Sarawak Cultural Village, Part 2

Continuing our visit to the Sarawak Cultural Village at Damai, Kuching.   The next act of the Cultural Show was the Penan blowgun hunter dance. He was pretty fierce looking, especially when he pointed it at certain audience members

Penan Blowgun Hunter: You Lookin’ at Me?

Sarawak Cultural Village Penan blowgun dance

Here’s a video of him hunting some balloons:

Penan Blowgun Hunter: Watch the Balloon

I think he was saying, “watch the balloon, not my butt!”

For the final balloon, he picked out a white girl from the audience and let her have a try at shooting the balloon.

Last Dance

The final group to dance was the Malay people. After their number, all the dancers came out and invited some audience members to join them on stage for a final, fun jig.

Sarawak Cultural Village performances 2

After a quick bathroom break, it was back out to the village, and

The Bidayuh House

Bidayuh House sign

The house is actually two structures – a Bidayuh longhouse and a “head house” where the Bidayuh headhunters kept their weapons as well as their enemies’ heads. Over in the working side of the long house, a woman was demonstrating the technique for rice hulling and separating while the men inside were demonstrating their prowess at bamboo carving and blowgun shooting.

Sarawak Cultural Village Bidayuh house

Adjacent to the Bidayuh house was

The Iban House

Iban House sign

What I noticed about the house was that the Ibans used tree bark for their wall siding whereas other groups used lumber.  Inside were displays of Iban weaving as well as this woman who was making kueh jala – a deep fried confection made by drizzling a mixture of rice flour and palm syrup into hot oil, using a coconut shell that had many small holes pierced in it. (We bought a pack of 3 and brought them home to eat – they are sweet, crunchy, and highly addictive!)

Sarawak Cultural Village Iban house

Finally, we came to

The Orang Ulu House

Central Borneo House sign

The Orang Ulu is a name given to the different ethnicities living in the mountains and jungles of central Borneo.  The house is a very tall structure, even taller than the Melanau House.  Upstairs, a man was demonstrating the carving of the sape – a stringed musical instrument similar to a guitar but only using two strings.

Sarawak Cultural Village Orang Ulu house

After a brief stop at the Penan House to have a try at shooting a blowgun, we headed back to the Malay House for some more food ;-)

Then we had to go. I snapped a few more pictures on the way out.

Sarawak Cultural Village grounds

If you come to Kuching as a tourist, there are lots of things to see and do. The Sarawak Cultural Village should be high up on that list. Do make plans to come anytime.

As for local Sarawakians, don’t go anytime – wait until it’s a public holiday and they have better discounts.  The best holiday to go? Raya, of course!  What’s not to like about free food? :-)

Aloha, Nate

8 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Carolyn Jung says:

    You’re shooting blowguns now? Nobody better try messing with you in a dark alley. ;)

  2. IH says:

    Cheers for being a great ambassador of Kuching, Sarawak!! I dare you to go to Bako National Park next. If you’re lucky you’ll find rafflesia there! The pitcher plants are in abundance and try to take the proboscis monkeys closed up. We failed each time, because they always “shy away”, unlike the macaques *sigh*

    • Nate says:


      we love Sarawak, so we’re happy to showcase some of the sights to see here as well as the “only in Sarawak” foods we’re eating.

      We’ve discussed going to Bako, but I’m a little apprehensive because to get there you have to take a boat — and I’m not good on boats. But the lure of the proboscis monkey may be too much ;-)

  3. borneoboy says:

    Hi Nate and Annie. I worked on the Cultural Village when I just came back to Kuching as a fresh graduate. The Orang Ulu, Bidayuh, Chinese, Malay and Penan Houses are very authentic. The others I’m not so sure.

    Hi IH. I didn’t know there are Rafflesias at Bako National Park. I’ve seen them at the Gunung Gading National Park in Lundu. Like you say you have to be lucky as they are not easy to spot.

    • Nate says:

      Hi CW –

      wow, you must have some stories to tell about building the park!

      We’ve also discussed the possibility of going to Gunung Gading out in Lundu. Perhaps we can arrange to go together one day?

  4. 5 Star Foodie says:

    Very cool to take a peak inside the houses!

  5. That’s COOL! The Bidayuh House looks like some houses I have seen in Hokkien.

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My Photo Annie is mistress of the kitchen while Nate is the master of the grill and smoker. We cook the homestyle Asian and Hawaiian foods of our younger days while also exploring the wider worlds of Western foods.

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