Sunday, January 20, 2008

20080118 ~ Annah Rais Longhouse Trip

Apart from savoring the many local delicacies Kuching is so famous for (i.e. kolo mee, sw’ak laksa, tomato mee etc.) & checking out the sight-seeing spots around our historical little town, a visit to an authentic longhouse surely adds a more unique flavor to the travel itinerary of visiting friends from abroad. We embarked on a journey to the Annah Rais longhouse ~ a large Bidayuh settlement with history dating back hundreds of years, on Friday morning. Armed with a hand-drawn map *with prominent landmarks being the counts of bridges crossed*, negotiating the twisty Borneo Highlands highway in an Avanza on loan from mrtoilet was quite a breeze. Driving the country road was a joy with all the fresh air & lush highland sceneries. Initially planned for a trip for 5. Unfortunately, 2 of my buddies had to bail out at the last minute due some unforeseen circumstances, leaving the adventurous trio to venture on our own.

Looking as sua-ku as ever, my colleague, Margaret with the backpack & her ex-uni mate on a biz trip here for 1st time. Let’s call her bubbly miss Shiseido ~ she shops & talks for a living *a girl’s dream job* ~ literally the cosmetic industry equivalent of an semiconductor application engineer.

A recent addition to her job description includes conquering bamboo bridges in the interiors of Borneo… haha! =p feat

Even with modern technology finding its way into these authentic longhouses, the way of life here is still pretty much unchanged, especially among the village elders. It’s peaceful & quiet here; even the cats & dogs here seemed more laid back & move about slowly.

Our cam-whoring antics do not seem to bother the nearby napping cat a single bit…

Off to the nearby hot spring or ‘jungle spa’. This one’s not as commercialized as most of the other hot springs around the country i.e Poring hot spring in Sabah… so you could practically have the whole area to yourselves on a quiet day.

Had a pleasant encounter with a bunch of fun loving & young at heart ‘senior citizens’ at the spring… they turned out to be my not-so-distant relatives (mom’s cousins) after all!

Had a great time soaking up our feet getting revitalized, chatting, laughing & catching up over beer =)

The leader of the pack, an 86 year old strongman of the village (in-laws of one of my uncles) with ‘the catch of the day’ ~ a massive buah cempedak!

This energetic uncle too, is young at heart…. maybe that’s the secret of his youthfulness despite age ~ AMAZING

That’s our lunch consisting of one egg each boiling in the hot spring…

However, our attempt did not turn out quite as well = lunch gone.

Sensing our predicament, uncle graciously invited us over for lunch back at the longhouse. So we tagged along… =)

Back at the longhouse ~ started working on the cempedak ~ the first time I’ve ever had one, nice

Lunch feast kampong style… where everything is cooked in a bamboo; using very ancient kitchen utensils & stove which I can’t even begin to describe… well, it’s ancient…

Bon appetit!

Parting snapshots…

This has been a truly unique trip & gastronomic experience, even for me… a very memorable one. Thanks, uncles & aunties! =)


ah nel said...

yo bro...i went thre few years bk but it was raining...actually no nid the guide oso can find the place...did u smell the sulfur? ;)

Kino said...

yo fren,
remove the beer man, back to nature u should holding tuak....

cal81 said...

ah nel: we didn't actually had a guide.. but visitors had to pay at the entrance... that uncle actually owns some of the land along the river.. had we bumped into him earlier, we would have gotten in for free.. =p yup, sulfur smell.. but not very pungent... raining? i heard flash floods occur along the stream easily when it rains..
kino: ha, had some complementary tuak at the longhouse liao when we arrived... beer is for 2nd round... hehe! =p