Kuching “Penambang” Water Taxi: The White Barouk (opposite Riverside Majestic) to Kampung Boyan (for The Brooke Gallery) by Row Boat

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The Kuching Penambang, properly known as but rarely called the Perahu Tambang, is a traditional boat linking the two sides of the Sarawak River cutting downtown Kuching into the north residential area and south business area. For pedestrians crossing the Sarawak River, the Penambang is the most convenient way to get across the Sarawak River with the lack of bridges around Kuching. The most popular route is the short but important ferry crossing between The White Barouk and Kampung Boyan.

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The White Barouk Jetty is behind the Waterfront White Barouk bus stop.

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The entrance to the Pangkalan Boyan-Gersik or Boyan-Gersik Jetty behind The White Barouk.

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Heading down the Boyan-Gersik Jetty to the floating pontoon.

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A Penambang was already waiting when I headed down.

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Boarding the Penambang.

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Once I boarded and with no one else coming down, the Pak Tambang started paddling the boat across the Sarawak River.

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The destination of Kampung Boyan is directly across the Sarawak River.

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The Pak Tambang paddles skillfully across the Sarawak River.

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There is a riverside walkway under construction which links towards the Darul Hana Bridge, which may potentially affect the Pak Tambang’s income when completed.

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As the boat is manually paddled across the Sarawak River, it was a strange silent ride as compared to modern transportation.

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Approaching the Kampung Boyan Jetty.

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The Pak Tambang skillfully brings the boat to a gentle stop just before hitting the floating pontoon. The journey from The White Barouk to Kampung Boyan took less than 5 minutes.

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Looking back at the interior of the Kuching Penambang.

The fare of RM1 per person is to be paid directly to the Pak Tambang when disembarking from the Penambang.

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Heading up from the floating pontoon of Kampung Boyan Jetty.

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The waiting shelter of Kampung Boyan Jetty.

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New passengers boarding the Penambang for The White Barouk after everyone had disembarked.

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The Pak Tambang waited for a little while for more passengers to come on board.

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The view of Kuching Waterfront on the Riverside Majestic side from Kampung Boyan.

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The Penambang with the background of modern Kuching.

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Heading up to the shore.

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There is a sign to turn right to The Brooke Gallery, but you should head straight ahead instead. The right turn leads you nowhere close to it.

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With the cheap RM1 Penambang, you needn’t spend extra money on a river cruise if you just want a little bit of sailing on the Sarawak River.

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There is a food centre to the right of the jetty which was closed in the morning.

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The car park beside the food centre.

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Looking around a little bit of Kampung Boyan.

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Here, I followed the signs to Fort Margherita to head to The Brooke Gallery.

Overall, a pleasant ride on the Kuching Penambang to cross the Sarawak River with a scenic view for a cheap fare, and a pleasant experience to be on a traditional mode of transport still surviving till today.

6 comments

  1. you were lucky. currently it’s the only boat that does the crossing because of the lockdown in Malaysia. The CMO means ‘no-one’ can be on the streets without purpose ( as in getting food or medical treatment ). The boatman is not sure if it is sustainable given the much lower passenger traffic.

    1. Seriously? After posting so much on KTM train cancellations and refund procedures over the past few days, you say that I am not aware of the lockdown?

  2. You could have at least made mention here that the crossing ( during this MCO ) is restricted to locals going to and from work. I stated CMO earlier because I sometimes jumble my acronyms. You were in fact breaking the current law by making the crossing.

    1. Seriously? I made this crossing more than 3 weeks ago when I was in Kuching, when Sarawak had 0 cases of COVID-19. The fact that I could edit my photos and do up this post means that I have at least reached home and got to my computer. Furthermore, there is no news of this crossing being restricted to locals going to work, or if it is even still available during this 2020 Malaysia Movement Control Order period.

  3. Apology for seeing the date of your post and assuming it was the date of your crossing. I arrived in Kuching on the night of 17th March and spent until yesterday ( 23rd March ) there. It was very disheartening to see. We were going to continue on to Penang then KL but had to return early to Sydney via KL. No point in continuing a vacation if you can’t even walk the streets.

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