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“Messing about on the river...”
Review of Semadang Kayak

Semadang Kayak
Ranked #1 of 28 Tours in Kuching
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Semadang Kayak is the premier kayaking, bamboo rafting and adventure outfitter and service provider, operated at the Sarawak River (Semadang River) at the Heart of Borneo Rainforest in Kuching, Sarawak. With various package choices, we could take you on the kayaking and rafting trip of your life! This trip is a family friendly trip and suitable for beginners.
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
181 reviews
82 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 193 helpful votes
“Messing about on the river...”
Reviewed October 30, 2012

This is a great way to spend a day messing about on the Sarawak River in Borneo. We took our kids (7+6) who contributed enthusiastically (though not that helpfully) to our paddling. There are frequent stops to ensure that little ones don't get bored and all of the kayaking is down stream so not very difficult. The trips goes over just one set of Grade One rapids which, as complete kayaking novices, we were able to navigate without too many difficulties. The guides were cheerful chapmwhonwere armed with waterproof cameras as well as oars. A souvenir CD was produced for us of the pictures form our trip within 24 hours and at no extra cost.

Having said all of that, a little bit more guidance would have been appreciated. The principles of kayaking are not exactly difficult, but maybe 5 minutes in the water (above all demonstrating braking) before the group set off would have been helpful. There were a couple of times when one of our kayaks ploughed into the back of another one. If the kayak had hit a person rather that the other kayak the results could have been pretty painful. The risk of this would easily be removed with just a short amount of instruction.

Finally, some advice on footwear (which was lacking for us until it was too late). You ideally need waterproof shoes with decent grips. To reach the waterfall (well worth doing) you need to walk up a stream which is pretty treacherous in bare feet.

Still, a great day out and easy to believe these are the best operators on the river...still possible though for them to up their game just a little bit more and not take any new clients for granted.

Visited October 2012
3 Thank Monkey-and-Sprite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Impressive! Service, Hospitality & Experience all excellent!”
Reviewed October 27, 2012

I had a wonderfull day! These guys are responsible, service minded & fun to be with.
It was a terrific trip, easy going, great service, a thing to add to your Kuching agenda!
I am used to service, the personal touch they add makes it special!

Han Noordenbos - Amsterdam - The Netherlands.

Visited September 2012
9 Thank ThanX_AmsterdaM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Heidelberg, Germany
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Absolutely Great!!”
Reviewed October 1, 2012

It was the first time we did Kayaking and it was just perfect. Our Guides, James and Mac, did a wonderful job. They were always around, always fun, and took lots of pictures which were later given to us on a cd. The river is not too fast so it's good for unexperienced people, but its still exciting and an incredible scenery. We stopped by at some nice spots, a small waterfall, a village where we got lunch and were given a tour about plants and fruits that grow there, then later we could take a swim and the last stop was to feed some fish. Overall it was a great trip and the guys made as much out of it as possible. We would recommend it to anybody since it is a totally unforgettable experience!! (PS: Don't forget to bring swimsuit, waterproof shoes, and (maybe) diver eyeglasses)

Visited September 2012
11 Thank JosyLee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Hague, The Netherlands
Level 4 Contributor
18 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“What a great daytrip!”
Reviewed September 20, 2012

This one is easy: Book Semandang Kayak and have a fun day out. From pick up all the way to drop of and later on the picture CD, everything was great. The whole family was involved and made sure we had a fantastic day. Kayak, feel like you are 12 again with the water canons, stop at a Dayak village and enjoy the fabulous lunch and village tour (including a cold beer) and then peddle some more with the ever cheerfull guides. At the end we made a detour to see and actual longhouse as it is used today, which was not on the program.
Really, we tend to be pretty critical about organised trip because they hardly ever deliver as promised, but this was excellent and we would every one recommend to book these guys (if only that you would be supporting a local family business, instead of a foreign touroperator that is the other kayak company).

Visited September 2012
12 Thank SasGuy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“These guys are fantastic!”
Reviewed September 8, 2012

I originally e-mailed the other 2 big operators in the area, but one didn't reply at all, and the other replied a week and a half later, offering me a different trip than I requested. So I found these guys and e-mailed them, and Luke got back to me within a few hours and told me he could take me out the day I wanted on the same trip I wanted.

The company is run by a Bidayuh family (the locals from that area of Sarawak) and the whole family is involved. Luke, the youngest son, arranged to pick me up at my hotel in Kuching and was there to pick me up ten minutes ahead of schedule. We then went out to the village where the kayaks were stored and met up with the other group that was going with us that day. We also met his father, mother, sister and one of his older brothers (Mac), who are all involved in the company. You can tell that everyone in the family really enjoys what they're doing, and having grown up in that area, they know it very well. They're all very friendly and also speak English very well.

We then drove further up the river and after a brief safety talk, we headed out on the river. The riverbanks are pristine, and almost completely untouched the whole length of the trip. And there are no signs of the ubiquitous palm plantations you see everywhere else in Malaysia.

As I wanted to paddle alone, they set me up with my own kayak. The kayaks are open on top, so they're easy to get in and out of, and they lent me a bag to put my clothes/valuables in, which you can store on the kayak just behind your seat. They also supplied a bottle of water which fit in a little pocket between your legs.

The river itself is quite tame, so don't go expecting crazy rapids, but it's a still great trip. The scenery's amazing, and it's a very relaxing atmosphere (and as it's higher up, it's noticeably cooler than down in Kuching). We stopped after a couple of hours for a Bidayuh lunch in one of the little villages along the river, and then they took us for a look around the village. We then got back on the river and continued on. We also stopped at one point for a very short hike to a little waterfall, which was a nice side-trip.

Throughout the trip, they were pointing out things of interest, and taking literally hundreds of pictures of our group (later that night they delived a CDRom to my hotel with over 800 pictures of our group they'd taken that day). At the end of the day they dropped me back at my hotel in the city.

So if you're thinking about getting out on the river for the day, definitely get a hold of these guys and see if they can take you out. You'll have a blast.

Visited August 2012
21 Thank MasakatsuAgatsu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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