Friday, March 2, 2018

Friday, Mar 2nd, Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia


Forty thousand years ago, another group of explorers arrived in an area just south of Mirs (we go there tomorrow).  The Chinese followed 38,500 years later, and the Portuguese about 500 years later.  All were looking for resources, and they found plenty.

In 1839, a British explorer (James Brooke) arrived in Sarawak.  He and his descendants governed the territory (as White Rajahs) until 1946, when it became a British Crown Colony.  In 1963, Britain granted it self-government, and it became one of the founding members of the Federation of Malaysia.  Next door neighbor Indonesia opposed the Federation, and the confrontation between the two nations lasted until 1990.

The state is ethnically diverse, with Iban, Chinese, Malay, Melanau, Bidayuh, and Orang Ulu.  It exports oil, gas, timber, and palm oil, and there are plenty of hornbills, the Rhinoceros Hornbill being the state bird.  We've seen all ethnicities, seas of palm oil trees, but no wild hornbills yet.

Today, we drove out to the village of Annah Rais, a Bidayuh ethnic community about eight miles from the Indonesian border.  on the way, we stopped to see some pepper gardens, which followed a talk on pepper production yesterday at the Sarawak Cultural Center.

We toured the Annah Rais community observing all aspects of how 80 families (1,000+ people) continue to exist on the western slopes of Sarawak province.

After they served us lunch (and home-made rice wine), and hosted a music and dance performance, we took a 90-minute hike through a very difficult jungle trail.  Billed as a 15-minute nature hike, it included long stretches balancing on bamboo over muddy rice paddies, up and down slippery hillside bamboo steps, and across old river bridges of bamboo barely held together.

Tonight is the 15th day of Chinese New Year (Their Valentine's Day), and we walked into Chinatown for dinner after checking out the Golden Bridge across the Kuchn River.

To see all of the photos taken today, Click on Friday, Mar 2nd, Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia.

No comments: