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WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 23, 2017

A One Day Tour at Kuching

I recently went on a day tour in Kuching with a group of retirees from Johor Bahru to Sarawak Cultural Village, Cat Museum, Dayang Salhah Cake House and more. To me, it felt like going on a trip with my own grandparents. They were very friendly and nice to me even though they have never seen me before. Hence, I was able to enjoy spending time with them the whole trip.

 

Billy (the one with the blue backpack) giving a brief talk to the tour group

 

 

I arrived at 56 Hotel at 8.15am to meet the group and our tour guide, Billy, at the hotel lobby. The group came down to the lobby from their room at 8.40am and Billy gave a short briefing about the day trip. At 9am, we got on a coach, which was the transport for our trip, and took off to our first destination, the Sarawak Cultural Village.

It was a long trip to Sarawak Cultural Village, taking about a bit over an hour to reach there since it is located far from the city and also due to the traffic that day. I helped in distributing mineral drinks to each of the group members as so to keep them hydrated for the day.

Once arrived at the destination, I was the last person to leave the coach and made sure all of them got off the coach safely. Billy went to the reception counter to get our tickets while I kept an eye on the group. I also helped a family to take their photos at the Rainforest Music Festival statue.

Soon enough, we entered the ‘living museum’ led by Billy.

 

Signage at Sarawak Cultural Village

 

The bamboo bridge route to get to the Bidayuh Longhouse

 

Our first stop was the Bidayuh Longhouse. There was two routes to get there; the normal route and the bamboo bridge route. Everyone except only 2 or 3 of them did not go for the bridge because they had pain in their legs. So, they took the normal, longer route with Billy.

At the Bidayuh Longhouse, other than objects that are of the Bidayuh culture, there was a person playing a musical instrument, similar to a flute, to entertain the visitors. The group members looked around looking fascinated and some of them even took photos with the people who wore the traditional Bidayuh costumes in the house. They also bought some souvenirs from there.

Our next stop was the Iban Longhouse. I was assigned a task by Billy to collect the stamps at each stop as a proof of the visit, while also keeping an eye on the group. In the house, there was a lady who was frying an Iban traditional snack, known as Kuih Jala, to sell to the visitors. 3 of the members bought some and shared with the others. I also got my share of it because they were so nice. The snack was sweet and pleasant, perfect for a teatime snack, in my opinion. They took photos with the people wearing Iban costume in the house before leaving the house.

 

The view at Sarawak Cultural Village

 

Then we went to the Penan Hut. There were not much to see except for the musical instrument Sape and the tools that the Penan people used for daily survival. Billy explained that the Penan people live a nomadic life and that is why they lived in a hut instead of a house.

After that, we visited the Orang Ulu Longhouse and the Melanau Tall House. Both houses are built high above the ground with sturdy wood holding them up, so it was a long walk up and down the stairs for the visitors. Billy gave a short talk about the respective cultures while the group members looked around the house and enjoyed some Orang Ulu snacks sold in the house.

Lastly, we visited the Chinese Farmhouse. The group members paid respect at the praying area and walked around to see the tools and items inside the house which were used by the Chinese people living in a farmhouse some time ago.

After the cultural houses tour, Billy led the group to the hall for a cultural show performances. The show started at 11.45am sharp and ended at 12.20 in the afternoon. The group members enjoyed the show and went to have their lunch at the cafeteria next to the hall.

 

The view in front of a Melanau Tall House

 

Our next destination was the Cat Museum. It is the World’s first Cat Museum, devoted to all things feline, is in Petra Jaya in the Kuching City North City Hall. Cat lovers will find a range of exhibits, photos, feline art and cat souvenirs; over 4,000 of them. The group members bought small souvenirs from the souvenir shop inside the museum after walking around to see all the artefacts.

 

The entrance of the Cat Museum at Dewan Bandaraya Kuching Utara (DBKU)

 

Then, we went to Dayang Salhah’s Cake House. Billy and the group members all tried the tester prepared by the place’s owner, filling their tummy with the sweet delicacies. Some of the group members even bought the cakes they tasted.

Our last stop for the day was Sin Piao. The group members went on a shopping frenzy at the shop. They bought a lot of Borneo spices and snacks, some even bought in boxes, to bring home to their families and friends. They were clearly happy and satisfied with the last stop and we headed back to the hotel to end the day trip. The group members thanked Billy and me for the day before going back up to their rooms.

