THE HIGHLANDS IN THE HEART OF BORNEO, FOREST, RICE PADDIES, ARCHAEOLOGY, CULTURE, AND TRADITIONAL CUISINE AT THE BORDER WITH SARAWAK AND SABAH
The Highlands of Krayan and Krayan Selatan are located in the “Heart of Borneo”, along the northern part of the western border of Indonesia with Sarawak (Malaysia) on the island of Borneo.In the Krayan Highlands, gentle slopes covered with dense forest and wide valleys interlaced with traditional rice paddies, garden and fruit groves, create a unique and pleasant landscape. The cool weather in the highlands is also a nice break from the hot and humid climate of the lowlands of Borneo.
Spending a few days in the Highlands (900-1,000m) is an opportunity to live the life of the locals. Whether working in the rice fields with the host family, exploring the spring where local people have traditionally produced “mountain salt” or learning the art of handicraft-making with local women, visitors will be able to get a true a glimpse into a different, natural world. The Krayan and surrounding highland areas in Sarawak and Sabah in the Heart of Borneo is the homeland of the Lundayeh/Lun Bawang/Kelabit peoples. This is also where the famous adan rice (white, black, and red varieties) originates from and is cultivated in traditional and organic ways until now.
Traditional cuisine and handicrafts
In the Krayan Highlands, visitors can enjoy and savor the local cuisine and some special forest dishes. And if you want a real local, traditional food feast, it can be arranged in Lembudud and Terang Baru. (Contact the local Ecotourism Committee). In Long Bawan, Lembudud, Long Umung, Long Api, and Pa’ Padi fine handicrafts produced by local women artisans are on sale (sunhats, baskets, mats, etc).
Salt making ( “Mountain Salt” )
In the Krayan Highlands, there are several active salt production sites near Long Bawan: Long Midang and Pa’ Kebuan. The locations can be reached by motorcycle from Long Bawan. Local communities for centuries have produced and traded local salt to other regions in the interior of Borneo. The salt is produced by boiling the water from wells or from salt leaks on forested slopes.
The heath forest of the Highlands
Around Long Bawan, Lembudud, and Terang Baru, local guides can organize easy walks and take visitors to discover the hidden treasures of the remnant patches of heath forest, a typical ecosystem of the Highlands of Krayan: the famous black orchid, several varieties of colorful rhododendron, pitcher plants, agathis trees, and much more.