Location : Kampung Long Langai, Ba’kelalan, Limbang Division, Sarawak, Malaysia.

Ba’kelalan is a group of nine villages at Maligan Highlands of Limbang Division, Sarawak about 3,000 feet (910 m) above sea level and 4 km from the border with Indonesian Kalimantan and 150 km from the nearest town of Lawas. The villages are Buduk Nur, Long Langai, Long Lemumut, Long Ritan, Long Rusu, Pa Tawing, Buduk Bui, Buduk Aru and Long Rangat.  The villagers here belong to the Lun Bawang tribe.  The name Ba’Kelalan is derived from the Kelalan River and Ba’ which means wet lands in the Lun Bawang language. (Wiki)

Bakelalan is basically a rice planting community with the traditional usage of buffaloes to till the land.  There was hardly any activity in the fields as the planting season had yet to begin. The seedlings were all standing by in the nurseries waiting to be transferred anytime soon to the open fields and make Bakelalan green again for yet another season.

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All the paddy fields were barren, waiting for the planting season to begin anytime soon.

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Seedlings waiting at the nursery
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All fields are fenced up to prevent the wandering buffaloes damaging crops

By the way, folks here only do one cropping a year. After harvesting, the fields lay idle for the buffaloes to graze and the manure produced becomes fertilizer.

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The buffaloes here are mostly free ranch

Snails are both friend and foe to the farmers here. They nibble away the young paddy shoots but end up on the dining table as food to the farmers.

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Snails fried with soy sauce and lemongrass. With just a toothpick Mrs Matius demoed how to eat snails

While clearing the fields, Mrs Matius collected a bagful of these snails for dinner. Never got ourselves to try it though.

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Matius and wife preparing the field for a new experimental way of planting paddy

Cooking for vegetarians like us for the first time in her life must have been challenging but whatever she came up with in the kitchen everything was fine.  Having free ranch duck eggs for breakfast was something new to us. Nice change.

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Had an overdose of duck eggs in Bakelalan

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Sour appetizer love it

 

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Seedless rambutans
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Apple farms have made way for strawberries in Bakelalan
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Spacious kitchen

Bakelalan purple rice was awesome. Had so much that we felt bloated the whole time we stayed there. The cool weather here somehow made the appetite good. Most days were cloudy if not drizzling. Showers were very challenging without the heater but Thank God Matius had one installed in one of the shower rooms.

Tour around Long Langai

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Aerial view of Long Langai village

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Bamboo bridges here are not built the same way like the Bidayuh’s
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Raising her own poultry
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Walking the kids to school
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School

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Flowers grow very well in the highlands

Phone signals were very weak and almost impossible most of the time. To help pass the time we toured the nearby school and walked to Buduk Nur near to the runway.

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At Buduk Nur village

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Map to Mt Murud or Prayer Mountain

I imagined the view of the fields would be spectacular before the harvest season. Maybe another trip by road for a change. Next…..Walking to Asang Langai Homestay

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