Tags: Kuching Day Trip | Sarawak Cultural Village | Kampung Budaya | Cat Museum |

THURSDAY, JULY 10, 2014

7 reasons why you must visit Sarawak Cultural Village, Kuching

If you are sightseeing in Kuching make sure to add Sarawak Cultural Village to your bucket list because Sarawak Cultural Village is a must visit place when you are in Kuching. The cultural village showcases the arts of different longhouses and guests will get to experience the way of living of the local tribe. Furthermore, entertaining yet educational cultural show in an air-conditioned theater is the perfect closing for your trip!

 

1. Summary of Culture in Sarawak

Sarawak Cultural Village is a place for tourists to see the lifestyles of most ethnic tribes in Sarawak. It is not called a living museum for nothing. Each house has residents, where the staffs of Sarawak Cultural Village wear traditional clothes, based on the ethnic house they “reside” in. Sometimes if you are lucky, you might find a man wearing traditional cloth playing sape at the Iban house.

 

2. Amazing performances

They have live performances every day. Each performance is a mixture of suspense and entertainment. After the dance, one guy would hold a blow dart as if he was going to blow the dart at your face. However, be rest assured that the blow dart is empty. Then, he will show you his amazing skills at blowing darts by popping balloons that are quite far from where he is standing.

Even though their routine is the same for every performance, you will not get bored as they will invite one lucky audience to come up on stage and play the blow dart. Each of the performers looks like they are having fun on stage, with bright smiles plastered on their faces.

Cultural show performed by dancers wearing traditional clothes

Cultural show performed by dancers wearing traditional clothes

 

3. Traditional food and handicraft

There are traditional foods sold at the houses. You can try these delicious foods, made by the locals while you browse through the house. They are kuih jala (rice cookies), kuih ros (rose cookies) and kuih sepit (love letter). You can watch them being prepared by the ladies at the house. Try it while it is still hot!

There are also beautiful beadwork and pua kumbu on display. Each design has tribe motives with colourful beads. You can even buy them as souvenir.

Kuih jala or rice cookies sold at one of the house  Rice cookie being prepared in a small wok

Kuih jala or rice cookies sold at one of the house

 

Kuih Chuan or rose shaped cookies  Kuih Chuan being deep fried in a wok after dipping the chuan / acuan (mold) in batter

Kuih Chuan or rose shaped cookies

 

4. Rainforest World Music Festival

Sarawak Cultural Village is home to the famous annual Rainforest World Music Festival where performers from all over the world gather here to perform their traditional music. Also, these performances will captivate you and the music will raise your spirits. You might even be dancing along with them in no time.

 

5. View house architectures

Each ethnic group has their own house designs. For example, rumah panjai lives up to its name as it is a very long house. However, the longhouse at the village is not as long as the common longhouse in Sarawak since it will took so much space in the area.

The house consists of many units, resides by different families. They have one long veranda in front of the houses, where families gather and celebrations are held.

Melanau house is also a sight to see. They traditionally lived near the sea, so the house was built uo to forty metres above the ground.

 

Orang Ulu Longhouse  Melanau Tall House

Orang Ulu Longhouse (left) and Melanau Tall House (right)

 

BIdayuh Longhouse  Malay House

Bidayuh Longhouse (left) and Malay House (right)

 

6. Recreation place

The location of Sarawak Cultural Village is just opposite Damai Central, a place for sea dipping and occasional bike riding. Families often visit this place for picnic, and there is a food court here where you can try the local delicacies at a reasonable price.

 

Beach at Damai Central

The beautiful beach at Damai Central

 

7. Great view

With Mount Santubong as its backdrop and rainforests surrounding the village, the picturesque view will take your breath away. The calm and peaceful lake in the middle of the village is rather beautiful, especially for people who love photography.

 

The bustling entrance with Mount Santubong at the back

The bustling entrance with Mount Santubong at the back

 

 

Sarawak Cultural Village is a must-visit place in Kuching. Leaving Kuching without visiting the village is akin to eating red bean ice without the red beans. It is a one-of-a-kind experience where you get to see a summary of Sarawak culture in one place.

Tags: Sarawak Cultural Village | Kampung Budaya Sarawak | Interesting place in Kuching | Longhouse in Kuching | Longhouse in Sarawak | Melanau House | Iban Longhouse | Bidayuh Longhouse | Orang Ulu Longhouse | Penan Hut | Malay House | Chinese Farm House |