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MONDAY, MARCH 5, 2018

Nyam be Melanau - Sago, Melanau's Traditional Food

Nyam be Melanau” generally means the taste of the Melanau people. This article is about the culture of the Melanau especially their food heritage which is Sago. Melanau is part of an ethnic group indigenous to SarawakMalaysia. In other words, Melanau is categorized into 8 divisions. They are Melanau Matu Daro, Pulau Bruit, Dalat, Oya and Melanau Mukah. The more well-known ones are the Melanau Dalat, Oya and Mukah.

 

The Melanau differ from most other Borneo people in one important aspect. They eat sago in preference to rice. Sago palm originally grew wild in the coastal swamps, and were eventually cultivated by the Melanau folks. The ten metre high palm tree has starch grown inside it.  It swells just before flowering and at the right time to harvest is when it fells from the tree trunk. The trunk is then split open, and the starch-bearing pith is removed. The pith is rasped to fine mash. This is soaked in long wooden trough which is Jalur in Melanau. It is then trodden on a mat to leach out the sago starch. The white sediment settles at the bottom of the jalur. It is then spread out on mats to dry. They will then be crushed into flour.

 

Generally sago starch is similar to starch obtained from maize, potato and wheat which can be used for making bread, biscuit, cake, noodle, crackers, cendol, pudding, chilli and tomato sauces. "Sago" and "tebaloi" biscuits are the most favourite Melanau traditional food which can be made from the sago starch.

 

Before this, one of our friends ever gave us their delicious sago but we could not even ask for more because it was just too delicious and not enough for everyone. She brought it from Mukah and therefore, we want to explore more for the taste of the Melanau people itself.

 

Recently, we went for our short trip to Sarawak Cultural Village as we thought we would be able to find something interesting about Melanau culture and walla! We found it! We found the Melanau house after a 20 minutes’ walk.

 

This elderly woman introduced herself as Puan Sue sat in the house cooking something that is very unusual. Before we walked in to the house, we could smell the aroma of the sago far away as the wind brought us the smell. We dig more and more information from the lady who was action cooking the sago. She managed to tell us that the Sago she currently cooks is known as Tumpik Sagu. They also called the sago as Tupik Sei, Tumpik Lemantak and Lempeng Melanau. We were really amazed with the smell.

 

TumpikSagu is actually the sago that has been processed with bare hands. Puan Sue also mentioned about sago that is round in shape what we usually see. But, tumpik sagu is very rare to be found elsewhere. According to Puan Sue, the tumpik sagu can be cooked in 2 different ways via in the pan or the oven. Long time ago, the indigenous cook the sagu in the human-made oven. So basically, they have to cook the sagu a little more time than using the pan.

 

This beautiful gastronomy of Melanau people are usually added on with some ingredients to make it tastier. As has been stated by Puan Sue, tumpik sagu generally has some salt, coconut and sugar added in. She has told us that, the indigenous itself resists to put in additional modern flavour. This is mainly because they really want to keep the originality of their food forever. Melanau people wants to maintain their culture for authenticity.

 

As we became curious about the other type of sago that were in front of us, Puan Sue came across to explain to us more about it. She even said that during the Japanese Era, it is hard to find rice. Therefore, they went to the jungle and found out there is another alternative to survive which the cassava that could replace rice. We were mesmerized with the personal story. Puan Sue told us that the sago in round shape is actually a lot harder to produce. She said this is because that the process to produce it involved grilling. The Melanau purposely built a small house with fully covered air space to make sure that the sago could be processed faster and better.

 

“We are getting used of it. The heat feels like therapy for us” – Puan Sue


She even cracked some jokes by telling us that they are now getting used to the heat while processing the sago. We noticed that, people nowadays always forget what their culture really is until we realized the beauty of gastronomy in Borneo.

If this article picks your interest to know more about sago, come over and visit us in Sarawak and get to know more not only about the Melanau tribe but also other indigenous tribes with their own unique identity.

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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2016

The annual Padawan Raft Safari 2016

Padawan Raft Safari is a fun water sport held annually since 2004 right here in Sarawak. In this rafting competition, each team needs to build their bamboo raft before the date for it to be used in the race. True to its meaning, this Raft Safari is a great competition, where competitors get to admire wildlife and birds in the wild, passing through the dense jungle with their friends and families and at the same time paddling to the finish line.

