Location : Desa Kereho, Kecamatan Putussibau Selatan, Kabupaten Kapuas Hulu, Kalimantan Barat, Indonesia.
The nomadic lifestyle of the Dayaks of Borneo in days gone by where the only mode of transport was the perahu or boat, their journey must have been filled with danger where rapids were concerned.
The decision to fight a ‘riam’(rapid) or otherwise must have been a difficult one to make. Those who failed perished and those victorious ones lived to tell tall tales to children in their new settlement.
Martin, a Bukat member in our group grew up in Belaga Sarawak listening to many such tales as a child. The ancestors of the Ukit or rather Bukat tribe now residing in Sungai Asap in Sarawak had passed the notorious battle ground of Riam Bendak in their nomadic travels.
Martin and his Sungai Asap group have all been too familiar with the name of Riam Bendak ever since young. To see it for the first time was like a dream come true, a pilgrimage.
From a distance the rapid looked harmless with a slight drop and it looked it looked like a white horizontal bar across the Kereho river.
As we drew nearer the thundering Riam Bendak drown out the outboard engine. Its noise was intimidating. Jok our skipper had a tough time trying to land us on the rocky bank.
The turbulent current was exceptional strong due to the bottleneck of the Kereho river at that very spot. The spot that claimed many lives. The spot that created many tall tales in Belaga. Our Sungai Asap friends must have been silently staring at it with flash backs of the stories they heard as children.
Personally, I was fantasising the thrills and spills on a whitewater raft splashing across it and the Kereho river would be perfect for the sport. But before that happens the eyesores created by the gold mining would have to stop.
We left with a sense of accomplishment after absorbing whatever there was to absorb at Riam Bendak.
It rain heavily on our last night in Matalunai. The river swelled, the water was murky and the river banks with all the pebbles and rocks disappeared under the strong current.
The next morning we took the 3hr boat ride back to Putussibau where we stayed another night before driving back to Kuching.
A memorable 8 day trip into the Heart & Soul of Borneo. Note that Bus Asia runs into Kapuas Hulu via Lubuk Antu daily joint venturing with Damri Bus connecting from Badau to Lanjak and Putussibau. Know Borneo Better.
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Also please check out our posts on
- Kota Putussibau
- Lunsara Village
- Rumah Betang Lunsa Hilir, Dayak Taman Longhouse
- Rumah Betang Soo Limung, Dayak Taman Longhouse
- Gua Maria Desa Sayut
- Boat Ride Kapuas River
- Nanga Balang (Situs Sejarah Neolitikum)
- Dusun Matalunai, Dayak Bukat Village
- Sungai Opea, The Cleanest River In Kapuas Hulu
- Nanga Bungan, The First Of Kapuas River
- Nanga Lapung, Dayak Punan Hovongan Village
- Picnic At Sungai Bejuai
- Dusun Sepan, Dayak Uheng Kereho Village