are abundant, travellers who love durians may try their luck to find a bargain, like when DayakDaily once purchased a gunny sack of durians (about 20 durians) for only RM30 a few years ago.

Friendliness, the hallmark of Kampung Stass

What impressed visitors like us even more was the friendliness of the villagers.

Without any prior contact, the D’Diggers Team initially arrived at a tuck shop and inquired about Peter John’s contact information. Without hesitation, it was provided. Following that, another kind villager, who was working at a construction site, offered to lead us directly to the village when we asked for directions.

As we chatted, we were served over-sweetened coffee and biscuits, and before Peter John personally brought us to the Bung Teramou Heritage Walk, he offered dragon fruit, which he had freshly harvested to us.

Kampung Stass may lack the tallest waterfall, the clear creek, or a misty and mysterious lake to attract visitors, but its friendliness undoubtedly leaves lasting memories. Visitors, undoubtedly, would return for more. After all, who wouldn’t miss such kindness and friendliness? — DayakDaily

Peter John harvesting a dragon fruit.
A cat in Kampung Stass.