High on Life

I was walking on a long deserted beach, accompanied by none but the salty air and the lapping surf. I hopped on broken rocks and roughly hewn granite. Crabs scuttled at the thud of my feet, fish flitting like tossed coin, in their own private infinity pool.

I made my way up the incline, loose soil raining grains of earth on the soft sand below. The sparse ankle length brush were clear in places, making it easier to navigate. As the altitude increased, the wind coming from the sea drew my attention. By now the brush have grown thicker. Sharp blades of weed nicked my exposed calves, but all that was forgotten.

I could only see, midway up the hill, the sprawling vista ahead of me. It was one of the most beautiful sights I’ve ever laid eyes on. I feel in love with that place. 

An acquaintance told me about it. So when my family said they’d pick a homestay in Lundu, a sleepy town 2 hours away from Kuching, for a brief retreat, I got ready.

We stayed at Pandan Beach, a length of public beach popular among daytrippers and weekenders. Our room sat right at the beachside, in the shadows of Gunung Gading, known mostly for its Rafflesias, largest flower in the world.

 Lundu isn’t known for its delicious food, but it does have some really cheap and fresh seafood. I climbed Gunung Gading, this time to the summit! 5 hours solo roundtrip. There isn’t any view at the summit, but it makes a good workout to burn the flab from Gawai feasts.

Anyway, so yeah. After some directions driving through roads under construction in the middle of nowhere, I came out at this pristine beach, stretching for at least 7 kilometres. At the eastern edge I hiked up a hill to get a bird’s eye view, and like I said, I was smashed. Presenting Bukit Tanjong Batu, facing the South China Sea.

So much tourism potential. So beautiful, silent and strong. I think it will be a favorite location for a long time to come.


On the left is the Berumput Ranges, with the 3 highest peaks in Western Sarawak. On the right is the tip of Sarawak, with Gunung Melano in the distance.

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