This homestay program gives guests a unique experience: immersion in the Kayan culture beside the beautiful Borneo woodland. It allows guests to participate in numerous activities such as visiting the farm, learning handicrafts and jungle trekking.
Come, join in and fully experience what the Kayan people have to offer. Relax as you absorb this calming way of life. Hear the stories of their ancestors. Be open to the new experiences you will encounter. Enjoy the food, much of it homegrown. And the delicious fruit!
Uma Belor Leodian offers guests to learn and experience the ways of the Kayan people through a Homestay. The Homestay allows guests to observe the beauty and tranquility of this land immersing themselves within their culture and gain a true appreciation for the way the Kayan people live, their methods of farming and experience the food and wine on offer. Guests will have the opportunity to participate in organised activities which can give hands on experience and all residents are more than willing to share their culture and way of life.
At Uma Belor, there are two main types of Homestay:
The first option is to stay with a family. During this experience, you will be given the opportunity to become a member of their family. Throughout this time guests choose to have their meals prepared by the host family eating their cuisines, talking with them and participating in cultural activities. All this is done whilst having your own room within their house.
The second option is to stay in a self managed accommodation within the longhouse. This provides added privacy and comfort. You will stay in a fully furnished and decorated house within one of the seven blocks in the longhouse.
With either living option you will equally experience the hospitality and kindness of the Kayan people as they welcome you into their community.
Activitity at Homestay
During your home stay at Uma Belor you will be able to experience several different and unique activities, outdoors and indoors.
Trek through the Borneo jungle in the area surrounding the longhouse guided by a licensed tour guide from Uma Belor. The trek lasts about an hour during which you will see some of the native wildlife of the area including tebili (a green and red parrot), lizards, insects, small squirrels, large and colourful moths and butterflies, and if you are lucky you may spot the endangered hornbill.
From the longhouse cross the rustic bridge to the lush green fields growing pepper, durian, lumuk, banana, rambutan, pineapple, coconut, rice, and many other edible plants. Talk with the locals as they farm their plots, tasting the in-season produce and learning about the seasonal harvests and harvesting methods.
Take a short ride to the banks of a small river surrounded by green trees, shrubs, and native birds. Enjoy a selection of local foods followed by a refreshing swim.
CULTURAL DANCE & SHOW
Upon arrival you may be welcomed with a Kayan welcome dance performed by the local residence which, is only a taste of the variety of traditional song, dance, and music of the Kayan culture. In the cultural shows you will be invited to dress in traditional clothing and learn traditional dances to the sound of the sape (three-stringed guitar). Women can learn the welcoming dance. Men can learn the war dance done to raise the spirits of warriors. Both can learn the Kayan social dance known as the 'Datun Julut' (long dance). Before any ceremony or significant dance begins the Kayan people perform the parap chant to summon spirit and energy.
FOOD AND DRINK
All the food you taste while staying at Uma Belor will be unique and unforgettable. Much of it will have come from the farm. Try everything: wild boar and freshly caught fish and a wide range of fruits, vegetables, nuts, leafs and ferns. You may enjoy luhok, a traditional dish of chicken and fish cooked in bamboo. Guests can also learn how to make the traditional sweets, dinu pitoh and selukong, and can sample burak (rice wine). Learn the art of harvesting, cutting, drying pure tobacco and rolling in young dried banana leaves. Peal the betel nut and wrap in the leaf of the ayap with a smear of lime paste for a unique treat.
Let the longhouse people teach you their crafts. Try weaving one of the beautiful bamboo mats that can be seen around the longhouse. Use a needle to connect rattan strips with cord. With persistence you can make a bracelet from tiny beads. The Kayans have been using these beads for generations to make intricate hats, covers and many other beautiful things. You can also be involved in food preparation, such as wrapping sticky rice in leaves creating Selukong and Pitoh. Perhaps you have the stamina needed to pound rice grains into flour in the process of creating dinu.
The community has several fishing ponds that are used to breed fish. Take a short walk to either the fish pond or pool in the creek and use a fishing rod or net to catch your dinner. Gain an appreciation for how difficult it is to catch fish. During the farm tour you can also use a lawak to catch small fish.
Floating House In bakun
About an hour’s drive from Uma Belor you will find the Bakun Dam. It’s the world’s second tallest concrete faced, rock filled, hydroelectric dam and the largest in South East Asia, with construction taking around 9 years. The dam was finished in 2011.
While visiting Bakun Dam you will be staying on a floating house. Once you arrive at Bakun, it takes about 30 minutes by boat to reach the floating house. When arriving at the floating house you will be surrounded by thick Borneo Jungle where you may see the stunning Hornbill spreading its wings. Swim around the house or maybe even use the small speedboat to explore the lake. Whatever activies you end up doing, you will enjoy the tranquility of the lake, only hearing the birds and insects of the jungle.
About an hour’s drive from Uma Belor you will find the Bakun Dam. It’s the world’s second tallest concrete faced, rock filled, hydroelectric dam and the largest in South East Asia. With construction taking around 9 years, it was finished in 2011.
While staying in the Belanam floating house on Bakun Lake you might simply sit and relax, but there are lots of things to do.
The lake is the home to many fish which are just waiting to be caught. Drop a line in from the side of the floating house and wait . . . learn to master the art of net casting attempting to catch a group of fish.
Enjoy the calm, warm waters of the lake.
Have lunch with your companions at the shores of the dam alongside a breathtaking backdrop of a small waterfall. After your meal, find the time to explore the nearby rainforest. Be quiet and see what wildlife appears.
If you enjoy more of a high speed activity, then try the mini speed boat available for your use. Great fun!
Get a partner and paddle your way along the shore. Try to make your way to the waterfall (against the current). Take in the picturesque views of the mountains.