 

 

 

The Raft Safari offered RM24,500 worth of prizes up for grabs. Besides rafting and kayaking, there were many side activities such as cultural dance, songs and local traditional cuisine.

A total of 138 competitors signed up for this competition. Depending on the categories that they had signed up for, the participants will be flagged-off from 7:00 a.m to 9:00 a.m, from 3 different villages namely; Annah Rais village, Temurang village and Danu. The finishing line would be at Git village where the closing ceremony will be held at 3:00 p.m.

 

Image credit to Sarawak Tourism Board website

 

There were several rafting categories during the competition. For the Rafting Expert and Kayaking Category, the distance from the starting point was approximately 40 km. The approximate distance for Men’s Open Rafting was 26 km while the Women, Government Departments, and Hotels & Tour Agencies Rafting were 22 km.  

In the Expert category, Kampung Sungan’s ‘Puncak Mutiara Tebedu’ finished the course in four hours and 57 minutes, snatching the first place and winning RM3,000 prize money and championship trophy. Finishing close at second place, Saati/SUPP Kampung Biya Jaber clocked four hours and 59 minutes, while Lanting Sadong placed third with a time of five hours and 12 minutes.

In kayaking category, first place was crowned to Eco Adventure Team that had completed the race with the fastest time of four hours and 14 minutes. The second and third place were won by Perkesa B and Perkesa A respectively.

In Men’s Open category, first place goes to Kelab Rekreasi Lingga, while Tebakang won the Women’s Open winning title. Bunan Gega health Clinic emerged the best among the teams competing in government agencies event, while in the tourism agencies and hotel category, the top prize went to BHR 4 Sekawan.

As it is an annual event, we hope to see more of the raft safari in the near future. This is a new tourism product and hopefully as it progresses, we are able to have more international team joining in.

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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2015

'Lan Berambeh', an annual event for Sarawakians in Peninsula Malaysia

Lan Berambeh, which translates to “Let’s Stay Over” in Sarawak language, had been gaining popularity among Sarawakians in Peninsula Malaysia, especially in Kuala Lumpur.

In the recently held event on 24th of October 2015, it had gathered about 10,000 Sarawakians attending the dinner. The dinner was graced by Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud and his wife Tok Puan Datuk Patinggi Raghad Kurdi Taib.

 

Image credit to The Borneo Post

 

This event was held to support the Sarawakians studying, working and living in Peninsula Malaysia, as well as somewhat healing the homesickness of their home and family.

Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud had launched the dinner that night and a short video titled “Kamek Anak Sarawak” was shown afterwards.

 

 

Apart from the dinner, a carnival was held at Putra World Trade Centre from 9 am to 11 pm on the same day. This carnival welcomed everyone who wanted to know more about Sarawak and not only Sarawakians. The carnival had managed to show the uniqueness of Sarawak and the culture to Peninsula Malaysians who attended the carnival. The stalls selling Sarawak products such as food and handicrafts were erected on that day.

 

Image credit to The Borneo Post

 

There were also convention sessions for Sarawakian students in the afternoon. There were 4 sessions in total; Education by Yang Berhormat Liwan Lagang, Socio Economy by Datuk Seri Richard Riot, Rural Development by Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah and Politics by Hajah Nancy Shukri.

The annual event which was open to the public, was a platform for Malaysians to familiarise themselves with Sarawak culture. The first ‘Lan Berambeh’ was held on 2008, and by then it was only a dinner gathering for Sarawakians. Over the years, it has become a platform to exhibit Sarawak’s unique culture and craft work while reuniting ‘anak Sarawak’ in Peninsula Malaysia.

Hopefully, this joyous event will continue in foreseeable future so that people from Peninsula Malaysia will get to know Sarawak better.

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WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2014

Legend of Mount Santubong, Kuching, Sarawak

There are actually several beliefs of this legend. Every household might tell a different story. However, the legend’s main characters are still Puteri Santubong (Princess Santubong) and Puteri Sejinjang (Princess Sejinjang).

The most popular version of this legend is that Santubong and Sejinjang are princesses from Kayangan (Heaven). These two princesses had wonderful talents. Santubong was famous for her weaving skills, thus  the cloth that she made were very beautiful, while Sejinjang was known for her talent in pounding rice, and the rice that she pounds became the most delicious rice.

