Sarawak aka Land of the Hornbills
Kanowit Hotel +6084752155
Double room with air-con and river view for MYR 40.- or US$ 11.30 per night.
Exploring the small riverside town of Kanowit which is formed by three streets of original 1930s CE Chinese shophouses, beer-partying with a rowdy family of Iban people who only three generations ago were fierce head-hunting warriors in the lower Rajang region and afterwards relaxing at the riverfront whilst watching the up-and-down-river traffic of speeding express boats, battered river launches and wooden perahu panjangs (local longboats).
Touring the rural area between Sungai Kanowit (Kanowit River) and Sungai Poi (Poi River) by means of public van, longboat and two-heel drive, visiting a traditional Iban community in their isolated rumah panjang (longhouse) on the W bank of Sungai Poi, being invited to a Grand Tour of their archaic kitchen which ended with a great finale of rice, frog legs and tuak.
Leaving our backpacks at the Kanowit Hotel, taking the Borneo bus no. 12B (one-way ticket MYR 5.30 or US$ 1.50 per person) to the one-horse town of Julau (about 40 km W of Kanowit), meeting the Iban philosopher Ambrose and his family in their modern and up-market longhouse Rumah Luke Lipa on the bank of the Sungai Sebirah and enjoying both his wife’s excellent home-brewed tuak and his own one-village world concept.
Taking the Khai Kiong express boat (MYR 12.- or US$ 3.40 per person) on the Batang Rajang to the small town of Song, about 50 km further upriver, and learning that the persisting hazy conditions in the area (with visibility down to a few hundred meters in the morning) were mainly caused by widespread bush fires in neighbouring Kalimantan/Indonesia during the current dry spell at this time of the year (the period of the SW monsoon).
Click below for a summary of this year's travels
Click below and see more Konni & Matt Pictures
Recommended books - click below for your order from the United Kingdom