This article is to give an insight to one of the signature festivals of Sarawak, the Nukenen Festival. This year the festival will be from July 30, 2020 till August 1, 2020.
What is Nukenen
Nukenen is a traditional Kelabit food and cultural festival that celebrates Kelabit cuisine, cultural arts and games. The three day festival showcases all sorts of rare treats, from jungle grubs, wild meat, edible flowers and the glamorous Adan Rice which is also popular known as Bario Rice.
The festival site is at the Bario Town Centre and each stall is usually represented by the many villages that make up Bario. Pa’lungan, Pa’Umor, Ulung Palang and so forth. Some 17 villages altogether.
Each stalls are decorated with plants, mats, palm leaves and bamboo. Most had pineapples as their decor pieces.
What to Expect
Almost anything the jungle can provide basically. Wild meat, frogs, bats, grubs , mushrooms and more.
Then again for the less adventurous, there is the mushroom rice, jungle ferns and of course the typical barbecue. What better way for the Bario folks to catch up with relatives if not with a nice barbecue.
Other Activities to do during Nukenen
Let’s be honest. As much as we love food, we can only take so much. So here are a few things that you should do to burn those calories.
Hike up Korea Hill
Just near the town centre where the Nukenen Festival there is a trail that leads up to Korea Hill. A 10 minute hike, the view makes it all worth it.
Plenty of hills surrounding Bario for you to try out.
Trek to Pa’Lungan Monolith
This is a full day trek and is guaranteed to give you an appetite once you have done this trek . This would take you about 8 hours in total or maybe less.
This is what the Nukenen is all about, celebrating the various bountiful supplies available to the Kelabits from their nearby jungles.
Most home stays in Bario offer jungle shopping experience for it’s guests.
For a more comprehensive information on things to do in Bario, you may want to check the link.
Words of Advice
Book your flights and accommodation now.
Flights are by MasWings and it is limited to Bario especially during Nukenen. They do try to mount extra flights but no guarantee.
Same thing applies to your accommodation. Book early.
Thank you for reading and if you want extra details on the above, drop me a line and I’ll get back to you soon as possible.
Till my next Bejalai, remember to be a responsible traveller. Respect nature and respect culture.. take care and don’t forget to comment.
Will the Bario Food Festival still take place this July? (In view of the RMCO, etc)?
Hi Dolly. The food festival has been postponed.. Sorry too for the late reply..
When the actual date for 2020?
Need booking MasWing flight earlier
July 30 to August 1.
Thats rite.. Book now as flights are limited.