Rumah Nyuka Longhouse
A LONGHOUSE MADE ENTIRELY OUT OF ‘BELIAN’ WOOD.
This the first thing that strikes a visitor upon entering the longhouse is how well standing the place is. Rumah Nyuka longhouse was built in 1955 and the durability of the wood species (belian aka tropical ironwood) certainly reflects its reputation.
Another is the tinsel-like atmosphere inside it. Tinseltown? Tinselhouse? 🙂 Anyway, there is a certain ‘green’ message to this effort though. You see, all plastic stuff brought into the area are recycled and turned into permanent decorative stringers. Gives one the impression that it is Christmas throughout the year, doesn’t it?
It is located at Lubuk Lemba, Ulu Sarikei and 17 KM from Bayong junction (Betong/Sarikei highway). The nearest major town is Sibu, about 85-km away. Rumah Nyuka longhouse can be reached by land and on a good road condition at that. For a change, travelling for a longhouse experience does not involve river travel. The scenic roller-coaster ride along the crest of the hills can be a fun experience.
There are 300 people from 45 families in this longhouse. Most of them reside in another row of longhouse behind the house proper thus giving visitors a space for themselves. It is the first homestay program operator approved by Ministry of Tourism Malaysia in the Sarikei Division.
The place can get quite chilly in the early morning, since it is located in a hilly region of the Sarikei Division. Another layer of long-sleeve shirt should give enough protection. But if you wish to challenge yourself, an early morning bath in the river should do wonders for your skin.
Sungai (river) Ulu Sarikei that flows right past the front of Rumah Nyuka longhouse. The caveat here is that the river may not be that clear after a continuous down pour. Nature’s way of ridding excesses?
But there’s more to Rumah Nyuka longhouse than the physical structure itself. How about being a rubber tapper for a morning? Wake up at 5am, tap, collect and then process them into sheets for drying. For fruit lovers, the best time to visit is November to December. Go ‘dabai’ collecting; a fruit popularly known as local olives. Or combine trekking with swimming at the two waterfalls in the vicinity.
You can take private transport (car/van) from Sarikei town to this longhouse and the charge is not more than RM10 per person / one way. They journey will take approximately 40 minutes. Sarikei is the transit point for the sea-going passenger boat plying Kuching - Sibu on a daily basis.