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Luxury Hotels in Bandar Sri Aman, Kuching

About

Sri Aman is a market town and port, and the capital of Sri Aman District and Sri Aman Division in Sarawak, east Malaysia. Sri Aman is also called Bandar Sri Aman, and was formerly known as Simanggang. Sri Aman means "town of peace" in the Malay language. Located on the Lupar River, it is 193 kilometers, a three-hour drive, from Kuching, the capital of Sarawak. It is a trade center for the timber, oil palm, rubber, and pepper of its mostly agricultural district. Sri Aman is famous for the benak, or tidal bore, of the Batang Lupar River. The tidal bore comes in from the river mouth and fills up the river very rapidly in the course of about 10 minutes.

The wave crest at Sri Aman is up to 2 to 3 metres high. This is one of approximately 48 rivers and estuaries in the world where this phenomenon happens. What is special about Sri Aman's benak is that it occurs every day, the only river in the world that does that. There is a timetable at the river which has the time and dates for when the tidal bore will occur, but the really big ones occur only a couple of times a year. The author Somerset Maugham almost died at Simanggang during one of these tidal bores, and commemorated the event in his short story Yellow Streak. Sri Aman is also a gateway for tourists to the Batang Ai National Park, and cultural tours to the Iban longhouses along the rivers.

How to Get There

By Plane

If you are traveling by air, nearest airport is Simanggang Airport (SGG). The airport is known by the ICAO code WBGY and IATA code SGG which makes it identifiable with the name SGG Sri Aman. The airport is categorized as a small airport and serves the Sri Aman city, the Sarawak state and Malaysia at large.

Tourist Attractions

Fort Alice

Fort Alice, built in 1864, is the oldest heritage building in Sri Aman, constructed following the victory of Rajah Charles Brooke, the second Rajah of Sarawak, over Rentap, the last of the major Iban chieftains, in 1864. The Fort was named after Charles Brooke's wife, Margaret Alice Lili de Windt. It served as a defensive structure controlling the Lupar River. The structure was built on a strategic hilltop position and had a commanding view of the river with cannons bearing down to stop any threats coming from upriver. It played a major role in suppressing piracy, slavery, and head-hunting, while encouraging trade and expanding the authority of the Rajah. Fort Alice was the Simanggang administrative center, housing various government departments and even a prison. It was here Rajah Charles used to preside as judge settling disputes among the local Ibans during his many visits to Simanggang. It was built entirely of ironwood timber. Much of the timber used was taken from an earlier fort, Fort James Brooke, which had been built further upriver in Nanga Skrang. However, Fort James was built on lowland and was hard to defend, as was proven in 1853 when one of the Rajah's officers, Alan Lee, died in an attack by the Iban chieftain Rentap. It was decided to dismantle Fort James and to rebuild it in a more strategic and more defensible site in Simanggang District (now Sri Aman Division). Thus Fort Alice was built. Most of the original structure remains substantially intact, but it is in an extremely dilapidated and run down condition and sadly in need of urgent restoration work. Many articles have been written to highlight the sorry state of the grand old lady. Restoration for the fort had been done in April 2015 and been changed into a museum.

Maludam National Park

Maludam National Park Covers an area of 432 square kilometres (167 sq mi) make it the second largest park in Sarawak. It is located in the Maludam Peninsula and consists entirely of low-lying, flat peat swamp forest. Maludam National Park also has the only viable population of the Red Banded Langur (Presbytis chrysomelas cruciger) remaining in the world today. This species is one of the world’s most beautiful monkeys, and is endemic only to Borneo.

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