When two villages, namely Pasir Kuning (Yellow Sand) and Pasir Putih (White Sand), were having a fight, the King had sent both princesses to bring peace. Santubong was sent to Pasir Kuning while Sejinjang was sent to Pasir Putih. Because of the princesses’ talents, they were so busy making money that they have no time to fight with the other village. In the end, both villages were peaceful.

However, this did not last long. The two beautiful princesses had many suitor and admirers, but nobody can charm them, until one day, they met Putera Serapi (Prince Serapi). They fell in love with the prince, and the prince was also in love with both of them. He asked both of them to be his wives but both of them refused to share him. They started quarrelling with each other to be the prince’s only wife.

The quarrel turns into a frightful fight as they became violent. Sejinjang hit Santubong’s cheek with her pounder, and even though she was hit, Santubong hit Sejinjang back using her belidak, a tool to weave cloths. The force and sharpness of the belidak broke Sejinjang’s head into a million pieces.

The King was angry with the princesses for fighting over a mere mortal, thus he cursed them into Mount Santubong and Mount Sejinjang. The broken pieces of Sejinjang’s head scattered into the sea and become small islands which are now Pulau Kerak (Monkey Island), Pulau Satang (Satang Island), Pulau Talang-Talang (Talang-Talang Island), Pulau Lakir (Lakir Island) and many others.

Another version of the legend is that Puteri Santubong and Puteri Sejinjang were not immortals as people had believed. They were actually daughters of Sultan Brunei that had run away with their seven brothers after their father had been murdered. In their escape to go across South China Sea, their brothers had abandoned them. The two princesses seek refuge at a mountain which is now known as Mount Santubong. Because of a fight between both sisters, Sejinjang had to find another shelter which is another mountain nearby, now known as Mount Sejinjang. The locals that passed by both mountains to find basic necessities saw the two beautiful girls. Since they never saw them before, they had assumed that both princesses were sent down from heaven.

Nowadays, people who passed by the mountain can see the side profile of a woman. Mount Santubong is one of the national parks in Sarawak, and one of the famous tourists’ destinations nowadays. There are Sarawak Cultural Village, Damai Beach Resort and Damai Central at the foot of Mount Santubong. Also, Pulau Talang-Talang is famous for Irrawaddy dolphins sighting, thus making it another famous tour in Kuching.

For those who are interested to go to Kuching and see for yourself this awesome mountain that had inspired this kind of legend, you can visit this website: 3D2N Cuti Kuching Damai. You get to enjoy the cool breeze in the morning at Damai Beach which is located at the foot of Mount Santubong.

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WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2014

9 Must-go Places in Sibu, Sarawak

Sibu is the third largest town in Sarawak, besides Miri and Kuching, populated by mainly Chinese, as well as Melanau, Malay and Iban people. The city might not be a famous tourist destination, but there are some places that you have to visit once you are in this Swan City.

 

1.     Lau King Howe Hospital Memorial Museum

This museum is one-of-a-kind medical museum in Malaysia. The place has old medical equipment on display with old photos adorning the walls. Lau King Howe, a generous man who ran a rubber tree plantation in Engkilo, donated a big sum of money to build it, hence the name of the hospital. Furthermore, it was stated in Sarawak’s history that Sir Duncan Steward had received early treatment here when he was stabbed by Rosli Dhoby.

It was interesting to be taken back in time when you see the old instruments, as it lets people imagine the medical facilities in the past, with its limited helping hands and staffs. Visitors can walk through the ward and experience the thrill of walking in the empty hospital, without the nurses and doctors around.

 

Lau King Howe Hospital Memorial Museum

Lau King Howe Hospital Memorial Museum

 

Image credit to Sarawak Tourism

 

2.     Tua Pek Kong Temple

The interesting architecture of the temple with its pagoda is a prime tourist attraction in Sibu. People come here to pray for a better life and for their family and friends or just to admire the unique architecture. For Chinese New Year and other celebrations, the temple is decorated beautifully and you might get to watch the fascinating show on the stage. Moreover, a hundred years old Rain Tree in front of the temple is another appeal at the temple, and although the tree is hard to maintain, the people here see it as a symbol of longevity.

 

Tua Pek Kong Temple, Sibu

Tua Pek Kong Temple, Sibu

3.     Wong Nai Siong Garden

The memorial garden is built in remembrance of the Foochow immigrants in 1901, led by Wong Nai Siong. The beautiful landscape shows the respect the people has to him, as the place is well maintained and clean. For the locals, it is a perfect spot for jogging and evening exercise. Besides, you can walk around the surrounding of the garden where you can find many Foochow foods, such as kampua mee, kompia and many others.

