Friday, February 15, 2013

Backpacking family explore the jungles of Borneo


WE are officially a third of the way through our trip now and I feel we are no longer novice backpackers.

Our rucksacks have been stripped of non-essential items and these have been returned home by sea freight and we feel tuned into our way of life.

Both the children continue to surprise us with their ability to cope with the constant movements to each new destination.

With mainland Malaysia behind us we took a short flight to Sarawak in Borneo.

For us, getting to Borneo has been a dream for years but we never expected to visit the jungle-covered island with children.

Borneo is home to the orangutans and we were lucky enough to see some in their natural environment.

We decided we would visit an authentic Iban longhouse set deep in the Sarawak jungle.

The huts house up to 50 families all under one roof and are governed by a chief tribesman.

Iban tribes have a long history of conflict with other tribes who threaten their territory and are notorious for decapitating their captors, hence why they are known as the Iban headhunters.

We hired a local guide and his taxi to take us to the Ngemah ili longhouse, situated six hours into the jungle and one hour by river boat.

Upon arrival we were greeted by an old lady banging a metal drum, which is a traditional for new guests to warn off unwanted spirits.

With only a few toys to play with from our packs the young inhabitants were kind enough to share their toys with Layla and Finley, which was wonderful to watch.

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