Thank you so much for your letter.
I'm sorry for the long silence. I have been
on a holiday with my family. This time,
my father decided that we should do
something different instead of the usual
'balik kampung' holiday. So, he booked
us on a tour to Batang Ai Longhouse
Resort in Sarawak.
The resort is about 275 km from
Kuching. Since my sister is teaching in
Kuching, we decided to spend a day with
her before driving to Batang Ai. The
name 'Batang Ai' means `the main river'
where you can find the Iban tribe. The
Ibans were famous in the past for their
headhunting skills but I'm sure you
know that they are very modem now.
At Batang Ai, there is a lake which
was formed when they built the Batang
Ai Hydroelectric Dam. The national park
there is run by the Ibans. They provide
boat services, longhouse tours,
demonstrations of traditional dances,
longhouse accommodation and guided
tours. There is also a wide variety of
On our first day, my father took us
all on a nature walk. As I'm not the
adventurous type, I was a bit reluctant to
join them. Wali, our tour guide, was very
persuasive. As it turned out, the walk was
the most fascinating I've ever had. Did
you know that you could fry an egg on a
wild banana leaf? Wali also pointed out
many precious species of trees like the
Bintangor tree which is being researched
to make a vaccine for AIDS. The most
exciting part was getting through the
suspended canopy walk. We also had
the opportunity to see several types of
hornbills and other rare birds.
The next day, we went to a longhouse
by boat. We were greeted by the
longhouse leader. Then, we tried a special
drink called 'tuak', a type of rice wine
prepared by the tribe. The highlight of
the visit was an evening entertainment
of traditional dances. We were delighted
to join the dances and my father made a
fool of himself, having drunk a few cups of
'tuak'. I looked round for human skullsbut
I could not see any.
When we finally got back to our resort,
we felt really tired. Wali took out his guitar
and played us some traditional songs. My
sister was able to sing some of the songs
which she had picked up. I could see that
my parents really enjoyed the peace and
quiet as they lead quite busy lives in the city.
As for me, I was left speechless watching the
sunset changing hues in just half an hour.
That's all about our trip to Sarawak.
We have decided that we would
definitely go back for a longer stay and
maybe visit the wildlife sanctuary there.