The legend behind Mount Santubong

  • Fish farms near Santubong
  • Great sandy beach at Damai
  • Lush vegetation in the Santubong area
  • Mount Santubong crowned by clouds
  • Piers and farms by the river
  • Spectacular Mount Santubong

Mount Santubong is one of the most famous tourist attraction places in Sarawak. Located 35 kilometer from Kuching City, and reachable in a 45 minutes drive, facing the South China Sea and with its height of 2,658 feet above sea level Mount Santubong is a great deal for those who love hiking and jungle trekking. According to history, Mount Santubong was discovered by British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace in 1855 while he was collecting specimen in Sarawak. Mount Santubong has been gazetted as one of Sarawak’s National Parks, and its nearby beach is recognized as one of the biggest wetland areas in the whole of Borneo. I find it worth telling you of the legend behind Mount Santubong.

Mount Santubong crowned by clouds

Mount Santubong crowned by clouds

When people pass by Mount Santubong, they usually comment that it has the shape of a woman’s profile; whether this is true or not we leave to you to discover. What we can do is relate the legend behind it. Once upon a time, two beautiful sister princesses from heaven came down to earth to bring peace to a dispute between two local villages. Santubong and Sejinjang were their names, and they were both very talented: Santubong had amazing weaving skills while her sister Sejinjang was known for her talent in pounding rice. These two princess had many admires but would accept nobody’s charm for some time until one day they met Prince Serapi.

Great sandy beach at Damai

Great sandy beach at Damai

Prince Serapi fell in love with both of them and wanted both to become his wives. Santubong and Sejinjang in turn both loved Prince Serapi, and a frightful fight ensued since each of them wished to become Prince Serapi’s only wife. The quarrel turned increasing violent, with Sejinjang hitting Santubong in the cheek with her rice pounder and Santubong fighting back and hitting Sejinjang with her belidak, a tool used to weave cloths.

When their father the King realized what was happening, he was extremely angry and came down to earth to curse the three of them. Both sisters were transformed into mountains, namely Mount Santubong and Mount Sejinjang, while the broken pieces of Sejinjang’s head scattered into the sea and became islands: Pulau Kerak, Pulau Satang, Pulau Talang-Talang, Pulau Lakir and many more.

Myth and history mix in the traditional folkloric tales of the legend behind Mount Santubong. If you plan to visit Santubong, don’t miss a visit to the surrounding attractions such as Sarawak Cultural Village (SCV), Damai beach, Kampung Buntal and the waterfalls.

Check out on our recent trek to Santubong Waterfall HERE !

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About the author

Cato is a young woman from Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. Cato gained a Bachelor Degree with honours in Social Science majoring in Communication Studies at the University Malaysia Sarawak - UNIMAS. After a long spell as a full-time reporter writing for TV and Radio news in Borneo and beyond, she is currently a Special Officer in the public relations field. She is also a regular and passionate contributor at Asian Itinerary. Cato is a dynamic woman with several interests and hobbies like travelling, listening to music, playing guitar, reading, kayaking and surfing the Internet. She is a young promise in the travel-writing world, and one of the main exponents of Asian Itinerary.

View all articles by Catohrinner Joyce Guri