Just a week ago, I was in Kota Kinabalu courtesy of Zest Air and Tourism Malaysia and Fleishman Hillard Philippines. One of the favorite activity we did at our Kota Kinabalu Tour was the trip to Mari Mari Cultural Heritage Village where we had a taste of the Old Sabah culture, taste, feel, sight and sound. FYI: Kota Kinabalu is the capital city of Sabah, Malaysia.
First House: The Dusun Tribe Old House
What I learned from our Mari Mari Tour Guide Felix was that the Dusun tribe that they keep their rice away from their main house. They keep their rice on higher ground as they believe rice is sacred, they call such storage as Tangkob. It is also away from the main house so in case there is fire they have their rice intact.
This is their kitchen and their so-called refrigerator in the old times, this is where they keep their food stored.
Second House:The Rungus Tribe Longhouse
In this tribe everyone lives in one house. They just add another room/ extension to the house each time a member of the family gets married. Which where the term longhouse came from. The bigger the family gets the longer the house gets!
Third House: The Lundayen Tribe House
When you see a crocodile shape hill in front of a Lundayen villager, that means the owner of that house is a warrior!
You will see a lot of skeletons of animals they hunt and even human skulls displayed in the house of a warrior as they believe the spirit of the owner of the head will protect the house from evil or bad spirit and people.
Fourth House: The Badjau Tribe House
Felix confirmed that this tribe came from the Philippines so whatever Muslim culture and the way of living our old Badjao tribe does they do it here. They have the most colorful house especially when there’s a wedding ceremony!
Fifth House: The Murut Tribe House
One of my favorite houses as they have a trampoline made of bamboo inside. But that trampoline is not just for fun. They use the trampoline to celebrate their hunt or just after a warrior decapitated an enemy’s head!
What we did at the Mari Mari Cultural Heritage Village Tour
What I love about this tour is that it was not just a typical look-see tour but an interactive one where visitors get to try how things are done in the olden days themselves.
We were shown how the Dusun makes rice wine and we had wine tasting too! I must say the wine taste really good!
We were also shown how they cook in the traditional way by using bamboo trunk.They use bamboo and put the food they need to cook inside the bamboo and burn the bamboo to cook the food. We were able to try this ourselves too!
What I think about the Mari Mari Cultural Heritage Tour:
- If you are going to Kota Kinabalu and you have half of the night free, tour starts at 5:30PM then you should not miss this one. This will complete your Kota Kinabalu Trip.
- I completely understand why the trip is held at nighttime so as to get that old feel ambiance. Especially the scary part where we visited the head hunters tribe who were said to be the most aggressive tribe of all!
- I think they need more spotlight on the cultural dance part so as people can get better videos and pictures of the dance. But then again maybe that’s intentional so as not to show everything when people upload it online haha!
- How I wish the Philippines have such kinda village where tourist gets to have an interactive feel of how the old Filipino used to live.
Do I recommend this?
Absolutely. Mari Mari is a must see attraction in Kota Kintabalu! You should not miss this one in your travel itinerary to Sabah!
Mari Mari Cultural Heritage Village is 30 minutes away from the Kota Kinabalu City proper.
If you would like to try this heritage tour when you are in Sabah you may contact the Sabah Tourism Board www.sabahtourism.com or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
How about you, have you been to Mari Mari? Have you experienced such tour in your travels before?
Stay gorgeous everyone!
Some photo courtesy of Iris Camille Acosta of Pinayads.com