Go off-road biking to several beautiful, historical forts: Margherita, Alice and Lily, spend the night in Banting and Betong longhouses, enjoy leisurely boat rides across various rivers and a lake, then rest and rejuvenate your body at Batang Ai Resort!
Day 1 - Kuching Waterfront / Square Tower / Fort Margherita
Your tour kicks off in the late afternoon with a warm welcome to the Kuching Waterfront. By the riverside, popular destinations are the jetty, Carpenter Street and the Main Bazaar. Meet up with your tour leader and test out the bikes, then pedal along the heritage trail of the White Rajah. Explore the trinkets being sold at the Main Bazaar and stop by the Square Tower at the “stone jetty”. The Square Tower was historically a prison and fortress, and is now a historical landmark that stands out in the area.You will be taken across the river to Fort Margherita which was built in 1879 by Charles Brooke, the Rajah of Sarawak. The fort was named after his bride, and it now stands as a museum full of Brooke memorabilia. Its cannons were trained in the direction of the river in the event that enemies would strike from there, as the river was an active traffic route in the past. Enjoy a lovely sunset dinner on the bank of the Sarawak River to end your first day.
Day 2 - Serian Market / St Paul's Church
Visit the Serian market where every kind of fruit imaginable is sold. The air is filled with the sweet smells of countless fruits broken open for potential customers to view and taste-test. After that, stop by the trading bazaar of Lachau and enjoy a hearty village-style lunch. At Pantu, ride in shallow-draft longboats to the Iban villages of Banting, where there are stretches of padi (paddy) fields as the lowlands are fertile and suitable for farming.Be welcomed by the friendly villagers who always have refreshments ready for visitors. You will be shown your quarters for the night, and then you are free to go off on your own to further explore what the village and its surrounding area have to offer to you. Stroll through the village and meet more people, or climb up a rocky hill where St. Paul’s Church has withstood the call of time (with some renovations and improvements, of course) since 1859. Learn about the history of the area from the villagers, who are also expert weavers and produce dozens of artistic handicrafts and trinkets a day.
Day 3 - Lingga Bazaar / Batang Lupar / Sri Aman / Fort Alice
Bid your Iban friends goodbye, and set off to Lingga Bazaar by longboat. It sits in the centre of lower Batang Lupar, and you will experience breakfast like a local at a kopitiam (traditional coffee shop). Take a ride on your bike along the banks of the great Batang Lupae River and enjoy the scenic view of hills in the distance. Your guide might make some detours and bring you to look at some unique and interesting longhouses.Pedal into Sri Aman, the capital of Batang Lupar, for your lunch. The newly-restored Fort Alice resides there, perched upon a riverside hillock. In the past, such a vantage point was important as it commanded a good view of the river, where enemy boats usually showed up. This old fort built in 1864 was used for defence and security, administrative headquarters of the colonialist British, and as a prison for individuals who would serve lifetime sentences.
Day 4 - Betong / Awang Raweng / Fort Lily
Cross another river, this time to Betong. Pedal through Betong and meet Awang Raweng, the sole recipient of the George Cross for his bravery of defending a fallen soldier against communist terrorists in 1951 despite being injured himself. Have your lunch at another kopitiam, then pay Fort Lily a visit. Built in 1855, this was the site of confrontation between Rentap, an Iban-Dayak warrior and Sarawakian hero, and the White Rajah, James Brooke.Continue on your journey by car to Pais jetty on the Skrang River where you will board longboats to proceed along the river, the highways of the past. Disembark at the Nanga Murat longhouse and be greeted by the old chief. As there is a new longhouse which the villagers have recently moved into, feel free to check out the old one and see the differences between them. Have a warm dinner with the villagers in the traditional eating custom, then head to your designated quarters for rest.
Day 5 - Lemanak River / Batang Ai Resort
Be prepared to cycle quite the distance towards the Kalimantan border. Here is where numerous longhouses are rooted, the Iban heartland. Pedal up along the Lemanak River where the terrain is hilly and definitely will work your calf muscles. You will reach a man-made lake that sits in between the hills, and this lake is responsible for supplying electricity to most of Kuching and the west of Sarawak. Embark on a lake craft across the Hydro Lake to Batang Ai resort, one that is made up of a cluster of longhouses settled against a lovely backdrop of green sloping hills. Relax and recover from the day’s hard work on the trials.
Day 6 - Resort / Topspot Food Centre
Wake up to bright sunshine and fresh morning air, and take a dip in the pool or lounge by it after breakfast. Today’s itinerary is a little more relaxed, and you can choose to go for a walk in the jungle, explore another nearby longhouse, or visit a waterfall hidden away in the verdure of nature. After lunch, you will be transported back to Kuching. One last meal with the group will be had at Topspot Food Centre in Kuching, a place popular for its fresh seafood dinners. Rest well when you arrive back at your hotel and pack for tomorrow’s return home.
Day 7 - Tour Ends!
Today is your last day in Kuching. Pack up, check-out, and have a safe trip home so you can tell family and friends about your amazing journey on the Headhunter’s Trail!
What’s Not Included: