Set along Borneo’s beautiful western coastline, the Diethelm Distinctive Borneo Coastal Day Ride allows travellers to leisurely cycle on quiet roads lined with coconut trees, explore long stretches of beaches around Sempadi and even participate in local farming activities. The fully-supported cycling day tour offers unique insight into the region’s way of life and helps directly support the local community’s economy.
After an early morning pickup, guests are transferred about 45 minutes to the Matang area on the outskirts of Kuching. From there, it’s onto the bicycles to start the ride following the long coastline dotted with isolated beaches and peat swamp forest. While there are a few hills at the beginning of the ride, the subsequent roads are flat with frequent wooden and steel bridges crossing crocodile-infested estuaries.
At one such crossing, a daily ferry is still in service and guests will cycle directly onto the unique car ferry to pass the one of the widest crossing in Sempadi together with the local farmers and fishermen.
Once on the other side, guests ride past sleepy fishing kampongs (villages) facing the South China Sea. While exploring the traditional villages, guests have the opportunity to learn about various cottage industries still alive and well in the kampongs, learn about the fishing methods used by the fishermen and watch builders constructing wooden fishing boats using traditional techniques.
During low tide, guests might be able to ride on the windswept beaches for an excellent opportunity to spot a large variety of wetland and coastal birds including migratory birds temporarily residing in Borneo. From the beach, the ride continues visiting local papaya, coconut and bee farms dotted along the coastal road. With permission from the farmer, guests can participate in harvesting activities such as coconut de-husking as well as taste some of the fresh produce.
The laidback ride finished in the final destination of Kampong Sempadi with a simple yet satisfying home-cooked lunch featuring seasonal fresh catches made by the local fishermen that morning. After lunch and relaxing at the kampong, guests are transferred back to their hotels in Kuching’s city centre.
While the ride is certainly beautiful, a key component of this cycling tour is that all Diethelm Travel’s contacts are local.
For food and drinks, we stop by well-run restaurants and food stalls that offer real authentic local tastes. During the ride, we also make the point of purchasing produce from local shops or fruit farms rather than buying from city supermarkets. This is especially popular with guests during the harvesting seasons when roadside fruit stalls overflow with tropical delicacies.
In the kampongs, we hire local guides to lead the visits to the cottage industries or demonstrate traditional farming, fishing and boat making techniques.
We also educate guests on how and why choosing locally produced goods and services, including souvenirs, crafts, meals and guides, from locally owned establishments directly supports the community while helping keep traditional crafts and independent business owners or artists afloat.