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Friday 29 November 2013

A day trip to Sri Aman for Tidal Bore Festival 2013 (Pesta Benak)

There were four of us in a group attending this annual festival in Sri Aman. The tidal bore is one of Sarawak's natural phenomenon which the locals call it 'Benak'.

We started our journey from Kuching at around 8.30am, stopped over at Serian for breakfast. From there, we travelled another 150 km on sealed road with beautiful countryside and longhouses along the way to reach 'Pekan' (bazaar) Lachau.  'Pekan' Lachau is known locally as a 'Cowboy Bazaar'.  Lachau Bazaar Market is always interesting as you can find fresh jungle produce sold by the Iban women, as well as local crafts and fresh river fish.  We had lunch at one of the Chinese coffee shops located next to the market. Great food we might add!

Picture combo of local native market scenes at Lachau Bazaar | Kuching Sarawak Malaysia Borneo

Moving further toward Sri Aman Town, we visited the Mount Hosanna Chapel or they called it the healing church.  There are 100 over steps up that you need to climb to reach the chapel. Mount Hosanna Chapel is eye-catching with its unique architecture of three large white candles on top of a hill.

Combo picture of the Mount Hosanna Chapel | Sarawak Malaysia Borneo

From Mount Hosanna Chapel, we traveled another 45 minutes to reach Sri Aman town where the Tidal Bore Festival were held.  It is a very special experience for us to witness this rare phenomenon.  

Pesta Benak is one of Sarawak's iconic events and celebrated on a grand scale.  Activities such as longboat paddling competition; tidal bore surfing; water sports, food and trade fair were held during the festival.  A strategic place to view the Tidal Bore is at 'Taman Panaroma Benak' (Tidal Bore Panaromic Garden). Below the view point deck is an exhibition gallery on... you guess it... tidal bore.

The Tidal Bore reached the jetty point at 5.15pm, this was the highlight of the event.  

Massive crowd gathered to watch the last tidal bore of the day at Sri Aman  | Sarawak Malaysia Borneo
Locals riding the Sri Aman's tidal bore in longboats  | Sarawak Malaysia Borneo 

A bumper crowd that lined up the waterfront of Sri Aman | Sarawak Malaysia Borneo
 Before we wrapped up this trip, we grabbed some souvenirs as part of our special remembrance.

Video: Riding the 'Benak' - tidal bore - at Sri Aman, Sarawak 

Sarawak Malaysia Borneo...where adventure lives

Written by: Angela & Erivina

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