Find Us on Facebook

Friday 31 May 2013

The Rainforest World Music Festival wins the Brand Laureate - Country Brand Awards 2012/2013

The Brand Laureate - Country Brand Awards 2012/2013

This award is as much a recognition for Malaysia as it is for those who have worked and developed this iconic world music festival over the past sixteen years. The festival goers who arrive in the thousands from all over the world each year deserve a mention. The partners and sponsors who contributed in-kind and cash sponsorship are also part of the festival's success story. And not forgetting the Sarawak government which has provided policy and financial support all these years.

For those at Sarawak Tourism Board, past and present, for all the hard work and challenges, there is a quiet sense of gratefulness and achievement.

The Brand Laureate - Country Brand Awards for Events is the culmination of all these efforts. And on this note, this year, the festival has also been awarded the SONGLiNES 25 Best International Festivals for the fourth year running.

Wednesday 29 May 2013

Ben Fogle's Sarawak Adventure - Fairy Cave and Seafood

Ben's adventure video took him to a 3-million year old cave and an unexpected seafood haven for a place.

The rock in Fairy cave was formed during the Jurassic period and one has to climb a 4-storey high staircase tower to get to the entrance of the cave. The cave area, located 42-km from the city of Kuching near a town called Bau is also a popular rock climbing venue.

After the day is done, Ben walks up a flight of stairs, 6-level up (rest assured that lifts are available) to arrive at a seafood haven appropriately known as 'Top Spot Seafood'. Fresh local catches and vegetables are generously displayed for cooking of your choice.

This is the fourth in a video series of Ben Fogle's Sarawak adventure.

For more of Sarawak, please visit Sarawak Tourism Board's official website

Thursday 23 May 2013

Bisaya Buffalo Race Festival in Limbang Sarawak

The buffalo race festival, also known locally as 'Pesta Babulang', is significant to the Bisaya community in Limbang. The Bisaya is one of the twenty-seven ethnic groups of Sarawak.

This year’s Pesta Babulang 2013 will be held at Batu Danau, Limbang from June 7-9. As always, it will highlight the many facets of Bisaya unique culture, traditional foods and local handicrafts to visitors.

Bisaya Buffalo Race Festival in Limbang Sarawak
The highlight of the festival is the buffalo race involving teams from Limbang, Sabah and Brunei trying to outrace each other riding on bare buffalo back.

Bisaya Buffalo Race Festival in Limbang Sarawak Decorated float
'Kuntul berhias' (decorated float)

Bisaya Buffalo Race Festival in Limbang Sarawak Beauty contestants
Another highlight of the festival is ‘Ratu Babulang’ that draws many Bisaya lasses to vie for this annual beauty crown.

Bisaya Buffalo Race Festival in Limbang Sarawak Community Feast
Community Feast - one of the local delicacies of this northern region of Sarawak is 'Pulut Wajik' as can seen in their green banana wrapping on the platters. 

Bisaya Buffalo Race Festival in Limbang Sarawak Pulut Wajik
'Pulut Wajik' - sweet and melts-in-your-mouth food. It is made from millet and flavoured with palm sugar

Bisaya Buffalo Race Festival in Limbang Sarawak Bisaya handicrafts
This three-day celebration includes various activities such as cultural performances, cooking contest, beauty pageant, handicrafts exhibition and lucky draws.

Here is the programme details.

This annual festival is organised by the Bisaya Association and it also serves to promote the tourism industry of the Limbang Division.

How to get there?
MASWings currently operating daily flights from Miri to Limbang. To reach the venue, visitor can take a taxi from Limbang town which costs RM50 one-way and takes about 45 minutes to reach Batu Danau. Visitor who travel from Brunei will easily find the site as it is only 15 minutes drive from the border of Tedungan.

Tuesday 21 May 2013

Rainforest World Music Festival Performers line-up 2013 - Channel News Asia

This is a 30-sec vignette announcing the performers that you may know or may want to find out more. The original festival TVC was produced by Channel News Asia in concert with Sarawak Tourism Board.

