Saturday, April 9, 2011

Benuk Longhouse - Kuching, Sarawak Attraction

Benuk Longhouse 4
Kampung Benuk Homestay Programme is Borneo's latest Eco tourism Destination manage by Ministry of Urban Development and Tourism Sarawak.
The homestay programme offers visitors with an excellent opportunity to experience exotic culture, warmth and friendly hospitality along with nature at its best. Kampung Benuk Longhouse is one of the very few surviving Bidayuh Longhouse in Sarawak.
Benuk Longhouse 58

Benuk Longhouse 6

With its history of being the first Bidayuh longhouse in Sarawak, Kampung Benuk had played host to royalties including the previous Sultan of Pahang, British Navy officials, Heads of Governments, Ministers and tourists from all corners of the world gives evidence that tourism was booming in Kampung Benuk since the 1950s.
Their daily activities are mainly traditional farming (planting padi, pepper, rubber, cocoa, bananas and vegetables) Its has a population of 2,500 with some living in traditional longhouse while the rest live in typical modern Bidayuh village house.
Benuk Longhouse 7
Benuk Longhouse 8
Benuk Longhouse 9
Benuk Longhouse 10
Benuk Longhouse 11
Benuk Longhouse 12
While people in Benuk fully acknowledge that they are Bidayuh, they do not always see it as more indigenous than "Land Dayak", which is often used as an interchangeable term. Benuk has gradually become a Bidayuh Village to outsides, including tourists, land surveyors and other civil servants, writers and researchers.
Benuk Longhouse 13
Benuk Longhouse 14
Benuk Longhouse 15
Kampung Benuk is situated in the Penrissen area just outside Kuching, the capital city of Sarawak.With a distance of 34 kilometer, it takes about 50 minutes drive from the heart of Kuching city. Transportation such as public bus, taxi or rental car can be used to reach the village.
Benuk Longhouse 56
Benuk Longhouse 57
This is one of the last remaining Borneo long houses (rumah panjang) according to Tourism Malaysia. This long house belongs to the Bidayuh tribe. The long house is like house on stilts with floors made from bamboo tied together with wire.

Benuk Longhouse 18
Benuk Longhouse 17
Benuk Longhouse 16
Benuk Longhouse 22 
Walls separates the house into many private units and a unit serves as a house for a family to sleep and maybe cook too. The families can rest or do their domestic work on the spacious corridors. In my visit, we can see empty halls, corridors and unoccupied units.

Benuk Longhouse 19
Benuk Longhouse 55
Benuk Longhouse 46
Benuk Longhouse 47
Benuk Longhouse 48
Benuk Longhouse 49
Benuk Longhouse 50
Benuk Longhouse 51
Benuk Longhouse 52
At the end of the long house, there is a hall called Pangah, built by a troop of engineers. In the hall, you can see displays of mini replica of long houses of all types, some wooden musical instruments, woven mats and a stove in the middle with skulls from the head-hunting era hanging on it.
Benuk Longhouse 53
Benuk Longhouse 54
There is a mini museum displaying some private collection of antiques of the ceremonial chief En. Paka anak Otor, a descendant of kampung Benuk's original Tua Gawai (ritual head) lineage, had passed away on 2 October 2004.
Benuk Longhouse 45
Benuk Longhouse 23
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Benuk Longhouse 25
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Benuk Longhouse 27
Benuk Longhouse 28
Paka's collection appears to have started with his family's own cluster of antiques, brassware, porcelain vessels and old ritual necklaces. But Paka also had a penchant for collecting everything and anything, especially that of an antiques nature.
Benuk Longhouse 29
Benuk Longhouse 30
Benuk Longhouse 31
He left behind a large stash of old photographs, family documents, collection of heirlooms, ritual objects, local tools, household implements, Japanese Occupation banknotes, block and white television sets, Ventolin syrup glass bottles as well as various other items.
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Benuk Longhouse 33
Benuk Longhouse 34
Benuk Longhouse 35 
Benuk Longhouse 37
 Benuk Longhouse 36
Benuk Longhouse 38
Benuk Longhouse 39
Benuk Longhouse 40
Benuk Longhouse 41
Benuk Longhouse 42
This mini museum is located on the ground floor of Paka family home, situated atop a small mound overlooking the village. Before his death, the mini museum was much his domain, he acquired new objects, rearranged the displays and spoke to visitors about the collection and more general aspects of adat Gawai or local pre-Christian rituals, beliefs and customs. Actually, nobody know as much as Paka did about adat Gawai and the objects on display and explain well to tourists.
Benuk Longhouse 43
Benuk Longhouse 44
(For more detail information on this Mini-museum, please refer to the journal - Antiques and Adat : The Changing Face of Paka's Mini-museum, Kampung Benuk, Penrissen, Kuching. By Liana Chua). 
Benuk Longhouse 59
A small shop at the entrance of the kampung has bottled drinks and local produce such as peppers, etc, offered for sale. You can also pick up some antiques for a very reasonable price.
The Benuk Longhouse is open to the public for visitation. The entrance fees are as stated:
Without Guide                        -  RM5 
With Guide                             - RM5  
With Guide and Refreshment  - RM15
Full Gawai                             - RM1500

For homestay, please Contact:
  • Cr. Isabell Julau Ak. Mejat
  • Tel: +6019-8498413/+6013-5746269
  • Fax: +6082-626704
  • Address: Kampung Benuk Homestay, 166, Lorong 1B, Taman Samax, Batu 6, Jalan Penrissen Kuching, Sarawak
    Get Direction
2D 1N
Includes : Accommodation at foster family's home with breakfast lunch and dinner.
Activities : A visit to a Bidayuh traditional longhouse, Panggah (where the skulls are kept), a mini museum (where the antiques are kept), a river crossing on a bamboo bridge, a trip to the paddy farm (traditional farming), a rubber plantation (rubber-tapping demonstration) and a pepper garden.
3D 2N
Includes : Accommodation at foster family's home with breakfast lunch and dinner.
Activities : A visit to a Bidayuh traditional longhouse, Panggah (where the skulls are kept), a mini museum (where the antiques are kept), a river crossing on a bamboo bridge, a trip to the paddy farm (traditional farming), a rubber plantation (rubber-tapping demonstration) and a pepper garden, also a visit to the legendary Junk Stone and the Skuh Gung Cave.
Attraction Kampung Benuk Homestay Programme offers the following attractions:
  • Bidayuh Traditional Longhouse.
  • Baruk - traditional community hall where human skulls were kept
  • Mini museum and Bidayuh traditional handicraft shop
  • Cool clear water stream with bamboo bridge crossing
  • Beautiful mountainous scenery
Benuk Longhouse 20
Benuk Longhouse 21

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