Posts Tagged: Sarawak

Lets Get Away: Destination BARIO

After over a year going around, I felt like I needed a break. (Yes I work as a tour guide here in Sarawak, but no I’m not on holiday). So I randomly called two of my childhood friends, Anthony, from Johor, the southern part of west Malaysia and James, from Penang, an Island located on the north west of Malaysia. Location, Bario, The Kelabit Highlands. And they both said yes.

Photo with Anthony and James

Ever heard of it? Not many people have. It’s one of those places where you go to escape the world. Situated in the highland mountains far into the interior of Borneo, this is as far away from the fast pace of the modern world as you could get. It is a place where time slows down.

View of Bario as we were about to land

Bario is a remote town in the Kelabit Highlands at an altitude of 4666ft above sea level. The region has a population of around 1200 people, while daily fogs drift amidst them; setting the lovely town against an eternally magical backdrop. It is surrounded by virgin tropical rainforest with just one road connecting the town to Miri. Within Bario town however, the area is relatively well connected with either concrete, dirt or gravel roads, and projects are underway to build roads extending to some of the other villages in the surrounding area- some of these are around 9 hours walking distance away.

Due to its altitude, the region hosts a slightly cooler climate than the rest of Malaysia and this is especially noticeable at night. It is usually cold enough to require one to wear a sweater or light jacket. The weather is usually around 30°C during the day, but at night, temperatures average around 20°C. Somehow rather when we were there, it was 20°C – 26°C during the day and at night it was between 16°C all the way down to 5°C. Yes!!! That is cold for Malaysians. Continue reading “Lets Get Away: Destination BARIO” »

Frogging in Kubah Natioal Park

First of all, I never knew looking for frogs in the dark and taking photos and identifiying them was a whole new level of fun and learning. Thanks to my trainer who introduced me to this. It was awesome!
Reach Kubah National Park around 6pm, and then we started at around 6.30pm walking up. The day just got dark. By then you will start hearing some frogs singing. And that is when you begin to get use to the sound and start following the sound till you find it.

Continue reading “Frogging in Kubah Natioal Park” »

Ng. Ukom 21st August Tragedy

Ng. Ukom, A place that I go often to bring tourist was burned down on 21st August 2015. And when I heard to news, my heart really sank! I really did notNg. Ukom Longhouse know how to react…

Around 1:15 pm, I was still on the other river over the mountain from the longhouse when we saw thick smoke, and we did asked each other who has not burned their farm yet, as this is still the burning season before they start planting rice. But, my boatman said, all have done theirs… Not long after when I was on my way to Hilton Batang Ai Resort that I got news from a good friend that to longhouse is no more standing. Continue reading “Ng. Ukom 21st August Tragedy” »

Expedition with “The Leap” volunteers

All started the day I met them the 1st day they arrived Kuching. Coming half way around the world really impressed me when i found out their age. They were between 18 to 25. 3 from England and the other 3 was Dutch. The project was to help build a proper kitchen and toilet for a mentally disabled guy ( slow development of brian), who happened to be an orphan too. He stop schooling at a very young age as he had to take care of his sick family. The 1st time I entered his home, I was crying in my heart. Was wondering to my self how could someone live in this place. The whole hose actually shake when I was walking in it. The toilet and bathroom was in the same room where the old kitchen was. No door, and rotten planks, which was not stable and safe. Eventually this project became personal to me.

Anyways, this group that came, was a fun and interesting group. Young people full of energy and different characters. There was Noelle, Floor and Dylan from Holland. And Emily, Cora and Rachel from England. This project took us 6 days to complete.

The first was the day we started clearing the back of the house which was full of wild plants, rubbish and more hidden treasure underground such as old shoes, shirts, and other things like scorpions, centipedes, spiders and many more. But the group fought their fears and continued clearing. By the end of the day, it was one flat land. And it rained too… So it was not too hot but we all got wet working under the rain.  Continue reading “Expedition with “The Leap” volunteers” »

Trip to Ukum with Cesar Cruchaga & Wife

This post is a lil late as I didn’t really know what and how to write this post, because it was special to me. It all happened on 22nd July  2014. I receive an assignment a week before that date to bring a couple to Nanga Ukom in Batang Ai. I agreed. But I did not know who I was bringing. As usual, I tend to be more of a friend instead of being a guide to tourist. I want them to feel happy and not just going on tour but enjoying their time with the locals.

So on that 22nd morning, right after we came out of the orang utan centre in Semenggoh, we started having conversation and we started talking about jobs and what we love to do. Ended up in me asking this guy, Cesar Cruchaga, what he works as. And his answer was simple. He just said “I’m retired”. But I was so surprise and a lot of questions going in my head. He didn’t look like a guy who is retired, unless he had an early retirement form the army. But, I still wanted to know and took the courage to ask him what he used to do. And he said:” I’m a retired professional football player. And I used to play for Atletico Osasuna in the Spanish League.” And I went into shock… Continue reading “Trip to Ukum with Cesar Cruchaga & Wife” »

3D2N Trip to Ng. Ukum, Batang Ai

This trip took place on the 19th to 21st of August. Andrea Pelo & Giulia Buzzetti from  Italy, is one of those nice and awesome couple you can ever meet. Even sometimes in some of our conversations, we had a small trouble understanding each other, but, it did not us from having fun and enjoying nature, culture and the people of the longhouse.  Continue reading “3D2N Trip to Ng. Ukum, Batang Ai” »

A 2D1N With the Awesome American Couple

Mark & Chelsea, are one of those rare and awesome people I’ve met so far. On a nice budget trip they decided to go for the 2 days 1 night trip to the Annah Rais Bidayuh Longhouse with a few swims in the the river and waterfall. During this trip, they manage to see a, maybe 4 ft long or slightly more, snake crossing the road, eat rice cooked in pitcher plant, chicken cooked in bamboo, wild vegetables from the jungle of Borneo and more rice wine! which I personally think is Mark’s fave drink. Hahahahah. They also had the privilege to meet one of the traditional music player and maker there and witness him play 2 songs. But here are more photo’s and video of bits and pieces of the trip. Enjoy!

Continue reading “A 2D1N With the Awesome American Couple” »

The Iban People

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Ibans are a branch of the Dayak peoples of Borneo. They were formerly known during the colonial period by the British as Sea Dayaks. Ibans were renowned for practising headhunting and tribal/territorial expansion. A long time ago, being a very strong and successful warring tribe, the Ibans were a very feared tribe in Borneo. They speak the Iban Language.

Today, the days of headhunting and piracy are long gone and in has come the modern era of globalization and technology for the Ibans. The Iban population is concentrated in Sarawak, Brunei, in the West Kalimantan region of Indonesia. They live inlonghouses called rumah panjai or rumah panjang Most of the Iban longhouses are equipped with modern facilities such as electricity and water supply and other facilities such as (tar sealed) roads, telephone lines and the internet. Younger Ibans are mostly found in urban areas and visit their hometowns during the holidays. The Ibans today are becoming increasingly urbanised while (surprisingly) retaining most of their traditional heritage and culture. Continue reading “The Iban People” »

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