 

Wong Nai Siong Garden

 

Image credit to TripAdvisor

 

4.     Sibu Heritage Centre

This circular building displays the history of Sibu, and the cultural heritage of ethnic groups in Sarawak. The entrance of the museum is free and it is air-conditioned, to create a comfortable environment to the visitors while browsing the gallery. The landscape outside is quite spectacular. There are some handicraft shops selling Sarawak souvenirs including Iban costumes, and some cafés nearby.

 

Sibu Heritage Centre

Sibu Heritage Centre

 

5.     Bukit Lima Forest Park

Situated at Kampung Sentosa, the park attracts mostly joggers, as it is a perfect place for exercising. The visitors can go try the short trek, where you can enjoy quiet and peaceful environment. Furthermore, you might see some birds, lizards, terrapins or even long-tailed macaques there.

 

Bukit Lima Forest Park

Bukit Lima Forest Park

 

Image credit to TripAdvisor

 

6.     Sibu Central Market

Sibu Central Market is the largest indoor market in Malaysia, and be prepare to be awed by the vast span of stalls at the market, selling fresh vegetables, fruits and live poultry. As Sibu is famously known for dabai or Sibu olive, you can find many stalls selling this fruit with different price based on the size and quality of the fruits. Another unique attribute of the market is that you will find chickens or ducks neatly wrapped in newspapers, fastened by nylon strings arranged nicely on the table.

 

Sibu Central Market

Sibu Central Market

 

7.     Taman Bukit Aup Jubilee Park

The park is a favourite place for the locals to relax during weekends. It comprises an amphitheatre, sky steps, pavilion, observation tower, gardens, canteen lagoon, playground and barbeque area. You can see the surrounding plantations and longhouses at the top of the observation tower. The park is quiet and a great place to breathe in some fresh air or just having picnics there. Besides, you can visit 1 Malaysia Culture Village which is just opposite the park.

 

Taman Bukit Aup Jubilee Park

Taman Bukit Aup Jubilee Park

 

Image credit to TripAdvisor

 

8.     Daesco Star Mega Mall

You probably did not visit Sibu to shop, but look out for this new mall in town. This mall is operated by Daesim Group, and it was located at Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman Sibu. There are several stalls and shops, varies from food stalls, electronic, etc.

 

9.     Wisma Sanyan

This is the tallest building in Sarawak. It was opened in 2001, and the building serves many purposes such as shopping mall, restaurant and offices. This building houses Parkson and Giant Supermarket, along with the headquarters of Sarawak’s largest timber companies, Sanyan Group. Furthermore, BASE Jump was held here annually since 2009.

 

Wisma Sanyan

Wisma Sanyan

 

To go to Sibu, you can either board a bus or a plane. From Kuching, the road distance is about 400 kilometres, so if you want to enjoy the scenery of Sarawak’s greenery along the way, you can opt for the 5 hours bus ride from Kuching Sentral. Flights to Sibu from Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru and Kuching are also available.

Tags: Sibu | Sarawak |

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2013

Pustaka Negeri Sarawak

Pustaka Library is the largest library in Sarawak and a place where you can gather and find lots of information. It is located in Kuching and is a popular place for students to study for their examination Pustaka Negeri Sarawak provides people with lots of information and also a nice and cozy environment that overlooks a lake.

 

 

The Pustaka Negeri was built to help spread more information to the people in the state in order for everyone to achieve a better understanding about what is going on around the world and also to help them to know more about their culture and history of what we have achieved in the past. Sarawak is a multi-cultural place with long history. People could also help more people to be involved and learn more about information technology with all the computers available there. This will help the state to grow into an information, communication and technology, country's vision of 2020.

 

Pustaka Negeri Sarawak has a nice interior with a two storey library divided into different sections. There is also a glass stairs at the middle of the lobby connecting to t first floor of the library. The library is also equipped with large windows facing the huge park outside the library. It gives a more calm and relaxing mood for those doing their research or studying in the library. There is also a cafeteria beside the library at ground floor for those who wish to have a meal for lunch or tea break.

