Sunday, June 17, 2012

Six bio-tourism products identified at Sarawak's historical site

KUCHING: Six bio-tourism products have been identified at the mystical Bung Brunggu historical site near Kampung Simpok and Kampung Sarig and have the potential to attract tourists interested in history and nature.

Deputy Minister of Tourism Datuk Dr James Dawos Mamit who launched the Bung Brunggu Heritage Trail yesterday said the defence system by the Bisapug clan long ago to fight their enemy was one of the products which had historical significance.

As the hill was a 40 degrees slope, logs were tied together to be rolled over the enemies, he explained.

Another product is the ‘Tapang’ tree where the bees would build their hives, and the villagers would harvest the honey using a bamboo ladder.

“The third product is the natural spring water which would not dry up during a drought, and according to a legend, a young beautiful woman had died there.

“The site also has a beautiful mini waterfall. The other tourism product identified is an old grave and families of the dead had planted mangosteen trees nearby as they believed the spirit of the dead could be protected by the strength of the trees,” he said.

The Bung Brunggu was also an ancestral home of the Bisapug clan of the Bidayuh community, and it contained the history of their origin.

“There are artefacts telling the history and origin of the Bisapug clan. This is very interesting as it can also attract tourists,” he added.

According to him, the difference between bio-tourism and eco-tourism was that eco-tourism must be undisturbed and a ‘virgin’ area, while bio-tourism was an area that had already been developed but no longer disturbed such as proper foot trails for tourists’ convenience.

Dawos said several amenities should be added to improve Bung Brunggu heritage trail including building a better footpath, to build a mini museum made of bamboos to store artefacts and to build ecolodge for tourists.

Meanwhile, Sarawak Bisapug Association (SBA) president Paul Kawin Pipo said the site was their ancestral settlement 300 years ago before the James Brooke era.

The clan started moving out after their village of 200 doors was burnt down by pirates before the James Brooke era.