Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Purr-fect Family Trip! (Part III)

Note: This 3-part blog entry was part of AirAsia Bloggers Programme and is also
Digital Exclusive on AirAsia's very own in-flight and online magazine, Travel 3Sixty

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How can we make a trip to Kuching without visiting the home 
of the Rainforest World Music Festival!

Sarawak Cultural Village is about 45-min drive from Kuching. The mesmerising view 
of Mount Santubong as we ride on the bumpy ride exudes a sense of myth and mystery with clouds hovering above it. There are many tales revolving the place, one being about the famous Puteri Santubong where the mount got its name.

It costs RM60 per visitor to enter the Cultural Village. Not exactly ‘shoestring’ material 
but after that entire savings, we decided to splurge on this. 

 But here are few tips if you still want to save a bit! 

 We did our research earlier to see where we can save up and my sister being a university student can enjoy a student rate of just RM15. That’s like 75% off the full price! Also, try to get a local to help you purchase the tickets because they too have cheaper local rates! Alternatively, there are tour agencies back in Kuching selling tickets at a discounted price of RM45. Finally, during special events like Harvest Festival and Hari Raya, the entrance fee is only RM10! So, it’s all about planning and timing your trip wisely.

There are a total seven ‘rumah’ or longhouses in the Cultural Village, each representing the different tribes and ethnic groups in Sarawak. From the very modest Penan Hut with only bare necessities to the tall and grand Melanau Tall House that is big enough for a few families, every house showcases its distinctive characteristic of each tribe. 

 These longhouses are not just empty display houses. There are actual people working and demonstrating the daily activities of each tribe. There are also Makciks (elderly ladies) frying local delicacies in these houses which you can buy and savour on the spot.

At the end of the visit, we made our way to the performance hall where a cultural show awaits us. There are two show sessions per day, 11:30am and 4:00pm. The show, like any Malaysian parade, was filled with vibrant colours, costumes and smiles. 

 At one point of the show, two warriors with blow darts easily burst some balloons at the far end of the hall. They then invited a lady audience to give it a try. She tried and tried, alas, did not have the ‘lung power’ to blow the darts that far. No words are needed in such a cultural exchange. In the end, she was ushered right up to the balloon and asked to blow again. Naturally, she popped the balloon and the crowd cheered!

It was certainly a great experience. One that we didn’t regret spending that extra bit of money on. Of course, for adventurous travellers there is always the option of experiencing real live-in longhouses in Sarawak. There are not many left these days and I most certainly don’t mind coming back and exploring them with friends in the future. But for now, I’m having a good time with the family here at the Cultural Village. 

 Oh, and there’s of course one last thing to do 
in our shoestring family trip to Kuching!

How can we go home without a picture with the cats! 

 Indeed, there’s so much more of Kuching to explore with my family and low fares 
at made my family holiday a reality! =P

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