Bau, a district in the Kuching Division once known for its gold mining activities, has discovered a new form of “gold” which has the potential to become a vibrant tourist attraction.
Several projects have been planned over the next 10 years for Bau, located about 40km from Kuching, under the “Greater Bau” initiatives. There initiatives are much awaited by residents of the district.
Bau Gold Mine Museum and Park, as well as Tasik Biru Resort City are among the interesting tourism infrastructure projects proposed.
The proposed Bau Gold Mine Museum and Park will act as a catalyst to transform the district into a holistic gold heritage town in Sarawak and reboot the tourism mechanism of Bau by strategically capitalising on its adventure, nature, agro and cultural tourism components.
The construction of the first phase of Tasik Biru Resort City, which will commence soon, will comprise a hotel with floating chalets and restaurant, chairlifts as well as a promenade around the lake and public parks to complement the museum.
The project will definitely offer a variety of unique holiday experiences and attract more tourists as well as create more job opportunities.
Tasik Biru State assemblyman Datuk Henry Harry Jinep said that the proposed museum will become a new tourist attraction in the district.
Henry said a consultant firm has been appointed to carry out a study to formalise the master plan with Bau gold mining history as the context of development, and the natural and cultural heritage as its engaging components.
“Bau Gold Mine Museum and Park will be the core project in the proposed Tasik Biru tourism hub with the tourism vitality sprawling to adjacent towns. The project will increase investments, crystalise the value chain of tourism, create employment opportunities and diversify economic activities in the district, ” he said.
Henry added the Greater Bau initiatives (launched on Dec 31,2020) were not only meant for the Tasik Biru state constituency, but rather the whole area of Bau.
He said the Greater Bau plan will cover stretches from Kampung Lidah Tanah (in Batu Kitang state constituency); Serikin, Jagoi and Singai (in Tasik Biru state constituency); and Siniawan, Tondong, Buso, Krokong, Pangkalan Tebang, and Gumbang (in Serembu state constituency).
“We need to decentralise. That is why we call it the Greater Bau. The development is not only concentrated in the Bau town itself so that people of different races and ethnic groups in the district including Bidayuh, Chinese, and Malay can enjoy it, ” said Henry.
Henry revealed that Bau and Siniawan were bustling towns in the past but Bau – which has 200 years of gold mining history that began in the 1820s – was still a backwater with revenues from the mining, especially antimony and gold, offering little benefits to the local communities.
“It was said that what was left was a big ‘parit’ or ditch for Bau following the mining activities, thus under the Greater Bau, it will be turned into a ditch-related ecotourism, explaining its histories, local traditions and customs.
“The introduction of modern infrastructure and amenities under the Blueprint for Bau District 2016-2030, Tasik Biru Resort City, Bau Museum as well as the concept of Greater Bau will augur well for the people of Bau and Sarawak in general, ” he added.
Meanwhile, Kampung Gumbang head Atok Derop said Greater Bau was an inspirational concept that would further develop Bau Town and its surroundings and spur economic activities especially for the local ecotourism industry.
“As such, we as local community leaders fully support the idea of transforming Bau into an iconic tourist destination, especially its historical Chinese Gold Miners trail starting from Sambas in Indonesia to Kampung Gumbang before reaching Bau in the early 1800s, ” said Atop.
He also called on the State and Federal Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture to consider the development of ecotourism products in Kampung Gumbang, focusing on the gold miners trail.
Environmental consultant Burhanudin Abu Bakar said the development of Bau Gold Mine Museum and Park can become a one stop centre to introduce other attractions in the district, create more job opportunities and turn Bau into an attractive tourist destination. – Bernama
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