Batang Ai Lake and Tribal Experience, Batang Ai National Park Borneo, Borneo (Sarawak)
Batang Ai Lake is the gateway to the heart of Sarawak: the Batang Ai National Park boasting pristine rainforests, remote tribal groups and fantastic wildlife.
The lake was created in the 1980s by the construction of a dam during a government drive for hydroelectric power. The lake should technically be called a reservoir but it doesn't sound as glamorous, does it? Lake or Reservoir, crossing the water to reach the tribes and wildlife is a spectacular experience.
Once there you can have lunch with the locals in their Iban Longhouse. Learn about their way of life and ancient traditions. See them use blow darts and appreciate life without technology.
You'll also spot many endemic birds and, for the more adventurous, hike into the forest with a chance of spotting the famous Orang Utans in the wild.
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We all remarked on how well tourism blended in to the local community in a positive way. At no point did we ever feel exploited or taken advantage of. We felt privileged to visit the Penan tribe in Mulu and enjoyed the market there without any pressure to spend money. Visiting Abai village and planting the trees was also a great experience for all ages of our party. Again, a privilege.