The Arong Serait Waterfalls beckons to a cool getaway, away from it all

By Nancy Nais

KUCHING, March 25: The Arong Serait Waterfall, also known as the Karangan Falls in Kampung Selabat, Jalan Karangan, Muara Tebas is another hidden beauty in Sarawak.

Located just 17km from Kuching city, this place promises a panoramic view with healing sounds of its two-tiered cascading waterfalls.

The writer at the Arong Serait waterfall

With the scenic trail and beautiful rock formations, this waterfall is one of my favourite spots and it was worth all my effort to get there as well as the difficult climb up and down the jungle trail.

The trekking starts from Jalan Karangan in Kampung Selabat.

Depending on an individual’s stamina, the hike up is about 90 minutes through 2.5km of forest trails.

The first part of the trekking after the entrance was an easy 15-minute hike, that takes one through village farms into the jungle and passing through unique red trees locally known as Pokok Selusur.

Unique red trees are locally known as Selusur along the trail to the Arong Serait waterfall.

I also came across a few beautiful dark brown or dark red ponds.

Due to the natural soil properties surrounding the water bodies, the water reflects various hues offering a picture-perfect Instagram portrait.

Due to the natural properties existing in the surroundings, the water consists of various dark brown or red shades making it an Instagram haven.

I saw quite a lot of pitcher plants or Nepenthes Ampullaria on the ground as well.

While there were some easy areas, there were also certain parts that were not and it requires some “steep climbing” and the climb gets a little tougher as I entered into the forest and eventually rock surfaces which can be slippery even in dry weather.

At the harder trek, holding on to branches, roots and even a hand from friends and my guide became a big help.

This is when I told myself I must be willing to do tough physical climbing, focus on every step and mental strength that is key to face the challenges that this trail offers.

Interestingly, at most waterfalls, visitors will have to climb up to get to them.

Just before I arrived at Arong Serait waterfall, I was actually on top of the hill so I had to climb down on slippery huge rocks and ladders, while getting splashed from the mountain water.

It may sound dangerous or scary, but with careful steps and by following the guide’s instruction, it was all so very exciting and adventurous.

Upon arrival, the scenery around the waterfall was stunningly beautiful.

For me, it was indeed a natural therapy to relieve stress and escape the city noise, totally worth all the slip-up and sliding moments to climb up and down.

I personally rate this trail as moderate and it was a well-spent Sunday hike with my 13-year-old daughter Sarah Insha Nais Affandi.

Yes, she tagged along and despite the tiring adventure, she said it was thrilling.

As this is private property, it is compulsory to hire a local guide to trek Arong Serait.

Visitors can contact Mr Lanchot at 011-25081565 to discuss further guide fees.

Our very able hiking guide Lanchot, an old hand at the job.

Visitors to this trail and falls must bring along enough water, wear proper hiking shoes or ‘Kampung Adidas’ and hiking pants, some light snacks and always pay attention to the guide.

Start the hike early in the morning for the best experience.

So gather a few friends, pack your hiking gear and head off for an authentic outdoor trip. -DayakDaily

Hikers cooling themselves at Arong Serait waterfall.