January 11, 2011

Rantau Kemiding Homestay (Kanowit)

Just five minutes drive from Kanowit Bazaar is a beautiful longhouse Rh. Benjamin Angki or Rantau Kemiding where you find a little stretch of the romantic Kanowit river meandering to the left of the longhouse.
When the sun shines on the river you see jewels shimmering in front of you. You wlll definitely like the scene. A kepayang tree with its big leaves will beckon to you too. I saw some fruits on the tree.

There is a small chalet for homestay if you like. Or you can choose to stay with the Chief of the Longhouse or Tuai Rumah who is the only Long house Chief with an American Degree in Sarawak!! TR Benjamin Angki Kaboy (his full name)is a retired Shell employee and studied in the US.

the longhouse has been Roman Catholic since the first RC priests came to Kanowit to spread Christianity. Sunday Mass is said in the Ruai of the longhouse from time to time. But as the road to Kanowit is now opened up most people worship in St. Francis Xavier one of the earliest churches in Sarawak!!

The clean and beautiful belian wood ruai or living room of the 60 door longhouse.

The Headman's kitchen has grape vines overhanging from the nice trellis. It is open air and delightful. Fans (they have government supply) cool the air.

The sign says : Welcome to Rantau Kemiding Long House. and the h/p no is 013 8823076 or email ben88_45@yahoo.com. This longhouse was home to the famous late Penghulu (Datuk) Francis Umpau - one of the Iban leaders who saw  the formation of Malaysia in the 1960's.

This is the chalet for homestay. The Tuai Rumah and other families also offer rooms for homestay if you choose to stay with families.

Journalists and writers Yi Fang (See Hua Daily News) and Steve Ling (United Daily Newspaper) signing the Visitors' Book. Sitting down is Mrs. Benjamin Angki (Margaret) - a retired English teacher who for a long time was a Miri resident.

An extra feature for those of you who are interested in a video of Rantau Kemiding.....

Perhaps next Gawai (June) you could book the chalet or some of the rooms in the longhouse for a nice Gawai holiday in Sarawak!!

Kanowit is only 40 minutes from Sibu by car!! See you there!


wenn said...

nice long house!

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Yes Wenn...it is a very pretty one...Extremely serene and comfortable.

Ma Nar said...

wow! Chang Yi, thank you for the posting on Rantau Kemiding. I was there in 1975 for three months teaching in SRK Rantau Kemiding which was in the vicinity of the longhouse and I even spent my first gawai dayak in that longhouse staying with the tuai rumah's daughter (just couldn't recall the tuai rumah's and her daughter's name). Is the primary school still there?

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Hi Ma Nar
thanks for writing. SK RK is still there and I actually have some photos too.
What a small world!! In 1975 I was teasching in Sedaya....we might have met in an express...but not knowing each other. Did you take a small boat to the school then?

The Tuai rumah at that time might not have been Angki. Will ask...Pauline Umpau should be about your age.

Ma Nar said...

it's really a small, small world! ya, at that time, I had to take a small boat to the school. My long-term memory is really pathetic and I couldn't even remember the Gurubesar's name. Anyway, from my 3 months short stint at Kemiding, I had wonderful experience of real Hari Gawai, staying in one of the 'bilik' and I even had the priviledge of following a groom to another interior longhouse to fetch the bride all the way by walking which took us many many hours. well, must say at that young age (just 18), I was adventurous, no regret

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Indeed Ma Nar...how small can our world be...yes when we are young we can be game for many things...but in today's world it is the fears of parents which block natural pursuits and creativity....over protected children do not know how wonderful our world can be....and then twisted minds can bring about human disasters too....We must just strive for the best in this world.

Ni Nyamai Ko ek said...

why no more news?

Anonymous said...

Hi there, can i know what is the ethnicity of the local communities there?
Thanks :)

George Jago said...

Yes, way back to 1975, I was only Primary V, I was brought up from Rantau Kemiding, the late Tuai Rumah Klukok was the Headmen, who was the Father in Law of current Tuai Rumah Benjamin Angki. Your Guru Besar you mentioned wa the late Cikgu Standislaus Bantin. During that time there is no road for motor vehicher, the only foot path can only be used by Motor Cycle and bicycle. We used to walk for 2.5 miles from Rantau Kemiding to Konowit Town, just to attained Chinese Movie (Bruce Lee, Ti Lung ang bWang Yu which I can remember, at Capitol Theater (Already Demolished) to when I was Primary School with entrance fee of 50 cent with front seat (free seating). During that Time we never heard anything TV, Hand Phone. But I am not studying at Rantau Kemiding, just back to longhouse during school holidays. I could not remember Mr. Ma.

Sibu Tales : Making Bah Gui from Scratch

The pioneering families of Sibu Foochows continued to practise the  adoption of girls from poor families who become their maids (slaves). ...