A Singaporean tourist stepped on the scale to have his body weight verified by the counter officer as he checked in for a Twin Otter flight, operated by Sarawak’s Rural Air Service, to the Bario Highlands.
His fellow Singaporeans and Kuala Lumpur friends travelling with him, were amused they had to weigh in for their first-ever flight aboard the 19-seater light aircraft to the highlands for the Bario Food and Cultural Festival 2017 (Pesta Nukenen) from July 27-29.
Apparently, they did not expect this, at least not at Miri Airport which is classified as an international airport. But it was all taken in good spirits and their trip to the Bario Highlands turned out to be an enjoyable and memorable one.
On an ordinary day, Bario could have over 50 visitors flying in on the three daily flights. But for the Pesta Nukenen, it is quite usual to have a few more chartered flights besides the normal three.
The group from Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, who booked their fight last September, were only told the opening ceremony of the Bario Food and Cultural Festival would always be on the last Thursday of July – in this instance, the same day of their arrival in Bario. So, they could hope there would be sufficient culinary delights to sample on the second and third days.
Accompanying the group was a much-travelled Canadian from Toronto. She told thesundaypost she had been googling for more information on the festival since knowing about it last year. She was excited about visiting the highlands and experiencing life in the Land of a Thousand Handshakes.
The Twin Otter made a smooth landing and one of the travellers was even eager to get her bags by herself from the belly of the small plane but the luggage man at the spot saved her the trouble.
Bario is a STOLport— an airport designed with STOL (short take-off and landing) operations in mind, usually for aircraft of a specific weight and size class.
According to a local, if Bario airport were to have a longer runway, it would have to move somewhere else because there is a river at the end of the runway.
“We may have to wait many years before bigger planes can land here,” he lamented.
Continue reading (Incl. Pics) at: Bario – a Highlands experience.