Malaysia Backpackers Destination and Homestay


Thursday, April 3, 2008

SARAWAK : APPLE LODGE homestay in Ba Kelalan Highlands

It’s a first for Malaysia — the successful planting of apples at Ba Kelalan in northern Sarawak.

When news of the successful apple cultivation in the cool and tranquil village broke in the 90s, many were skeptical. But the vision of the planters held sway and they are now branching into growing cherries.

Much has changed and while many things still remain quintessentially Ba Kelalan, especially the traditional warm hospitality of the Lun Bawangs, tourism has taken on a more focused approach in anticipation of better things to come.

Seven varieties of apples are grown here, including Washington Apple and its hybrid — thanks to the determination of Tagal Paran (Dr Judson’s father) to take up the challenge after cultivation first failed and was abandoned in the 70s.

When news that apples could be grown in Ba’ Kelalan, it made the headlines in the 90’s but has remained an exotic attraction rather than commercial in nature as the village was outside the mainstream communication network in the State.

Regardless, it has gone on to become an icon of Ba Kelalan, giving birth to Apple Lodge, owned by the Tagal family, and the Apple Lodge Inn in Miri city.

To/from Ba Kelalan: Flights between Lawas and Ba Kelalan run on Monday and Saturday. RM46 one-way before taxes and surcharges. Flights take about 35 minutes.

Getting to the Highlands by land is hard work, especially when compared with flying.

* To/from the Sarawak coast. The easiest and fastest way is by four-wheel drive or trucks between Lawas and Ba Kelalan. The journey, which takes about four or five hours, is over old logging roads and you are virtually guaranteed a bumpy ride as well as the possibility of being bogged in mud during the rainy season.

Ba Kelalan is now enjoying regular flight. service operated by Fly Asian Express. (FAX) and it has become a popular tourist

Ba'Kelalan Apple Fiesta
Venue : Ba'Kelalan Sarawak
Organiser : Borneo Jungle Safari Tours & Travel
Contact : Sandra Munga Tagal
Phone : +6085-419737
Fax : +6085-418737
Email :
Website :

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