Saturday, August 8

Homestay in rustic Bario

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HOME away from home aptly describes Leminan Lodge, a homestay in Bario.

HUSBAND-AND-WIFE TEAM: Shep and Rita Bala.

It offers guests the comfort and privacy of home in the midst of the rustic Kelabit highlands.

Perfect for guests who are less adventurous, the Lodge provides them the feel of home – at the same time, adventure at its doorstep. It also gives them the feel of space and privacy as it does not have the ‘commonness’ of a longhouse-styled homestay.

The interior of the Lodge is styled after that of a mountain cabin; the warm  hue of the wooden panelling on the wall exudes coziness that provides guests a comforting respite from the nippy highland temperature at night.

During the day when the sun is high and the temperature turns warmer, the huge sliding windows allow the cool highland breeze to waft through creating a prefect environment for a midday snooze.

The three-storey homestay is modelled after the Dutch architecture with an attic converted into a bedroom typical of that of a Swiss loft. The cozy loft is for sale, according to Shep Bala, owner of the homestay, but only upon request.

The first floor consists of a living room, kitchen and dining room while the second floor has bedrooms, a sitting room with a panoramic view of the highlands, a village centre and a wash and bath room.

Two bedrooms have the luxury of a veranda that overlooks to the rustic backdrop of Bario while all the rooms have splendid view of Nature.

Only a stone’s throw from the village centre, the Lodge has the best of both worlds – it’s within minutes from the hustle and bustle of civilisation, at the same time, far enough to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the highlands. It’s less than 10 minutes from the airport.

The homestay has a total of seven bedrooms of which six are triple  bedded while one is double bedded.

Guests have the privilege to savour the best of Kelabit cuisine with Rita, Shep’s wife, behind the stove. With her cooking, guests can be assured of a satisfying meal everytime.

For only RM85 per person, the package includes breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as transportation from and to the airport.

THE INTERIOR: The spacious Laminan Lodge.

Bario is far from being boring. It is  heavenly for those who love the great outdoors and natural attractions.

Shep has come out with six packages that allow visitors to see these attractions and enjoy the idyllic scenery.

Allowing visitors to see the making of the famed Kelabit Natural Salt at the Salt Lake is the two-day-one-night stay package while two packages with similar length of stay – three days one night – guide guests on a tour of Bario and trek to Ba Kelalan.

Those who wish to trek to Mount Murut can take the four-day-three-night stay. For a visit to the Salt Lake in Pa’ Main, take the two-day-one-night stay and finally those who want to see the highest waterfall in the Kelabit highlands should go for the six-day-five night stay.