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By Wilfred Pilo
KUCHING, Jan 25: Nothing beats a dip in a natural hot spring to destress from the hectic city life.
For this writer, a good, unhurried soak in natural hot spring water does wonders to relax and rejuvenate a battered mind and tired body.
Not only that, it is widely believed that natural hot springs which consists of geothermally heated underground water pooling on the surface of the earth, have healing properties.
If this sounds like an experience you would enjoy, the Paku Hot Spring in Bau just half-an-hour’s drive from Kuching city is worth visiting.
The hot spring is now open to the public. It has a new facade and facilities for visitors wishing take a dip in the natural hot spring.
Labun Sirok, 57, is responsible for ensuring that the hot spring pool is taken care of and looked after well.
The friendly caretaker said that the hot spring is managed by the Kampung Sibulung village development and security committee (JKKK).
“The entrance fees we charge the public will go towards the village JKKK fund and for our use,” he told this writer when met at the hot spring recently.
“Our JKKK members take turns to take care of the facilities, and we thank the government for giving us the chance to look after this hot spring.”
Labun said that the hot spring had been recently given a facelift to attract more visitors.
He added that the hot spring has been in the vicinity for as long as he can remember.
“In the old days, there was a path that the villagers took passing this hot spring. They would often stop and take a warm bath here,” he revealed.
“The villagers always felt good after taking a dip at the hot spring. They said bathing in the warm water made them feel good, especially when (bathing after) they came back from doing farm work,” he added.
Labun said the hot spring has some healing properties, and many people from other villages came down to the pool to partake of it.
“I know a man who works in the city who comes to the hot spring very often. He told me he had some health issues, and dipping in the hot spring helps him (feel better).
“He always looks refreshed after having a bath here, and he told me that hot spring rejuvenates his health. So I believed in what I saw in him,” he said, citing this as an example of the hot spring’s healing properties.
“I have not seen him in a while, but I believe he will come back,” he added.
Labun describes the water in the hot spring as warm and not too hot. It does have a sulfur smell but it is not overpowering.
“It’s bearable for people who take a dip in the pool, and I don’t think the smell of sulfur deters them too,” he shared.
Labun said he would ensure that the pool is clean and clear of unwanted items like dead leaves and broken twigs.
“It is the job that JKKK expects out of us, and we ensure that people can enjoy a healthy treat with the natural environment.”
Labun hoped that the natural healing properties of the hot spring water will help attract more visitors to Paku Hot Spring.
“I know more people will come and enjoy a dip at the natural spa. It is just a matter of time,” he said.
Another JKKK member Bernadine Lemon, who works at the ticket office, expressed the same views as Labun.
“The entrance fees are very reasonable for our local visitors. We charged RM5 for adult and RM3 for children below 12-years-old,” she explained.
“It is very affordable for a family to enjoy a visit here while at the same time rejuvenate their health. I fully recommended this place for natural spa baths,” she shared.
“We hoped the Paku Hot Spring will continue to attract people to boost tourism in Bau. Just brings extra clothing, and we are here to make your stay comfortable in the natural setting,” she said.
Paku Hot Spring is located at Jalan Air Panas, Paku, Bau. It opens daily from 9am-7pm (Monday to Friday) and from 9am-8pm (Saturday and Sunday). — DayakDaily