Saturday, 30 May 2015

Selamat Hari Gawai!

It's the eve of Gawai and all over the state of Sarawak, families are busy making preparations for the celebration.  What is Gawai? 

Gawai is one of the major festivals celebrated in Sarawak, East Malaysia. The word ‘Dayak’ is a collective term referring to the several hundred sub ethnic groups of indigenous people of Borneo. To name a few major ethnic groups, there are the Iban (Sea Dayak), Bidayuh (Land Dayak) and Orang Ulu (Kelabit, Kenyahs, Lun Bawangs, etc).

Hari Gawai, which falls on the 1st and 2nd of June each year is both a religious and social occasion as this festival marks the end of the harvesting season

A month prior to Gawai, most of the locals would prepare the often raved tuak or rice wine. This is a famous not-to-be-missed concoction.  It's made of glutinous rice collected from the recent harvest mixed with home-made yeast and is left for fermentation which gives this drink it's kick.  Try it.

If you have never visited Sarawak, East Malaysia before, then this is definitely a good time to visit Sarawak and have a taste of its local culture and be a part of this celebration, try the food, enjoy the hospitality, you are always welcome. If you can't make it this year, plan for 2016.

I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Selamat Ari Gawai Dayak, Gayu Guru Gerai Nyamai Lantang Senang.

Credit for the picture goes to the Sarawak Tourism Board.    Thanks for dropping by, I'll be back with another broadcast soon, I'm going to be busy hosting an event for the next few days but I'll get back to my laptop soon.  Be safe during the festive season!

Thursday, 28 May 2015

The Borneo Broadcaster goes for some Authentic Kelabit Cuisine.

You like food right?  I know I do.  I love to eat.  Which apparently is one of the reason I landed myself in so much trouble a few years back but here in Borneo, you just can't help but eat and really enjoy your food.  I went out for lunch today with two of my friends.  We went to a little place which was located right in the heart of what is known as the center of Kuching City.  The major hotels are located here, the budget hotels and there are malls nearby, it's near the Kuching Waterfront, so a perfect place to open a cozy little restaurant.  This restaurant is located just across the street from the Kuching Hilton, you can't miss it.  It's called Tribal Stove.
Hi, welcome to the Borneo Broadcast, the restaurant I went to is called Tribal Stove, formerly called Tribal Scoops.They are the only restaurant that serves authentic traditional Bario Sarawak Kelabit Highland cuisine in Kuching City.

Tribal Stove is the brainchild of Esther Balan-Gala who opened Tribal Stove because she wasn't able to find authentic Kelabit food in the city.  Esther's aim at the time and still is to this day is to promote authentic ethnic food from Sarawak which is healthy and organic and to give everyone an affordable option.
This cozy little restaurant is very comfortable and inviting.  This is only my second visit to Tribal Stove and the first time I was there, I enjoyed my meal there.  So what about this visit?

I have to say that I enjoyed the food and the overall dining experience.  Sometimes it's not possible to have both.  It's one or the other but I enjoyed what we ordered and the overall service was excellent.  Okay here's what we ordered today.

Okay we had a dish called Kari Buaq Kabar which is Pineapple Curry (Yum), we also had the traditional Labo La'al Senutung which is Pansuh Manok or Chicken cooked in Bamboo and Labo Senutuq which is Shredded Beef.  We also also ordered some Bario Red Rice, mashed and wrapped in a leaf.

We also had something I never tried before, Bario Highland Salt, which you can sprinkle over the Bario Red Rice.  I was surprised cause the Bario Highland Salt went very well with the rice.
Well, we took our time and enjoyed this wonderful meal and just when we thought that was the end of a great meal, we forgot that we had ordered some dessert as well.

This was just the perfect ending to a great meal, here we had some Tapioca and Rice Cakes.  Served with Gula Apong which is Palm Sugar.  Here's how you enjoy these delicious little cakes.

By the time we all finished this meal, we just could not walk out of the restaurant, we were THAT full, the food was that good.  Personally I will go back there again one day and have dinner there.  As we were about to leave, it starts to pour and we didn't have an umbrella with us.  The owner told us just sit down and just wait for the rain to stop, no need to rush off in the heavy rain.  Then she brought us these items to help us pass the time while waiting the rain to stop, a drink and some snacks.  Now remember we just finished a big meal and dessert and now they offer us some snacks and Tuak (which was very good)  What is Tuak?  It's Rice Wine.            

Well, we finished the drinks and snacks and the rain still didn't stop.  The owner then said that they had some umbrellas for us.  Wow, this restaurant had great service which is just really great.  It was a great experience having lunch there.  They treated their customers very well which is good.

If you're in Kuching City and you want to try some Authentic Kelabit Cuisine, then head over to Tribal Stove.  Have a look at their menu and try the food and the drinks as well.  It's good.  It's very good.  If you want to know more, just go to

Right now I'm going to try and walk off what I had for lunch today, thanks for dropping by for the Borneo Broadcast, drop by anytime, you're always welcome here, (urp) excuse me.  Take care.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

The 2015 Rainforest World Music Festival: The Early Bird Tickets

I've been talking about the Rainforest World Festival on my broadcast quite a bit, it is a unique festival that brings together on the same stage renowned world musicians from all continents and indigenous musicians from the interiors of the mythical island of Borneo.  It's an opportunity to experience the rich musical heritage from around the world and it happens in Borneo.

