Main Index of Articles

Travel, Expeditions, Collecting Index


Please read the 'Agreement' section on the View Articles page before downloading this article.


Michael Lo
Title: Batang Ai - Lubok Antu Expedition
Summary: Michael and friends took a trip into the hills. They found rasboras, barbs and swamp eels, and realised there were still plenty of waters to explore.

Contact for editing purposes:
email: Michael, at:

Date first published:  June 2004
Publication: For more photos and information about fish and plants in Sarawak, see Michael's website:
Reprinted from Aquarticles:
Internet publication (club or non-profit web site):

1. Credit author, original publication, and Aquarticles.
2.  Link to  and original website if applicable.
3.  Advise Aquarticles
Printed publication:
Mail two printed copies to:
#205 - 5525 West Boulevard
Vancouver, British Columbia
V6M 3W6

We will forward one to Michael

Borneo Field Trip Diaries - Part IV
Batang Ai - Lubok Antu Expedition

by Michael Lo
of Sarawak, Malaysia
From his website:

Collection date: June 1st, 2004

To me and my friends, the Kapuas River basin is the South-East Asian equivalent of the Amazon River basin. There are more than 300 species of fish fauna found there, especially the Vaillants chocolate gourami (Sphaerichthys vaillanti), which  is one of the most beautiful fish inhabiting the upper part of the Kapuas River and the surrounding area of Danau Sentarum Lake. We found out from a map (not the one below) that the hills and the mountains in the border area near Lubok Antu town are not too high. We decided to explore the Batang Ai and Lubok Antu area to find the headwaters of the upper Kapuas River.

t 1 batangmap3.jpg (9784 bytes)
The pink circle indicates our collection area. Danau Sentarum Lake is in Kalimantan Barat, Indonesia.


June 1st....the first day of Hari Gawai (Harvest Festival).  Benjamin, Zhou Hang, Benny and I headed to the Batang Ai area. About 1.30 p.m., we reached the first collection point. It was a tea coloured, fast flowing river. We found an unknown species of Rasbora and a fish that looked like a Puntius species.

t 2 sg.lubok.jpg (11384 bytes)
A tea coloured river near the border

t 3 rasb-batangaicopy.jpg (2796 bytes)   t 4 barbis2copy.jpg (3404 bytes)
Rasbora dusonensis (left) and unknown barb (right) found in the river shown above.

As the road was too bad for me to continue driving to the border, I decided to turn back. We stopped at a blackwater brook and Zhou Hang found a species of Rasbora that looked like Rasbora einthoveni. We all felt very excited as these fish had never been seen by any of us before.

Later, we headed to Batang Ai Dam.....took some pictures and left. We found no fish in the river below the dam, except frogs' eggs sticking to the hair grass.

t 5 lakebatang.jpg (6156 bytes)
Batang Ai Dam

t 6 embark.jpg (4074 bytes)
Visitors to Batang Ai Longhouse Resort are embarking on the boat.

t 7 grassriver.jpg (9225 bytes)
Hair grass grew abundantly in the river below the dam.

The last collection point was a blackwater swamp somewhere near Seri Aman. We found Betta ibanorum and a swamp eel.

t 8 swampeel.jpg (3903 bytes)
The swamp eel

Due to poor planning we failed to explore most of the area near the border. Maybe I will go back to explore that area one day.

Go to: Part V: A Road to Nowhere

Or, back to Part I of this series: Kuhli Loaches Cast a Magic Spell on Me!