Ba'kelalan, Sarawak, Malaysia
The host community of Ba'Kelalan is in the northern part of the East Malaysian state of Sarawak, on the island of Borneo. It consists of a group of nine villages in the Kelabit Highlands, at about 3,000 feet above sea level and 4 km from the border with Indonesian Kalimantan. The residents mostly belong to the Lun Bawang indigenous people.
The name Ba’Kelalan is derived from the Kelalan River and Ba’ which means wet lands in the Lun Bawang language. The population is around 1,200, although several thousand people call it home. In the cool mountain climate, temperate fruits such as apples and mandarin oranges are grown. The area also produces rice, and mountain salt is obtained from the nearby hills. Most of the people in Ba'Kelalan are Christian, members of the Sidang Injil Borneo.
Ba'Kelalan is accessible by a 1-hour flight by the MASWings 20-seat Twin Otter scheduled service from the coastal city of Miri, bookable online, or by a more adventurous 8-hour (or so) 4-wheel drive on logging roads from the town of Lawas. Both journeys provide an intimate Borneo experience. Miri is well-connected to all the major Malaysian cities. Accommodation is basic but clean and comfortable; and all participants will be housed in local homestays.