A unique festival that happens once a year, it takes place in a place called The Living Museum, that's The Sarawak Cultural Village.  The festival's formula of afternoon informative workshops, ethno-musical lectures, jamming sessions and mini concerts, drum circle followed by evening performances on the main stage has proven to be a hit with the audience, who come from near and far.
This year the Rainforest World Music Festival will take place from the 7th to the 9th of August 2015, so mark it down on your calendar, remember the dates, you don't want to miss this festival. 

I heard that the early bird tickets are still on sale.  Rainforest World Music Festival 2015 early bird tickets are on sale until May 31, 2015, so you have time to get them.  How?  Where?

Simple just go to /

While you're there, check out the bands performing for this year's festival, find out how you can enjoy this once in a lifetime experience at the Rainforest World Music Festival.

I'm going to be there, what about you?  If you'd like to know more about the festival, then drop by again as I'll have more details to share with you about the RWMF 2015.  Many thanks goes out to the Sarawak Tourism Board for the pictures and information.

Drop by again anytime for another Borneo Broadcast, until next time, take care,

Monday, 25 May 2015

The Beauty of the Mountain

Hi, have you ever had a day that was so long, you thought they'd be no end in sight?  I went through something like that today, days like that can just suck all the energy out of you.  My way of fighting that is by looking at some old pictures I took while on vacation, I wish I took better pictures and more pictures as well.  I still remember my trip to Sabah with fond memories, the drive to the Ranau area, going to the National Park and just enjoying the cool mountain air was just wonderful.

Before we left the resort, my family and I decided to take a little stroll around the compound of the resort, it was cool, breezy and it was such a lovely day.  We went to the observation deck located near the resort and this was the view.  Breathtaking isn't it?  Mount Kinabalu in all her glory. 

I just kept taking pictures, just aiming and capturing what I could.  Wish I was a better photographer.

Being this "close" to the mountain, sometimes you're lulled into this false sense of "yeah that looks like it's easy to climb"

Imagine what it'd be like living in this high up in the mountains.

Yeah I asked myself that question as I was looking out at this sight.  What would it be like living up here?  Well for one thing, you don't have to worry about the fresh air, that's for sure.

Overall, our short trip to Sabah was fun, a chance to feel the cool mountain air was something we wont soon forget and there was an added bonus (I forgot to take pictures of this mainly because I was too busy stuffing my face), the bonus was having fresh durians in such a cool relaxing atmosphere.  As we're were driving around, exploring, we came across a stall selling durians.  We jumped at the chance to enjoy the King Of Fruits.  If you're ever in Kota Kinabalu, up in the mountains, try some durians in the mountains.  If you're like me, a fan of durians, you'll love the experience.

Thanks for dropping by, thanks for reading, if you want, you can follow my blog.  Drop by anytime, you're always welcome here.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

The 2015 Rainforest World Music Festival: 1DRUM.ORG

Hi, welcome to The Borneo Broadcast.  It's been a while since my last post, I was involved with an event last night.  One which involved a lot of dignitaries so I had to concentrate a lot of time on planning for that event.  Now that it's all done, it's time to sit down in front of the ol' laptop once again.  Feels good to be back on the laptop again.

Here’s some more information about the Rainforest World Music Festival, scheduled for August 7th to the 9th 2015.  If you have not been to the festival,  the RWMF is listed under 10 Global Music Festivals to see on Your Gap Year Abroad and it’s been voted for 5 consecutive years as one of the 25 best International Festivals by Songlines magazine.

Now one of the new attractions introduced last year was the Drum Circle.  what is the Drum Circle, conducted by 1DRUM.ORG, the drum circle is a celebration  of rhythm and spontaneous percussions.  The Drum Circle is for everyone regardless of age, you are invited to participate in a unique musical experience.  The Drum Circle takes place after the workshops, in front of the main stage in the evening before the concerts would start.

If you don't have any drums or percussion instruments, don't worry, they will provide you with drums of all shapes and sizes, a myriad of drums await you at the Drum Circle each evening.  What they'll do is to guide on how to create the beats that will reverberate in the rainforest.  Who's they?  Well, that 1DRUM.ORG, they're the facilitators for the drum circle.

1Drum Circle is a great way to meet like-minded people and an opportunity to reconnect with your inner rhythm.

This is your stage. Lets sing & dance, drum & chant to celebrate life thru music. Bring along your music instruments, dancing shoes or your voice and join us. No drumming experience necessary!  The guys from 1DRUM.ORG will be there to help you out.  Drums will be provided for 100 pax per session.

For more information about the 1Drum Circle, The Rainforest World Music Festival, the performers, workshop and everything else, just click on this link right here

All the information and pics featured here are all courtesy of the Sarawak Tourism Board, the organisers of the Rainforest World Music Festival, thank you STB.

