Location : Radau Longhouse, Ulu Undop, Sri Aman Division, Sarawak, Malaysia.
To celebrate Merdeka Day (Independence) we organised a 2D1N trip to Radau longhouse upon the request of a group of photographers called ‘Happy Shooter Family’ and tagging along also were 5 of Sarawak Energy staff. The 5 hour journey to Ulu Undop near Batu Lintang, Sri Aman started at 8am from Kota Sentosa with a brief toilet break at Serian town and brunch/shopping at Lachau Bazaar. The gravel road to Radau was hilly and offered a good time for the Shooter Family with many breaks for scenery shooting. We finally arrived at 1pm. This was the first time that Tuai Rumah Mr Sigan ever hosted guests from outside. I was a little surprised by how serious they took it when they performed a ‘miring’ with a chicken sacrifice ceremony before all visitors could enter the ruai or corridor of the longhouse, with male and female dancers leading the way accompanied by mobile gong musicians. Of course, the compulsory rice wine tuak was served and it was fun to see non drinkers blushing not from shyness but from the notorious kicks of this lethal stuff.
The heat generated was most timely as after the brief local snacks and coffee we wasted no time to test that chilly waterfall with the awesome long slide. Radau villagers must seriously clear the waterfall off the recently fallen tree and the pool off its sunken debris.
Shortly after coming back from the waterfall was the staged ‘manok sabong’ without the metal spurs of course. Cock fighting is a very strong tradition among the Ibans and the photographers were given a 30 minute sparring session involving about 10 gamefowls.
The highlight of the evening after dinner was the ‘ranyai’ event which is the Iban style of fund raising. Every visitor was required to perform the ngajat dance around a tree set up in the middle of the ruai and picked a gift out of the 50 odd pieces hung on this tree by cutting with a parang, accompanied by live gong music. To the newbies of ngajat dance their performances were more comical than entertaining. Anyway, the fun took up a good 3 hours before we decided to call it a day. Some photographers chose to continue shooting out in the dark of the milky way.
The second day program after the breakfast was the drive to 3 other longhouses further in. They were Paku, Sebujok and Sebangkoi. The visit lasted 3 hours before we made it back to Radau for the lunch. After which was sayonara time.
It maybe goodbye for the Happy Shooter Family and the Sarawak Energy groups but for Bombastic Borneo we have to be back sooner to help the villagers further work on this new tourism product so as to enhance the packaging for foreign tourists. We will be back for the legendary Tiang Laju mountain close by Radau and also Sungei Potong to confirm its viability as a picnic spot for lunch by the river. We are very sure that the next time you come to Radau it will be much more fun and exciting.
Also please check out our Gawai at Radau here
To see more photos, please click our FACEBOOK PAGE