Betung Kerihun National Park covers the area of 800,000 hectares. Inside the park, there are many kinds of attraction and choices of activities for tourists. From nature exploration, water sport, camping, and even a cultural experience are provided in this one wide area. Because the park is too vast, it is then divided into four regions where each region has complete package of fun tourism and interesting attractions. One of the regions is Sibau Watershed.
Sibau Watershed has both cultural and nature exploration attraction. The tour starts at primitive village of Dayak, and then continues to trek the wild animals such as Orangutan and crocodile. At the end of the journey, you can climb up the highest mountain in West Kalimantan.
The main attraction of Sibau Watershed is the primitive village. There are three main villages in this region which are worth visiting. First village is Uluk Palin. This village is located nearby the Palin River. To reach this place, you need to drive for about 45 minutes from Putussibau. The village is occupied by Dayak Tamambaloh sub-ethnic. This sub-ethnic is more primitive than Dayak Iban at Pinjawan Village. Most of the villagers are still making traditional goods for a living such as gong, kettledrums, and porcelain jars.
At the Uluk Palin Village, you can find the oldest Rumah Betang ever. Rumah Betang is a traditional house of Dayak with long and large shape which is enough to be occupied by many families. The Rumah Betang at Uluk Palin merely used traditional method of construction. It was built using Borneo ironwood.
There is not a single used to connect the joints. Instead, they use rattan to do it. It may sound strange, but this construction is really strong and durable. It is proved by the fact that this Rumah Betang has already been about 100 years old. The house is 268 meters long and consists of 54 doors. It has been occupied until six generations. Now, there are about 78 families with total of almost 300 people lives at this antique house.
Second primitive village to be visited on Sibau Watershed is the Sibau Hulu Village where there is a unique Rumah Betang called Bali Gundi. Bali Gundi is about 150 meters long with 23 chambers. Tourists are able to have a stay at this house as some of the chambers are left unoccupied purposely to make rooms for tourists.
The people of Dayak Taman, the sub-ethnic of Dayak who lives at this village, are very familiar with tourists stay with them. In fact, they are already trained to provide full services. Therefore, you can have a full package of accommodation there including beds, meals, beverages, and snacks.
The third village, Nanga Potan, also has accommodations for tourists. There is no traditional Rumah Betang, only normal guest house surrounded with exotic environment of nature. Tourist Information Center of Sibau Watershed is also located at this village. To reach this place from Putussibau, you can only use motorcycle and then continue with a longboat ride through the river.
Local people who live at this village are the people of Bukat and Dayak Kantu sub-ethnic. Many of these people are well trained to track and locate several species of wild animals such as orangutan, crocodile, and false gharial. Plus, there are several treks at this village to track those animals. Therefore, many tourists like to visit this village and hire one of those people to help them with their tour in hope of encountering some wild animals in the forest.
People of Nanga Potan are also good at agriculture. Around the village, you can find plenty of various fields. One of the most interesting fields is the durian fields. Durian is an exotic tropical fruits that can live only at several places in South-East Asia. The fruit has unique smell and taste. You can buy this fruit at the city but it would be quite pricy. Meanwhile, the amount of this fruit at the village is abundant. If you come at the right season, durian will be available for you to eat freely.
The Wild Tracks
One of the most popular treks at Sibau Watershed is the Orangutan Trek. This trek starts at Nanga Potan village. Just as its name, the trail will direct you to the locations where you might encounter Orangutan. To increase the chance of encountering them, it is recommended to hire a guide. Many people of Nanga Potan have the skills to locate this endangered animal.
The first two or three hours of this track would be easy as you just need to walk on level line. After that, you would need to climb up Mayas Hill. The track will end up at a point between Potan River and Maya River. During this journey, you will also see various species of fruit trees and several kinds of fields managed by Nanga Potan villagers.
Other track to see wild animal at Sibau Watershed is the Bengkal Jabun track. Bengkal Jabun is the nesting site of crocodiles (Crocodillus sp.) and false gharial (Tomistoma schegelli). This place can also be reached directly from Putussibau town by using motorboat for about 1.5 hours.
Crocodiles have the habit of laying eggs at a certain place and will return to that same place when at the certain season. Sometimes, you can also see those laying eggs in front of the tourism office at this area.
Around Nanga Potan post, there is also another track for wild animal observatory. The track is located on Menyakan River. This track is best to see plenty kinds of fish and big mammals such as sepans and sibau. To get on this track, you need to start it from the joint between Menyakan River and Paro River. Then, take a sailing ride with long boat through Menyakan River for about two hours. Menyakan River is also the best place for fishing.
From so many mountains in West Kalimantan that have ever been climbed, Mount Lawit is the highest of them all with 1,770 meters above the sea level. Mount Lawit is located right at the international border line between Malaysia and Indonesia. But the highest peak is located on the Indonesian side.
The hiking track will start at the post nearby Menyakan River and will continue to the upper level of Peyang River. It would take about six days to climb up to the top. The mount has three peaks but only a few climbers could conquer all the three of them.
The peaks of Mount Lawit have unique ecosystems that provide breath taking sceneries to spoil your eyes. The wind is nice and so much refreshing. Around the peak, you will also find a fruit tree named Musa lawitiensis. It is an endemic species of banana that can only grow at this mountain.
Now that is all we could say about Sibau Watershed of Betung Kerihun National Park. Don’t forget to read our other articles about Betung Kerihun National Park to get more information about other interesting region for adventurous experience in the heart of Borneo Island.