Thursday, January 31, 2008

A Heart-Rending Demise Of Bukit Saban Resort

The onward journey from Sarikei to Kuching was lengthy and it took a tiring five hours to go through.

At 290th km. of Kuching/Sarikei Road, we drove past the roadside signboard of Bukit Saban Resort. The shabby condition of it is so very sorrowful and heart-rending. The fate of the resort deserves a word of mention here.

Bukit Saban Resort started at the height of our government's efforts to promote ecotourism. At that time it radiated much enthusiasm for our inland tourism.

A familiarisation trip took me there when it was opened for business. I was deeply impressed by its concept - a perfect blend of culture, nature and modern comfort.

The lush Borneo rainforest and the culture of Ibans were combined to form an unforgetable setting for the resort. And the longhouse-style rooms gave me an excellent cultural touch.

But Bukit Saban Resort failed to stand up to the test of harsh reality of business. It went bankrupt and eventually was closed down. Now it has been converted to a National Service camp.

When the signboard went out of my sight, I couldn't help lamenting the downfall of an ideal resort for ecotourism.


天鵝江畔 said...

i had stayed at Bukit Sanab Resort for one night with my family around 7-8 years ago. Nice n silence forest atmosphere with charm fresh green scenary. But everything was expensive, so we bring food by ourselves.
In order to encourage local people to stay at resort,the authority concern may be can have double standard of fare, one for local one for tourist!?
There are quite a number of resorts located whole Sarawak, like Pelagus Resort, and some national parks resort, all are attactive but the locals are not aware about it.

Tony Hii said...

Meng Lei, double-standard pricing might be unfair to the foreign tourists.

Our ecological environment with tourism potential has been marred. As such, they are less attractive to the ecotourists.

Anonymous said...

There are many similar projects which never really took off. Sarawak is not exactly the kind of destination a foreign tourist would want to spend his money and his time on because there are many other interesting places in the world. Even a Sarawakian would spend his holidays out of Sarawak. May be Sarawak can promote itself as a discovery adventure eco tour destination. Then may be foreigners would want to discover something about this place that does not seem so exciting. Therefore the government is really wasting money but instead of leaving it abandoned, at least it is now used for government planned activities. I think the government should not try to compete with other destinations. But to make do with what is available and promote Sarawak as she is. May be things like nature camping, picnic, trekking; things which the foreigners love to do because they love to observe things as they walk at their own pace. So there is really no need to build mega projects. If it is nature's tour, you don't have to discuss about the fare of the accomodation because they will be sleeping in their own tents and cooking their own meals. In Sarawak, the best form of transportation is actually a four wheel for those who wish to travel by themselves. Sarawak's remaining nature can still be preserved if Sarawakians are not greedy about money and think nothing but cutting down all the ancient trees. Without the trees, all the animals will die. Sarawakians have not reached that kind of thinking whereby there is a balance between development and nature.

As for Ting Pek Kiing, he is one of the wealthiest men in Malaysia. Of course his philosophy of working fast make many big shots happy with him. Now that he has that kind of money, he does not really have to wait for others. Not like some other struggling contractors who have no choice but to be patient when they have to work with difficult people because they don't have that kind of money to move people.

Tony Hii said...

Anonymous, the selling point of Sarawak is its CAN (culture, adventure and nature). We should promote Sarawak to the world as a destination for ecotourism.

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!