Welcome to The Kebun
The Kebun was first started 16 years ago as a long term plan for a retirement home starting from virgin jungle near Kuching, Sarawak, East Malaysian Borneo. Adrian’s Bungalow located by the river was the first structure put up after being disassembled from the movie set of The Sleeping Dictionary. Olivia’s Bungalow was only put up only two years later when it was taken out of storage which was also disassembled from the same movie set. The Longhouse’s were initially 4 goat sheds which were converted into the main 5 room Longhouse, the Headman’s Longhouse, the Dining House and an attached Jetty finally completed in 2012. The farm stay business was introduced much later starting only in May 2011 welcoming our first guest’s one month later.
What We Offer
The Kebun is not just accommodation, this will be an experience. We are NOT a Hotel or a Resort. If you would like to get a taste for the basics of a simple lifestyle in a beautiful tropical setting, which is of fresh gardens of organic herbs & vegetables, picking your own seasonal tropical fruits, dining on fresh farm raised livestock, fishing for your own freshwater fish, with little impact to the environment, or even to help out with feeding all of the farm livestock, harvesting in the vegetable gardens at the end of the day’s activities and again in the morning, then your are up for a unique Sarawakian adventure and hospitality at The Kebun.
22 – 25 Kampung Rayu Melayu,
Jalan Hidupan Liar, Kubah Matang
93050 Kuching, Sarawak,
What To Do?
WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO SELF-DRIVE WITH OUR PERSONAL CARS THAT WE WILL BORROW YOU EXCLUSIVE OF A DRIVER AND FUEL. A GARMIN PRESET SATELLITE NAVIGATION WILL AVAILABLE IN YOUR ASSIGNED CAR. YOU CAN MAKE PLAN WITH OUR HELP AND SUGGESTION, YOUR DAILY EXCURSIONS AT YOUR LEISURE. WE ALSO WILL PROVIDE YOU WITH A MOBILE PHONE PRESET WITH ALL IMPORTANT NUMBERS AND THERE WILL ALSO BE A PROVIDED MAP WITH OUR IN-HOUSE WRITTEN GUIDE. HOWEVER IF YOU STILL PREFER WE CAN PUT YOU IN TOUCH WITH AN EXPERIENCED DAILY PAID ENGLISH SPEAKING DRIVER/GUIDE WHO CAN USE YOUR ALLOCATED BORROWED CAR.
You can easily spend a few days just exploring the surrounding area. The following is a couple of suggestions for whole day trips away from The Kebun. You can also check out the albums of our facebook page here.
MATANG WILDLIFE CENTER + KUBAH NATIONAL PARK + MATANG FAMILY PARK + TELAGA AIR FISHING VILLAGE + SRI MAHA MARIAMMAN INDIAN TEMPLE
In the immediate area you can visit the Matang Wildlife Center barely 2 minutes away by car. Apart from the wildlife like Sunbears, Gibbons, Hornbills and so on that are being rehabilitated, there is an excellent project of which the centre hosts the conservation programme for Orangutans. If you are lucky you might meet the younger orangutans being led out for their daily rehabilitation. From here drive 15 minutes to Kubah National Park for the waterfall trail. If the hour + long hike does not take your fancy then below before the entrance is the Matang Family Park, great for the kids to play in the many pools fed by the mountain stream. What else? You could head for a local lunch whilst enjoying the sea breeze Telaga Air Fishing Village about 10 minutes away from the park. If you feel like a challenge then head after lunch to the Sri Maha Mariamman Indian Temple, a relic of the days of the white rajah when he had his tea and coffee plantation, which will require an almost hour long walk up the mountain after parking at the bottom. You just might be lucky enough to meet the resident priest and get a traditional Hindu blessing!
- Do Matang Wildlife Center latest by 3.00 pm. Entrance Fee RM20.00 PP
- Kubah National Park waterfall trail start latest by 1.30 pm RM20.00 PP
- Save by visiting the center and national park on the same day with the same ticket
- The entrance fee for the Matang Family Park is RM3.00 PP
- The temple can be visited anytime even at night
- Visit Kubah National Park at night for a frog walk. Park guide needed and fee’s apply.
