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
  Irrawaddy 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

SIBU : MELANAU'S HEARTLAND - Mukah Town

 
 

MUKAH

THE MELANAU HEARTLAND

 

The bustling town of Mukah is the administrative centre for the whole Mukah Division, a coastal region covering almost 7,000 sq km with a population of over 110,000. The population is primarily Melanau (55%) and Iban (35%) with small numbers of Chinese, Malays, Bidayuhs and others. Mukah and its surrounding kampungs (villages) are the historic centre of Melanau culture.

 

The town played an important role in Sarawak?s history, as the Brooke Raja's and the Brunei Sultans competed with one another to control the valuable sago trade in the 19th Century. An old smokestack in the centre of town is one of the few surviving relics of this period. Sights to see in Mukah include the bustling fishing harbour in the old town; the ancient water village at Kampung Tellian (3km from town - RM0.40 by bus or take a taxi), where visitors can see traditional boat builders at work; the vibrant cultural centre at Lamin Dana (see below); and the colourful Tua Pek Kong Temple.

 

On a more modern note, the Town Mosque and the new Civic Centre both feature multi-coloured conical roofs which are modeled on the terendak, a sun hat made of sago palm leaves which is the principal icon of Melanau culture. Mukah is accessible by road or air.

 
 

THE MELANAU

 

The Melanau number around 130,000, and make up roughly 6% of Sarawak?s total population. They inhabit the coastal region from the Rejang Estuary to the town of Bintulu and are traditionally fishermen and sago growers. They formerly lived in massive "tall houses" as protection against pirates (a fine replica can be seen at Sarawak Cultural Village near Kuching), but nowadays live in kampungs (villages) if individual wooden houses similar to those of the Malays. The majority of Melanau are Muslim, with a significant number of Christians, and a small minority still practise the traditional religion of Liko, meaning "people of the river".

 

An interesting Liko practice is the use of wooden effigies, called berbayah and berayun, for healing rituals. Although the Melanau have been influenced by the Malays, they are very proud of their distinct culture, and are noted for their religious tolerance, with Muslims, Christians and Liko adherents living happily side-by-side.

 
 

 

MELANAU LONGHOUSE

 

The last remaining Melanau longhouse, which still retains its traditional structure, is located at Kampung Sok in the Matu area. Visits can be arranged by the Mukah Resident?s Office, Tel: 872596.

 
 
 

THE KAUL FESTIVALS

 

The wild and exuberant Kaul festival, which gives thanks to the sea spirits, is still held annually at Mukah beach, on the second weekend of April. The main focus is the tibou or giant swing, with local youngsters risking their necks as they gyrate wildly above the sand. Contact the Sarawak Tourism Board or the Mukah Resident?s Office for full details.

 
 

 

LAMIN DANA

 

Lamin Dana is a combination visitor?s lodge and cultural centre, hidden amongst the wooden houses of Kampung Tellian and delightfully situated beside a small river. The lodge not only offers accommodation; it is also the centre of an ongoing cultural revival, training local people in traditional arts and crafts and providing useful extra income for dozens of village families. Lamin Dana is built in the style of a traditional Melanau tall house, using only authentic materials. It also provides authentic Melanau meals, and offers activities such as boat trips, mangrove tours and bicycle rental. The 10 standard rooms (2 beds) are RM75 and the four family rooms (a double and two singles) are RM 150.

 
 

 

VILLAGE HOMESTAY

 

For visitors who wish to enjoy everyday village life and take part in daily activities, the Malaysian Fisheries Development Board (LKIM) has set up a homestay project in nearby Kampung Senau, Oya. Contact the Visitors? Information Centre in Sibu or LKIM (Tel: 871416) for further details.

 
 
 

FOOD & DRINKS

 

Mukah?s signature dish is umai, a spicy salad of raw marinated fish with shallots, lime juice and chillies. It was invented by Melanau fishermen who were reluctant to cook aboard their fishing boats because of the risk of fire. Other local favourites - not for the squeamish - include sago worms (actually sago-trunk-dwelling beetle larvae), and lameh, caterpillars that have recently spun their chrysalis. The last two dishes are hard to find in restaurants, but can be obtained at the town market and are often served in Melanau homes.

 

Both the Old Town and the New Town are crammed with Chinese coffee shops and Malay restaurants serving a variety of popular Malaysian dishes, and a number also offer freshly grilled fish wrapped in banana leaves and coated with sambal belacan (shrimp paste relish). More up-market outlets include the air-conditioned JS Seafood and the River View Restaurant, both located near to the Tua Pek Kong Temple. For western food with a selection of quality wines, the best option is a 15-minute taxi ride to the new Kingwood Resort. However, for authentic Melanau food, including superb umai, visitors should head for Nibong House, on Jalan Orang Kaya Setia Raja opposite the Civic Centre.

 
 
 
 
SIBU : MELANAU'S HEARTLAND - Mukah Town
SARAWAK - EAST MALAYSIA / MALAYSIA BORNEO