June 3, 2018 Sarawak, Malaysia

Why Staying At A Sarawak Longhouse Is Worth Your Malaysian Trip

If you are looking to immerse yourself in an authentic Malaysian experience, it doesn’t get better than Sarawak. It is here where you can meet the former headhunters, witness deadly crocodiles and primates in their natural habitat, and see amazing flora and fauna that is endemic to the region. Don't forget to stay at their longhouse!

Iban longhouse sarawak culture village curitan aqalili
Iban Longhouse / Credit: scv.com
Sarawak may not be your typical tourist destination, because it is more appealing for someone who wants to immerse in Malaysian culture. That being said, staying at a Sarawak longhouse will be one of the most rewarding and enriching experiences you can do.

However, it will always be best to plan your trip with travel insurance and know what the company is actually willing to cover just in case. This way, if something happens beyond your control, you can have some peace of mind.

Once you arrived at Sarawak, you'll see that there is so much to discover, and making it truly appealing for visitors looking for a unique travel experience. There are UNESCO-listed caves, lots of national parks, pristine coral reefs and so much more.

Now you have things to do, so where do you stay? Of course, there are a few hotels and resorts that can be found here. But, what about staying at a Sarawak longhouse? Because why not.

Proboscis monkey Sarawak Curitan Aqalili
Sepilok Orang Utan aka Proboscis monkey / Credit: Pixabay

What is Sarawak longhouse?

A Sarawak longhouse is a wooden house where the local community live. These homes are built on stilts, where one side has been sectioned off and divided into several family rooms. The other half is used as a meeting or social space.

A longhouse can have anywhere from 30 to 50 rooms that Malaysian call as 'bilik' , with one room designated per family. If there are another family member or a native of the community come to visit, the house can easily be elongated to accommodate more people.

There are various of longhouses that and it belong to different tribes. They may have slightly differentiations in terms of design, but the longhouses of Malaysian Borneo tribes still have similar characteristics.

anyaman Sarawak Curitan Aqalili
Local Sarawak people did anyaman / Credit: Pixabay

So, why should you consider staying at a Sarawak longhouse?

  1. Live like a local:  Yes, it won't have any of the modern conveniences that you are used to. But, this is a perfect opportunity to get out of your comfort zone to experience something truly unique and special.
  2. Learn what it's like to live simply: When you stay here, you will end up doing things you may never have thought possible. Such as eating your meals on the floor, sleeping on a small mattress within a mosquito net, or shower using a hose.
  3. You will appreciate more what you have in life: There will be few things that will make you be truly grateful for privacy. During your stay there, expect that various members of the home may walk into your room whenever they feel like it. They may gather to cook or discuss loudly, and the noise increases as they consume rice wine! Roosters will be your alarm clock every morning, and you'll confronted with a wide range of bugs. 

The experiences might be sound terrifying but many travellers come to Malaysia for this unique opportunity. It will allow you to appreciate nature and its most simplistic environments. If you learn to embrace it, you will come out as a very different person 😆

After experiencing what it's like to stay at a Sarawak longhouse, you may never look at a hotel the same way again. Who knows, maybe you'll appreciate it even more?

bidayuh longhouse lonelyplanet curitan aqalili
Bidayuh longhouse / Credit: lonelyplanet

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