The many ethnic groups of Sarawak come together at a living museum in the foothills of the legendary Mount Santubong. For those who would like to experience the culture of the state in half a day, then check out this place.
Here is where visitors can find replicas of buildings that represent the Bidayuh, Iban, Orang Ulu, Penan, Melanau, Malay and Chinese groups. It may sound “Disney-fied”, but you would be surprised just how authentic the displays are. Each of these houses is supposedly inhabited by locals who go about their traditional way of life. They act as storytellers who will explain about the colourful way of life and traditions in Sarawak.
Why you should go
The primary aim of the Sarawak Cultural Village is to preserve the cultural heritage of the state. On paper, it might not sound all that thrilling, but what the living museum has successfully done is inject excitement into a learning experience.
There is nothing mundane about walking around the village and exploring the various homes. Visitors would be able to learn about various traditional trades and customs through the many hands-on activities available in store.
What to do
The replica of the ethnic houses has got to be the highlight of the place. Carefully modelled, these homes are the true personification of the traditional homes in Sarawak.
At the Bidayuh Longhouse, one would be welcomed by bamboo galore and carvings known as the Barok. Climb up a notched log at the Iban Longhouse and be greeted by drumming, pua weaving and hanging skulls!
Head to the theatre to experience multi-cultural performances by an award-winning troupe of dancers.
The spectacular costumes and elegant dance routines will surely provide an enjoyable introduction to Sarawak’s many colourful cultures.
Who will like it
With its diverse background, Sarawak has no shortage of heritage to showcase.
But given the sheer size of the state, it might be hard to experience everything on a trip. But the Sarawak Cultural Village provides a condense and informative overview of the various ethnic groups in the state.
Both local and international travellers would be able to fulfil the cultural aspect of their holiday with a trip here. The museum is also great for families as it has an array of activities that are catered to visitors of all ages.
The village is a 40-minute drive from the Kuching International Airport. For those staying in Kuching city, there’s a shuttle that goes to the village that departs from the Grand Margherita Hotel.