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Sunday October 27, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Sunday October 27, 2013 MYT 2:59:26 PM
by vanes devindran
THE quaint town of Bau is likely to have an influx of visitors soon after authorities have carried out several projects to boost tourism based on nature and culture.
Among the projects in the pipeline is a Hakka traditional village and a gold mining museum.
An enthusiastic Environment Assistant Minister Datuk Peter Nansian Ngusie told reporters that his team had started rolling out a plan which was in line with the state’s tourism master plan covering the area from Sematan to Serian.
He said he had been making trips to China to look at the traditional dwellings of the Hakka people called tulou, which are large, enclosed and fortified earth buildings.
They are usually rectangular or circular in shape, with very thick rammed-earth walls, and are between three and five storeys high. Each one can house up to 80 families.
Nansian said it was decided that Bau, more than an hour’s drive from Kuching, would have their replicas in recognition of the Hakka who were one of the first communities to settle in the area following the mining of gold.
In addition, he said, since Bau was famous for its gold mines, it was timely to set up a museum to document the history.
“We are still working on the details and location for these two projects.
“For the museum, the gold mining companies have agreed to back us up by providing the information,” he said after opening the Jong Festival at Tasik Biru yesterday.
Nansian, who is Tasik Biru assemblyman, said what Bau needed was something which would give prominence to the local communities.
At the moment, he said the Bidayuhs there were looking forward to having a 30-door community longhouse built at a centre belonging to the Association of Research and Development Movement of Singai (Redeems) located at Kampung Apar.
It is learnt that the Singai Bidayuh will also be setting a record for having the biggest tanju (traditional paddy drying platform) — probably the biggest in the world — attached to the longhouse.
Nansian said the longhouse and the tulou would definitely be venues for various activities once they are completed.
In addition, he said, footpaths would be made on the hills near Tasik Biru so people could enjoy the view of the lake.
Regarding his trip to China, he said it also inspired him to create a stone forest in Bau, which has beautiful limestone formations.
On the festival itself, Nansian said next year’s event would see a name change from just Jong Festival to a Jong and Rakit (rafting) Festival instead.
This, he explained, was necessary as the annual jong event was growing bigger and should also have other water sports.
While the jong race would continue to be the main event of the festival, he said the committee planned to add other activities, including sports like rafting and canoeing.
The festival ends today.
Tags / Keywords:
East Malaysia, Family & Community, Bau, Hakka, tulou, tourism, Datuk Peter Nansian Ngusie
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