Grab this opportunity to explore and discover more of Sarawak’s diverse ethnicities and cultural lifestyles by visiting the Mongkos Bidayuh Longhouse!
In the mood for an adventure? Curious and eager to learn more about Sarawak’s diverse culture? Strap on a good pair of walking shoes as your adventure begins with a 1.5 hours’ drive from your hotel in Kuching, heading towards Mongkos Longhouse; home to a thriving rural community. The unique longhouse is one of the last few remaining traditional Bidayuh Longhouse in Sarawak (the largest being Annah Rais Bidayuh Longhouse). These structures—made of bamboo and belian trees—are built on stilts and can support up to an astounding 100 families at a time.
Before entering the longhouse, you are required to perform a ritual known as “Mipis”—a ceremony to chase away wicked spirits. The ritual prevents the spirits from harming guests and is taken seriously by the Bidayuh people. Bizarre as it may seem, what comes next is even more intriguing; there will be a welcoming dance, performed with grace and precision born from frequent repetition. The cultural performance, as well as the ritual only, serves to provide you with an insight into the daily lives, culture and traditions of the Bidayuh people, who are also known as the Land Dayaks. After that, we will be given a tour of the longhouse, including a narration of the history of the Bidayuh people.
After meeting the locals and exchanging pleasantries, it is time for our next activity: swimming with Empurau fishes. Said to be one of the most expensive edible fishes in Malaysia, the Empurau is a freshwater fish that subsists on fallen fruits. Its beautiful facade and agile bodies make it a prized catch. Try keeping up with one and you’d find that the Empurau will be far beyond your reach. After a fun and exciting activity, you will be treated to an ethnic lunch; served with the typical Bidayuh grub and other intriguing dishes. Then, you will be transferred back to your hotel, signalling the end of an amazing tour.