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Bario Sarawak

I Die Fat at Bario Food Festival 2014

Intro | Le Journey | Bario Food Festival 2014

The Festival Site

Wheee…finally reached Bario. Auntie Lucy‘s (the owner of the longhouse homestay we’re staying) cousin picked us up at the airport. The Food Festival site is located at the Padang Pasir Village which is just a 5 minutes drive from the airport.

When we reached, there were many Kelabits lining up to welcome us..

and so I thought. LOL!

This is the traditional costume of Kelabits. It’s a little similar with their cousin ethnics, the Lun Bawang.

The difference is the color of the headgear. Kelabits headgear is brown at the front and multi colored at the rear while the Lun Bawang‘s are all yellow. Traditionally, they only wear the dress and top part is bare.

The site is not too huge, there were only one row of food stalls, one row of shops selling drinks and handcrafts and a stage for cultural performances.

Each of the stall represents one village and all of them are competing with each other for the Best Food Stall of the Festival. So, all of the stalls were well decorated.There are 14-16 villages around Bario but this year only 9 or 12 villages taking part in this festival.

Pa Ukat means Ukat Village.

Look at all these food that can’t wait to go into my mouth.

And it’s free to try. #Waitwhat! LOL


If you found something you like, you can buy a box of that dish for RM5 or a scoop for RM1.

It’s all Kelabit food. A new cuisine to me and have no idea what to expect. I believe we can’t get Kelabit cuisine outside of the highlands. Most of the ingredients are wild vegetables and animals that you can only found in the Bario highland.

They did provide signs on the dish but they were all in Kelabit and it’s not helping at all. LOL =.=

Then again, sometimes it’s best to not know what you’re eating tho especially in a food fest.

Kelabit Food

Okay #waitwhat! Dig in!! hahaha

Check out the food I had.

Fermented Rice and Bamboo Shoots?

Bunga Kantan Shoots and Palm Shoots or Pineapple shoots?

Dried Pork with Mushrooms and Durian with Green Beans

Pumpkin something and hmm something

Mashed Potato Leaves? and Curry Chicken!

Bamboo River Fish

Hmm..This is either Porcupine, Barking Deer or Mousedeer. I can’t really sure but I did had all three of them during this trip. Most of the time I only found out after I send them into my stomach. =.=

“Wild” meat is common here as most of the villagers here owned hunting licence.

I even had wild food that is “hunt” without a licence.

These.. XD Kelatang Grub Podridge and Stir Fry Sago Worm with Shoots.

Sago Worms is very common all over Sarawak but the Kelatang Grub is native to this highland. And I can say that Sago Worm still the best worm ever lol. Kelantang Grub has a very strong taste to it, a little like Bunga Kantan taste.

There’s quite a number of foreigners saw what I ate while walking pass my table and I saw some of them shocked with what they saw.LOL

I have this Bario-to-eat-list before I went to Bario and having Kelatang Grub was one it. It suppose to complete my Bario trip, not until I found out there’s another dish that one must savor in Bario and that is the BBQ Wild Pork Rib!! omaigod! OvO  #sorrynonhalal

A new found friend of mine managed to have it and said it was really good. Sadly it sold out before I managed to get a glimpse of it. So sad. Well, another reason to go back to Bario. > v <

Poster for next trip. LOL

And this one looks interesting too. Maybe next time can get to eat this. hehehe

See how huge it is! omg!  Never know a upstream fish can be so huge.

Cultural Performance Show

 There were cultural performance for the guest.

The infamous Orang Ulu‘s Hornbill dance and it was very graceful. Will share the video after I edit it.

Here’s a performance telling the life of a Kelabit in the old days.

There were kids performing too.

So cute in their traditional costume.

Somehow, cowboy style/culture has become part of the highlander modern culture among Lun Bawang and Kelabits people. Instead of horses, the Lun Bawang ride on buffaloes and the people wear cowboy hats on a daily basis. I guess the culture was  brought in during the missionary.

Kelabit Games

There were many traditional games up for the community and the visitors to play.

(image from BarioFoodFestival FB)

all of them are very physical challenging. I was too full to move so I didn’t join any of them. LOL

And then, they have this..

The locals dressed up as ladies and had a match of football. LOL Everyone was laughing like mad especially when they adjusting their skirts or fake boobs. hahahah

The activities ended around 4-5pm where everyone went back longhouse for a short rest and shower before the night show.

 The Night

The night show starts around 8pm and it was filled with music and dances.

The international Sape player, Jerry Kamit was there to perform for the night. It was an honor to be able to listen to him live.

There were also traditional dancing competition.

and i thought it was a beauty pageant.*koff koff* cantik (pretty) nya*

and the night didn’t ends here. The party just started lol. Everyone started dancing together from poco poco dance to 80’s hits songs. I heard that some of them dance and party until 4 in the morning. *salute*

I’m too old for that. I was dead tired and sleeping warmly in my bed. LOL


For more photos and info, do visit Bario Food Festival Facebook page. 😀

Honestly, I can’t wait to go back for next year Bario Food Festival. > v < I heard from the organizer that there’s gonna be even more food and not only just Kelabit food.  (* v *) *eyes sparkles*

Bario Sarawak Trip

How To Get Into Bario?

