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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 |

FRIDAY, MARCH 23, 2012

Ba'kelalan's Unknown Apple Orchard

 
Ba’kelalan is one of the great enchantments of the Kelabit Highlands and is revered with sub-tropical natural beauty and amazingly fresh weather. Ba’Kelalan is located at the heart of Borneo's notable and oldest tropical rainforest.  

The main village here belongs to the Lun Bawang race, a group of people known for agricultural farming of paddy fields, and especially their mastery in successfully cultivating apples in the highlands. The name Ba’ Kelalan comes from the Kelalan River, while Ba’ refers to wetlands in the Lun Bawang native tongue.

They produce Malaysia’s first apples; sugary and crunchy, absolutely delicious. Other fruits are also grown here, especially mandarin oranges, passion fruit, budding strawberries, vanilla and asparagus.

Take a bite into the crunchy apples will surely erect your taste buds. It is sweet, tasty and amazingly fresh, mostly due to its natural surroundings and almost free of pesticides.

The limited use of pesticides also facilitated in ensuring the apples to thrive in the cool climates of Ba’ Kelalan plus the proper technique of pruning and appropriate use of fertilisers also helped.

There are numerous variations of apples grown here. These are the Ba’ Kelalan (formerly known as Manalagi) apples, Rome Beauty, Tropical Beauty, Lady Williams, Anna apples, Kwanglin and Jonathon.

The farm is now run by former pastor, Tagal Paran, Andrew’s brother. To celebrate the apple harvest, each year an Apple Fiesta is held in Ba’ Kelalan.

Apart from the apple picking, its stunning scenery, the lovely view of the mountains, valleys, rivers, flora and fauna and wildlife are pretty unspoiled and were so for generations. The people inhabiting the area are, likewise, of unique culture and tradition.

Ba’kelalan is a land of the friendly smiles from the young and old. The people will make you feel that you are truly at home and is one of them and, which sets Ba'Kelalan apart from the others.
 


Visitors wishing to experience Malaysia’s delicious apples, picturesque rolling hills and warmth of the Lun Bawang tribe, should visit this unrivalled spot in Malaysia. E-mail us on Ask@SarawakBorneoTour.com for inquiry and we will get back to you soon. You can also check out www.SarawakBorneoTour.com for an overview of Ba’Kelalan packages offered with the best price.
Tags: bakelalan | ba'kelalan | lun bawang | kelabit highlands | apple harvest | sarawak | borneo | orang ulu | ulu tribe sarawak |