Binyo Penyilam is situated at South East of Bintulu town. It is in the tributary of the Kemena River about three hours upstream journey. Currently the only way to go to Binyo Penyilam is only by boat.
|Using private rented boat is more leisure and more things to see|
Travellers from Bintulu town can choose either to use private boat that can reach up to Binyo Penyilam or the normal ferry ‘Express Boat’ that will only reach a logging camp at the end of its route in Binyo and then proceed with small local boat to Binyo Penyilam.
|Another advantage of using private rented boat, you can photograph many things along the way! Crocodiles and birds can be seen in Kemena River banks especially during low tide|
|The locals use their small wooden boat which is easier to navigate in small and sharp corners of the stream|
The unique landscape of Binyo Penyilam consists of Lowland Dipterocarp Forest, Kerangas Forest, Seasonal Swamp Forest and Peat Swamp Forest that caters for numerous unique species of Flora and Fauna. The main landscape of Binyo Penyilam is full with scattered small lakes of brackish water.
|The grassland marsh promise you so many things to be photographed|
What is it famous for?
Binyo is mainly famous for its Tapah fish scientifically known as Wallago leerii. This fish have been one of the major economic resource for the locals in the area.
However, a worrying trend of unsustainable harvesting of the fish is now contributing the depletion of its numbers. Few years ago one can easily find Tapah fish as big as 10kg each but in recent years it is hard to find even a 5kg fish.
Nonetheless, Binyo Penyilam is one of the important spawning areas for fresh water fish in Bintulu.
|Fresh water fish are abundant in Binyo Penyilam, a good place for sustainable fishing activities|
What might interest you
I have also never really had a chance to do bird photography in the place but there are a lot of birds that you can find in the place with approximately more than 130 species recorded, it will depend on your luck to see one up close though.
|Parakeets can seen during certain season in Binyo Penyilam|
Because this is my favourite photography work I would say yes, there are a lot of things for macro photography here. It ranges from tiny little insect to orchids and mushrooms. I will rank Binyo Penyilam to be the best place to do macro photography for Odonata (Dragonfly and Damselfly) where it is easy to spot them and some species allows you to go close enough (with slow movement) to photograph them (with 50mm macro lens) and I would say this place is a heaven for Odonata species.
Orchid species are abundant in Binyo Penyilam, ranking from the common species to some Bornean endemic species. This place is a great place for orchid lovers where some rare species such as Dendrobium kenepaiense, Dimorphorchis lowii and Dyakia hendersoniana can be found, lots of Trichoglottis smithii can be seen blooming at the river banks during flowering season (when I spotted them) in July – November.
|The famous Black Orchid can be found in Binyo Penyilam|
|The Tiger Orchid, Grammatophyllum speciosum can be seen common in orchid garden but seeing one in the wild brings a totally different feeling|
|One of many Thrixspermum species|
|The rare Dendrobium kenepaiense|
|Another unusual orchid Bulbophyllum taeter|
|The beautiful and strange Dimophorchis lowii|
|Another rare peat swamp orchid species the Dyakia hendersoniana|
|Another beautiful species Papilionanthe hookeriana|
|Among the beautiful Phalaenopsis spp. that can be found in Binyo Penyilam|
|One of my favorite orchid species, the Bulbophyllum medusae|
If you are an orchid lover you should come here, but no collection is allowed however photographing them is most welcomed.
Nepenthes (Pitcher Plants)
As all Peat Swamps and Kerangas forest do, this place is also a good habitat for Nepenthes species or also called as pitcher plants. I have found five species with some varieties in the area and I assume there will be at least another two more species that can be found in Binyo penyilam in the future with more visits to the place.
|Once you reach the grassland marsh you will be surrounded by Nepenthes species|
|Nepenthes rafflesiana can be found everywhere at the grassland swamps|
|Nepenthes ampullaria is not easy to see in Binyo Penyilam|
|Nepenthes albomarginata can be found at the Kerangas Forest|
|Correct me if I am wrong as far as i know this is Nepenthes rafflesiana var elongata|
|"Rasau" or Pandanus species is common in Binyo penyilam|
I have only done several visits for photography works in Binyo Penyilam thus rendering my success in photographing other things such as birds, frogs and beautiful landscapes in the place. The difficulties in walking through wet peat swamps while carrying a bag full with camera gears makes it much tougher.
Nevertheless, I am sure one will be very satisfied after a visit to the place as there are many things to be photographed including the people and their longhouse in Binyo Penyilam.
Sadly, most of the natural forests surrounding the place are under pressure of land conversion to oil palm by the locals.
I hope we can support ecotourism in the place to prevent further conversion of the landscape and also helping the locals to have some other kind of daily income rather than converting their beautiful landscape into something else or depending on unsustainable harvesting of resources such as Tapah fish.
For information, Binyo Penyilam is a proposed National Park.
Here is a link for a trip that was organized for Natural Science Society Bintulu (NSSB) in 2008.
Do contact me if you are interested to visit the place.
Thank you for viewing! Enjoy more photos that might spark your interest in Binyo Penyilam.
|Other than orchids, this lipstick flower or Aeschynanthus sp. is a beautiful thing to photograph|
|Soft shell turtle can be found in the brackish water of Binyo Penyilam|
|This beautiful palm Cyrtostachys lakka are growing in large groups in Binyo penyilam|
|The brackish water creates very beautiful reflection|