 

There is a large park with jogging trails and a lake surrounding Pustaka Negeri Sarawak. It is an ideal place for people to do different kinds of activities like group aerobics. Take a leisure walk or go jogging on the jogging trail in the evenings. It is also located quite far from the main road therefore it is not noisy or dusty in the area. There are other areas around Pustaka Negeri Sarawak such as a futsal court at the side of the jogging trek near the entrance. The nice architecture and trees around the library attracts people to do wedding photo shoots at the area. 

 

 

Pustaka Negeri Sarawak is one of the interesting places that you should visit. It offers a wide range of activities that can be done there. If you want to go therw to study or to do your research, head over to the library room and find the books you need there. The library is also very quiet and there are meeting rooms for you to rent if you are interested. When you are done with studying, you can even head to the back of the library and have a nice relaxing walk around the lake and taking a break after all the hard work. 

Tags: sarawak | kuching | library |

FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013

The Land of Wind - Bario, Sarawak

The town of Bario, located on the northern part of Sarawak, is not only the home of Kelabit and Penan tribes (both belonging to the Orang Ulu ethnic group) but also the source of  exotic food and crafts. Lying at an altitude of about 3,500 feet above sea level in the north-eastern corner of Sarawak is the famous Bario Highland. Bario is blessed with cool weather with temperatures that could go down as low as 11° Celsius. It has 14 villages with a population of 2,000 people.

Bario Sarawak

Image courtesy of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bario

 

The name Bario is a combination of the words ‘Ba’ and ‘Rio’. ‘Ba’ means paddy field, while ‘Rio’ means wind. The majority of residents in Bario is of Kelabit descendant, one of the minority Orang Ulu tribes of Sarawak, formerly known as headhunters and warriors in the past but now successful planters and farmers. Although the highlands are named after the Kelabits, it is actually home to many other groups such as the Penan and Lun Bawang. The Lun Bawang, who are the same group as the Lun Dayeh in Sabah, are the predominant people around Ba Kelalan in the northern part of the highlands. All of them are collectively known as the "Orang Ulu" or "People of the Highlands".

 

A gateway to Kelabit highlands is made possible by flying to Bario with MASWings from Miri.

 

Most of the area's accommodation is found in and around Bario, and it is the main starting point for treks throughout the area. You can go kayaking or immerse in the historical tales of the monoliths that dot the area. The place has incredible organic food such as the famous Bario rice and pineapple.

 

One of their annual events is the internationally known Bario Food Festival also known as 'Pesta Nukenen', held in July each year since year 2005. Nukenen means food in Kelabit. It was relatively small when it first began but now it has become larger, made popular with the fact that visitors could get the chance to savour the famous Bario rice and pineapple during the festival while taking in the wonderful highland setting.

The Land of Wind Bario Sarawak

 

The festival had grown larger in scale and included jungle-trekking packages, historical site visits and longhouse homestay experience. It attracted visitors not just from Malaysia but also as far Japan, England, Australia and Denmark. All visitors were pleasantly surprised to find that the local food that they savoured were not only cooked traditionally albeit using wooden stove, but also served on leaves and bamboos, making the entire experience refreshingly eco-friendly. Fish, venison and other hunted animals were also cooked in the mixture of various ingredients indigenous to Bario.During Nukenen Fest, various products – from crops to wild products to Orang Ulu crafts – were exhibited and sold at the E-Bario Telecentre.

 

It can get quite chilly in the evening so do bring a sweater. Daytimes are usually warm and humid, especially when struggling through thick forests while trekking. The rainy season is between October and February.

Pay a visit to Bario, Sarawak by flying with MASWings to visit the 'Pesta Nukenen'and experience the life of Sarawak inland.

Tags: Bario | Borneo Sarawak | Kelabit | Penan | Bario Highland. Orang Ulu | Best Kuching Hotels | MASwings | Lun Dayeh | Pesta Nukenen | E-Bario Telecentre |

TUESDAY, MARCH 12, 2013

7 Popular Things You Must Know About Sarawak

  Sabah and Sarawak is an archipelago island which combined both places and well known for its nick name as Borneo to outsiders. Its nick named Borneo, have been around since the time of James Brooke who was an explorer and the founder of Borneo Island. The captivating beauty of the inner parts of modern day Borneo Island still remains a mystery. And that is why; adventure awaits you deep in the hearts of Borneo Island itself. But then again it depends on where you are going.

 

  In short, it is an island that one will find it filled with so many exciting things to do and find it hard to decide on what will be next or where to go after this. So here is some guidance for you to get to know Borneo, especially Sarawak first and what makes it so popular that even tourist finds it so tempting!

