Kelabit Highlands

The Kelabit Highlands is a highland plateau in the interior of Sarawak in Malaysia. The isolated region bordering Kalimantan, Indonesia, is now very popular for jungle trekking as well as those hoping to get away from it all.

11 things to do

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Labang Longhouse Lodge

Beautiful longhouse styled guesthouse that enjoys a magnificent panoramic view of the Kelabit plateau from its newly built (as of 2016) wide veranda. The veranda is where meals are served, and you can also drink tea, watch the sunset and relax there. The rooms are clean with warm duvet covers, with two twin beds that can be easily put together to function as a double bed, and there is also enough room to fit an extra mattress. Accessible location but nevertheless serene and quiet. The owners are experienced retired educators and conservationists, fluent speakers of English, Malay and Kelabit with expert traditional knowledge on culture, history, language, and wildlife. Tours to all sorts of destinations and special cultural programs can be organised upon request. The Homestay runs on solar-powered electricity and has its own conference facilities that have hosted some international conferences.

Gem's Lodge

A friendly home-stay run by husband and wife Jaman and Sumi Riboh. Jaman Riboh is said to be the most well-known of the guides in the Kelabit Highlands but has retired from guiding. The lodge is spacious, clean and in a tranquil location that serves as a base for jungle trekking, boating, fishing et al. Virtually all of the flora and fauna of the Kelabit Highlands can be found in the immediate area around the lodge. Full board, half board and room only are available, but Sumi's cooking is varied and high quality so full board recommended. Packed lunches can also be provided. Guides, airport transfers and other local activities can also be arranged. Usual rates for the area. Lighting and 240v electricity provided in the evenings and cold beer/Coke/water can also be provided.

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Jungle Blues Dream Homestay & Art Gallery

An artistic homestay lodge with a great sweeping view from the dining area as the building is on top of a small hill next to the main church. There is an art gallery come reading room in the same longhouse area as the partitioned rooms which are hung with paintings and offer comfy beds complete with cotton sheets and cosy duvets. Meals, including packed lunches, are healthy and homely with tea and coffee making facilities available. The owners can arrange to pick you up or drop you off at the airport or you can walk the 45 minutes through Bario.

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Mado Homestay

Another good homestay in Pa'Lungan which is across the football field when you enter the village from Bario. Mado offers a room that sleeps three and he and his wife are very welcoming. The food is excellent and plenty, filtered water is available. As a licensed guide, Mado offers jungle trekking (e.g. to Ba'Kelalan) and speaks very good English. You can try to call ahead: 019-854 970 0. You might have to wait for a while on the veranda as they might be out in the fields during day time.

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Relaxed lodging house run by a local, John Tarawe. It has four rooms with three beds in each, and mats for occasions when large groups arrive. Inexpensive, hearty meals are available too, including occasionally wild boar, ferns in garlic, rice and other seasonal dishes (around RM10 per meal). Breakfasts usually consist of noodles and eggs (around RM5).

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Bariew Backpacker Lodge & Tour

excellent family-run guesthouse frequented by sociable locals as well as visitors. The proprietor, Reddish, knows everyone in town and has close ties with the longhouses on the treks around the highlands. As well as basic fan rooms, tasty meals and evening barbecues, the lodge can arrange guides and activities.

SLEEP   —  085 791 038 —  Map

Nancy & Harriss Homestay

Nancy is very helpful and will make you feel right at home. They'll help you arrange a licensed guide, and the large map of the area on the wall assists you in working out where you want to go. Harriss' cooking can be superb.

Bario Asal Longhouse

A short walk from 'downtown' Bario, this longhouse is a friendly spot with pictures of the longhouse residents (past and present) hung on the wall. Not too many families live here anymore, so it's relatively quiet.

SLEEP   —  085 791 065 —  Map

De Plateau Lodge

Comfortable rooms and nice common areas. The owner here can arrange treks, bird-watching and other activities. It's located in a white-timber house surrounded by a lovely garden.

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Batu Ritung

One of the five homestays available in Pa'Lungan. Food is of excellent quality and owners speak very good English and are a good source of information.

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JK View Lodge

Neat little cabin with four rooms, a shared sitting room, excellent showers, toilets. Meals, treks and tours are available.

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About Kelabit Highlands

The Kelabit Highlands comprise a vast highland plateau in the interior of Sarawak, near the border of Kalimantan, Indonesia. The area is the headwaters of the mighty Baram, Limbang, Lawas Rivers. Administratively, it comes under the Miri and Limbang Divisions.

Source: wikivoyage