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Sarawak Cultural Village Penan Tribe

Sarawak Cultural Village - The Penan tribe is one of the unique cultures as the 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 tribewho live from day to day.

The Penan hut in the Sarawak Cultural Village shows how basic 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 they move 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 hut

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 also barter trading. Besides this, they are also well know 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 are 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 on buying, do ask which tribe made the items.

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 it's target after about 5 attempts.

The tribe men there are pretty friendly and spoke good English explaining about 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. There are a few Penan villages available there and one of them I visited was the Long Iman Penan Village.

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 found around Sarawak namely the Iban Tribe, Bidayuh People, Melanau Tribe and the Orang Ulu People. You can also visit the official website for the Sarawak Cultural Village.

Sarawak Cultural Village Entrance Fee
  • RM 60.00 (Adult)
  • RM 30.00 (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.
Opening hours are:
0900am - 1715pm 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

If you are visiting 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 the various tribes and people of Borneo where one of the unique tribes can be found here at the Sarawak Cultural Village.


chee-v said...

i had stayed at kuching for a year 2006-2007.
nvr reali went into the culture village but pass by coz went to damai lagoon :)
nice place anyway.
ohh dun forget santubong oso.

Malaysia Asia said...

hi Alvin, you should have while you were there. And agree that it is a lovely place. Laid back and chill out.

Twinkle said...

Hi hi.. any recommendation of place to visit at Kuala Lumpur a? Something like recration park d~ =)

Anonymous said...

I would like to visit this cultural village. Unlikely to be able to fit into my travel plans next year as I will be covering only Mulu Caves.

Kellaw said...

hey. dropped in from nn


Malaysia Asia said...

LayMin, the best option I could suggest would be Bukit Tinggi Resort. Then again depends what you want to do.

Mei, yes, Mulu would easily be about 4D/3N minimum. So I guess you'd have to do another trip just for Kuching. If you do, let me know too.

Kella, thanks man!