Monday, April 04, 2016

Pam Usher - Back to Kota Kinabalu and Mari Mari Cultural Village

After being in Weston and Beaufort, we returned to Kota Kinabalu. There was a very impressive mosque on the outskirts of KK, so we stopped the have a look at it.

Our guide AJ is a Muslim and he spoke about the annual Ramadan which he participated in. This means that if he is taking a group of tourists up Mt Kinabalu, he does not break his 29 or 30 day fast. He talked about the strength mentally to maintain the fast.

After booking into our hotel, we had an easy day, doing some shopping. When we got back to our hotel, a few of our travel companions had settled in with a few cold beers. We joined them for a couple before 4 of us, with our guide EJ, drove 40 minutes to the Mari Mari Cultural village.

This is about 3 acres of land set up to display 5 local Sabah tribal houses to show how they used to live in years gone by. We had a local guide to take us around.

At each hut there was a person dressed in traditional clothes, who cooked or prepared something for us that was special to their culture. This varied from honey wine, rice wine, bamboo stick cooking (where chopped chicken, bay leaves, garlic, onion and rice was stuffed inside the bamboo which was placed in coals to cook), all of which we tried.

In one of the longhouses, a traditionally clad man was applying henna to tourists. Before I knew it, I had a design on one of my arms.

We came to a high fence and gate and Tom was our Chief for the night. He was stopped by the resident Chief and they greeted each other with loud shouts and a hand on each other’s shoulder. We were let through after this traditional welcome.

It was then that we sat and watched some traditional percussion music and dance. One of the dances was with bamboo poles being clapped together while dancers moved their feet in amongst the bamboo, ensuring they did not get ‘caught’ by the bamboos coming together. They then invited some of the tourists to join in...which I did successfully. We all had a good laugh.