The main attraction of the area is the community of 8 Iban longhouses,the oldest of which was built more than 100 years ago. Several of the longhouses are located along the Rajang River and the Sungai Bawang Assan, a small tributary of the Rajang. Apart from the main 8 longhouses, there are also numerous individual houses built near to these longhouses.This wooden bridge across Sungai Bawang Assan links the communities together and it is also a landmark for the village which has roughly 1500 people. If you stand on top of the bridge, it gives you a beautiful panoramic view of the entire village and its surrounding areas.
Most of the villagers are working in the town area or outstations. Life in the village is still slow and easy. Although the surrounding rivers are badly polluted, they still provide certain amount of fish and prawn as food and cash income for the villagers.
The small prawns here are for making "cincaluk", a popular sauce among both the Ibans and Chinese.
Fishing is a favourite pastime and it is mostly done during the high tide. Fishing nets,hooks and some fishing traps are the most common tools. You notice a cute little shinny ball attached to the fishing rod in the above picture. That is some kind of bell which will alert the anglers once the fish starts pulling the line.
This is Mary (not her real name) a beautiful and friendly Iban lady. Although she still shy away when people ask her personal things, she manages a big smile for my camera.
And this is Irene, an extremely affable and helpful lady. Irene previously worked for the church in Sibu and she has wide contacts. People who wish to visit the Iban longhouses in Bawang Assan can contact her via the Sibu Visitors' Information Centre (Tel:6-084-340980). She will ensure your visit to her village a happy and eventful one. Homestay programe can be arranged if you give advance notice to her.