MALAYSIA WORLD HERITAGE TRAVEL SITE Rotating Header Image

Batang Ai

A Visit to the Annah Rais Longhouse

A Visit to the Annah Rais Longhouse

A Visit to the Annah Rais Longhouse

As a frequent traveler, and especially all over Sarawak in the last 10 years, I have to admit that I have never been to the popular Annah Rais Longhouse. This is one of the most popular longhouses that a majority of travellers would visit and is sold by local travel agents.

I have been to traditional longhouses deep in the interiors of Sarawak, at places like Lemanak and Batang Ai, which are easily five to seven hours traveling, but not to Annah Rais in the main Padawan area. In October 2017, I finally managed to visit this Bidayuh Longhouse which is just an hours drive from Kuching city.

A Visit to the Annah Rais Longhouse

Everyday life at Annah Rais longhouse in Padawan

Some people claim that Annah Rais is on a more commercial side, due to the proximity being close to Kuching city, hence the dwellers here are more modern and up to date. This was one of the reasons that over the last decade, I choose to visit other longhouses in the remote areas.

Annah Rais village is predominantly Bidayuh, with an exception of cross marriages to other races. The village is estimated to be over a hundred years old, and has expanded in all directions throughout the century.

A Visit to the Annah Rais LonghouseA local Bidayuh man goes about his daily chores at the longhouse

A Visit to the Annah Rais LonghouseA wooden bridge connecting the main longhouse to the communal hall and football field

Ever since the tourism boom in Sarawak, the Bidayuh community here had turned this traditional home into one of the most popular tourist attraction just out of Kuching. Visitors from the world over are seen doing day trips here whole for those who want to experience staying here, there are 9 registered local homestay programs available.

Driving about an hour from Kuching, I made my inaugural step into this fascinating culture where you actually get to walk around and see the Bidayuh people going about their daily lives.

A Visit to the Annah Rais LonghouseSkulls on display in a cage of the Skull House at Annah Rais

The massive longhouse is interconnected by a wooden or bamboo walkway, which is the main common area where families would sit around and talk and kids play. Annah Rais is so huge that it seems like one entire village is connected together with home run restaurants, grocery shops and the local homegrown products.

The first unique feature I came across was a headman’s house or skull house where I was intrigued by a collection of traditional skulls that were in a cylinder wire cage. I believe these were the invaders of the longhouse where the Bidayuh people caught and beheaded.

A Visit to the Annah Rais LonghouseOne of three murals that Ernest Zacharevic painted at Annah Rais

Walking along the main route, two wall murals from world famous Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic is spotted on the walls of certain homes. He was invited to paint some of his murals here at Annah Rais in 2014.

At the far end of the longhouse, there is one unit called a Bidayuh Show House where I saw what a traditional Bidayuh home looked like back in the day. It displays simplicity and basic living by using natural resources.

A Visit to the Annah Rais LonghouseLocal Sarawak black and white pepper sold here

A Visit to the Annah Rais LonghouseFor those wanting to sample the local rice wine or Tuak, they are also available here

Souvenirs can be found sold by a number of homes, which are usually traditional Bidayuh items such as beads or woven baskets or mats. For fans of the world famous black gold or black pepper, you can buy the Sarawak black and white pepper in packets here.

And for those wanting to sample the famous local brewed rice wine or Tuak, this can be done here too. I also noticed that bottles are also for sale from some of the homes here at very reasonable prices.

A Visit to the Annah Rais LonghouseOne of the older wooden houses at Annah Rais

A Visit to the Annah Rais LonghouseAt the entrance, a glass of Tuak is served after purchasing your entrance ticket

Annah Rais is one of the most popular tour packages that can be booked from any of the travel agents in Kuching. Alternatively, many also use private taxi services to get here by them selves or even rent a car to self drive here.

For tickets, there is a RM8.00 entrance fee before entering the longhouse and I recommend you go before 10.00 AM. A glass of rice wine or Tuak is also served to non Muslims when you purchase your ticket.

___________________
Photos by David Hogan Jr

Share

Article source: http://sarawaktourism.com/blog/feed/

Identifying Potential Tourism Products For Promotion

Identifying Potential Tourism Products For Promotion

Kuching, Friday – Sarawak Tourism Product Management team had organised six Sarawak Product Experience (SPE) trips throughout the State to identify and study potential tourism products in order to compile and share the information on  potentials for  promotion in its focus markets.

The  programme  organised by  Visitor’s Information Centres (VIC) in Miri, Kuching and Sibu aim to advise and help  product owners in positioning their products. It is also target customers effectively and to enhance visitors’ experience for a good value to their visits while in Sarawak.

The six products visited since early this year were heritage trails in the highland (Long Semadoh to Ba’kelalan), Iban animal tracking at Batang Ai, Maludam, Mukah, diving sites in Miri and Sarikei, the “fruits basket of Sarawak”.

“The team gain insightful knowledge through the SPEs and this also brings opportunity to meet the local product owners while exploring tourism opportunities in the potential areas.” said Maurice Balang the Manager – Product Management Corporate Relations of STB.

Maurice further mentioned that the team when in the field were given briefing by the product owner before experiencing the various products and advising on improvements to make it more marketable.

“Other of the identified products are in Long Semadoh, in the Lun Bawang highlands which include the paddy farms owned by the seven villages in the area and also the hanging bridge, Batu Narit and Tagang system at Long Lidung” Maurice added.

SPE is one of the strategic direction taken up by Sarawak Tourism to further provide the feedback from product owners to match it with the needs of tour operators.

SPE Long Telingan

Briefing done by a local guide at Puneng Trusan, Long Telingan

Issued by:  

Communications Unit
SARAWAK TOURISM
T: +6 082-423600  F: +6 082-416700
E: [email protected]

Share

Article source: http://sarawaktourism.com/blog/feed/

Identifying Potential Tourism Products For Promotion

Identifying Potential Tourism Products For Promotion

Kuching, Friday – Sarawak Tourism Product Management team had organised six Sarawak Product Experience (SPE) trips throughout the State to identify and study potential tourism products in order to compile and share the information on  potentials for  promotion in its focus markets.

The  programme  organised by  Visitor’s Information Centres (VIC) in Miri, Kuching and Sibu aim to advise and help  product owners in positioning their products. It is also target customers effectively and to enhance visitors’ experience for a good value to their visits while in Sarawak.

The six products visited since early this year were heritage trails in the highland (Long Semadoh to Ba’kelalan), Iban animal tracking at Batang Ai, Maludam, Mukah, diving sites in Miri and Sarikei, the “fruits basket of Sarawak”.

“The team gain insightful knowledge through the SPEs and this also brings opportunity to meet the local product owners while exploring tourism opportunities in the potential areas.” said Maurice Balang the Manager – Product Management Corporate Relations of STB.

Maurice further mentioned that the team when in the field were given briefing by the product owner before experiencing the various products and advising on improvements to make it more marketable.

“Other of the identified products are in Long Semadoh, in the Lun Bawang highlands which include the paddy farms owned by the seven villages in the area and also the hanging bridge, Batu Narit and Tagang system at Long Lidung” Maurice added.

SPE is one of the strategic direction taken up by Sarawak Tourism to further provide the feedback from product owners to match it with the needs of tour operators.

SPE Long Telingan

Briefing done by a local guide at Puneng Trusan, Long Telingan

Issued by:  

Communications Unit
SARAWAK TOURISM
T: +6 082-423600  F: +6 082-416700
E: [email protected]

Share