Located deep in the heart of Borneo, Ba’Kelalan Highland, Bario (Sarawak) is an interesting place to see the unique culture of the local people, predominantly the Kelabit and Lun Bawang group. The annual Ba’Kelalan Culture and Apple Picking Festival highlights Ba’Kelalan’s attractions, the richness in its cultural heritage and Malaysia’s only home grown apple, called the Ba’Kelalan Apple. A journey to Ba’Kelalan requires visitors to take one-hour flight from Miri, Sarawak on Maswings. Read more about the festival:
|The Lun Bawang people
LAWAS: The annual Ba’Kelalan Culture and Apple Picking Festival scheduled for April 4 to 7 2012 promises to be grander than last year’s.Borneo Jungle Safari (BJS) operations manager Rona Sultan said that this year, for the first time, licensed homestay owners in the Ba’Kelalan highlands will take part and promote their homestay facility.
“We will have also cultural performances and a tourism awareness course for those interested to venture into the tourism industry,” she told Bernama here
This year, the festival has garnered a lot of interest from local tourists, including from neighbouring Sabah, and tourists from Brunei are making last-minute enquiries to attend the festival.
“Those interested to attend the festival can opt to drive as the condition of the road to Ba’Kelalan has improved tremendously,” she said, adding that it would take about three hours to reach Ba’Kelalan by road.
Besides feasting on locally grown apples, visitors would also get to enjoy the scenic beauty of Ba’Kelalan, which offers various eco-tourism products due to its location, which is near the Indonesian border and the Kayan Mentarang National Park in Kalimantan.
The festival was first held in 2007. The event is jointly organised by the Ba’Kelalan folk, BJS, Tourism Ministry, Tourism Malaysia and Sarawak Tourism Board (STB).
Pix: Albert Teo