Location : Po Ai Longhouse, Sri Aman, Sarawak, Malaysia.
There are 2 longhouses here, Enggat which is modern and beautifully painted with tribal motifs and the ‘semi-modern’ Rumah Wilson. Rumah Enggat was our first stop and was very impressed with the efforts of the residents in giving their longhouse that tribal touch. Not many Iban longhouses nowadays bother with that unique identity that separates themselves from other Dayak communities. Great effort. This was also where we met Mr Kiching the deputy headman who showed us around and introduced us to the next longhouse and its headman Mr Wilson Bana.
Po Ai Enggat
In contrast to Rumah Enggat, Rumah Wison is a pretty established touristic longhouse. So no surprised when we told once again not to take photos by one of the ladies here. Same issue same experience, with all the commercialised longhouses. However, it does have the price chart but not at the entrance. What’s unique about this longhouse is that it has a traditional ruai or corridor (made from belian poles/planks) but when we were invited by Mr Wilson himself, a retired policeman, to enter his room, we were amazed to see all the comforts of any modern house in the city. A very clever blend of modern and tradition. He encouraged us to go down to the ground floor which housed a kitchen and rooms for his homestay business. BTW, his longhouse is one of the lucky few to receive government grants.
I am sure we will be back for more adventure here in Po Ai as we learned from Kiching that there is a large cave close by and just over the Klingkang range on the Indonesian side there are also beautiful waterfalls.
Please note that the road sign of Po Ai on the main road has gone missing. We had to ask our way in.
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