Saturday, July 11, 2009

Legendary Village of Sarawak

Yesterday we drove about 45 minutes out of Kuching City to Sarawak's legendary village. The village of Santubong that nestles at the foothills of Mount Santubong is associated with the legend of Mount Santubong and its surrounding mountains and islands. I have written briefly about the legend earlier as in here. On this visit I took the opportunity to drive the narrow village roads and parked close to a mangrove forested area . What fascinated me were the strong colours of the houses, the system of boardwalk that are built way above the high tide level and the mangrove trees with roots and trunks partly and sometimes fully submerged in water especially during high tide.

The main occupation of the villagers here is fishing. They fish along the coastal areas not far from the village and in the rivers that meander close to the village. All the houses that are built on the muddy banks and mudflat areas are raised on stilts made from the 'belian' timber - easily the hardest wood in Sarawak.
To access the river bank where the fishermen boats are parked, a system of boardwalks are constructed to enable the villagers bring in their catch or for sightseeing. At the far background in the above picture is a view of Mount Santubong.

One typical mangrove tree that can seen everywhere around the riverbanks is the Mangrove Apple tree or sometimes referred locally as the 'Pedada tree'. Above is a picture of the young 'Pedada' fruit ( Sonneratia caseolaris). Pedada trees grow wild. The fruits when ripe can be eaten raw .

One interesting inter-tidal wildlife that I managed to capture with my digital camera handphone was the Horshoe Crab ( Limulus moluccanus). Locally it is referred to as the "Belangkas".
Here the Horshoe Crab is eaten minus the hard armour-like cover. I didn't opt to buy the crab however and instead settled for some sea prawns.


Protege said...

This is indeed cool. I have seen mangrove trees before on my visit in Puerto Rico in the Caribbean. I even snorkeled in a mangrove tree bay and it was amazing as many fish use that as their nurseries. I saw even baby barracudas there.))

Mahmud Yussop said...

Wow, that's interesting to know of your trip to Puerto Rico.Mangroves ecosystems can indeed be a source of wealth e.g. eco-tourism and a country's safety net against tsunamis.