Gunung Mulu National Park: Melinau RIver n Penan Longhouse Market

We had a great first day at the Gunung Mulu National Park (eventhough the nightly flight of bats did not appear that evening)! 
“They need to fly out to find food, right?  If they did not eat last night, they should be starving tonight!  We definitely will be able to catch the bat exodus tonight!  I bet you!”  Yah, we saw them in day two alright!!  Yeay!
After a hearty dinner and a good rest, we were all ready to face day two’s challenge; which from what we were being told was going to be the toughest.  Our guided tour included a cruise up the Melinau River in a longboat and a visit to the Penan longhouse market on the way to Cave of the Winds and Clearwater Cave. 
The toughest part of this tour, in fact for the entire trip here, was the Clearwater Cave!  Phew! 
Look out for that post; coming soon….

Dear cousin was all fresh and ready for the new day!
It rained the whole night last night and was still drizzling when we set out from our room.
Okay, gals, smile!
We were in the first longboat, waiting for the rest of the group to get into the second longboat.
The second group waiting at the same jetty where we were just now.
This batch of people had to take off their shoes because before they got into their longboat, the jetty was flooded.
We were lucky to be the first batch to get into the longboat lei.
Last in first out; the last longboat took the lead because our guide was on board in it!
We had a handsome guide this morning!
Will show you his picture in the next post yah!
So “yau ying” (gorgeous looking)!  Hehe…
The river was swollen and the current was strong that morning because of the rain.
Err, that did not stop us from taking pictures lah!
Look up, look far!
Nature at its best captured on picture!
Honestly, even with the life jacket on, I was praying for a safe journey!
The water was gushing around us!
Occasionally, the longboat would slow down or even stop for a while to flow with the current.
Our boatman was alert and fast in avoiding washed out branches and big pieces of junk.
Suddenly something else caught my attention!
A man, almost naked (other than having his briefs on) was trying to start his boat’s engine.
He did not look happy with us taking his picture!  Hahaha!
Sorry lah!  We were tourist mah!
If I had not concerntrated too much on the river current, I could have enjoyed more beautiful sceneries along the way!
The village life was quiet because of the rain and because it was still early in the morning.
A boat house?
Too bad our guide was not with us. 
We had questions but had no one to answer them.
So, are you a boat house ah??  Huh?
I thought this signboard was useful for us to compare their (East Malaysia) subsidies with ours (West Malaysia).
As if I had been religiously keeping track of our flour, sugar, cooking oil, rice, diesel and petrol prices lah!
The elders always complain that I am one person who eats rice but do not know the price of rice!
Aiyah, some popular Chinese sayings to criticise somebody one.
In this case, me lor!  Hahaha!
Did I say we have reached the Penan village??
Yup!  We were there!
And I liked this place.
Serene and simple.
The cement block just before we stepped into the Penan Longhouse Market.
It read “Welcome to Mulu Desa”.
Probably that was what it was known as before (and still now?);
Mulu Desa (translated as Mulu Town).
Really?  This was their town?
The traders here were so used to tourists visiting here that they just continued doing what they were doing.
In other words, they ignored us lah!
No hard sell.  If interested, just ask lor.
Not everyone can speak English.  So be patience with them, okay?
Colourful stuff they had here.
Regarding workmanship, some stalls were better than others.
Even the prices may not be the same and still negotiable one.
Honestly, we did not bargain much because we wanted to help these people.
We could still afford a few RM extra for their handmade products.
At least we paid them direct instead of the middlemen.
Let them earn a little more for their living, I say!
Told you, they did not harrass us!
They allowed us to look and even touch their products.
No signage of “Once broken considered sold” found anywhere!
So good wor!
This lady was demonstrating how the musical instrument was played; blowing it with her nostril!!!
Eh?  Got sound coming out one lei and it was music to the ears too!
This lady used her lips to play a flat piece of wood (or was it bamboo) instrument.
I say, they really have unique musical tools.
No, I did not buy them.  Would not want to buy something I would not use, right?
Almost all were displayed here.
These were made from bamboo.
Love this picture!
The morning mist was still hanging in the air.
Look at the huts, one built from wood while the other from bamboo.
Nice contrast, uh?
This is one of my favourite pictures for this trip.
The visit here was brief; about half an hour.
Not many people bought something here.
Kind of difficult to carry (except small items) if one was about to trek in and out of caves and getting in and out of longboats, right?
The current was stronger from here onwards.
We saw a milipede on the side of the other longboat and alerted the people in it!
Our guide just scooped a handful of river water to wash it back to the water!
We got worried and started searching if our longboat had one too!
Poisonous crawlies mah, who wants to have a close encounter with one lah!
Stronger current and muddy water but at least the rain stopped.
Still got a long way ke?
Our guide explained that the current here were stronger because water from two upstream rivers met and flowed into this Melinau River.
Look at the flow at the corner!!
Finally, we reached the main destination of the tour!
Thankful, thankful!
Look out for the next post; all about the two caves and some exciting happenings!
Coming soon….

4 responses to this post.

  1. Amazing journey, LG. And I've never seen such musical instruments ^.^ But the one using the nosrils..hahaha..I think I dare not buy unless I know for sure that no one else has tested it! Not so courageous, am I?

  2. Ahahaha, Sharon, you can always use Dettol clean n use mah! Not sure about you able to get some music or even sound out of it lah! Hehehe…

  3. I bought a key chain from there, but don know where I drop and lost it, and I like it very much. Haizzzz

  4. JD, next time buy more lah! Satu saja, bila hilang, tada lagi orr!! Sayangnya…

Have a Happy Day! ;D

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