This will be the 16th edition of the Rainforest World Music festival. It has been awarded the SONGLiNES magazine '25 of the Best International Festivals' award for the fourth year running, dating back to 2010.

Details of the performers' bio can be found here

Purchase your tickets here.

Tuesday 14 May 2013

A Bidayuh Jungle Survival experience

The theme for the trip was "Bidayuh Jungle Survival" but after the trip I was convinced that it was more than just a jungle survival experience. The outing took us to the foothills of the Padawan Highlands; at a place called Kampung (village) Peraya - a 50-minute drive from Kuching city.

What we did during the trip:
  • Visited the first settlement of "Pinyewa Bidayuh" - a sub-group in the Bidayuh community)
  • Visited the ancient head house or known as "Panggah" in Bidayuh dialect, where they keep old human skulls.
  • Went jungle trekking, visited the waterfall & learned about the jungle from our local guide.
  • Learned the cooking process with bamboo - Bidayuh style .
  • Had picnic lunch on the riverbank.
  • Experienced the wooden canoeing activity in Peraya Village, Padawan.
  • Dined with our host family at Peraya Village.
  • Did bamboo rafting to our jungle camp at night.
  • Observed wildlife such as few species of insects, frogs and birds during the night rafting.  However, we were not able to do fishing because the river water were not clear due to the heavy rain that evening.
  • Visited a modern village & traditional longhouse of the Bidayuh community.

Here are some of our photos of the trip. Enjoy! :-)

Sarawak Kuching Borneo Adventure Bidayuh Jungle Survival
You still need a guide regardless :-) 'Bung (mountain) Gayu' was the original settlement of the "Pinyewa Bidayuh" before the 'Old Settlement' came about.

Entrance to the past - this leads to the 'Old Settlement of the 'Pinyewa Bidayuh' before it split off to thirteen villages that are scattered in the vicinity of the area.
What footwear to use? Rubber shoes or affectionally known locally as "Adidas Paya" - 'Swamp Adidas'. Many swear by it because it is studded, doesn't absorb water, cheap... real cheap and performs as good as pair of branded hiking shoes.
Sarawak Kuching Borneo Adventure Bidayuh Jungle Survival
We were actually walking underneath the ancient longhouse of "Pinyewa Bidayuh" which, according to our guide, there were more than a  hundred-door families living in that longhouse at that time.

Sarawak Kuching Borneo Adventure Bidayuh Jungle Survival
'Panggah' (head house) at the old settlement area.
Sarawak Kuching Borneo Adventure Bidayuh Jungle Survival
Another view of the head-house
Sarawak Kuching Borneo Adventure Bidayuh Jungle Survival
Lifting the zinc sheet without being told earlier gave us mild shock!
Sarawak Kuching Borneo Adventure Bidayuh Jungle Survival
These are enemy skulls.

In the olden days..this pool was used to soak the enemy skulls so that all the skin, flesh and hair would peel off by itself.
Fresh and clean water supply from the mountain.  Bidayuh called their aqueduct; 'Ayak' and made from bamboo no less.
 Village and farm tour - Pepper garden with our guide - Val Ritong

"Terung Pipit" (Wild Brinjal)

Wild berries - rule of the jungle, if they are pretty and untouched, they are NOT edible.

"Daun Lirik" is use to wrap rice with.

Sarawak Kuching Borneo Adventure Bidayuh Jungle Survival
 Stingless bee known as "Kelulut" locally. 

Sarawak Kuching Borneo Adventure Bidayuh Jungle Survival
The team from Sarawak Tourism Board - Hisyamuddin (left), Sarah Berdugo (French intern)  and Deckson (author)
Sarawak Kuching Borneo Adventure Bidayuh Jungle Survival
Wild ingredients - 'Terung Pipit' (Wild brinjal) was one of them.
Cooking utensils and equipment from the jungle
Chicken cooked in the bamboo (Manok/siok Pansuh)

Sarawak Kuching Borneo Adventure Bidayuh Jungle Survival
Fresh water fish cooked in the bamboo (Ikan Pansuh)

Sarawak Kuching Borneo Adventure Bidayuh Jungle Survival
Rice cooked in the bamboo, wrapped in 'Lirik' leave

Sarawak Kuching Borneo Adventure Bidayuh Jungle Survival
Flame-roasted chicken wings

Sarawak Kuching Borneo Adventure Bidayuh Jungle Survival
Lunch served in 'plates' fashioned out sago tree bark... and it can't get any healthier and fulfilling (the beer?:-)... Yummylicious!
Sarawak Kuching Borneo Adventure Bidayuh Jungle Survival
Ready for the wooden canoeing...

