Miri, Malaysia · 2 hotels available
Bario Airport is an airport in the state of Sarawak in Malaysia and gateway to the famous Bario Highland. Bario STOLport is under the supervision of Miri Airport and serves the rural area of Bario. STOL is a short form for short take-off and landing. It serves Malaysia Airlines and MAS Wings handling weekly flights from Miri and Marudi.
Bario means ‘Wind’ in Kelabit language and the correct pronunciation is ‘Bariew’. Upon reaching Bario Airport, visitors are stepping into an altitude of about 3500 feet above sea level in the north-eastern corner of Sarawak. The land is the famous Bario Highland, a Kelabit territory, one of the minority Orang Ulu tribes of Sarawak. The weather all around is pleasantly chilly in which suited its name ‘Wind’.
Bario is also known as ‘the land of a hundred handshakes’ as this is how friendly locals will greet you as you wander around the community. About thirteen villages are located in and around Bario area and Kampung Bario Asal is the first. This is a must visit longhouse where one can see the ancient timbers of the unique kitchen. Bario Asal originally consisted of just 7 families. Since then, it has become expanded and move in with a more civilized changes.
Bario also produces incredible organic food such as the Bario rice and pineapples. Bario rice comes from paddy fields grown on hill slopes. One of their annual event is the Bario Food Festival also known as ‘Pesta Nukenen’, held in July each year.
Hiking adventure awaits the visitors for two different trails. A challenging mountain climbing of Prayer Mountain or a more relaxed climbing of Panorama Hill. Both options shall give a satisfying, amazing views of Bario surroundings. Prayer Mountain was given such name because every year, the locals present their Christmas mass on top of this mountain.
A raw nature experience is offered to those survivors craving for real challenges by taking at least a week tour for the Bario – Ba’kelalan jungle trekking. A rough exploration with unexpected natural wonders surely becomes worthwhile.
Batu Ritung is another interesting structure to see in Bario. It was a Megalith stone erected in remembrance of a great local warrior and aristocrat called Ritung.
At Ulung Palang, just a short distance from Bario marketplace, there lies the Jungle Blues Dream Art Gallery. It was run by a local artist named Stephen Baya, showcasing his artwork masterpiece consisted of a blend of ethnic motifs combined with contemporary styles. Stephen also provides a homestay accommodation by the same place. In 2013, several of his works were featured in a Cambridge University art exhibition entitled ‘Home is where the hearth is.’ His other great artwork includes the illustrations for the book ‘Tuked Rini, Cosmic Traveller: Life and Legend in the Heart of Borneo.’ Tuked Rini is one of the Kelabit warrior legend.
Searching for a place to stay is quite a challenge in Bario. However, if you are fancy staying in a longhouse, one shall make a reservation at the Labang Longhouse Lodge. You may experience the community activities happening in a longhouse environment. Initiate a conversation with the locals and have a taste of their traditional home-cooked recipes. You will be surely surprised to learn several quick dance steps as well as have a go at their wooden blowpipes used for hunting in the wild. Batu Ritung Lodge is another great overnight option situated at Batu Ritung, Bario. A simple, yet practical guestroom with decent facilities.