BIRD WATCHING AT KUBAH NATIONAL PARK
There is a whole list of birds to spot at Kubah National Park. Aim to spot endemic species like the Blue-banded pitta, Bornean blue-flycatcher, Yellow-rumped flowerpecker, Bornean Black-magpie, Chestnut-crested yuhina, Dusky Munia, Red-bearded bee-eater, Raffles’s malkoha, Red-naped trogan, Diard’s trogon, Scarlet-rumped trogon, Rufous-backed kingfisher, Rufous-collared kingfisher, Banded kingfisher, Red-throated barbet, Rufous piculet, Grey-&-buff woodpecker, Maroon woodpecker, Black-&-yellow broadbill, Banded broadbill, Green Broadbill, Grey-bellied bulbul, Chestnut-naped forktail, White-rumped shama, Grey-headed babbler, Rufous-crowned babbler, Scaly-crowned babbler, White-necked Babbler, Brown fulvetta, Large-billed blue-flycatcher, Spotted fantail, Asian paradise flycatcher, Grey-breasted jungle-flycatcher, Mangrove whistle, Scarlet-breasted flowerpecker, Crimson sunbird, Bronzed drongo and the Crested jay.
- Leave for the park as early as possible. Park Fee RM20.00 PP
- Lunch in Telaga Air Fishing Village
- Can proceed to Matang Wildlife Center to continue without paying park fee again
GUNUNG GADING NATIONAL PARK + PANDAN BEACH
To the west lies Gunung Gading National Park which is famous for the Rafflesia flower. Less than 1 hour away, you will enjoy a scenic drive via the old coastal highway and have the chance to cross the Rambungan river via a ferry. After Gunung Gading National Park you can head 10 minutes away to Pandan Beach, a local favorite on the weekends and public holidays, other days it is deserted. There is also a small tuck shop on the beach front where you can enjoy some simple snacks and sample a fresh coconut. Head back to Gunung Gading National park to wash off in the plunge pool or head for one of the cafe’s near Lundu town for a meal.
- Call ahead to check if the flower is in bloom
- Gunung Gading National Park entrance fee is RM20.00 PP
- Park guide sometimes needed if flower is hidden at RM30.00 for 1 group
- Grab some extra towels from us
BAKO NATIONAL PARK + MUARA TEBAS CHINESE TEMPLE
To the northwest of The Kebun is Bako National Park one of the best places to spot wildlife. Leave early to beat the crowds at the terminal and enjoy the cool morning air as you head out on the boat. There are many trails to choose from and most times you will be able to meet wildlife at the park headquarters itself. If you happen to decide that you don’t want to walk back on the same trial then get the boatman to pick you up instead from the many beaches where the trials end. Feeling more adventurous then head for Pulau Lakei one of the best kept secrets of Sarawak where the sand is white and the water is emerald. Done with Bako then head for the Chinese temple at Muara Tebas fishing village where one of the oldest temples sit on the hill overlooking the bay. You can even see if what you wish for will come true. You will also find a Chinese family run restaurant where some of the freshest seafood to be found in Kuching awaits you or if not then a cold beer.
- Call ahead to double check if tide is suitable for early departure
- Bako National Park entrance is RM20.00 PP
- Private Boat charges is only RM160.00 for whole boat a maximum 4 adults RETURN
- Boat Shuttle is at RM20.00 PP ONE WAY
- Extra charges for beach pickup starting at RM35.00 for whole boat
SARAWAK CULTURAL VILLAGE + KUCHING WETLANDS CRUISE
To the north of The Kebun lies the Santubong Peninsular the location for most of the posh seaside resorts. The Sarawak Cultural Village is located here and the show which starts at 11.30 am and 4.00 pm is a must see apart from exploring the various ethnic dwellings. Head there after an early lunch to explore before the afternoon show. Finish off by 4.45 pm and head for Santubong Village for the mangrove cruise at 5.00 pm. Head to the river mouth to catch the Irrawaddy dolphins before heading into one of the estuaries to look at the proboscis monkeys settling down for a last feed and to bed down for the night. Wait for sun down opposite Salak Fishing Village before heading to see the fireflies before heading back to shore. Finish by 8.00 pm head to Buntal Fishing Village for a seafood meal or back to The Kebun for a late dinner. Alternatively you can opt for the morning cruise which usually starts at 9.00 am but you will not see any fireflies during the daylight.
