Longhouses are the traditional communal homes for the Iban and the Bidayuh tribes. Constructed from timber and bamboo, they are built beside rivers as there are no roads deep in the jungle where these communities live, so transport in and out is by boat or by hours of hiking. The longhouses are built high above the floor of the jungle, and each of the dozens of families who reside together have their own individual room for sleeping and storage. The main feature of each longhouse is the covered verandah known as a ruai that is used for the communal lifestyle of socialising, sharing meals, and celebrating events together. It is here in the ruai that guests sleep when visiting a longhouse.
Staying overnight in a longhouse is a unique way to experience the tribal cultures that are at the heart of Sarawak.