Last Update: 23 Jan 2018
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Lundu HistoryLundu History

Lundu is a town located in the Northwest of Kuching Division of SarawakMalaysia, and borders with Indonesian Province of West Kalimantan. As far as anyone knows, the lands around Lundu was empty of people until relatively recently. Although the main river is called Batang Kayan, "the Kayan river," there is no evidence at all that any Kayan people ever lived there. In the middle of the eighteenth century a group of Bidayuh people from near Bau migrated and settled on the west bank of the Batang Kayan, where Kampong Stunggang Melayu now stands. They came to be called the Dayak Lundu, and though the last member of the tribe died in the 1960s, you can still see the grove of durian trees they planted. The name "Lundu" itself is taken from a small catfish that abounds in the Sungai Lundu which flows down from Gunung Gading.

Towards the close of the eighteenth century three groups of people at the same time came separately to make their homes in Lundu. From the east came the Ibans. These Ibans were originally from Balau on the west bank of the Batang Lupar.

As the Iban were coming to Lundu from the east, Chinese and Selako settlers were arriving from the west, over the hills that separate Sarawak from what is now Indonesian Borneo. Chinese had been living in Pontianak and Sambas for a hundred years or more. When gold was discovered in Bau, Chinese migrated there.

Also from the west came the Selako or Selakau. Malays also came to settle from the Natuna Islands.

What is wonderful about Lundu, is that although four different people settled very close together, there has from the beginning never been any friction between them. They seek a better life, and each people pursued their aim in a way that did not compete with the others.


Lundu had electricity and piped water (from Gunung Gading) by the early 60s. The Lundu hospital was built in 1965, and now offers treatment for all except the most serious problems. They have a dental clinic and ultrasound screening for mothers-to-be. Until 1968 Lundu could be reached from Kuching only by boat. In that year the road from Bau to Lundu was completed and regular bus service began.