• Painting Memories • Past & Present • For the Future •
Bung Jagoi: An Escape From The City
Bung Jagoi is a sandstone hill which measures to about 360 meters high. It is located in Jagoi, which is a hilly area of the district of Bau, Kuching, commonly known for its gold mining activities since last century. Just like in a fairytale, situated on top the hill is a village called Kampung Jagoi, a Bidayuh village (‘Bidayuh’ is one of the indigenous group of Sarawak). ‘Bung’ means summit in Bidayuh, hence Bung Jagoi refers to the summit of Jagoi.
Due to the lack of agricultural space, the village is now mostly abandoned, with all the villagers migrating down to the foot of the hill and setting up more villages, leaving only one family as the caretaker of the village. Bung Jagoi is accessible via two of these villages which are located at the two ends of the foot of the hill; Kampung Duyoh and Kampung Serasot.
My friends and I started our hike from Kampung Duyoh, which has a longer route to the summit but easier, whereas the route from Kampung Serasot is shorter but steeper and definitely more challenging for the average joe.
We stopped by the small road-side market leading to the village to get some food stuff for the family in the village. I could not help but feel the laid back and slow pace of the life there creeping into me. The buses that services the area definitely contributes to the nostalgic feel of the atmosphere. Every stall was manned by wide-eyed people staring at the big black camera I was holding while there were others that were just too busy with their own business to notice me.
In no time at all, we reached the entrance of the route to Bung Jagoi. Judging from the cars parked at the entrance, we were definitely not the only hikers that day.
The sign at the entrance tells us that there is a group called the Jagoi Development Committee that takes care of development and maintenance of the area. Walking across the bridge brings us across a clear looking stream that looks good enough to just jump in and soak oursevles from the hot morning.
The route was simple and leisurely, with most of it made out of cement steps.
It is obvious that most of the village has been abandoned. Most wooden houses have their windows shut and are left standing, badly in need of repair if it was ever going to be occupied ever again with weeds and creepers taking over and slowly engulfing the wooden structures.
I took the chance to browse around the area, and found myself in front of a pig’s sty! Upon having the pigs in my face, I quickly initiated a memory recall to remember if I have ever seen a live pig this close before. Apparently, this is my first time with a live pig face to face, or should I say, nose to nose? O.o
I certainly did not regret my decision to join the hike. Bung Jagoi has great potential to be a regular hiking spot for many. I truly enjoyed the journey all the way to the top. Overall, the whole hike is quite leisure, suitable for even kids and even for the aged. It is a good spot for a nice nature yet mildly challenging trail outside of the city, offering fantastic and scenic views and fresh air unpolluted air.
In my opinion, the whole journey was made unique with the village on top of the hill. Aunty Jema and her family was extremely friendly and hospitable. We were treated like one of their own regardless of our race and religion, something very lacking these days with all the racial tension going on in the country. If the Jagoi Development Committee is reading this, please consider providing some welfare support to Aunty Jema and her family if it has not been done so already. To me, it was her hospitality and unselfish kindness that was the most memorable part of the whole journey.
As for you my friends, if you ever had the chance, please make sure you visit Bung Jagoi at least once. Should you require some assistance or help in case you do not want to go for the hike alone, feel free to contact me and I could ‘hook’ you up with someone who would be willing to guide you there.