Gunung Santubong is an 810m high mountain located about 35km north of Kuching, Sarawak.
Like many Malaysian peaks, it is associated with legends, this one involving a heavenly princess who was transformed into a mountain.
Viewed from afar, the profile of the mountain is supposed to resemble a woman lying on her back. I can’t see it myself. From this angle it looks more like the face of Homer Simpson.
The mountain is surrounded by jungle, mudflats and mangrove forests. Kuching’s best beaches are found here and dolphins and porpoises have been known to frequent the waters.
The fit and adventurous can try climbing this hill. It’s harder than it looks. The summit trek involves an energy-sapping climb with lots of rope ladders and scrambling up steep slopes. It can take anywhere between 2 1/2 and 4 hours to ascend, depending on fitness levels and the number of stops, and up to two hours to come down.
The trail starts at the Green Paradise Seafood Restaurant, about 5 minutes walk from Damai Beach. Those not wishing to go to the top can just take the easier jungle trek or visit the waterfall.
Damai Beach is a fine sand beach with a beautiful setting at the foot of the mountain. It can be prone to jellyfish at certain times of the year but during my recent visit the sea was very swimmable. The beach is shared by the Damai Beach Resort and the newly opened Damai Central, a public beach-front shopping, eating and entertainment complex.
The retail outlets in Damai Central are not yet fully occupied but it looks like a good facility and it allows public access to the beach which otherwise might have been turned into another exclusive beach resort.
Noticing something unusual on the horizon in the above picture I zoomed in to see what looked like a wrecked barge.
Also at Damai Beach is the entrance to one of Kuching’s top tourist attractions, the Sarawak Cultural Village. This 17 acre living museum is home to 150 people wearing traditional costumes who show visitors around replica longhouses from all the main ethnic groups of Sarawak and demonstrate their culture and lifestyles . It might not be the real thing but it seems authentic enough for most tourists and it sure is a convenient way to get an overview of Sarawak’s people all in one location.
How do you like my postage stamp design? Perhaps I should ask the Post Office for a job.