 

1. Food.

 

  As always places like Sibu and Kuching has a lot of food varieties. Walk around and down a few blocks away you will see food to your left and right. In Kuching, popular foods among the locals consist of Kolo Mee, Kueh Chap, Laksa, Tomato Noodle, Kek Lapis, and not forgetting the well-known traditional food chicken bamboo.

 

  As for Sibu, it is definitely the simple Kampua noodle and its taste is more than what it looks, the black Canarium which is also known by the locals as Buah Dabai, and the local Sibu made burger known as Kompia stuffed with pork savoury which is a must try during your travel.

 

  A good reminder when it comes to food. You might find this impossible but it is possible in Sarawak. You will only need to bring at least RM10-12 (Malaysian Ringgit) for two person when it comes to meal. The average price for a bowl of noodle or a decent complete rice meal with meat will cost you at RM5.

 

Sarawak Laksa at its best and very popular. Not to be missed!

 

2. Tribal Dance

 

  Coming down to Sarawak for sightseeing will not be complete if you do not visit longhouse in Sarawak. From here, you will get the unique taste of rice and sugarcane wine also known as Tuak. Other than that, you will definitely get to learn a lot of new things such as blowpipe activity, and a must do is the tribal dance known as Ngajat.

 

  There are in fact several types of Ngajat dances, among them:

 

Ngajat Induk
Ngajat bebunoh
Ngajat Lesong
Ngajat Semain
Ngajat Berayah
Ngajat Ngemai antu pala

 

Ngajat, Tribal Dance. Your journey to Sarawak will only be complete after doing the Ngajat Dance.

 

  To see them performing  the Ngajat Dance depends on which Iban tribe you are staying with.

 


3. Bario

 

  If you travel slightly up north, there is a small town known as Bario. The best way to get there is to fly. It may not seem much other than experiencing the quiet and green environment but you will be surprise as to how much you can actually really do over here. You will get to see how salts are made traditionally.

 

  Best part of all; be sure not to miss out the collected Bario rice. The rice in Bario is unlike any other rice. It is small, thin and slightly long compared to normal local produce rice. Other than that, its compact size is what makes the rice not only unique in its shape but perfect for meal.

 

  Buying a packet of Bario rice from a local supermarket can be costly. A packet that weighs at least 3 to 5 kg is nearly at RM 40/- (Malaysian Ringgit). So be sure not to miss it out if you ever set your foot on Bario itself.

 

Bario Rice. The finest of all.

 

4. Water Taxi Ride in Kuching

 

  Another unique part in Sarawak is located in the Kuching city itself. As you stroll down the Waterfront Area, you will see a Taxi River. It is a small yellow boat with a Taxi signboard on its top just like a normal cab on land except that this one runs on the Sarawak River itself!

 

  If you are wondering “Are there anymore Rivers Taxi in Sarawak?” The answer is “Well, you are looking at one right now and only in Kuching”. But be sure to check on its operating hours. That is the most important part of all. Or if you would not want to miss a chance, book a ride with your local travel agents.

 

5.  Surrey Bike

 

  It is an addition to our latest culture in Kuching. Riding a Surrey Bike is a rare sight indeed. The Surrey Bicycle is unlike your typical two wheel type. It is with a roof top and runs on four wheels. Other than walking, visitors may now eventually rent a Surrey Bike to go around Kuching city area for one hour.

 

  Moreover, the Surrey Bicycle is the first of its kind to be both in Malaysia and Sarawak.

 

Kuching Surrey Bicycle. A new experience in town not to be missed.

 

6. Mulu Cave

 

  Mulu Cave still remains a mystery to a lot of people. We all do know Mulu Cave was declared as an UNESCO Heritage site long ago, but its depths and size still remains a mystery. In year 2011, one of the section in Mulu Cave was known as the Sarawak Chamber. It was declared as the biggest cave chamber in history.

 

  Even until today, part of the Mulu Cave section known as the Deer Cave is still known as the biggest cave in the world.

 

  Although Mulu Cave was declared as the biggest cave in the world still, no one knows how far and deep can this cave leads to. Studies and researching on the site is still currently on going, though some argue that Son Doong Cave in Vietnam is the largest in the world.

 

Mulu Cave. Excavation project is still under going. No one knows its full depth and heights yet.

