BY NONI JAMALI
Annah Rais Longhouse is located at Padawan District, which is approximately 60km away from Kuching City. Most of the Bidayuh longhouses are located near villages and towns. This has led to urban migration especially for the younger generation and the result is a new take on communal living. Upon arrival at Annah Rais, the sight that greets you is a thriving village which bears no resemblance to a longhouse. As you navigate the detached homes you will notice that they are interconnected by walkways which in itself is still an affirmation of extended family living – perhaps just not in the traditional ‘entire village under one roof’ longhouse sense. As you approach what is the heart of the village, this is where the original longhouse structure is, over a century old. Some old folks still cling to their original home. Other than the authentic longhouse experience, it is also famous for the hot springs nearby. Annah Rais is considered as one of the most beautiful longhouses in Sarawak, cradled by the mountains and a beautiful freshwater stream.
Kampung Annah Rais is a large Bidayuh village centred around a centuries-old bamboo longhouse, one of the finest still in existence. The Bidayuh make up about 8% of Sarawak’s population and were formerly known as Land Dayaks. They are gracious hosts and village is the perfect place to discover Bidayuh culture and learn about their fascinating way of life.