- Sarawak Cultural Village entrance is RM60.00 PP
- Mangrove Cruise is RM130.00 PP (Children have cheaper rates)
SEMMENGOH ORANGUTANS + KAYAKING + ANNAH RAIS LONGHOUSE + BORNEO HIGHLANDS RESORT + JONG CROCODILE FARM
To the south east is the Borneo Highlands. Head for the 9.00 am feed at the Semmengoh Orangutan Rehabilitation Center. You should be done in one hour or more then there are options for you to choose. Head for the kayak point to start your kayaking adventure. Otherwise you can head for the Annah Rais Longhouse about 30 minutes from the center. Once you are done with the visit you could check out the Annah Rais Hot Springs located just behind the longhouse about 5 minutes drive. Soak yourself in the fresh water mountain stream or enjoy the hot water within the stream itself. If you have not had your fill with the orangutans leave by 2.15 pm and head back to the center for the 3.00 pm feed. Otherwise if crocodiles are your fancy then head for Jong Crocodile Farm which also has an assortment of wildlife from Sunbears to Otters. Or after the longhouse if you fancy some awesome views and cool mountain air you can head instead direct to the Borneo Highlands Resort famous also for it’s golf course and bird watching. Be warned that the road up is very steep and also dangerous for the inexperienced driver. Day entrance fee and 4wd transport is available from the entrance of the resort below.
- Rehabilitation Center entrance fee is RM10.00 PP
- Annah Rais Longhouse RM8.00 PP
- Annah Rais Hot Spring RM5.00 PP
- Entrance fee to Borneo Highlands Resort RM8.00 PP
- Kayaking Borneo Highlands RM198.00 PP
- Alternative 4wd transport return up to Borneo Highlands Resort RM120.00
- Jong Crocodile Farm RM18.00 PP
- Grab some extra towels from us
SATANG BESAR ISLAND + SEMPADI ISLAND
Feeling like you want to get away to some islands then you can try Satang Besar Island. A privately owned island there is also a Sarawak forest department turtle hatchery there. Leave from (tide dependent) Telaga Air Fishing Village 15 minutes away from The Kebun or from Satubong Fishing Village 45 minutes away. You could also head for Sempadi Island which is rarely visited, has a small beach and is surrounded by boulders, an excellent spot for fishing. There is the possibility to do some snorkeling. Please note that there is an additional RM10.00 PP payable to the island owner at Satang Island and a RM20.00 PP entrance fee to the Sarawak National Park both of which is paid direct to them. This fee’s are separate from the boatman’s eventual fee.
- Boat Operator fee RM200.00 PP
- We suggest you grab extra towels from us
WIND CAVE + SERIKIN BORDER MARKET + FAIRY CAVE
On the weekend head southeast for the Serikin Border Market which lies just meters away from the Indonesian border. This is a busy place where Indonesian’s ply their trade with the locals. Good for either Saturday’s or until late Sunday mornings. After the market head for the Fairy Caves and Wind Caves. Keeping the Wind caves last is best because there is a shallow stream there for you to wash off. If you are early then you can try and head for Bau town on the way back. If you want to have a meal at this town try and do so before 1.30 PM.
- Grab some torch lights from us for the caves
- Fairy Cave is free and Wind Caves is RM10.00 PP
High above the agricultural plains that extend from Gunung Gading in the north to the Indonesian Border at the village of Biawak in the south lies the 1,600 meter high Gunung Rumput where you will discover the amazing Jangkar’s waterfalls which will need a trek of 45 minutes. Driving to here will take 90 minutes and the village of Jantan will provide you with secure parking, a change/shower room & guiding to the falls where you will experience and enjoy a delicious meal. Be entertain with spectacular aerial jumps into the clear, cool pools below the falls.The 1st & highest of Jangkar’s 23 waterfalls is a 30+ m giant, the highest in Western Sarawak. For those more adventurous there are another 22 waterfalls upstream of the 1st waterfall to go explore with.
