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“An unforgetable and deeply moving experience”

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The Ngimat Ayu House Bario
Ranked #1 of 5 Bario B&B and Inns
Reviewed 11 July 2013

We (a few of us from Adelaide, Perth-Australia & NZ) stayed in Bario at Ngimat Ayu Long House in March 2013 for the 68th anniversary memorial of the first parachute landing of the 'Semut 8 'Z' Special Unit' men into Bario in 1945 of which my Father was one.. Mr Charles Frederick Sanderson DCM of Newcastle Australia. He was part of the Semut Australian Forces operation to liberate Borneo from Japanese occupation at the end of WW2. Our accommodation was exceptional. Hosts Scott and Deborah are very special people. The food they prepared for us was tasty and delicious, the rooms were clean and the atmosphere simply beautiful - apart from the freezing cold showers due to no hot water for bathing in Bario. The beautiful Kelabit people of Bario are incredibly warm, intelligent, friendly and very much aware of what is happening in the outside world whilst remaining quite removed and unaffected by it. It was such a beautiful escape from outside world of chaos and greed. Some of us are planning to return again for the 70th anniversary on the 25th March 2015. Please come and join us in our celebrations. We hope to stay in Scott & Deborah's Long House again and hopefully arrange a special Sape music concert...beautiful instrument and sound.
Linda Sanderson-Burr Adelaide Australia lindaleila@iprimus.com.au

Room Tip: Take a mosquito net and a good torch as generated power doesn't come on until 6pm then off again...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with friends
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3  Thank lindaleila
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 2 June 2013

When I was planning this trip to Bario with a friend, we didn't expect too much cos we just wanted to find a nice and quiet place to spend a couple of days away from the urban busy landscape of Kuala Lumpur, a friend of mine had recommended this place about a year ago after my Bakelalan trip, I kept the contact and address of Ngimat Ayu homestay, since is recommended by a friend, so it must be worth the stay and finally booked a ourselves a
4 days 3 nights stay via online.

We arrived in Bario before noon time, Apui greeted us at the airport and soon we loaded our backpacks and jumped into a pick up truck driven by Jolly and he took us to Ngimat Ayu. After about 15 minutes drive, we arrived at Ngimat Ayu, it was a nice looking house built on a little slope overseeing the padi fields, we were greeted by Debra who happened to be Apui's niece, she is friendly and she shown us to our rooms, the house has separate levels, the kitchen and dinning is separated from the guest rooms with common shared bathrooms, the bedrooms looked basic and has 2 single beds and a small table, most important of all it is clean. Outside the rooms were an elongated living area with sofa set for guests to chill out and relax. It was non peak period and coincide with school holiday period we were told when we arrived, that tells us why the surrounding was quiet and peaceful during our stay, only 2 bedrooms were occupied out of 5/6 rooms upstairs. We were told there were places allocated for some who may want to be more adventurous to camp/sleep in a tent downstairs.

Vanilla, a friendly ambassador of Ngimat Ayu came to greet us us too by sniffing through our backpacks as lunch was served. During our stay in Ngimat Ayu, Debra who took care of our request most of the time, she lined up some interesting itineraries i.e visit to the Penan temporary settlement after half hour walk through the village and school, a visit to the pineapple farm as we scale through the padi fields, collecting wild vegetables and mushrooms, a visit to the sheep farm and the long houses, visit to the local morning market etc. Although one of the attraction was to do a half day trek up the prayer mountain if you are here for spiritual purpose, but I have decided to do this and visit the salt factory the next time am
back in Bario.

I must say even though if you are here just for a short stay, because of where Ngimat Ayu is located, you could just sit down at the verandah with a cup of nice warm cup of coffee or tea, bring along a nice book to read, admire the beautiful scenery of the land of the wind (Bario), looking across stretches of padi fields and just watch the day goes by, the highland weather was perfect, cooling and refreshing especially in the evening and morning, you can also rent
a bicycle and cycle around the villages and padi fields and get an up close and personal tour.
Meals are served 3 times a day, simple local delicacies, coffee and tea is complimentary.

I guess when you are visiting a place, best is to go along with the least expectation, I came to Bario with the least expectation, I got so much more out of Bario, from our hosts at Ngimat Ayu - Apui, Debra & George and not forgetting Jolly,(hope I got all their name right?). More importantly, come here with a sense of simplicity, you will not be disappointed, Apui and team will be there to assist you with your needs. Am currently planning my return stay at Ngimat Ayu, hope things are the still the same or better, see you soon, Bario!

