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Sarawak trip: From KL to Ba' Kelalan
A trip to the interior of Sarawak (9-22)-12-2006
Part 1 From Kuala Lumpur to Ba' Kelalan.

This is a report about a trip of a group of 13 people to the interior of Sarawak. Destination was the Lun Bawang region of Ba' Kelalan and the Kelabit Highlands (Bario).
The trip started in the LCCT, where we met in the McDonald's. Our Air Asia flight to Lawas was only slightly delayed.

In the Miri airport I met my friends Peter, Yian and their son Julian, also on their way to the Kelabit Highlands, but with a much more ambitious program, to trek from Long Lellang to Bario.
Unfortunately our connecting flight to Lawas had been cancelled due to a technical problem, so we had to wait and see if there were seats available on the next flights.
For these interior flights in Sarawak, Twin Otters are used, which have a capacity of only 19 passengers at most. There were a few more flights to Lawas that same day and with each flight a few of us could get seats, so that at the end of the afternoon the whole group had managed to arrive in Lawas.
In Lawas accomodation had been arranged in a Church Mission just outside Lawas. Transport to the Mission compound took place with small boats.

The next morning we had breakfast in town, before we left for Ba' Kelalan in two Landcruisers. At first the road was not too bad, but it became worse and it was only due to the very experienced drivers that we finally reached Ba' Kelalan after a trip of more than 7 hours.

We received a warm welcome in the Apple Lodge, where we could take a shower and enjoyed a nice dinner.

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Meeting at LCCT

Departure from LLCT with Air Asia
1 comment

Arrival in Miri

Meeting the Chin family

Flight Cancelled!

Departure from Miri

Meandering river

Twin Otter Cabin

The pilots

Landing in Lawas

Twin Otter

Lawas Airport

The Lawas river

Our guesthouse


The MIssion Compound

Ferry to the town

Waiting for the next boat

The next boat

Arrival at the jetty

Breakfast in Lawas

Waiting for our transport


On our way to Ba' Kelalan

Destroyed bridge

Long Tuyo

"Town Map"


Security Check Point

Local transport

Malaria warning


Bad roads



Where is the road?

No comment

Difficult passage

Almost there

But not yet

The last hurdle

Arrival in Ba' Kelalan

We made it


Waiting for the dinner

Time to relax

The kitchen staff

Dinner is ready

Bon appetit!
1 comment

wrote on Dec 30, 2006:
Yes, I remember the horrendous logging road where you are constantly in danger of being run down and over by monstrous heavy-ladened timber trucks. I remember also feeling very angry at the rampant destruction of the forest.

wrote on Dec 30, 2006:
Memories of a hazardous ride from Lawas to Ba' Kelalan. There were no consideration by the logging trucks at all for the safety of other vehicles in their vicinity.... We started off with a puncture after less than half an hour out of Lawas. Adventures like these are often taxing on the the trucks zoom by. Glad you made this journey to see with your own eyes and experience first-hand knowledge of what has happened, and is still happening to the natural environment in Malaysia. Our apparent lack of foresight and looming greed will doom our destiny and whitewash our potential...

Kwai Loh wrote on Dec 30, 2006:
Reading your and Yian's comment, I realise now how fortunate we have been that we were traveling on a Sunday!. No logging trucks!

wrote on Dec 30, 2006:
It's good to travel on a Sunday then...much much safer.

wrote on Jan 1, 2007:
You did what my wifey did -took a picture at the tarmac! That's is, I don't why, not allowed!

wrote on Jan 1, 2007:
This guy, the first on the right - he looks familair to me.

wrote on Jan 8, 2007:
Hi wondersf,
His name is Chin Mee Phon, a veterant backpacker and hiker.

wrote on May 19, 2008:
nice to see my hometown photos.thanks for sharing

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