Saturday, 25 April 2015

Pesta Benak 2015

The Tidal Bore Festival is held annually at Sri Aman town (Sarawak state) and it is better known as Pesta Benak to the locals. It is the only Tidal Bore Festival in Malaysia. Visitors can witness the sudden surge of water in Batang Lupar river at Panorama Benak or waterfront. It occurs twice daily, morning and evening. The king tide is causing water to fill the river and form waves that can be surfed. 

The festival is able to attract thousands to the little and peaceful town, both locals and foreigners. Mostly are here to either participate or watch the side-events such as long boat and speed boat race, beauty pageant, body-building competition, exhibitions, cultural performance and many more. For 2015 it was quite special as Fort Alice opened to the public for the first time. The fort was restored to its former glory as a heritage museum for conservation. 

The main attraction is always the Benak itself. It captures the interest of both local and international surfers to ride the waves in a crocodile-infested river. Fret not, there has not been any incident reported. According to the local belief, the reptile will not be anywhere near when there is Benak in the river. 

To get to Sri Aman is about 2-3 hours ride from Kuching city. If you are from out of town, it is highly recommended to book your hotel early as accommodation is limited during the festival. It is better to stay a night since the Benak usually occurs in the evening. 

These few years I have tried to produce a proper recap video for the event and I finally did it. Do take a look at it to give yourself some ideas what the festival is like. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the local council for giving me the photographer pass these few years to capture the moments at the Tidal Bore Festival.