This trip takes you to the heart of Sarawak’s forest in Sebuyau province where you are able to really get a glance of Sawarak’s culture! From hiking in virgin forests ending in astonishing waterfalls to going down the river in a wooden boat and getting lost in it’s several possible ways, this 4 days will open your eyes to how the Iban lives and their amazing history!
Waking up at 7am and getting on board on a 4x4 Hillux, you will drive the main highway for about 2 hours until you see a dirt road on your left that is where the fun begins! The off road you will experience is really putting the 4x4 on test, with 70º uphill and crossing rivers this is an exciting track that lasts circa 1 hours.
When you arrive in Kampung Tuba the first thing that will get your attention (or at least got mine), is how all of their infrastructure, the longhouse, the bridges, the boats, everything is built by themselves and looks as if they had hired an engineer, really amazing how they are able to build everything with such perfection!
What I am going to miss the most about this place though, is definitely the food! Local cuisine is so delicious and they will treat you like when you go to your grandma’s house, as long as there is food, they are going to keep pushing it so you eat more, and you will because there is always spare space for good food.
By nightfall they will show you the cultural dance of their village, it is a mix in between honoring the Gods and martial arts moves, all followed by the rhythm of drums and bells, plus the costumes they wear is simply beautiful! That is also when the drinking starts, you will have a night full of Tuak and Langkao (rice wine & liquor), both delicious!
2nd day waking up after a full breakfast, get ready for a boat ride in Sarawak’s charming rivers, full of different plants and birds all around, this 1 hour boat ride ends up in the bottom of a hill notorious by its Orangutansthat live in the surroundings, if you are lucky enough you will be able to spot then, if not, you can still enjoy a rainforest virgin hikewith great range of fauna and flora.
Heading back to the Longhouse to have a delicious lunch and siesta time to recover energy for the afternoon hike. This time you will hike through the Iban territory for 2 hours until you spot a spectacular waterfall, this is where you will camp next. When you arrive, the camping will be all settled up already, so just enjoy the nature and go have a shower in the river.
As the nightfall, dinner will be served, for my stay they grilled a couple of fish they caught in the river and barbecued with delicious spices and vegetables. After dinner it’s time to share stories and experiences, make sure you interact with the locals, they are lovely people and most of them can speak quite good English, so you will not have to struggle much.
3º day it is your free time, you can choose whether you want to go cycling on mountain bikes, hiking in the nearby forest, or simply chill at the waterfall and river while taking a sunbath. For lunch, they barbecued a whole pig so tasty any five star restaurant could not compare! However, before eating you will take part in a prayer for the gods followed by a delightful singing, in mine point of view this was one of the highlights of the trip, we have much to learn with these people!
Last day wake up call, have breakfast, pack your things, time to head back home, but before let’s stop by the Longhouse one more time to east the delicious local cuisine once more and thank everyone for their company and learning. By the time you enter the vehicle to leave you will be pretty tired I bet, but I can guarantee you will not be able to stop thinking about the interesting people you met and how life is so much more simpler then we make it, these people do not have much, but one thing they have plenty is a sincere smile! These 4 days in the Radak Retreat will make you rethink your life and be grateful for all you have, really a life changing experience!