Thursday, August 27, 2009

To the Kelabit Highlands

Am making myself a little bit busy by reading up on Bario, where I will head to this November.

Pic Credit : gavngailstrail

Finally I will get to be on another highland in Malaysia apart from our own Kundasang (somehow I feel that Cameron, Genting and Fraser's Hill are not quite the same). Descriptions that I've read so far of Bario are all very positive; not even one site or blog has anything bad to say about their experiences there.

Imagine : in this modern day and age, Bario is not served by any road. You have options of course : if you have the time, stamina and endurance, it will take you two months (!) on foot from Miri. I am not sure whether anyone would do that. A river journey from Marudi will take you a few weeks.

The most popular must be via MASWings from Miri, a 50 minute flight on a Twin Otter that only fits 15-16 passengers. There are 2 flights a day to Bario.

I chose to fly, no surprise there. The air ticket is relatively pricey, on top of the BKI-MYY sector I've booked on Air Asia. This will be my first Twin Otter experience, having tried the other small MASWings plane before (an ATR? I don't know my aircraft) for the flight to Mulu.

Hey, this is Idris Jala's kampung, did you know that? I also read that Bario also produced many other brilliant sons, despite not having a school there until 1945. Now, I am very very sure that has got to do with the quality of life in the highlands. After my trip I'll make sure I write to Mr Jala.

Care to join me for a Kelabit adventure, in the land of Bario rice?


  1. They used the plane with the turbo propeller for the mulu flight. BTW, i myself have planned to go to Bario in Oct Auds!

  2. Hi Debs

    Cool..Let me know how you find the place ..ya? And if the trekking is do-able.
    I've tentatively booked to stay with Stephen and Tine's Homestay.

  3. Hi Audz,..what a coincidence, i have also tentatively booked to stay at Jungle Blues Dream but i have also enquired at Bariew Lodge and De' Plateau. Hmmm..i might homestay-hop on two during my stay to get a different experience. Will be in Bario for 5 days, so might do long-distance trekking while i'm there. I have to see what i can afford because the guide fee is not that cheap if trekking alone.