The Spiritual Tourism Charm of Bukit Kelam, Sintang

The most popular destination in Borneo
The Spiritual Tourism Charm of Bukit Kelam, Sintang, West Kalimantan.

Sintang, one of the regencies situated in the eastern part of West Kalimantan, plays host to a variety of intriguing tourist attractions. However, one of its main draws is Bukit Kelam, acclaimed as the world's largest monolith. 

This formidable rock formation stands majestically not too far from the center of Sintang. Bukit Kelam offers an array of captivating tourist sites, with one of the most prominent being a spiritual destination managed by the Sintang Diocese.

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Within the Bukit Kelam complex, visitors will discover diverse facilities designed to enhance the spiritual experience of Catholic believers. 

The most popular destination in Borneo
Tourists from Jakarta Mrs. Wiwid and Mrs. Rosnani, Catholic believers, pray the Rosary at Gua Maria (St. Mary's Cave) Bukit Kelam.

These include retreat houses, auditoriums for religious activities, serene prayer gardens, a captivating Gua Maria (Mary's Cave), and a Via Crucis with 14 profound stations. The site is managed and diligently maintained by the dedicated nuns of the Passionist Congregation (CP).

A Via Crucis with 14 profound stations.

Gua Maria stands out as a significant focal point within Bukit Kelam. It is adorned with various statues and religious reliefs, frequently used as a place of worship, including during religious celebrations such as Mass and pilgrimages. Visitors can find inspiration in the serene and sacred atmosphere within the cave.

Not far from Gua Maria, there is a colossal cross towering at the summit of the hill. This cross has become an icon of Bukit Kelam and is often utilized as a place for meditation, pilgrimage, and spiritual reflection.

When you visit Bukit Kelam, you'll experience tranquility and serenity amidst the beautiful natural surroundings. In addition to the profound spiritual journey, this destination also offers breathtaking natural beauty.

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If you want to visit Sintang and explore the tourist attraction of Bukit Kelam, there are two main alternatives you can choose to reach your destination.

  • By Air: One of the fastest ways to reach Sintang is by taking a flight. You can fly from Pontianak, the capital of West Kalimantan, and in about half an hour, you will arrive at Tebelian Airport, located in Sintang. This is a convenient and quick option to avoid potentially longer overland travel.
  • By Land: The second alternative is by taking a road trip. You can drive through the regencies of Sanggau and Sekadau. This journey, though it takes more time, will provide you with the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful natural scenery along the way. It is a suitable choice if you prefer overland travel and want to explore more areas around Sintang. The car trip typically takes around 7 hours, depending on traffic and road conditions.

Both of these alternatives allow you to reach Sintang and the Bukit Kelam tourist attraction relatively easily. You can choose the method that best suits your travel preferences and schedule. Enjoy exploring the beauty of Sintang and experiencing Bukit Kelam!

Experiencing life in the Ensaid Panyae longhouse and the production of ikat woven fabric
If you're not inclined to embark on a spiritual journey to Bukit Kelam, there is still another captivating tourist attraction in Sintang. That is the Ensaid Longhouse, which is currently inhabited by the Dayak Desa community, one of the Iban subgroups in West Kalimantan. Here, you have a unique opportunity to witness how the Dayak culture and traditions remain vibrant and preserved in a modern context.

One of the fascinating aspects of the Ensaid Longhouse is the production of the distinctive Ensaid Ikat woven fabric. Not only can you observe the weaving process on-site, but you also have the chance to understand and learn more about how Ensaid Ikat textiles are created. This is an exceptional opportunity to gain in-depth insights into this traditional art form.

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What's equally intriguing is that you can purchase Ensaid Ikat woven fabric as a souvenir or even for personal use. These textiles hold high cultural value and are unique items that can serve as special mementos of your visit.

By visiting the Ensaid Longhouse, you can delve into Dayak culture, appreciate the uniqueness, and beauty of Ensaid Ikat weaving, which is a valuable heritage of this region. (Rangkaya Bada)

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