Malaysia Travel Guide

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

Tourism Malaysia

Tour London’s Olympic Park

THE public were allowed into Britain’s Olympic Park in April for the first time since the 2012 Games, with a behind-the-scenes tour of its transformation into a new neighbourhood of London.

More than 23,000 tickets have already been sold for the hour-long accompanied tours, organisers said, which offer a sneak preview before the Stratford site begins to open in July.

Visitors don hard hats and high-visibility jackets to tour what is still a construction site, where sporting venues are being transformed into a new district of homes, schools and businesses.

The “Park in Progress� bus trips, offered on weekends and school holidays until June 23, will also include a visit up the red ArcelorMittal Orbit tower designed by Anish Kapoor.

London Mayor Boris Johnson said: “We promised to give people opportunities to get back onto the park as soon as possible, and it is no surprise that there is a huge appetite from Londoners for these fantastic tours offering a chance to see this exciting metamorphosis first-hand.�

Whole sections of the park are being rebuilt with new cafes, community centres and gardens added, as part of an 18-month scheme costing £292mil (RM1.411bil). The Riverside Hockey Arena has been dismantled, the largest McDonald’s in the world has gone and the temporary seating stands on the Aquatics Centre are being taken down.

The competitors’ accommodation is being transformed into almost 3,000 luxurious flats, new homes and schools are under construction and the whole area will be surrounded by a new park.

The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park reopens in part in July and will re-open fully from next year. Planners hope that within 20 years, the new district will be home to 8,000 people. It will still host sporting events, however, from football to athletics.

The London Anniversary Games will be held at the Olympic Stadium in July, including the Diamond League athletics meeting, which expects to attract stars like Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt.

English Premier League club West Ham United will then become the main tenants of the £429mil (RM2.073bil) venue, which hosted the athletics and the opening and closing ceremonies.

The 80,000 capacity stadium will be converted to a 54,000-seater venue in time for the 2016-2017 football season. – AFP RelaxNews

Tourism Malaysia

Malaysian Open Kuala Lumpur 2011

September 26, 2011 at 5:00 pm

Malaysians are quite avid sports fans, although for most of them, the extent of participation would only be as a spectator, watching the action from the comfort of their living rooms. Ever so often, sporting events would be held and it is then that Malaysians tend to turn out in droves, especially if it is a sport that has a large following, like football.

Malaysia Open Kuala Lumpur 2011

One of the participants of the Malaysia Open Kuala Lumpur 2011 signing his autograph for a young fan

Another sport that has quite a large following in Malaysia is tennis, and the main tennis in Malaysia would be the Malaysian Open held in Kuala Lumpur. The Malaysian Open is an official ATP World Tour 250 tournament and this year’s edition is taking place right now, from 26th September till 2 October 2011 at Bukit Jalil Stadium. The tournament will build up to the weekend with the Quarterfinals on Friday, 30th September, Semifinals on Saturday, 1st October, and culminate with the finals on Sunday, 2nd October.

For those who are interested in tennis and are interested to attend, do check out the Malaysian Open Kuala Lumpur 2011 website for more information.

Photo (c) Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur

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