Rainforest World Music Festival 2011 @ Sarawak Cultural Village, Santubong

LATEST UPDATE JANUARY 2014: 

For some strange reason, the photos no longer appear on this post. I am uncertain what has happened to them, but I reckon it's a Blogger issue. For photos of this beautiful festival, please check out my photos on Facebook HERE


Bucket List #35 – Attend Rainforest World Music Festival in Sarawak Borneo
Bucket List #60 – Party in a jungle, or forest.

Scraped off. Are those numbers I vomited out for my bucket list, random? Yes. Oh well. 

It was a totally different atmosphere, feel and situation in Sarawak last two Saturdays ago compared to the KL City. I mean I couldn’t say much because I didn’t experience the rally itself, but the tweets and news that poured in that day told as much. As I woke up around 9am, switched my UberSocial I saw all kinds of depressing and worrying tweets, I decided to ignore them. Well, I was going to a festival so I would like to pick up on a ligher mood.

The boys and I flew to Kuching, Sarawak from KL on Friday night (July 8) and reached the airport around 12AM. The plane was filled with what I assumed to be the festival goers. Kuai-los (Caucasians, Europeans), rusky looking youngsters with dreadlocks, hippy looking people (with earthy colour clothes, bangles and anklets – y’know something like I would wear).

For the first nightJasmine sweetheart fetched us from the airport, took us home to put our bags down and we were ready to go! Late night dinner, beers. Hmm. I realised the bars in Kuching mostly served Heineken, probably because the festival itself was sponsored by Heineken.  So after some pretty awesome late night dinner, I’m talking about butter prawn, the real otak-otak, Midin Belacan. Hmm. Then we decided to drop by at a local bar to have some drinks.   

We slept around 4plus, almost 5am. Negotiated with the rest to wake up at 9am but they all pfftd me, so since all 3 of them wanted to sleep in more – we woke up around 11am instead and got some AWESOME brunch!

I fell in love with the KOLO MEE. Guess how much was this? 

Kolo Mee at A One 
It was RM3!


Enough portion for me, and the night hawker that we went even sold it for RM 2.50. At this day and age, would you ever find food (GOOD FOOD) sold at RM 2.50? That’s how much a simple Milo Ais would cost these days -_- Even the RM3 Wantan Soup with about 10 Wantans was considered freaking cheap okay. After brunch, we headed down to Saramo Hostel to relocate to a bigger room since it wouldn’t be that nice to stay at Jasmine’s place throughout 3 days, 2 nights. We’ve booked the place earlier and it’s actually pretty decent. A queen size bed, with another mattress, they have a pantry, a lounge area (which is also the lobby with TV) for people to hang out.

Here are the details for you to check out:

Saramo Hostel 
Lot 183, 2nd Floor, 
Abel Road, Kuching, 
Malaysia 93150.  

Pantry area (you get to do up your own coffee, and drinks as and when you like)  
Lounge area 
The hostel was slightly pricey at that period, but it was understood because the whole Kuching’s accomodation was hiked up because of the festival, so instead of RM 60 a night (queen size, bathroom attached), it was RM85 a night. So two nights for that would be RM 170/ 3 of us that’s about RM 56 for two nights, leaving it RM 28 a night. We couldn't complain either because the whole of Kuching was fully booked! The hotels there were hiked up to RM 300++ a night because of the festival, it’s insane! We stayed, in the middle of the city, just about a few minutes walk from eateries, with shopping malls at least 10-15 minutes walk, and just right behind our area was the Santubong River – those with river cruises. 

Ah Kent on the Queen Size bed 
For moving around, we were blessed that Jasmine was around to bring us everywhere, but what I realised is that most of the hostels are situated around eateries and shops anyway, so it's better to choose a hostel that is situated just 10 - 15minutes walk from the City Centre. 

For the festival itself, the boys and I bought an RM 30 unlimited pass where the buses transportation coverage basically almost the entire city or en route to the festival site. 

Below is the map of ; 

A - Sarawak Cultural Village (about 1hour drive from Saramo Hostel, but plenty of shuttle buses) 
B - Saramo Hostel 


Then we head to the Sarawak Cultural Village where the festivals, bazaar and concert are at. Just as you walk in, you see a lot of food and other related stalls, the Hair Tattoo being the most famous. A lot were lining up to get their head shaved and “tattooed” on. From gorgeous locks, to... half shaved head :O 

Traditional musical workshop - really enjoyed this one! 
I went to a small stage nearby along the festival, where they played and taught local traditional instruments like this – the Angklong. 


Angklong 
I was lucky and not shy enough to learn the Angklong, but I REALLY SUCKED at it. I had no idea what kind of beat and music I was playing -_- but it’s good to learn something.

Visited the traditional houses, brought the boys to play Sumpit. And they also failed miserably. Daren’s first try didn’t even flung out from the Sumpit, it just squeaked out from the end and fell vertically. Hehe, big guy like that also cannot blow strongly :P 


Learning how to use 'sumpit'
Then we walked around again, Kent bought some traditional Kueh. Walked around some more only to find the best booth of all (for the boys and Jasmine of course) the BEER BOOTH. Quite a few chap that Daren knew were hanging around there as well. 

Everyone hanging out by the river :) 
My best boys in the world
Part of the art from the rumah panjang pole. The whole house is painted and coloured in such art. I personally think it's gorgeous :) 


Got a couple of drinks in the really hot weather, then we walked down somemore. This time to a big sort of like a town council hall. The hall was filled with so many people resting, relaxing to the traditional music playing in the background. Quite a sight actually. I see kids running around while their parents are sleeping and resting on the rumah papan.  We joined them as well, and in less than 15 minutes the concert was announced to begin. 

Town hall area 
Probably the highlight of the festival, the concert stages have all kinds of international acts. Folk music from Kenya, to France, to Sabah, right up to the US. From bongos, to meringues, to electric guitars. It was such a colourful festival. I heard all kinds of dialects, and languages chattering around me.

The awesome part of this festival was that there were two stages. Once performers from stage one finished their set, stage 2 performers will begin performing. So it was literally no intervals! It was a full on 5 hours dance and singing with everyone  - that’s about 8 performers performing for a full on 5 hours. Like I said, NO intervals. Everyone was dancing and singing till they sore.


One of the dude below gave us Tuak (a local Borneo drink made out of fermented rice) to try, and it was like a tequila shot, but BETTER! It was like a shot of life, I suddenly became damn happening and energetic after that :/ 

A bunch of topless dudes, I think they're Australians and look at 'em having so much fun 
Daddy Kent and lovely Jasmine tired after much dancing 



The crowd dancing and singing to the finale 


Everyone was dancing and singing till they sore. I knew I was. That caused me massive muscle arm and leg pain and discomfort after that whole dancing and headbanging 
-__________- But it’s okay I had loads of fun! 

After the festival, the four of us decided to eat again. I swear to God we ballooned up just in 3 days. He he he.

Well, it’s a wrap! See you guys next year, all sweaty and ready to hang out under the stars again! :)  

Pork satay for brunch!!!!



Love & peace,
Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.

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