Usually, the best way to experience culture is to dive right in with the locals. Tours and museums and that sort of stuff don’t always give you the depth that people carry within their souls.
However, I have been proven wrong. Once. By the Sarawak Cultural Village (just outside Kuching).
I have read reviews of the Cultural Village, and not all of them are glowing. But let’s be honest – you will receive out of it exactly what you are willing to put in. Absolutely.
If you turn up, expecting all the staff to simply tell you what is going on and to perform like dancing monkeys for you, then you will receive a shallow experience in return.
But if you are willing to talk, to ask, to participate, and to explore – it really is an amazing reveal on the melting pot of Borneo.
To reach Sarawak Cultural Village, it is a bit of a drive out there (45mins), but it is a nice drive with plenty of scenery. There are a plethora of shuttle buses travelling from Kuching to Damai (the area for the Village), as well as a couple of local buses.
You can probably even catch a ride with your hosts (Annie at Fairview told me afterwards she would have been happy to drive us out there – I didn’t even think to ask).
We opted for a shuttle bus (Kuching-Damai) from the Grand Margherita, as it gave us the opportunity to pick up some local breakfast and food supplies for the kids. Prices were around RM20 for adults, and RM10 for kids (return).
However, after agreeing to our return time, I later found out that we could have returned to Kuching much later (around 7.30pm) which would have allowed for a walk around the beaches, resorts and other scenic points in the area. If you have the time, do that. It looked beautiful.
Travelling with 2 young kids (5yo and 2yo), you really need to think about exactly what your kids can enjoy with you. This place was great. You pretty much wander around at your own pace, learning about the various tribes and cultures found throughout Borneo.
From my understanding, they are all contracted to the Cultural Village for a period of time, to share their knowledge and experience, before returning home to exchange the knowledge or moving on in the world to grow and learn more themselves.
Continue reading (Incl. Pics) at: Sarawak Cultural Village