Borneo, Borneo (Sabah)
Info : Maranjak Longhouse
A tribal longhouse built from centuries-old traditional knowledge and local natural materials. This is a fantastic cultural experience that gives you an incredible insight into an ancient way of life. It suits couples and families with older children looking for an adventure.
Learn to fish in a local river the tribal way, trek through the local rainforests and learn about herbal medicines from the botanical garden. Dabble in a spot of crab catching or spot monkeys in the forest canopies. Learn how the ladies of the tribe make their beautiful beaded costumes and hone their weaving skills. Watch traditional Rungus dances, be serenaded by tribal singers and try one of seven local wines to boot (you could try all seven but perhaps not all in one night!)
What the Maranjak Longhouse homestay lacks in amenities like air-con and wifi, it makes up for in authenticity and fun. Rooms in the longhouse are airy, fitted with mosquito nets and a futon-style bed.
The Maranjak Longhouse experience is authentic and insightful, perhaps not for those who need their home comforts, but for those wanting an adventure and unforgettable experience, this homestay is a good choice.
Basic - The 'Basic' category covers places which are very simple indeed, with extremely rudimentary facilities. These places are used when they are part of the experience, such as a village homestay, or when there are no other hotels available in an area.
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.