Longhouse Living at Batang Ai
The longhouse has long been the iconic image associated with the tribal peoples of Borneo. Communal living at its best, these unique dwelling places are still very much in existence today with some magnificent examples stretching over a kilometre long with over 30 families living under a single roof.
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Vacation Style Holiday TypeCulture, Discovery, Jungle
Activity Level Fairly Easy
Group Size Medium Group
The longhouse has long been the iconic image associated with the tribal peoples of Borneo. Communal living at its best, these unique dwelling places are still very much in existence today with some magnificent examples stretching over a kilometre long with over 30 families living under a single roof. Come with us into the Iban (Sea Dayak) heartland as we take you on an unforgettable journey to stay in one of this abode and interact with its charming people to complete your Borneo experience.
- Overland transfers (Surcharge applies for residents of hotels outside Kuching City)
- Boat transfers
- An English speaking host/leader
- Longhouse accommodation (basic mattresses on floor)
- 3 lunches; 2 dinners; 2 breakfasts
- Alcoholic or canned beverages
- All other items not listed above
- Gratuities to local staff (at your discretion)
An early morning star
An early morning start to your exciting adventures into the heartland of the Dayak people takes you on an extended road journey eastwards passing padi fields, pepper plantations, farms, roadside kampungs and tropical jungles. A welcomed rest stop at the small town of Serian allows you to visit the colourful native market where a variety of jungle produce such as edible ferns, bamboo shoots and unusual tropical fruit are on display.
Continuing your journey, your guide will take you into a Pepper farm to observe how Sarawak Pepper, reputed to be the best in the world, is planted and processed. Your final rest stop before heading off into the jungle is at the Lachau Bazaar. Here’s your last chance to buy anything you may have forgotten after tucking into a late lunch.Approximately 2 hours after leaving Lachau Bazaar, you will arrive at the Batang Ai Dam where you will board a native longboat for your1.5 hrs journey to your destination Iban longhouse. Settle into your accommodation and have some free and easy time to relax and familiarise yourself with your new surroundings and friendly neighbours.
In the evening, enjoy a traditional Iban’s style prepared by your guide. After dinner, be entertained with a cultural presentation by your hosts and spend the rest of the evening on the Ruai (common verandah) enjoying some rice wine or Tuak with your new found friends.
Get awaken from your slumber by cock crows, footsteps on the timber floors and other quaint sounds of the village coming to life. Freshen up and enjoy a hearty local breakfast that will fuel you for the active trekking day ahead.
A guided nature walk is an excellent opportunity to learn about the many uses of different plants of the rainforest and some of the agrarian lifestyles of this jungle community. Weather permitting, continue your hike upriver to Tutong Waterfall where you will experience a bamboo picnic lunch as you enjoy a dip in this refreshing stream. Return to the longhouse after lunch and spend the rest of the afternoon on your own to engage with the charming people. As darkness falls, another sumptuous dinner will be served followed by more celebrations with your longhouse friends well into the night.
Daybreak signals your last day in this special place and after breakfast, it will be time to bid farewell to your good friends. Your longboat stands waiting to ferry you back to the Batang Ai Terminal and you will continue your onward journey back to Kuching. With a lunch stop at one of the bazaars along the way, expect to arrive back into Kuching at around 5 pm. The end of a magical Borneo experience.
Wear comfortable walking shoes; light clothing; still or video cameras; swimwear, small bath towel, suntan lotion, hat, insect repellant. Gifts for the people at the longhouse such as biscuits, books, pencils, pens, educational toys and dolls (no candy or sweets please) are highly appreciated though not obligatory.