Longhouses are the traditional communal homes for the Iban and the Bidayuh tribes. Constructed from timber and bamboo, they are built beside rivers for transport as there are no access roads into the jungle where these communities live, so visit to a longhouse is either by boat or 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 jungle longhouse is a unique way to experience the tribal cultures that are at the heart of Sarawak.