See more photos here: https://www.flickr.com/gp/140043503@N03/3MX8J5
Dec 15, 2015 – Couchsurfing
Ranah, Franki, and I were a little nervous in our Uber on the way to meet Maya, our first couch-surfing host. However, once we found her home and met her, any doubt or worry vanished. Maya and her family were lovely! She even cooked us dinner and let us try durian! Couchsurfing is a network of locals and travelers connecting and providing accommodation for each other.
Dec 16, 2016 – Bako National Park
Bako National Park was the first National Park established in Sarawak in 1957 and it is only accessible by boat. Maya, Franki, Ranah, and I took a Grab car (similar to Uber) to Bako Village where Maya’s friend met us. We got complimentary boat ride down the river and then were invited Maya’s friend’s home for a traditional lunch which was an amazing experience.
The boat ride to Bako National Park only took about 10 minutes. The rock formations are beautiful and all the vegetation is very green and luscious. Just a few meters from the shore we found wild proboscis monkeys, silvered leaf monkeys, bearded pigs, and other small monkeys. Unfortunately, we didn’t have too much time there so we did a 40 minute hike. I feel like I could have spent days there and there is accommodation in the park.
To get back to Maya’s house, we tried hitchhiking which proved to be very successful!
Dec 17, 2016 – Annah Rais Longhouse
The Annah Rais Longhouse was more modern than I had anticipated. This Bidayuh Trib’s longhouse houses over 80 families and is located about 60km outside of Kuching. The majority of the villagers there still live in a traditional sense but use some modern-day technology. They are primarily farmers and plant cocoa, pepper, rubber, etc, in their nearby fields.
The best part of visiting here was talking to the local residents! They were very kind and gracious. Moreover, they were more knowledgeable and informative than the official tour guides we had overheard.
At the entrance, they even provide a sample of rice wine, which is great!