Kuching has always be known to be famous for its food and its diverse culture. Not to mention the beaches as well, although not as popular for beaches compared to its neighbouring state, Sabah. Our beaches has its own charm as well. Other than that, if you're looking for a day trip for the family, might I interest you in visiting one of the most known hot springs in Kuching. Well, outskirts of Kuching anyway, an hour or so drive to be precise. I went there twice, once with my family and another time with my friend. Both of the times I had there were equally fun and awesome. It's nice to just get away from the city once in a while and just enjoy the nature.
The first time I went there was about a year ago with my family. Dad has nothing to do so we decided to go Panchor and Annah Rais Hot Springs to see what's the fuss is about. (p.s he's also in his "Hot springs is good for your health" phase after listening to what his friends told him). My parents usually went to Panchor Hot Springs which is nearer from Kuching compared to Annah Rais, that's also another choice of hot springs if you wanted to go. I myself prefer Annah Rais because I feel it's more relaxing and natural compared to Panchor, although Panchor's water is hotter though and well if you preferred hotter springs then Panchor is the place.
Stopped at one of the 'pekan' on the way to Annah Rais Village to grab a bite and I don't remember what's the name of the place but they served really delicious Giant River Prawns/Big Head Prawns. Heaven in your mouth I tell you. I ask my dad then I'l update it here. If I remember. :D
Funny looking but cute dog.
Panchor Hot Spring
It cost RM 3 per person, for adults and children aged 12 and above. The spring is covered so rain or shine this hot spring is still accessible and this is one of the main advantage of this spring to Annah Rais's. There's also benches and huts built for patrons to have a little picnic I guess. If your main purpose is just to soak in the hot spring then this place is perfect for you. This spring is located 40KM from town so its nearer compared to Annah Rais which is 60KM away from Kuching.
Sis and Dad.
Then we head to Annah Rais hot spring after like 30 minutes there.
Annah Rais Hot Spring
Similar to Panchor, there's also an entrance fee here and it's sightly more expensive here. It cost RM 5 here and worth it or not, in my personal opinion, I feel it's more worth it. That said, I still think it's slightly pricey, for a dip in a river I mean but oh well, for the sake of upkeeping the place. Cheapskate I am. So you can guess it, Annah Rais Hot Spring is located within the vicinity of Annah Rais Village and the drive up to the hot spring is quite beautiful from what I remembered. From the entrance just a few minutes walk and you're there.
My mom. Apa la so excited. I ask her to stop for a picture she just keep walking.
'Shower' place after you're done soaking in the hot spring.
There's only two toilets provided there and it's actually not in a tip top condition if you know what I mean. And there's also no lights provided in the toilet so when you close the door it's like pitch black. So I guess there's some need for improvement. Other than that everything else is just pure NATURE. Well, except the man made pool in the middle of the river but that's where the hot spring is, in the middle of cold running river water. To get to the hot spring, you have to cross the ankle deep water for a bit and at certain spots knee deep. So prepare to get wet. (That's what she said!)
My mom is already in the hot spring. Efficient.
As you can see this is totally different from Panchor Hot Spring. It's more natural and I love the fact there's a choice for hot or cold water (apa ini? Making coffee is it?) I prefer the cold water anyway, and there's little fishes in it! And beautiful, colourful river rocks. So you can have a little dip in the hot spring then just relax in the cold water and if you want to just go right back in the hot spring again. (Like making kolo mee noodle like that. lol). So yeah I prefer this place.
Clean cold water.
There's also a spot in the water right next to the hot spring where it's REALLY HOT. Like boiling hot, you can see the water bubbling. I bet you can even boil some eggs here if you want to. Although it's just this little spot. I guess they forgot to seal this spot up together with the hot spring. XD
My sis with the 'hot area'.
The pool is quite murky but most hot springs water looks like that. It's because of the mud or something. I don't know.
Best tempat tok. :)
My father. haha
One of the 'walkway' to go down to the river. On the other side it's staircase. This looks slippery though. I bet you can slide down if you want to. XD
Here's the stairs.
Over-edit picture. HAHA!
Annah Rais Longhouse Village
The second trip to Annah Rais I went with Grace, because we have nothing to do and also she never went there before. Also the fact that I didn't visit the longhouses the first time I went with my family and also to look at the murals that were painted there by the famous Lithuanian artist, Ernest Zacharevic who also painted the orang utans mural in Kuching.
This is Grace.
Somebody covered up the hot spot area with rocks! :D
Nothing new to be said about the hot spring as it was completely the same as the first time I went there, except for the fact that somebody arranged some rocks at the hot area there. Whoever it was, awesome job. :) After like 45 minutes at the hot spring we moved on to the longhouses. On the way there we saw some cute little mini house and apparently this is rented to people who wanted to stay there. Like a little homestay I guess.
How cute is that?
To get to the longhouses, you have to cross a wooden bridge. I gotta admit I do question the sturdiness of the bridge. Underneath the bridge is the river that's connected to the hot spring area. HAHAHA! City people ba, like me. Scared of everything. :) The bridge is very sturdy, don't worry.
The wooden bridge
This is one of the oldest Bidayuh Longhouses and if you're interested to spend some times here, there's Homestay Programme offered here. You can get more information from HERE or another way is to arrange some trips with local travel agency at Kuching City Center. Main Bazaar or Waterfront area there is a good place to start as there's a lot of travel agency there offering activities around Kuching and I'm sure they would have this programme there as well.
One of the locals there, carving up bamboos.
Little girl at the stairs.
I wanted to get to get a good shot of her and she run away already after this. Am I that scary? Sad. :(
They sold organic veggies here.
It was already evening by the time we reached so the place is not really 'happening' anymore I guess. Probably in the morning there's more thing happening around here.
There's a lot of cats there though. A LOT.
Cat on the mat.
Cat on the roof.
A dog surrounded by cats. He's not bullied by them. :)
And these are the murals that was painted somewhere in the village. Just ask the locals there and they will show you where is the murals at. They're all friendly and awesome people.
Mural of a kid holding a CAT.
Kid in a boat.
A lady laughing?
Another bridge within the village itself.
We also bought some snacks that we haven't seen in a long time. Childhood snacks and titbits . Ah good memories~ The kinds of snacks that we can't even find anymore around Kuching town area. If I can find the picture I'll share it here. :)
Another shot of the longhouse.
All in all it was a good place to have a little fun at. Definitely beats walking around in the shopping malls all the time. Nature is beautiful, remember to make some times to visit this awesome place!
For more information : Sarawak Tourism
That's it! Till next time!