Penan Tribe Sarawak Cultural Village

Sarawak Cultural Village Penan People
The Penan tribe is one of the unique cultures as these nomadic people are found mostly in the northern parts of Sarawak, namely near Miri, Baram and Limbang.

Here at the Cultural Village, they have an actual Penan hut displaying the lifestyle of the Penans, who are genuinely a soft spoken and gentle tribe who live from day to day.

Sarawak Cultural Village Penan Tribe  

The Penan hut in the Sarawak Cultural Village shows how basic and simple these nomadic homes can be.

As these forest nomads live deep in the virgin jungles of Sarawak, they usually move in small groups living in an area until the resources are fully used up before moving on to another location. 

According to statistics, there are still about two to three thousand Penans still living in the rainforest of Sarawak.

Sarawak Cultural Village Penan HutWhat a normal Penan hut looks like.

The Penan huts are made from palm leaves and tree barks which lasts only for a few months and are usually situated near wild sago trees as it is the tribes staple food.

The Penans also support themselves by hunting, collecting jungle produce like herbs, gathering wild fruits, and barter trading. Besides this, they are also well known for making good quality blowpipes.

A blowpipe is usually made from the hardwood Jagang tree and is usually made to a length of 8 feet via a tedious process. The poison for the darts is made from the Upas tree.

While the Penan men hunt and gather, the Penan women would make baskets and mats to be bartered for basic needs. 

Some of the weaved baskets and mats are being sold in local handicraft shops, so if you plan to buy, ask which tribe made the items.

Sarawak Cultural Village Orang Penan
Local Penan

While at the Sarawak Cultural Village, I had a chance to speak to some of the locals at the Penan Hut. There were two Penan men there dressed in ethnic attire who showed us how a blowpipe was made, and I was also given a chance to test out the blowpipe with non-poisonous darts. 

A fruit was placed about 10 feet away, and I simply had to blow the dart to hit the fruit. No easy task, but the dart did find its target after about 5 attempts.

The tribe men there are pretty friendly and spoke good English explaining the nomadic life of the Penan people. You can ask them questions as they are ever willing to answer you. Do not let their looks scare you as they are nice people.

These days, 95% of the Penan people have moved on from the nomadic life and live in government-provided longhouses.

If you want to see an actual Penan village, you can try visiting them at Mulu if you make a trip to the world-famous Mulu Caves in northern Sarawak.

A few Penan villages are available there, and one of them I visited was the Long Iman Penan Village.

Penan Rumah House
Rumah Penan (In Malay)

If it is too much trouble, you can just visit the Sarawak Cultural Village in Kuching as it is much easier to see the entire Sarawak in one village, all in a day.

Getting to the Sarawak Cultural Village only takes about 40 minutes from Kuching town via car or van, and you can self drive there too. But most tour operators would have this package in town.

If you are staying at any of the hotels around Santubong, it is only 5-10 minutes. For more information, you can visit the website of the Sarawak Cultural Village.

You can also read about my other articles on each of the ethnic tribes around Sarawak, namely the Iban Tribe, Bidayuh People, Melanau Tribe and the Orang Ulu people.

Sarawak Cultural Village Entrance Fee
  • RM 54.00 (Adult)
  • RM 27.00 (Child, 6-12 years old)
  • Free for Children aged under 6.
  • Tickets can be purchased at the entrance of Sarawak Cultural Village.
  • You can also get tickets from the authorized local travel agents around Sarawak.
  • They also offer special lunch package tickets on the website.
Opening hours are:
0900 am - 1700 pm daily

They are two Cultural Shows per day:
1130 - 1215
1600 - 1645

Sarawak Cultural Village Address;
Pantai Damai, Santubong,
P.O.Box 2632, 93752 Kuching,
Sarawak, Malaysia.
Telephone: (6082) 846 411
Fax: (6082) 846 988
Email: enquiry@scv.com.my

Conclusion

If you visit Kuching city in Sarawak, this place is one of the must-visit places as it is located not too far from town. You can easily spend a minimum half-day or even a full day here.

Most importantly, you will get to know Borneo's various tribes and people, where one of the unique tribes can be found here at the Sarawak Cultural Village.
Malaysia Asia

Blogging since 2007, but writing online since 1997. I belong to the 1st generation of worldwide bloggers, which is of course old-school. Since 2008, I created Malaysia Asia and this travel, flood, gadget and lifestyle blog has won numerous physical awards from tourism boards around Malaysia. (Not those online awards). After 12 years of blogging, I have semi-retired and now blog about things I like, do product reviews and enjoy life. My work has been featured in Lonely Planet, CNN Travel, Yahoo Travel, Wall Street Journal, and many other international publications. Find out more about me and thank you.

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