Refreshing nature and majestic sights in the Padawan highlands

Visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the Padawan highlands at Kiyau Campsite. Photo courtesy of Peter Jubut

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KUCHING, Oct 15: Few experiences can compare with waking up after an invigorating sleep among the mountain clouds and feeling the warm kiss of a beautiful sunrise fall softly on your face as you unzip the opening of your tent to see a breathtaking panoramic view of the Padawan highlands.

If you have not experienced this before and would like to, you should think about visiting Kiyau Campsite, within Kampung Sapit, Padawan, some 60km from Kuching city.

If you want to take a break from the rat race, be surrounded by unblemished natural surroundings, or staying above the clouds, then Kiyau Campsite is the place for you.

Just pack some food and drinks, camping equipment, trekking gear and swimming attire in case you decide to take a dip in a beautiful natural pool.

This writer recently met up with Peter Jubut who co-manages Kiyau Campsite with his cousin Julia Ridang.

Peter Jubut

Peter revealed that the camping site and his village is situated up more than a thousand metres high up a mountain. A number of villagers there have opened their doors as homestays to visitors and tourists to give the latter a taste of the village life and to immerse themselves in the beauty and peace of nature.

“The visitors can sample our village way of life. We welcome them.

“As for those coming over to the camping site, there are many activities they can do such as hiking and visiting the many waterfalls in the area that also have natural pools,” he said.

Peter, who had a 9-to-5 job in the city, said that he got involved in setting up Kiyau Campsite with his cousin Julia, whose family owns the land upon which the camping site is situated.

He revealed that besides Kiyau Campsite, other fellow villagers also operate camping sites nearby.

“We hope that it provides us (the villagers) with extra income. The villagers are happy to share our way of life and the natural attractions we have in this area,” he added.

“I love the place, and I appreciate the surrounding jungle. It took me a while to realise how beautiful the area is and I would like to share my appreciation for it with visitors.

“We provide basic facilities at our camping site for our visitors to give a little comfort, and we have washing , bathroom, dining, barbeque pit, and rest area facilities.”

Padang Waterfall and its natural swiiming pool is about an hour from Kiyau Campsite. Photo courtesy of Peter Jubut
A breathtaking sunrise seen from the entrance of a tent at Kiyau Campsite. Photo courtesy of Peter Jubut

Peter said that the camp site also has ample space to set sleeping tents, and they also rent out tents if visitors need them.

“Visitors can set up the tent on the ground or on a raised traditional bamboo platform. We want visitors to have a good night’s rest and sleep too.

“If you need us to provide food or utensils, we do provide such services at an extra charge. In terms of cooking utensils, we do cater for our Muslim brothers and sisters too,” he disclosed.

He added that visitors could sample Bidayuh food and locally brewed rice wine if they desire to try.

“You just need to let us know, and we will try to accommodate your request to make your stay comfortable and more memorable,” he added.

Peter revealed Kiyau Campsite has received good response from people from all walks of life, and the place is booked until December this year.

Peter at Sangoh Waterfall which is about a one hour and forty-five minutes’ hike from Kiyau Campsite. Photo courtesy of Peter Jubut

Kampung Sapit is only a stone’s throw away from the border between Sarawak and West Kalimantan, Indonesia.

“The village football field is only about 30 metres away from the border, and the villagers have the liberty to retrieve their ball as they please if they kick it across the border,” he said in jest.

Peter said the road from Kampung Sapit junction to the village itself is narrow and hilly.

“If the visitor is a bit wary of the condition, I am willing to assist the visitor in driving their vehicle. The short ride to the village from the junction is like a roller coaster ride, but it is great fun,” he joked.

Peter wants visitors to have fun and at the same time experience the Padawan Bidayuh way of life, culture and tradition.

“We want Kampung Sapit to flourish through tourism, and the villagers know what to offer to visitors. To me, Kiyau Campsite is among the camping sites in the area that offers a unique experience with nature and a lot of fun for visitors,” he said.

For further inquiry about Kiyau Campsite, call 019-409 4808. — DayakDaily