The Lemanak River is where travellers come for an authentic experience with the Iban tribe. A trip down this beautiful river usually involves a stay in a traditional longhouse with the tribespeople, indulging in their local traditions, cultures and more.
To get to the river, you’ll have to travel through the Malaysian countryside. Wind your way through the thick green jungle, rice paddies and plantations and see what you can discover. Stop at the Serian farmers’ market; it has a fantastic range of local produce grown right by the river.
Float down the Lemanak and take in all you can of the wonderful scenery. Along the way you’ll see longhouses nestled between the trees. Stop off at one and meet the local Iban tribespeople. Watch them catch your dinner in animal traps then cook it in the traditional style. These dishes are full of flavour; add a glass of ‘tuak’ (rice wine) and you’ll get the full culinary experience.
Dance with the Iban in their evening celebrations and enjoy their local music and games. You must be ready to get involved, otherwise you’ll miss out on the fun. Go for a walk through the forests with the locals. They’ll teach you how they use plants in their everyday life. You might even see a few carnivorous pitcher plants.
Take the time to visit the Iban’s burial ground. It might sound a little morbid, but it’s actually a wonderful celebration of the tribe’s culture and heritage. If you’re lucky, your hosts will take you to spot the local wildlife. All sorts of creatures come out at night, and you might see a dolphin or two during the day – it’s pretty magical.
The Lemanak River really isn’t far from Kuching, but it’s incredibly different from the big city. A trip here will give you a real insight into traditional Malaysian culture, and it’s a great way to find out more about the Iban tribe. After this, you’ll spot their influence throughout the country.
Plan your trip to the Lemanak River today.