Thanks for dropping by for the Borneo Broadcast, remember now you're always welcome here, so drop by anytime.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

The 2015 Rainforest World Music Festival

Imagine this.  You're standing in a sea of people, you're listening to world music performed by musicians from around the world, as you listen you're transported to different locations, you experience the culture through the music, you're surrounded by the rainforest and you're having the time of your life. That's how I would describe this festival.

Hi and welcome to the Borneo Broadcast.

I'm talking about the Rainforest World Music Festival, we're just about 78 days away (today being May the 20th) Again the Sarawak Cultural Village will be home to a musicians and performers from around the world and also festival goers.

A look at the performers from last year's Rainforest World Music Festival.  The Rainforest World Music Festival, often abbreviated as RWMF, is an annual three-day music festival celebrating the diversity of world music, the festival held in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia, there are music workshops during the day time, cultural displays, craft displays, food stalls, and in the evening main-stage concerts. It is now one of the largest musical events in Malaysia.   The festival has awarded as the Top 25 Best International Festivals by Songlines Magazine.

The Festival is organized by The Sarawak Tourism Board and each year the festival brings something different for festival goers. Each year is distinct and unique due to the performers who take to the two stages to perform for festival goers. 

Last year, a number of new additions were introduced including a third stage to give festival goers a more intimate concert hall performance thus providing variety in terms for performance one can enjoy and experience at the RWMF.  The workshops at the festival are the heart and soul of the festival.  It's a chance to meet the musicians and learn from them firsthand their culture, music and traditions.  Also a chance to try out traditional dance steps and for 3 days to immerse yourself in world music.

This year promises to be yet another great festival.  As I mentioned before, if you have not been to Borneo, if you have not been to this one of a kind festival in the rainforest, then here's what you need to do, go to this site: click on that and find out about this festival.  Remember the festival is coming soon, in August.  August 7th to the 9th at the Sarawak Cultural Village.  

All the pictures I've featured here on the Borneo Broadcast this time is courtesy of the Sarawak Tourism Board.  Thank you STB.

I'm definitely going to be there, what about you?  I'm going to keep you updated on the festival right here on the Borneo Broadcast, so drop by anytime for updates.

The Borneo Broadcast will be back soon, remember drop by anytime, you're always welcome here.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

The Land Below The Winds, Sabah

Hi, Thanks for dropping by for another Borneo Broadcast.  Last year I took a trip to Sabah, the other Malaysian state on the island of Borneo, apart from Island hopping, the beautiful beaches and the seafood, the other attraction in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah is Mount Kinabalu and the Kinabalu National park.  Kinabalu Park or Taman Kinabalu in Malay is one of the first national parks established in Malaysia, if memory serves, the park was established in 1964.  by the way in December2000, the park became Malaysia's First Unesco World Heritage Site.

We decided to drive to Kinabalu Park which is situated on the Crocker Range on the western coast of Sabah. It is located within the district of Ranau, within the West Coast Division. The park is not to be confused with Crocker Range National Park which is a separate park in the south.
Well, here we are near the Park's entrance.  There were quite a few visitors there when we arrived and I must admit I wasn't prepared for how cold it was that day.  Even after spending a night in the area, It felt really cold that day, brrrrrrrrr.

This park is administered by an organisation called Sabah Parks. Accommodations in the form of chalets can be found in the park, mostly around the headquarters. Reservations for accommodation and mountain climbing guides are processed through Sutera Sanctuary Lodges (also known as Sutera Harbour), a private company. Every person who wishes to climb the mountain must be accompanied by a qualified guide. Sutera is now requiring hikers stay one night at their lodge near the entrance, in addition to a required stay at Laban Rata. The cost to stay is considerably higher than at lodging just outside the park, and includes a mandatory purchase of meals, etc.  The mountain summit trail begins at Timpohon. There is also an alternative route called the Mesilau Trail.

I'm looking brave here but I'm actually really cold.  This is the starting point for anyone who wants to climb Mount Kinabalu.  We went up on the observation deck as we saw one climber and his guide set off to climb the mountain.
The cold morning mist that enveloped the park and the mountain as we looked out at the Kinabalu national park on that cold morning.
A few of my adventurous friends have climbed to summit of Mount Kinabalu, they say it's a sight to behold, to see the sun rise, some of them have dared me to try it, I know my "fitness" level and I haven't accepted their challenge....yet.  maybe One day.  maybe.

As we bid a fond farewell to Pondok Timpohon and the park, we find out that the park is
also home to a multitude of endemic animal species, including the Kinabalu Giant Red Leech and Kinabalu Giant Earthworm. The park also plays host to a variety of birds, insects, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles.
Mount Kinabalu is one of the youngest non-volcanic mountains in the world. It was formed within the last 10 to 35 million years. The mountain still grows at a rate of 5 millimetres a year.  Fascinating.

Thanks for dropping by for another Borneo Broadcast.  Until next time, take care and remember you're always welcome here at the Borneo Broadcast!