So last month, I received a call from a friend…

Before we get into Bario, let’s talk about Bario.

I bet a lot of you have never heard of this place before this.

Because it is up in the highland, it is basically isolated from the rest of Sarawak and it’s people. Yet, the legend of it’s cool weather, unique food and gorgeous Kelabit girls has been spreading among the low land dwellers for centuries.

Bario is having their Bario Food Festival last month, and so me and my friend find this a great opportunity, reason and time to visit the mysterious Bario for once.

So how do we get into Bario Highland? Well here’s a short guide I made for you, if you’re interested to go after my Bario travel posts.

Opps. hahaha.

Well, it was a spontaneous trip. We almost didn’t manage to get into Bario in time for the Food Festival. ^ ^”


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RoadTrip Sarawak Trip

Sarawak Roadtrip 3.5: Mukah to Bintulu

Continue from  Sarawak Trip: Part 1 | 2 | 3 | Ghost In Bintulu |3.5

On previous post, I tell about a story of paranormal night in Bintulu.

Then, I kinda missed out my journey from Sibu – Mukah – Bintulu. So here it was my trip.

I been to Mukah before during my internship.

Mukah is the heartland of Melanau people. It was once a mighty kingdom called the Malano (Melanau) kingdom. The kingdom fall during the expansion of Brunei Sultanate.

Here’s a photo of a Melanau girl in her traditional costume.

photo credit to: McKibben Agin

Such costume are rare to see nowadays as 90% of Melanau has converted to Muslim and adopted Islamic wear but certain tradition are still carry on such as the Melanau’s signature hat, Terendak.

credits: Oura Galaxy Blog

And you know you’re in Melanau heartland when you can see buildings with colorful cone shape roof.

This roadtrip wasn’t actually a travel trip, I was actually just invited to tag along while the CatsFM crews spread awareness about Visit Sarawak Year campaign to the locals. So, I didn’t manage to visit much touristy places.

So usually when the crews are doing their job. .

I will sneaked out and hunt for local food and landmarks. XD

I mentioned that most Melanau has converted to Muslim but certain traditional culture and practice still can found.

One is Sago related food, sago powder, sago biscuits, sago salad, sago paste (linut) and also…

sago worms.

and another is the the Umai. Umai is a Melanau dish, it’s actually Sarawak version of Sashimi.

The one in Mukah is famous as it’s authentic and it’s made out of gold fish.

No, not those gold fish we kept in our home but a type of orangey long slim fish.


This is crazy, I only bought one box and they wrapped it 20x larger.

After the small stop, we head to Bintulu.  It’s a 2 hours + ride through highway.

A highway that looks like this.

Can noticed heavy deforestation along the way for palm tree plantation.

When there’s deforestation, there’s a lot of trucks like this…

and they are soooo freaking scary, no thanks to Final Destination 2.

I kept imagine what happened if the chain snaps!

Thank God, I reached Bintulu safely.

That very night was [le paranormal activity night]. Do read it up if you have not.

Anyway, the next day, we moved out of that hotel and stayed separately in other new established resorts.

I managed to drop by at the town after we checked in.

The town looks new tho (design), like your typical commercial centre in the cities. I only found out that all the old styled shop lots and structures were demolished and replaced with this. Those who knows me well knows I love old buildings a lot. hahaha

Oh, I noticed there’s a Tua Pek Kong temple in every town/city in Sarawak. Franchising done well XD.

Spotted an eagle/hawk/some big bird that will ripped my arms off is flying around the town.

Not sure what’s the occasion but there’s a mini bazaar.

Saw some traditional accessories there.

An Iban headgear.

Iban Pua Kumbu ( traditional patterned  cloth).

An “Orang Ulu”‘s patterned shirt

After a while, we went to the food court at the market to test out the Umai I bought earlier.

All well sliced. 😀

I was expecting the meat to be orange too hahaha gosh what am i thinking.

And it comes with all these “add ons”

We need to pour everything into the Umai and mixed them together

into something like this.

Only one problem…

I accidentally put too much salty in it. T_T

The meat is sweet and some how crunchy which I don’t understand, I think the lime juice somehow “cook” it?  It’s good, even nicer if I have rice to go with it XD

Unlike other city and towns of West Sarawak which are by the rivers, Bintulu and Miri are located next to the Sea.

So #waitwhat, we asked the driver to drop us at the nearest beach.

It’s awesome to have the beach next to the city but the beach we went wasn’t that good looking.

After that we went back to our hotel and I just wandered off on my own by foot.

I managed to found this mall nearby our hotel about 30 minutes walk away.

and managed to find bunch of Thai snacks! I love Thai snacks!! Their chips are sooo good!!

Bintulu is very sparsely distributed. There’s a limit on the places I can visit on foot. 🙁 I wanted to check out the Council Negri monument but too bad it was too far away.

Walk walk walk and somehow I ended at the Bintulu waterfront.

While walking around.. something popped up in my mind..

whether there will be another paranormal activity at night or not.

Too bad didn’t manage to try any Bintulu signature food. (Bintulu famous for Belacan). Hope can return to Bintulu again in near future.

Anyway, off to Miri next!! > v <



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