Visiting The Longhouse of Dayak People

Posted on

Tourism of Indonesia

Ready to Go to The Longhouse and the Dayak Way of Life

Planning to go on a tour or travelling, we definitely want a smooth trip, comfortable accommodation, cheap hotels, good food, cheap plane tickets, close to everywhere, and can rent a motorbike or car.


In The Longhouse and the Dayak Way of Life, there is natural beauty and unique culture of the local community. There are many uniqueness, starting from the village (desa), sub-district (kecamatan), district (kabupaten) and provincial levels.

In Indonesia, each province has different and interesting characteristics. Each province has a different and unique culture and lifestyle.

Longhouse or Rumah betang is a typical Kalimantan traditional house which is found in various parts of Kalimantan and is inhabited by Dayak people, especially in the upper reaches of the river which is usually the center of Dayak tribal settlements.

The characteristics of the Betang House are the shape of the stage and elongation. Its length can reach 30-150 meters and its width can reach around 10-30 meters, has a pole that is about 3-5 meters high.

Every Betang House is inhabited by 100-150 people, Betang can be said to be a tribal house, because in addition there is one large family that becomes its inhabitants and is also led by a Pambakas Lewu.

In certain Dayak tribes, the making of the Betang house must fulfill the following requirements including the upstream must be in the direction of the sunrise and downstream towards the sunset.

This is considered a symbol of hard work to survive from the sunrise to sunset. All Dayak tribes, except the Punan Dayak tribe who live wandering, initially reside in communal living together in the house of betang / longhouse, commonly called Lou , Lamin , Betang, and Lewu Hante.

Longhose or Rumah Betang besides the residence is also the center of all traditional activities of the community. If observed more closely, activities in rumah betang resemble traditional educational processes that are non-formal in nature.

In the Dayak community there is a division of tasks or differences in working on traditional arts. Men are skilled in ngamboh (blacksmiths), weaving, and carving, while women are more skilled in weaving and smooth weaving.

In relatively small groups it is easier for every citizen to try to increase their knowledge and skills, so that they can be useful in society, because if they do not have adequate knowledge and skills they are considered lazy.

The government is taking good care of the preservation of nature and maintaining the condition of the forest.

The environment is also well maintained.


Visiting The Longhouse and the Dayak Way of Life, we will witness routine community activities in unique traditional cultures. And there are special dishes and food as part of culinary tours that are delicious and yummy.

When travelling up the Kapuas River, you will pass typical Dayak longhouses, with smoke wafting from atop roofs disappearing behind leafy ferns and rows of coconut trees.

Inside, mothers will have just extracted the coconut juice to prepare a big dinner that smells most inviting. A Dayak longhouse consists of more than 50 rooms with many kitchens, making it one of the largest houses built.

Although many may look dilapidated, nonetheless, they are very sturdy, most built decades ago, and are made of strong ironwood.

The Dayaks are the original inhabitants native to Kalimantan, this large island which was once better known as “Borneo”.  They live in the interior upper regions of this huge island, amidst dense rain forests and along banks of wide rivers.

Once feared for their headhunting raids, the Dayaks today live peacefully from agriculture, forest products, weaving and wood carving.

The Dayak longhouse is a large communal dwelling, where an entire community of extended families resides. These longhouses, known as betang or lamin, are normally located along river banks and are built on strong posts raised above the seasonal flooding.

Such longhouses, therefore, are usually built on 5 meters and sometimes even 8 meter posts, while entry to the house is by a tangka or ladder, notched into a huge log.  As the ladder is pretty precarious, visitors must be careful when climbing.

The river is necessary for the community for the supply of water and food, and of course as a means for travel, and communications with the outside world.

But today such longhouses are fast disappearing or falling into disuse as people prefer to live in smaller homes rather in one large communal dwelling.

One longhouse takes a large number of families. The longhouse at Putussibau, in the upper region of the Kapuas River, for example, counts 54 cubicles, called bilik, for as many families.