 

7. Bujang Senang

 

  Was it a myth or a true story? Bujang Senang is a very well-known story among the Iban villagers residing along the river of Batang Lupar in Sri Aman. It was rumoured the crocodile, known as Bujang Senang was killed in year 1992. It had a very unique white stripe on its back and was roughly 20 feet long!

 

  Then again, although its skull was displayed in the Sarawak Museum Kuching, the locals believed its descendants and family line are still roaming around within the area.

 

  Rumours have that Bujang Senang was actually never caught and sometimes local villagers will tend to catch a glimpse of a huge mysterious white albino coloured crocodile.

 

  For the fishermen who resided in the village, if they caught a baby croc in their fishing net, they will let it go making sure no bad omen shall fall unto their family.

 

  Finally, the name Bujang Senang became so popular and it was used as a local football team name.

 

Bujang Senang or known as Happy Bachelor in English Skull. A crocodile that was killed in year 1992. Believed by the local residents in Batang Lupar, he is still roaming around freely until today. Picture courtesy from Museum Sarawak.

(Picture: Skull of Bujang Senang a.k.a Happy Bachelor credited to Sarawak Museum.)

Bujang Senang Football Club. Named after the popular crocodile.

 (Picture credited to Borneo Post: Football team Bujang Senang in action!)


   Those are the 7 unique local wonders about Sarawak that is worth to know. If you would like to know more, you can actually take a flight to Sarawak and find out by yourself what other wonders you can find! And if you do, do not forget to share it with us and your friends about Sarawak itself and how you define it! Hope to see you all coming down to Sarawak! Cheers!

 

  Come check out our tour Packages at https://www.sarawakborneotour.com/  and book with us now.

 

Tags: Kuching | Kuching Sarawak | Mulu Cave | Ngajat | Bario | Water Front | Surrey Bikes | Bujang Senang | River Taxi Sarawak |

MONDAY, MARCH 4, 2013

Guess & Win MASwings Fridge Magnet Giveaway

MASwings Fridge Magnet

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FRIDAY, MAY 25, 2012

World Harvest Festival

 

The World Harvest Festival 2012 is one of the highlights of the Gawai Dayak celebrations which is an ethnic festival. This will be its eighth year and is organised at the Sarawak Cultural Village from 26th to 27th May 2012, it also helps to bring both locals and foreigners together to experience the true Sarawak culture. World Harvest Festival 2012 is not only synonymous with the festivities of the Dayak, but has come to encompass other ethnic groups in Sarawak as well as the tourists, to help reflect the true Malaysian spirit of the people.

The World Harvest Festival 2012 was introduced in line with Ministry of Tourism Sarawak’s objective to position it as an international event on its tourism calendar. The World Harvest Festival 2012 provides the opportunity for the non–Dayak to understand the cultures, traditions and aspirations of the Dayak community. The awareness and interest created by the festival promises to benefit both the public sector and tourism industry.

Among the many highlights of the World Harvest Festival 2012 cultural event is the theme play held on May 26th, 2012. “Selanting Kuning & the Dragon King”, based on the Bidayuh legend was featured last year and this year it will be on the Iban legend entitled “The Adventures of Keling & Kumang”. What is unique about this theme play is that the whole Village becomes the stage, and the entire play promises to overwhelm the guests in audio and visual splendour.

Another highlight to capture the festival and mood of the guests is the ethnic beauty pageant “Miss World Harvest Festival 2012”. This beauty pageant revolves around the Iban community theme. Fifteen beauties will vie for the coveted title this year, which never fails to add colour and vibrancy to the festival. The proud winner last year was Miss Suljirina Lucas, 27 years old Berawan lass.

As always the Harvest Festival or Gawai is celebrated on a grander scale with the participation of cultural troupes from other countries. This is evident in the International Cultural Extravaganza, with day time workshops. This year our friends from Indonesia and Selangor will be joining the festivities. A series of joint workshop by the locals and the invited troupes will be held during the 2 days festival. This is the ideal time for the visitors to have the opportunity to learn about each community’s traditions, foods and handicrafts.

For those who want to prove their manly prowess, there is the Ironman World Harvest Festival 2012 competition. This is another highlight in the festival that involves 15 finalists who exhibit ‘superhuman’ strength in tackling the traditional based activities like blowpipe shooting, coconut dehusking, 50kg gunny rice lifting, wood chopping and mountain climbing. Last year, Encik Amir Hanafi emerged as the champion.

