Bakelalan (formerly Ba’Kelalan) is the most important of the Lun Bawang settlements in the northern highlands. The village is famous for its apples and organic vegetables, and for the local musicians and their ‘bamboo bands’. The village is connected to Lawas and Miri by air, and it is also possible to travel to Lawas via an old logging road.
While in Bakelalan, you can:
- Experience the life style of the Lun Bawang community with Homestay program.
- Take a 45 minutes jungle trekking to Long Kumap Salt Spring, and experience the cold and clean water in the stream along the way.
- Explore Bakelalan surroundings by visiting the rice fields, apple farms & the organic research farm.
Ba’kelalan Salt Factory
About 1000 meters above sea level is the village of Ba’kelalan, located deep in the Kelabit Highlands of north eastern Sarawak Borneo. A total of nine villages are found spread out in the Maligan Highlands which is home to the ethnic Lun Bawang people here.
One of the main natural homegrown industries here is also the highland salt, otherwise known as Ba’kelalan salt which is produced here. The history of the Ba’kelalan salt goes back hundreds of years ago when hunters noticed animals drinking water from a salt spring.
The Buduk Bui salt factory in Ba’kelalan
How the Ba’kelalan salt is processed by boiling the spring water
The salt has become one of the community produce where around 20 families from here take turns to process and produce it by boiling spring water to extract the salt. When you visit here, you will see a huge community participating in doing this too.
The local Lun Bawang community that produces the Ba’kelalan salt
Lun Bawang community members showing the processed salt
There are three salt processing spots in Ba’kelalan and the most popular one would be Buduk Bui, where visitors are brought here to experience the salt production. Special Lun Bawang food can also be arranged to be eaten here during your trip.
After experience the Ba’kelalan salt production, you can then buy the processed salt which is noted as one of the best natural salts around the region as it is rich in iodine. For anyone who is visiting here, make sure you ask about the salt factory visit as it is very interesting.
Getting ThereYou have two options:
- By flight from Miri or Lawas via MASWings Twin Otter.
- By Land (4Wheel drive) from Lawas town via an old logging road.