Sarawak Kuching Borneo Adventure Bidayuh Jungle Survival
This is the reason why it's called 'wooden canoeing'... wooden canoe was used instead of the modern fibreglass version

Sarawak Kuching Borneo Adventure Bidayuh Jungle Survival

From canoeing to white-water thrills... even the rafts came freshly-made

Sarawak Kuching Borneo Adventure Bidayuh Jungle Survival
Let the adventure begins... the locals having their fun...

... and a milder one for city dwellers

No TV nor lights for reading. The jungle beckons

It's not what one can see but what one can hear also... and ironically, there's a lot of noise in the jungle at night.

Spot Mr. Froggy

Bedfellows with jungle critters for the night
Checking out...

Making a side-trip to the nearby Annah Rais longhouse on the way home. Popular destination for a longhouse experience. Entrance fee is RM8 for adult and RM5 for children.

The walkway of the longhouse

Winnowing rice - hand-picked and wind-assisted

Spreading out Sarawak black peppercorns for drying

Basket weaving a la Bidayuh style

To get the most out of this experience, we recommend that you go for a 3-day/2-night or 4-day/3-day tour programme.

For further enquiry, please contact Mr Valentine Ritong at:
Mobile: 019 8785013

Valentine Ritong is a licensed tourist guide and a member of "Pinyewa Bidayuh" sub-group.

Sarawak Malaysia Borneo... where adventure lives

By: Deckson Bundak - Tourist Coordinator Visitor Information Center Kuching.
Photos: Deckson Bundak and Mohd. Hisyamuddin 
Edited by: Michael Lu and Erivina Jihel

Wednesday 8 May 2013

Here is a Japanese in the World - Kuching Sarawak Malaysia Borneo

TV Tokyo came to Kuching in March to shoot a documentary of a Japanese living in Kuching. This person, Madam Sakai who was originally from Osaka, has been residing in this capital city of Sarawak for more than thirty years.

Kazuya Sakusabe who led a 2-man crew also went on location shoot at the various places of interest in Kuching during the four-day trip .

The storyboard revolves around Mdm. Sakai's daily life and how she handles local culture, lifestyle and business practices. Also included are the tourism sights and sounds of Kuching and the surrounding areas.

Down memory lane-trip for Mdm Sakai - Ki-kyo-Tei tepanyaki restaurant but it is now a Thai restaurant known as Mango Tree.

At the Japanese war cemetry, Batu Lintang. It is taken care of by members of the Japanese Association Kuching of which Mdm Sakai is a member of.

Yuki Pub - A members only get-together place for the Japanese expatriates living in Kuching

Meeting up with the Acting Director of Forestry Department, Haji Sapuan Ahmad to talk about the reforestation programme that Mdm Sakai and Japanese dignitaries were involved in.  

Location shoot at the eastern gateway of Kuching Chinatown - Jalan Padungan

Going up-close to a local delicacy - UMAI - raw fish steeped in lemon juice, chilly, onions and lemon grass 

Visiting the Santubong Homestay Village with the legendary mountain of the same name in the background. The peninsular on which the village is located is also home to the famous Sarawak Cultural Village - a living museum that showcases the major ethnic groups of Sarawak. Other interesting tourism attractions documented were the Semenggok Orang Utan Center, Gunung Gading National Park, Annah Rais longhouse and the beaches in Lundu.

The production of this programme was facilitated and hosted by Sarawak Tourism Board.

Content by: Ozie Tunging - Tourism Coordination Visitor Information Center Kuching