Return to Pantai Pugu

Two hours by land from Kuching city, Pugu Beach and the adjoining Bukit Botak/Gondol (literally bald hill), is growing increasingly popular among campers and daytrippers. What was once an isolated destination known only to locals and hikers, has become the next hot spot.

A spanking new asphalted road now connects Kampung Pugu to the Belungei Junction, making it easier and faster to get to the beach. A few chalets and camping grounds have recently been opened by locals to attract crowds that normally go to Siar Beach or Pandan Beach.

My 3rd time here yet I still couldn’t get bored with how pristine and beautiful this place is. And this time the seawater was a sparkling aquamarine, twinkling under the sunlight.

The beach itself is about 7 kilometres long, dusted with broken shells. As far as you can see from both directions there isn’t a permanent structure, yet. 

From the entrance point to the base of the hill is about 30 minutes walk on exposed soft sand, under the full glare of the sunlight. Try it early in the morning or late in the evening. Bring plenty of water.

The hike uphill is a simple and short trek, with a bit of clawing. When you reach the summit you can see the other side which is Pandan and Belungei Bay. Scarce vegetation with mostly tall grass and the occasional pitcher plant. It will be hot and humid.

Wear long pants. The grass slices your thighs gleefully (a mistake I made twice before). Some people camp on the hilltop. It makes a great spot to stargaze should it be clear enough.

We had a discussion that what if one day a corporation buys the land and develops it beyond recognition? Will it be like a mini Koh Phi Phi with cottages etched into the hillsides? Will there be a cable car? Are they going to build cabanas that crowd the beach below?

If you are reading this, and plan a trip here, please, please, keep it clean. Bring home your trash. Leave nothing but footprints. And enjoy a beautiful time at Pugu Beach.


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