3-Day Batang Ai Longhouse Homestay: Join In

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Tour type

Tour Level: Moderate

Tour Comfort: Budget

Tour Period: 3 Days

tour highlights

  • Ride on native longboats across Batang Ai Lake
  • Explore a pepper market and a local market
  • Meet the friendly people of the Iban tribe
  • See a traditional war dance of the fomer headhunters
  • Trek deep into the forest with the option of jungle camping

tour details

The area of Batang Ai is located 290 km south-east of Kuching into the interior of Sarawak, close to the border to Kalimantan/ Indonesian Borneo. The name Batang Ai literally means “main waters” and refers back to the old days of tribal wars, when the Iban expanded into Sarawak, looking for fertile lands to grow their rice on. After crossing the nearby mountain range the Iban navigated along the many rivers and tributaries in this area to spread out and conquer land. Fierce battles and aggressive headhunting raids were going on in the area of Batang Ai, Skrang river and Lemanak river. Nowadays the area of Batang Ai is home to about 30 Iban longhouses, dotted along the Batang Ai river and its tributaries and surrounded with lush rainforest.

Pick up from Kuching city hotel for a 290km journey to Batang. Stop en route at the local market in the town of Serian to observe wild orchids and pitcher plants that grow at the roadside. Also, visit a pepper farm. Enjoy lunch in Lachau, a small upcountry Chinese village.

After lunch, continue to the beautiful Batang Ai Lake. Here, board one of the native longboats and spend about 45 minutes on the lake. Upon arrival, walk with a guide up to the longhouse and meet the Iban and their families. Stop for a tea break.

In the evening, there is the option to join your guide as they prepare dinner. Observe how, with simple cooking utensils and using local ingredients, a delicious meal can be made.
After dinner, the Iban will sound their gongs and perform their war dance in full ceremonial regalia.

Overnight at the longhouse (very simple accommodation).

Basic accommodation in the communal hall of the longhouse with mosquito net, mattress, pillows and blanket provided

Estimated driving time/distance:
5 hours, 290 kilometres

Meals included:Lunch
9:00 hours
Today, decide with your guide what to do and see: for example, relax with the villagers in the longhouse, learn to weave baskets, learn to knit fishing nets, make traps, or join the local people in the rice fields and pepper farms.
It is also possible to, take a ride by longboat further upriver and hike deep into the forest. Learn how the Iban collect bamboo and leaves to prepare a typical picnic lunch.
After a sumptuous lunch, return to the same longhouse for an overnight stay.

Overnight at the longhouse or jungle camping (very simple accommodation).

Meals included:Breakfast
9:00 hours
After breakfast, longboat ride and transfer back to Kuching with lunch en route included.

Estimated driving time/distance:
5 hours, 290 kilometres

Meals included:Breakfast

customise the tour

  • Addon to visit Semenggoh Orang Utan Centre
  • Extend vacation to Miri and Mulu
  • Extend vacation to Sabah
  • Extend vacation to Peninsular Malaysia


  • Accommodation in the communal room of a longhouse with shared sanitary facilities
  • Meals as stated in the programme B= breakfast, L= lunch, D= dinner
  • Transfers and tours with local English-speaking driver guides in air-conditioned vehicles
  • Entrance fees and/or boat fees as stated in the programme
  • Drinking water available on the vehicles


  • Domestic airfare and/or International airfare to/from Malaysia (quoted separately, if requested)
  • Optional tours
  • Surcharges for other language guides
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Personal expenditure, such as drinks, souvenirs, laundry, camera fees, communications, postage, gratuities etc.
  • Meals and services other than mentioned in the programme
  • Drinks with meals
  • Early check-in and late check-out at hotels, if not mentioned in the programme
  • Gifts for the longhouse


  • Boat transfers & activities in the longhouse will be on shared basis in order to minimise impacts on the natural environment or if other circumstances require so.
  • Please travel light for the overnight at the longhouse. Suitcases can be stored at your hotel in Kuching.
  • Due to primitive conditions in the longhouse, be prepared for some discomfort. You will be accommodated in the community area of the longhouse with no privacy. A mattress, mosquito net, pillow, blanket and clean linen will be provided. Simple sanitary facilities are available. Pets like cats and dogs might be encountered in the communal hall of the longhouse and livestock such as chicken or pigs are roaming freely within the
    longhouse compound.
  • It is customary to bring some gifts for the Iban longhouse people, which can be divided by the number of families. Our guide can assist you during one of the stops en-route to buy some suitable presents. This custom is only applicable to Iban longhouse tours.
  • Certain parts of the tours on offer are provided by independent third parties, such as airlines, hotels, transport operators and local tourist offices. Diethelm Travel is therefore not responsible for any loss, injury or damage caused thereby to the tourists, including those occurring outside of the normal touring programmers. Additional expenses incurred due to delay, accident, natural disaster, political actions and unrest shall be borne by the tourists.
  • We advise that due to frequent flight changes, delays and cancellations by the various domestic airlines and trains we cannot fully guarantee that the proposed itinerary can be carried out as planned. Based on our experience, changes of departure times and/ or cancellations can occur at very short notice even after confirmation of a flight has been received. The same applies for train travel: Schedule changes occur frequently; often without prior notification. In case of schedule changes or flight cancellations we always try everything possible to arrange an alternate programme within the framework of the original quoted costs. However, we reserve the right to charge any cost exceeding the original budget to the tour operator/ travel agent or to the participant of a tour after consultation with the agent.
  • Programmers, prices, services and conditions are based on those valid at the time of proposal submission and are subject to change thereafter without advance notice until all services have been paid in full.
  • For air ticket reservations, we require the guests' full names AS THEY APPEAR IN THEIR PASSPORTS including passport details. Airfares and reservations are always subject to change.
  • Please be advised that prices may be adjusted periodically in case of fuel price increase by our suppliers and hotel room availability at time of booking
  • This is a quotation only and reservation for services has not been made nor has availability been checked.

  • Backpack
  • Loose-fitting summer clothing
  • Long pants and long-sleeve shirt for the camping
  • Swimwear
  • Sun hat/ cap
  • Sun block
  • Insect repellent
  • Personal toiletries
  • Flat walking shoes with good grip
  • Raincoat
  • Torch or flashlight
  • Leech socks (optional; the species of leeches that do occur occasionally cause harmless bites)
Tour code: PKKCBL3A

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