- Guiding fee will apply from villagers
- It is possible to overnight at the village
Mount Santubong (Gunung Santubong as known locally) is situated on the Damai peninsular about 35 km north east of The Kebun and take only about 45 minutes to reach. Many travellers unaware of this gem of a mountain. Only 810 metres high, Mount Santubong is a single rise mountain with a short range out of a relatively flat terrain by the sea, hence its impressive facade as you drive towards it looking rather intimidating in part due to its extreme steep slope especially near its summit. The climb will take about 4 hours up and 2 hours downhill – a total of six hours – and does not include rest time. So advice is for you to start by about 8 am making it a total of 9 hours. This is because of the waterfall and mountain streams along the way will entice you to go for a dip. If it rains, the jungle can be dark and miserable even at 3-4pm. A word of caution, Mount Santubong is not for the couch potato, the unfit and those who hate trekking on slippery rocks and navigating muddy streams. There will be tumbles, bruises, cuts, so wear a pair of walking shoes with good grip. For those who persevere to the summit , the reward is a panoramic views of Kuching city in the distance and the surrounding area of Damai peninsular, the South China Sea, and of course the very cool breeze.
- Car Park fee at RM5.00
- Entrance fee is RM2.00 PP
- Village mountain guide available RM120.00
Kuching has it’s share of 2nd World War ship wrecks. Today these lie about 30 kilometers offshore and are a favorite among anglers and divers. The shallow depth makes it attractive with plenty of marine life to keep divers entertained with school’s of Teira Batfish, Yellowtail Snapper, Yellowtail Barracuda, Trevally, Moray Eels and more.
In The Evening?
Telaga Air Fishing Village is located just 15 minutes away from the farm. Great for the evenings along the waterfront where there is also a playground. There are a couple of shops there next to the library where you could choose to have an early dinner. Weekends are busier with the city crowd mostly families and anglers that fish along the floating jetties.
Rambungan Beach is about 20 minutes from the farm and you need to cross the ferry along the same route to Gunung Gading National Park. The beach is very long and you will be able to see the Satang Islands directly opposite and the Santubong Peninsular. To the left you will be able to see the Talang Talang Islands and on a clear day even the Indonesian Island of Serasan. The place is usually deserted on weekdays and even on weekends there is hardly anyone save for perhaps some villagers enjoying the evening breeze. The sunsets are spectacular here!
Along the same road further on is the Rambungan Jetty. In the old days when there was no roads and the ferry service it was the main point for goods to be on and off loaded by ships serving the many small villagers in the area. These days it serves more as a favourite fishing spot by the local anglers. The jetty is very long and the opposite bank is the Kuching Mangrove Preserve.
What At Night?
Siniawan was a bustling riverine town serving the local communities in the upper reaches of the Sarawak river in the old days. That plus the old highway passing right through the town made it a very popular stopover for many a visitor. With the decline of travel by river and the opening of the new highway the town has slowly been forgotten. The yearly floods since before the construction of the Sarawak river barrage also caused many of the town folk to move on. These days the community comes together and holds a simple night food market offering local delicacies. Ever experience having your dinner in the middle of the main road? Only open on Friday and Saturday nights.
Kubah National Park is also famous for it’s population and diverse frog species. Go on a frog walk with one of the wardens and discover also other wonderous creatures of the night. Bookings are essential. Warden availability and weather conditions need apply for a succesful experience.
Ever thought you would be in a small boat slowly, armed only with a torchlight, making it’s way through the mangrove in the dead of night looking for the tell tale sign of the reflection of a crocodile eye looking back at you? You can do this with an experienced boatman from the local fishing village. Tide and weather conditions apply.
There are many more places off the beaten track. Let us know what is your kind of thing and we will do our best to see that you get to do what you want to do. The Garmin provided in your assigned car will have these places preset. We provide a local cell phone will have all the numbers you need to get into direct contact with the service providers. We support local independent business owners and hence encourage any payment to be paid directly to them. There will also be a provided folder which will give detailed information on the sights and routes. For information on our accommodation please click here. To inquire for availability please click here or just email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org