Experience the Bidayuh culture that is native to Sarawak and be in awe of the Fairy and Wind caves!
Enjoy an informative tour to the Annah Rais Longhouse set amidst the backdrop of a majestic forest. We will start off the journey with an 80-km drive from your hotel lobby in Kuching, heading towards the Bidayuh Land Dayak Longhouse (Annah Rais). As one of the largest tribes in Sarawak, this presents the perfect opportunity to have close-up encounters with the tribe. The Bidayuh people are known for their prowess with bamboo so much so that they are affectionately called the ‘Engineers of Bamboo’. Keep your eyes peeled on your surroundings as the journey will take you past the countryside; dotted with paddy fields, cocoa plantations, pepper vineyards and old rubber plantations. The final leg of your journey will take you through a road surrounded by lush jungle foliage and primary rainforests which are truly sights to behold.
The size—being the largest—and architecture of the Annah Rais Longhouse is the pride and glory of the Bidayuh community, vaulting it to prominence throughout the entire nation. Built on the same site as the original longhouse, the Annah Rais Longhouse and its two-century-old legacy stand firm today. Upon arrival, we will be greeted ceremoniously with a cup of rice wine by the natives. Discover the importance of the longhouse in the life and times of the Sarawakian Land Dayaks (Bidayuh) and really connect with the indigenous people. Admire their simplistic lifestyle and their ingenious methods of making the best of whatever nature provides them—winnowing, basket weaving and rice pounding—to get by. Be adventurous and explore the longhouse; take a peek at the human skulls kept at the “head-house”, or more commonly known as “baruk”—the most unique and important structure of the Bidayuh. Away from urbanisation, this feels like a different epoch but may foster a deeper appreciation for the simple way of life.
Once we are done, approximately 40km away from the town of Kuching, lies two incredible limestone caves filled with history and wonder known as the Fairy Cave and the Wind Cave. The Fairy Cave took its name from a stalagmite structure near the entrance that is said to resemble ‘Guan Yin’, the Goddess of Mercy in Chinese culture. Inside this giant cave, you will find natural formations of different coloured rock and rich green moss, together with the great contrasts between the entering light and shadowy darkness, offers beautiful opportunities for the avid photographer.
Just about 10 minutes away lies the Wind Cave, where a torchlight is essential for visitors to navigate through their man-made boardwalk into the cave. Deep within the darkness of the cave, plentiful of bats and swiftlets flock the area, making for an amazing auditory experience as no lights are installed in this magnificent limestone cave to avoid disturbing the animals living here. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of nesting swiftlets on the cave walls, with the bird’s nest being considered a delicacy among the Asian community and fetches an expensive price!