Night in a longhouse
Belaga Travel Blog› entry 7 of 59 › view all entries
January 18th, 2010 – by: herman_munster
So 3 of us became 2. Uncertainty of next destination whereabouts and his work commitment made Naj made his way back to Sibu. I purposely didn’t plan anything, just following my feet.We waited express boat from Sibu to pick us up in Kapit heading to Belaga. Around half 9 the boast left Kapit to Belaga for another 4 hour journey through Batang Rajang River against the river flow. Belaga is the best place to explore Borneo interior.
There are many Kenyah and Kayan longhouses along the Balui and Belaga rivers( where Batang Rajang River ends and branch into Balui and Belaga), and along the Rajang river are the Punan, Sekapan, Kejaman and Tanjung longhouses.
We didn’t know where to start upon arriving Belaga Town. The town that comprises of 2 rows of shop houses. Haven’t had lunch, we found Malay restaurant called Hasbee Enterprise, the only Malay food I could have in town. Turns out the owner knows someone that arranging longhouse experience tour. It was Daniel Levoh, who’s name exactly mentioned by Lonely Planet,Gerrit been carrying all along.
We finished our lunch and walked behind the shophouse row to his building’ Daniel Corner. As always this people trying on suggest the itineraries that reimburse him the maximum pay out he could. Typically 4 days guides of 2 nights longhouse experience, boatride to Bakun Damn-the remotest Borneo interior of hydroelectric lake the size of Singapore, and 4x4 drive out to Miri town cost us RM800(€160) each! That’s too much money I have no desire to spend.
So we dropped our bag at his building.And picked up necessary items for an overnight such as mosquito net, torchlight, Gerrit mosquito stick (like deodorant stick). Daniel has been remodeling his 2 storey building to house a dorm type accommodation to cater this sort of remote Borneo experience. We had a peek at the rooms. Later our guide took us in wooden longboat , drove for for 15 minutes reaching Rumah panjang Orang Ulu (upriver tribe longhouse).
The distinct features of longhouse are long porch and big including extended family staying in the same block.
Whilst I was from Peninsula Malaysia, and presumed I’m there to help them, he eagerly asked me to write a report of their life condition to Malaysian Prime Minister LOL.So Mr Najib Tun Razak, if you reading this, please fulfill your promises to the Orang Ulu Tribe ! You have taken major part of Borneo to built Bakun Hydroelectric but not even a tiny electrical power been channeled to the longhouse. They been using generator! The only background noise that forms a life in the dark.
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!