Batang Ai National Park is located in Lubok Antu near Sri Aman (about
250 km from Kuching). The area consists of a tropical rainforest and a
hydroelectric dam with a reservoir measuring 24 square kilometers, making
it the largest artificial lake in Sarawak.
Hilton operates a 5-star
longhouse resort at the park. The resort is only accessible by boat and
Hilton provides a shuttle service departing Kuching at 8 am in the
morning. It must be booked 24 hours in advance and the trip takes about 4
hours. It is possible to sleep on the air-conditioned shuttle van
depending on your fatigue levels and benzodiazepine plasma concentrations.
It should be noted that the shuttle van is not free even if you have
a hotel booking at Hilton Batang Ai Longhouse Resort. The shuttle service
costs RM 175 per person for a return trip from Hilton in Kuching to the
jetty at Hilton Batang Ai Longhouse Resort. This is not mentioned on the
website except in the Fine Print (TM) which says a service charge may be
applicable. There was one other Canadian woman traveling with us and she
was charged twice for the shuttle despite having canceled her travel
The shuttle trip for the both of us cost RM 350
return trip, which is more expensive than the night’s stay at the Hilton
Batang Ai Longhouse Resort itself. That said, the driver was very friendly
and accommodating and the van shuttle service itself is quite comfortable.
I was told that the shuttle is not run by Hilton management but outsourced
to Borneo Adventures. It is possible to take a regular bus to Lubok Antu
and then a taxi to the Batang Ai jetty for people on a shoestring
There is a scheduled stop at Lachau – the
midway point between Kuching and Batang Ai. It’s a small and sleepy town
with shops selling knick knacks and traditional Iban art to tourists.
There are also several coffee shops for lunch and a beer if you’re feeling
hungry. The shuttle stops here for 45 minutes and you can take this opportunity to void your bladder should you be inclined. The next stop
will be 2 hours away at the Batang Ai Jetty.
The 20 minute boat ride to
Hilton Batang Ai Longhouse Resort is free and departs at regular
intervals. I recommend taking the 12:15 pm boat to the resort to make the
1 pm check in time. There is a waiting area at the jetty with washroom
The boat ride takes about 20 minutes to arrive
at the Hilton Batang Ai Resort. The wind factor can be a little intense as is shown on Phoenix’s features. It literally distorted the identifying characteristics of her face. I’m still not sure why it didn’t happen to the rest of us though…
The lake is tranquil and peaceful and
provides a nice setting for the upcoming R&R you can expect at the
Hilton Batang Ai Longhouse Resort.
There is also an upper deck to sit on
if you don’t mind the noon sun.