Bario is a Malaysian village located in a remote plateau in the Kelabit Highlands in the Sarawak Region on the island of Borneo, very close to the international border with Indonesian Kalimantan. Bario is about 1000 meters above the sea level and provides and isolated destination for eco tourism and for experiencing the hospitality of the Kelabit Orang Ulu people. Trekking is the major activity at Bario. It is because of the mountain cooling scenery, different type of flora and fauna, interesting loops to be trekked and lots of edible plants and fruits in the deep forest .
Usually the major trekking places at Bario are Bario loop, Pa’ Kelalan trek, Pa’ Ukat trek, Pa’ Lungan trek, Kalimantan loop, Batu Lawi trek and Mount Mulu trek. Trekking all this places will give the opportunity for trekkers to learn some jungle survivor skills besides enjoying the wildlife.
The major highlights of Bario and Kelabit are:
~ Murud Mountain – it is considered a holy mountain by the Kelabit people. At 2423 m it is the highest peak in Sarawak. Murud’s first recorded ascent was by the Swedish naturalist Dr. Eric Mjoberg in 1922. Starting from 1985, the mountain served a sacred purpose. Every year, thousand of Christian pilgrims ascend to Church Camp for their retreat.
~Batu Lawih – shrouded in local legend are the spectacular twin peaks of Batu Lawi, 2043m, situated on the edge of the mountain chain surrounding the Kelabit Highlands’ plateau. This double peaks stand out dramatically from the surrounding thick jungle. The presence of wildlife such as the Sumatran Rhinoceros and the world’s largest flower, Rafflesia is confirmed here too.
~ Salt Springs - natural salt springs exist in the highlands enable the people to maintain their salt sufficiency and independence. Once, salt is an important economic item that is, as the barter currency. Salt springs can be found in Pa’ Main, Pa’ Umur or Pa’ Bangar.
~ Waterfalls - Pa’ Ramapuh Waterfall and Pa Di’it Waterfall are situated in the thick forest. It is worthwhile although the journey might be tough and tiring. There are few breathtaking sites and you might have a chance to have a close look at monkeys and gibbons.
~ Batu Narit – located at Pa’Umur which is an hour walk from the airport. It is a remnant of the megalithic culture once practiced by the Kelabits. There are isolated boulders scattered across the area, their locations well known and notoriously spirit-haunted. Many of these boulders have been carved with symbols whose meanings are now forgotten, but are believed to commemorate the dead of distant and forgotten times.
Activities: Jungle Trekking, visit Longhouse
Getting there The only practical way to Bario is by air and it is one of the most exciting flight in Borneo. After crossing the lowlands of western Sarawak, you swept by the dense rainforest of Brunei, followed by the brilliant peaks of Mulu National Park before flying by the fantastic spire of 2046 m of Batu Lawi. Flight from Miri takes about 1 hour.
Recommended tour package 4D3N BARIO AND KELABIT HIGHLANDS
|Meet the Orang Ulu in the Kelabit Highlands||Bario Rice||Art in the Kelabit Highlands - the Junfle Blues Dream Homestay|
|Orang Ulu means people of the interior and is a term used to collectively describe the numerous tribes that live in the isolated regions of Borneo. Over a century ago, the Orang Ulu were feared for their ancient tradition of headhunting practices.
However, things have changed. Today the Orang Ulu are very well known for their friendliness, their intricate beadwork and their detailed tattoos. The Orang Ulu tribe can be also identified by their unique music – a distinctive sound from their “sape” a stringed instrument like mandolin.
The Orang Ulu were mostly animist before the 1920s. Under the rule of the White Rajahs in Sarawak, they have been Christianized by the European missionaries in Borneo.
|Bario Rice is regarded by the natives as the finest and best rice from the highlands of Sarawak. It is grown on cool climates at an elevation above 1,200 metres. According to the natives, the rice is only eaten by the longhouse chief on special occasion. It is long been regarded as one of the finest rice grains of the world. The rice is a home-grown, laboriously planted and harvested by hands using age-old traditional methods. In the planting of the Bario rice, there is no usage of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Bario Rice is specially air-flown out of Bario and Ba'kelalan highlands to enable the rest of Malaysians to sample the finest rice derived from the Land of the Hornbills.||The Jungle Blues Dream Homestay is owned by the local artist Stephen and his friendly wife Tine; it is a peaceful place to recharge yourself after the trekking expedition.
This cozy homestay is also an art gallery where Stephen’s artworks hangs on all of the walls and guests are encouraged to leave an artistic message on a wooden plaque before departing.
Jungle Blues Dream stands out as the only combined art gallery and homestay in a longhouse in Sarawak.
From the moment you arrive in Bario you will be warmly welcomed and you will be inspired by the stunning landscapes and sublime art.