Malaysia My Destination : Info about Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
Kuala Lumpur : Malaysia Capital - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
Putrajaya : Federal Territory - Malaysia
Selangor : Central Region Of Peninsular Malaysia - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
 
Terengganu : East Coast Region Of Peninsular Malaysia - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
Kelantan : East Coast Region Of Peninsular Malaysia - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
Pahang : East Coast Region Of Peninsular Malaysia - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
 
Johor / Johore : Southern Region Of Peninsular Malaysia - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
Malacca / Melaka : Southern Region Of Peninsular Malaysia - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
Negeri Sembilan / The Nine State : Southern Region Of Peninsular Malaysia - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
 
Kedah (Langkawi) : Northern Region Of Peninsular Malaysia - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
Penang / Pulau Pinang : Northern Region Of Peninsular Malaysia - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
Perak : Northern Region Of Peninsular Malaysia - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
Perlis : Northern Region Of Peninsular Malaysia - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
 
Sabah : East Malaysia / Malaysian Borneo - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
Labuan (Federal Territory) : East Malaysia / Malaysian Borneo - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
Sarawak : East Malaysia / Malaysian Borneo - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
 
  Welcome
  Sarawak Tourism
  Getting There & Around
 
  Sarawak Map 1
  Sarawak Map 2
 
  PEOPLE & ETHNIC GROUP:
 
  General Info
  Bidayuh (Land Dayak's)
  Iban (Sea Dayak's)
  Melanau
  Orang Ulu
 
  Iban Longhouse Visit
 
  ARTS & CRAFTS:
  General Info
  Pua Kumbu, Pua Sungkit & Pua Karap
   
  Eating Out, Nightlife & Local Delicacy
 
  PLACES OF INTEREST :
 
  Adventure Nature & Wildlife
  National Parks & Wildlife Conservation
   
  KUCHING (STATE CAPITAL):
 
  General Info
  Bus Service / Transportation
  Map
 
  History & People
  Dining & Entertainment
  Nightlife
  Shopping
 
  Recreation & Sports
  Spa Retreats
 
  TOURIST ATTRACTION
  City Centre
  Kuching On Foot
  Heritage Trails
  Historical Buildings
  Museums
  Handicrafts
  Street Life
 
  Nature & National Parks
  Bako National Park
  Batang Ai National Park
  Gunung Gading National Park
  Kubah National Park
  Kuching Wetlands National park
  Matang Wildlife Centre
  Semenggoh Nature Reserve
  Talang Satang National Park
  Tanjung Datu National Park
 
  Santubong & Damai Beach
  General Info
  Irrawady Dolphin
  Sarawak Cultural Village
 
  Kuching Southwest
  Tourist Destination
  Teluk Melano & Sematan
 
  Sibu
  General Info
  Dining & Entertainment
  Shopping & Accommodation
 
  TOURIST ATTRACTION
  City Centre
  Bawang Assan Iban Longhouse
 
  Melanau's Heartland:
  Mukah Town
  Dalat Town
 
  Up Rejang River:
  General Info
  Kanowit, Song & Belaga
  Kapit
 
  Down Rejang River:
  General Info
 
  Miri
  General Info
  City Map
  In & Around Miri Map
 
  Lifestyle & Nightlife
  Shopping
 
  TOURIST ATTRACTION
  Must Visit Places
  Bario & Ba?kelalan
 
  Gunung Mulu National Park
  Lambir Hills National Park
  Loagan Bunut National Park
  Niah National Park
  Similajau National Park
 
 
 
 
SARAWAK - EAST MALAYSIA / MALAYSIA BORNEO

PEOPLE / ETHNIC GROUP : Iban Longhouse Visit

 
 

Visitors are very welcome at most longhouses, but only if they are expected. If you receive an invitation to a longhouse (quite common when travelling upriver), take up the offer - you are sure to have an interesting and enjoyable trip. If you do not have an invitation it is best to go with a tour group, as you will not only be expected but warmly welcomed.

 

It is almost a crime to come to Sarawak without visiting an Iban longhouse. Iban hospitality is legendary, and visitors are guaranteed a good time. A longhouse is basically a terraced street of separate dwellings covered by one roof, under the authority of a headman, or tuai rumah. Each family lives in its separate apartment, or bilik, and communal activities take place outside on the verandah, or ruai. This is also where single male visitors spend the night. Female visitors and couples will be invited to stay inside the bilik with the family.

 

Most longhouses are busy, modern farming communities, and people wear practical clothes like jeans and T-shirts when they are at work. Traditional costumes and head-dresses are usually only worn for special festivals like gawai dayak (the Iban harvest festival, 1st June), gawai antu (the ancestor festival, very rare) and weddings. If you want to see traditional rituals, customs and dances, then unless you are very lucky it is best to go with an organised tour group.

 
 

Tour groups are usually greeted with a glass of tuak (rice wine) and a welcome dance. They are then shown around and treated to various cultural performances, including dancing and drumming. You will usually be invited to attempt the ngajat dance. Do not try to refuse as guests are expected to contribute to the entertainment just like the hosts. If you know any dances, folk songs or poems from your own country, you will make some lifelong friends, no matter how badly you perform. Normally you will be able to stay in the longhouse overnight, but if you prefer some privacy, many tour operators have their own guest houses near the longhouse. The majority of longhouses that accept guests are in the Skrang, Lemanak, Batang Ai and Rejang River areas. These all involve at least one overnight stop and a longboat trip on the river, but some longhouse safaris can last for a week or more. The Visitors? Information Centre in Kuching has a list of approved tour operators. If you are short of time, there are also a number of Bidayuh longhouses near Kuching that can be visited as a day trip.

 
 
 
PEOPLE / ETHNIC GROUP : Iban Longhouse Visit
SARAWAK - EAST MALAYSIA / MALAYSIA BORNEO