23 Jan 2011

Iban Longhouse in Sarawak Cultural Village – my accomodation for 4D3N in Kuching

Below is the summary of my accomodation in the Iban Longhouse in the Sarawak Cultural Village during the media fam trip by Firefly (MAS) & Sarawak Tourism Board just last week.

The Sarawak Cultural Village is beautiful, scenic & rich in local culture. Located about 45 mins from Kuching town, we had a dedicated bus to shuttle us thru & fro throughout the duration of our stay.
I will elaborate more on the Sarawak Cultural Village over the next few posts as there is so much to share about that place. This post will just focus on the Iban Longhouse where my group (traditional media, artists & 3 other bloggers ) were hosted for 4D & 3N.

After a warm welcome & a lengthy briefing, we were split into 2 groups; male & female.
A typical single longhouse had separate living areas for each family & each living area generally consisted of a living room, sleeping area, kitchen & washroom.
We were placed in the Iban Longhouse, where the males has one “living area” and the females has another “living area”. The video below illustrates clearly the hygiene, space & facilities  that were available to us for the duration of our stay.

I was pretty speechless upon seeing our living quarters & hence this is a silent video.LOL.

Have problem veiwing the video? Well, IT IS that dim inside and that was the best I could do. Anyhow, here are some pictures as well.

The view once you open the door from the entrance:

Iban longhouse, sarawak cultural village-1

Immediately on our left is the “sleeping area”. We were each provided a thin mattress, a pillow, a thin blanket and a towel.

Iban longhouse, sarawak cultural village

Another shot: View taken from the inside. The blue lockers are for “added security” for your important belongings.

Iban longhouse, sarawak cultural village-7

Oh, hurrah! There is electricity!

Iban longhouse, sarawak cultural village-9

Along the right side of the long corridor towards the back of the living quarters; we converted the ledge as our make-shift vanity table.

Iban longhouse, sarawak cultural village-2

Below: Further to the back, towards the washroom & kitchen.

Iban longhouse, sarawak cultural village-3

Our kitchen/dining area: A fridge is provided, (of which we are VERY thankful!) and the dining table is all there is to share among the 10- 12 of us. Luckily there wasn’t a real need for it as all meals were taken outside at the communal area. There is a sink as well at the corner of the room.

Iban longhouse, sarawak cultural village-4

Praise the lord, the washroom is actually modern! The flush works! Though there isn’t any heater, the water pressure is very good and showering wasn’t a problem as long as you do not mind cold water.

Iban longhouse, sarawak cultural village-5

Iban longhouse, sarawak cultural village-6

Heading upstairs now…

Iban longhouse, sarawak cultural village-8

Sleeping arrangements were similar but here it felt somewhat a lot cleaner as we do not have people walking in & out of the kitchen, the washroom, etc. Needless to say, I positioned myself here. ;-)
Yes, there are fans provided. And no, there is no air conditioning.

Iban longhouse, sarawak cultural village-10

Ventilation openings, literally dubbed as a smoke hole. Oh, the roof leaks by the way. So expect wet floorboards (both upstairs & downstairs) if it rains. Avoid charging your electrical items then.

Iban longhouse, sarawak cultural village-12

Powerpoints were conveniently located though.

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Lockers again for personal belongings. And another ventilation hole, which really helps as the air upstairs were a lot less musty compared to the area below.

Iban longhouse, sarawak cultural village-13

What do you think? LOL.
I admit I was speechless at first, but I assure you this is not my first time staying in a village/traditional accomodation lest you think  I’m reacting like some spoilt brat.
I’ve stayed in a village house – (video HERE ) during my Melaka homestay program by Tourism Malaysia last year but this really brings “back to the basics” living to another level! And there is electricity and a proper working sanitation here. I can’t imagine how it is like back then for the Ibans/ethic tribes.

Yup, I’m glad to be a city girl. Heh. ;-)

Sarawak Cultural Village
45 minutes drive from Kuching

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23 Jan 2011

Andrew says:

Wow..I’m also very surprised that they have such a modern bathroom haha. At least it’s more comfortable . Can’t wait to read ur upcoming posts


rebeccasaw Reply:

Yes, if the bathroom is somethin like the olden days, I will , I swear, take a cab down town and check into a hotel!


23 Jan 2011

Sean says:

lockers in a longhouse! quite a strange mix of traditional and modern facilities in one home! maybe in a few years’ time, they’ll find a way to install air-conditioning and a water heater (or maybe those things are not good for the environment, issit) :d


rebeccasaw Reply:

Actually yr’right.. it is “modernised ” di.. but im not complainin.. i dun think i can take the actual “authentic” longhouse.


23 Jan 2011

Michelle Chin says:

I don’t mind the cold shower but what about insects??!!!


rebeccasaw Reply:

Haha.. the Ibans got this wood that they burn, and it really did the mozzies away!
As for other insects.. well.. if they weren’t in the house, I don’t care! ;p


23 Jan 2011

minchow says:

Actually it’s pretty much on par with dorm facilities, so I would imagine backpackers would find this charming! What’s this wood that the Ibans burn to keep mozzies away? I’d love to get my hands on some.


rebeccasaw Reply:

Hhmm.. true that. But backpackers are cleaner lor.. LOL.

The wood is big chunks that they burn at the common area outside. Photos in next post! ;p


24 Jan 2011

J2Kfm says:

What an experience. An eye opener for sure. But good that they retain most of the authentic stuff and yet took the effort to include several amenities like electricity, fans, cabinets and tiled bathroom.
I am curious to see what you guys had for your meals there. Sago worms?


rebeccasaw Reply:

Yup, meals are authentic and we did learn how to cook some of them! More posts comin up !!


8 Feb 2011

Charles T says:

I visited this place & was surprised that they had living quarters for guests. it’s way too far from Kuching Town & without transport you wont be able to go anywhere except for the nearby hotel!


rebeccasaw Reply:

Exactly! We were like in the middle of nowhere!
It is cultural living alright!


rosieta Reply:

Hi Rebecca, I am launching a new website to promote longhouse visit. Do you mind if I add your blog to my website as reference?

Appreciate if you can revert.



rebeccasaw Reply:

Hi Rosieta, I don’t mind, not at all! It will be a link back to my blog right? and what website is this?

20 Sep 2011

nelspruit guest house says:

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rebeccasaw Reply:

Thank you thank you!
I would love to stay in your guest house one day!



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