Baloi waterfall? If you never heard of it, you are not alone, in fact not many knew of it existence.
I came to know about the waterfall after chanced upon this info on BDA website, last month.
Even then there is no mentioned of its whereabouts on the site. So yesterday, following rather sketchy idea of where the fall might located – I drove from the town center heading towards Tatau.
After driving past Kemena Bridge, past the ‘T’ junction and a traffic light, probably more than 12 kilometer away from the town center, I saw two bus sheds on both side of the main road. Immediately after the bus shed on the left (towards Tatau direction) there is a junction, house and slightly further up the road – a warehouse.
Too bad, there is no proper signage, a name or something that can guide ones to get there except the house near the junction and the warehouse mentioned above. Oh yeah, the two bus sheds!
So I stopped at the junction and walked to the house hoping to meet someone who can tell me the direction to Baloi waterfall. Upon hearing someone approaching their house, a lady and her daughter appeared at the doorstep. I asked her if she knew where Baloi waterfall is and was told it’s not that far from where I’m standing.
Then upon hearing us talking a young man appeared from her behind. I asked him if he could guide me to the fall. He agreed and tagged along his friend. Glad that I finally found the place, I parked my car near their house. After nearly 15 minutes of walking along a gravel road, then following a trail cutting through the jungle, we reached the waterfall.
My first impression upon seeing the place was, Oh! It wasn’t exactly as what I have expected to see, although the waterfall itself look higher, probably more than 15 meter in height, but the water not at all tempting.
It appears brownish and murky along the stream, and yellowish and dark inside the pool area, at the bottom of the waterfall. I don’t know why I had an eerie feeling upon seeing it, as if there were scary creatures lurking deep in the water! I’ve visited Lambir waterfall and the one in Simalajau before, but never experienced such a feeling.
“It hasn’t rain for days that’s why the water look dark,” said Henry, my 14-year old guide while swimming around the pool with his friend Imbak.
The surroundings forest also shown increasing human activities. Near the top of the waterfall, trees were felled, bushes were cleared and vast track of the land had been cleared. Probably, an oil palm plantation is shaping up in the area.
I asked them if there are many fishes along the river. They said not anymore.
“People from Bintulu come here often with their generator set, using it electricity current to kill the fish,” Henry told me.
“We often hunting further up the river, but games have been scarce due to the rampant illegal logging activities in the area,” he added.
There is nothing much that the local authority can do as the forest in the surrounding areas actually on a privately held land. In fact in 1994, Bintulu Development Authority had clarified why its couldn’t develop Baloi waterfall.
““If we’re to develop the area, we need to acquire the lands within its surrounding. That would be very expensive,” said Stephen Ngui, BDA Senior Land officer, then.
Perhaps, since Baloi is the only waterfall found within Bintulu town boundary, people still flocking to the place on weekend, especially factory workers from nearby Kemena Industrial areas. To some, at least Baloi waterfall offers a different surrounding than the all too familiar Tanjung Batu beach.