Batang Ai


Arrival by boat at Hilton Batang Ai Resort


Batang Ai means “main river”. The river has been dammed to form the site of one of the largest hydroelectric schemes in the region. A huge reservoir has been formed which has drowned some of the valleys of the area, and with it, a number of villages and longhouses. The reservoir, however, has provided a magnificent backdrop to some breathtaking scenery, and provides an easy means for accessing areas upstream of the dam. Beyond the lake, visitors can see wonderful dipterocarp forests with drooping trees overhanging the river. In this area the primary means of transport is by boat on the rivers. Batang Ai National Park is but a boat trip away, and has a huge variety of wildlife and flora to amaze the visitor. The trip to the park takes you up river past tiny villages and fish farms. A short hike through areas of the park will provide an insight into the flora and fauna of the region. The park is home to wild Orang-utans and many other protected wildlife such as the hornbills and gibbons.

Trekking in Batang Ai

Another major attraction of this area are the Iban longhouses. Visitors to the area are able to experience the authentic longhouse atmosphere as the traditional lifestyle is still, today, practiced by the longhouse dwellers.

A Trip by Longboat on the Batang Ai River

Photographs on this page are courtesy of Phil Youdale and Hilton’s Batang Ai Longhouse Resort