The WHF promises to be the fun-filled event for the young and old. Bring along your loved ones and make this an affair to remember. What awaits you is a cultural extravaganza like no other. Tickets are on sale for RM60.00 per person (adults) and RM30.00 for children (age 6 - 12 years old) at the Sarawak Cultural Village. Any inquiries that you have regarding the event you can e-mail to Ask@SarawakBorneoTour.com or browse through our interesting packages at www.SarawakBorneoTour.com.

Tags: WHF 2012 | World Harvest Festival 2012 | World Harvest Festival | Sarawak Cultural Village | Dayak | Dayak Culture | Gawai | Borneo | Kuching | SCV |

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY19, 2012

Double the Pleasure at Annah Rais Hot Springs

 

One incredible way to enjoy the contradicting twin elements of nature would be a visit to the new upgraded Annah Rais Hot Springs in Kuching, Sarawak. At this little spot in Sarawak, Borneo, I experienced the wonderful sensation of soaking myself in the hot spring pools with the coolness of clear rushing river water right next to these rock pools and set amidst beautiful natural flora and fauna. It was close to paradise on earth!

My friends and I had heard about the upgrading works that had been completed for the hot spring in early 2011 and decided to check the hot spot out. The Annah Rais Hot Spring was located about 70 kilometres from Kuching City, and the countryside drive took nearly two hours where we bypassed the quaint Annah Rais Longhouse, a small native Bidayuh village. Found by early Bidayuh settlers 250 years ago, the hot springs had been guarded and preserved by the villagers since then. It was their belief that the hot spring was a sacred place for them to seek blessings and cures for various illnesses.

Set along a narrow hilly road, the Annah Rais Hot Spring was another ten minutes drive from the Annah Rais Longhouse. Entrance fees to the hot springs were RM5 per adult; and RM3 per child aged 7 and below. The new upgraded facilities of the hot spring included a concrete walkway, steps to the river, and changing rooms and showers, which were important as these would make the hot spring area more comfortable and enjoyable for visitors, like me.

The other significant improvement was the nice circular rock or granite pools, one big and one smaller, which were built to contain the hot water and to provide proper sitting areas for the enjoyment of the hot springs and its lovely surrounding landscape of bamboo trees and tropical rainforest. We changed into our swimming attire and headed to the bigger rock pool. We had to be careful while navigating our way along the rock pool due to the slippery moss-strewn surface.

Dipping our feet into the water made us realize why it was called a hot spring. The water was hot! Even the sands and stones felt hot. It took a while for me to adjust and get used to the steaming hot water. Temperatures could get as high as 80 degrees Fahrenheit. This natural phenomenon was caused by underground water being heated by geothermal forces and then brought up to the surface to create hot springs. At times, we could also see hot water bubbling up from the bottom of the pool. And when the wind blows, we could smell the sulfur in the air.

Since we went on a weekday afternoon, there were not many people at the Annah Rais Hot Springs and most of them were local visitors, sitting around the rock pools and dangling their legs into the hot springs. The chirping of birds combined with the rippling sounds of the river, enveloped by a lush green forest canopy, created a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere as we infused ourselves with the heat of the hot springs. Watching the drifting white clouds in the crystal blue sky was calming and in that moment, the hectic city life ceased to exist.

As I had mentioned earlier, there were twin elements to the hot springs… the cool flowing river besides the steaming rock pools were an exciting and stimulating contrast. I have heard that alternating hot with cold temperatures could assist to dilate and constrict blood vessels, thereby improving blood circulation. Additionally, a good soak in hot or warm water would go a long way to help relax tense muscles, soothe the body and in turn reduce stress. Doctors had acknowledged that immersing in hot water could speed up the healing process or relieve pain caused by arthritis or minor injuries. It was believed to be therapeutic for insomnia and psoriasis too.

After about an hour of relaxation and fun at the rock pool and river, we decided to call it a day and headed to shower and change. It had been a great trip for us. Annah Rais Hot Springs was still relatively unknown as a tourism destination but this yet to be discovered gem has something simple to offer that to me was most desirable… a place to restore the tired body and rejuvenate the weary mind. So, take a trip to the Annah Rais Hot Springs and pamper yourself to the hilt.

Tags: annah rais | annah rais longhouse | annah rais homestay | hot springs Sarawak | hot springs Kuching | Kuching homestay |