Kuching, Malaysia · 2 hotels available
Lubok Antu is a district in Sarawak, Malaysia. It borders with Badau, Indonesia. Lubok Antu is the main gateway to Batang Ai National Park that consists of a tropical rainforest and a hydroelectric dam with a reservoir that is recognized as the largest artificial lake in Sarawak.
According to history, Lubok Antu name was derived from a hole at the lower part of Batang Ai River. In the olden days, the Ibans were always fighting and many dead corpse were thrown and left inside the hole. Thus, it is believed that the hole were swamped with deadly spirits or ghosts and being known as ‘Lubok Antu’ or the ‘Ghost Hole’.
There is another folklore tales from the local residence whereby once upon a time, there were two brothers namely, Chiri and Jampi. One day, they went to sharpen their dagger or ‘ngamboh parang’. On the way back from ngamboh, they stumbled upon Bunga Nuing, an angel or ‘orang kayangan’. Bung Nuing challenged both of them for a duel on the sharpness of their dagger. In that duel, Bunga Nuing proved his dagger by slashing a rock at the bank of Batang Ai River making a hole or ‘lubok’. Ever since that day, the place is called Lubok Antu since Bunga Nuing who slashed that rock and become a hole is no ordinary human and the locals believed that the place is also haunted.
The locals in Lubok Antu are mostly the Ibans followed by Chinese, Malays and other Dayak people. . Locals speak in their tribal Dayak language. The Iban chief and several translators may converse in Bahasa Melayu Sarawak and English.
The journey to Lubok Antu from Kuching is long and difficult. It started from driving using the Kuching-Serian Highway. Upon reaching Serian roundabout, drive to bypass Serian town until reaching a small roundabout on the way to Sri Aman. Continue the journey up to Sri Aman junction and pass by the Engkilili junction until finally reaching the only road leading to Lubok Antu.
There are bus services from Kuching and Sibu towards Sri Aman town. From Sri Aman, guests may take another bus ride to reach Lubok Antu.
Sarawak’s first hydroelectric dam was built at Batang Ai in Lubok Antu in the 1980s. Nowadays, it has been turned into Batang Ai National Park managed by Planet Borneo Lodge Management offering tour packages and accommodation of traditional longhouses. Batang Ai National Park together with Lanjak-Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary and also the Bentuang-Karimun National Park in Kalimantan, Indonesia form the South East Asia’s largest trans-national protected areas for tropical rainforest conservation.
Staying at the Aiman Batang Ai Resort & Retreat allows visitors to experience and get to know the traditional lifestyle of the Ibans.
Locals eat fresh produce plants from their farms and any edible food that they may gathered from the forest. Special dish is usually the grilled fresh tilapia fishes caught from the pond.
It is advisable to bring some token of appreciation to be shared by the Iban community when visiting the Iban longhouses. The nearest healthcare facilities is a hospital located in Sri Aman, about 45 minutes drive from Lubok Antu. Hence, it is necessary to ensure fitness is in check.
For family vacation or leisure, this is the only place available in Lubok Antu that provides a satisfactory comfort during your stay.