There is however one long veranda set aside for communal meetings, rituals, ceremonies, cultural performances or other common activities, where daily, women may be seen busy weaving and the men carving their intricate woodwork.

The longhouse, therefore, provides shelter and builds a framework for continuous, informal contacts and harmonious social relations.

In this place there are also regular events or activities held every year, both national and international.


The journey to The Longhouse and the Dayak Way of Life is now very easy. We can enter through various modes of transportation.

Access to go to The Longhouse and the Dayak Way of Life:

This place is located in the village of Saham, some 158 km. from Pontianak, the longhouse is 186 meter long and 6 meters wide, and is inhabited by no less than 269 persons.

In these houses, each family is assigned the tasks of taking care of communal safety, each must be involved in ceremonies and rituals.  In all, there is a division of labour but also emphasis is on cooperation.

Nevertheless, distinction is still made between aristocrats and commoners. The leader is positioned in the center of the house, with the lowest ranking on the outer side near the entrance

The original longhouses are dispersed in various places, among which are in the district of Sunge Uluk Apalin, at Melapi, Semangkok, Sungai Utik, and at the Bukung district, all in the Kapuas Hulu Region, or the Upper Kapuas.  Such longhouses have become part of Indonesia’s rich national heritage.

But, if you are not prepared to visit these tribal, long, train-like dwellings, a replica longhouse has been built for visitors in downtown Pontianak on Jalan M.T. Haryono.

Standing inside and under this house, you can picture in your mind how incredible it must be if you were in the genuine dwelling together with some 50-odd families and livestock living below deck.

This, together with the river cruise and sincere hospitality of the Dayak, would be an exceptional experience indeed.

The condition of the infrastructure is getting better. Starting from highways, airports, trails, ports, bridges, stairs, even some places can be reached by toll roads.

We can visit by plane, car, ship, bus, motorcycle and bicycle. At some point, we can take the train. We can also walk freely.


In The Longhouse and the Dayak Way of Life, as technology getting better. We can easily find locations for mini markets, shops (warung kedai), Money Changer, ATMs, Bank BRI BCA BNI Mandiri, BTPN Bank Nagari BJB, supermarkets, and restaurants. So we will not starve or lack the necessary items.


When you take a river cruise to the Danau Sentarum National Park or the Betung Kerihun National Park, you must definitely stop by the longhouse at one of the river banks along the river. Nothing similar is found anywhere else in Borneo since here they can reach a length of almost 250 meters or even longer.

To travel into the interior of Kalimantan, we recommend that you use the services of a travel agent. A list appears in “Find Travel Agent”. Packages include transportation, overnight accommodation and meals. A number offer meals with cultural performance inside a longhouse together with the dayaks community.

If you are sick and need help, you can also visit clinics, drugstore pharmacies (apotek), practice doctors, hospitals, and health centers (puskesmas).

In this place we can also look for places of worship such as mosques, churches, and others.


Finding place to stay in The Longhouse and the Dayak Way of Life is very easy. We can stay at homestays, hotels, inns, hostels and other places.

To get lodging at a cheap and definitely comfortable price, please see below:

Experience and Reviews

There are already many visitors have visited The Longhouse and the Dayak Way of Life, there are many interesting stories that are told. Like feeling satisfied, happy, wanting to come again, sleep well, and almost no one is disappointed or complains to come here.

So, visitors will find out on how to find the best hotels, where is exactly located, why it is amazing, how much is the fare and rate, who are the people, whom to ask, and when is the best time to visit.

We can visit these tourist attractions from Tanjung Pinang, Tanjung Redep, Tanjung Selor, Tapak Tuan, Tarakan, Tarutung, Tasikmalaya, Muara Bungo, Muara Enim, Muara Teweh, Muaro Sijunjung, Muntilan, Nabire, Negara, Nganjuk,

That’s all the information we provided, hopefully useful.

Comments are closed.