Room Tip: All rooms are clean and have windows. Choice of, queen bed, 2 single bed, camp/sleep in a tent.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled with friends
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5  Thank Sue S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 June 2013

Passing through Kuala Lumpur, I had stayed at the Shangri-La hotel. In Bario I found a true Shangri-La.
I arrived on a tiny propeller plane from Miri. I was the only tourist. This place is way off the beaten track. I was enchanted by the landscape as we flew in. Bario is a peaceful place with its stunning scenery and friendly folk... hardly touched by the outside world... Fortunately [or not, depending on your perspective] there is internet connection.
I was so happy with my choice of accommodation.
Ngimat Ayu Guesthouse is built in traditional wooden long house style.
Apui, also known as Scott, was a most charming and helpful host. Nothing was too much trouble. One one the days, he escorted myself and 2 other guests on a most interesting trek. We cycled the first part and trekked the rest through difficult and muddy terrain, to find the settlement of the nomadic Penan tribe. Fascinating stuff.
All food was included in the room rate and was freshly cooked in the large dining kitchen by the lovely Deborah. It was delicious!
Most of the food is foraged locally and Apui had pointed out some of the local edible plants on our walk. Meat and fish are hunted locally.
As another reviewer pointed out, this is a local homestay. As are the other lodgings in Bario. It does not have fancy facilities. It has shared bathrooms and cold showers.
However it is clean and comfortable, with beautiful views & the most charming of hosts.
While it may not have 5 star facilities, I was certainly given a 5 star welcome.
I look forward to visiting this small paradise again before too long and will definitely stay again in this this lovely lodging, where I was made to feel so at home. Thank you Apui & Deborah.

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled solo
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2  Thank kabirgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 June 2013

NGIMAT AYU HOMESTAY overlooks Paddy fields and Fish ponds and is close to schools, Bario Longhouse and Art gallery on the hill nearby. We stay with Scott back in 2010 and this year in 2013 again in March. Scott arranged for us to be picked up from and back to the Airport. The meals at the Homestay were so top class that a Hornbill wanted to have some as well.
My wife found the Bed a little firm but 2 mattresses solved that problem with the quiet at night to give a restfull sleep. Scott is an incredible host, nothing is too much trouble for him, and so willing to make our stay as special and memorable as possible. Watching the Mist in the morning rise to reveal the mountains and seeing it come down late afternoon is an unreal experience.

Room Tip: Ask Scott for upstairs Bedroom so you can walk out onto the Balcony
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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank twisted2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 May 2013

We arrived in Bario and had organised to head off to pa lungan the same day. We met Scott at the airport who was picking up guests for that night and he kindly offered to take our excess luggage with him and mind it until we were back in Bario, and then drove us to the start of our trek.

When we made it back for our stay, everyone was just as helpful. They organised hand drawn maps of the area so we could explore on their bikes and took us on a trip to visit the local produce farms. The food was amazing and the pineapple curry was the best meal I had in the month we spent in Borneo. In April, the rice fields have all been harvested so Bario isnt at its most picturesque but the view from the common balcony over the paddy fields at sunset was hard to beat. Our stay at Ngimat Ayu was faultless.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Lairdo1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 November 2012

The Ngimat Ayu guest house is situated in beautiful Bario with a scenic view of rice paddies. The food is very good. But this is let down by the uncomfortable beds, noise at night, and apathetic service of the proprietor, Apui.

Bario is a place with little formal tourism infrastructure, so to see much the region you are essentially reliant on the people at your guest house. On this score, Apui let us down. Obtaining information about the sights and surrounding villages was like getting blood from a stone. He seemed totally disinterested in helping us plan our time in Bario, and - when we finally did manage to plan an overnight trip to the nearby village of Pa Lungan - our plans ultimately fell through because he was unable to find a guide for us. (Our guide was originally going to be Apui, but - on the morning of our departure - he seemed to decide it wasn't worth his time.)

Feeling disappointed, we left to find another guest house nearby. They provided us with a wealth of information, and we were able to depart for Pa Lungan that day. Bario is a wonderful place to visit if you have helpful people to point you in the right direction. Sadly, we were unable to find such people at Ngimat Ayu Homestay.

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled with family
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7  Thank Andrew G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 October 2012

Together with my girlfriend I stayed in the Ngimat Ayu's Homestay for 5 nights, of which one in the jungle. His homestay is a fantastic place to stay to see the beautiful environment of Bario. Together with Deborah he runs the homestay in the most hospitable way we have ever experienced. The rooms are tidy and comfortable. The view on the veranda are fantastic and you sit and look for hours. The food is not only found/caught locally, but also tastes very good! It was a feast every time! The people of Bario are all very friendly and welcome you in town.

We did some amazing hikes into the jungle (with overnight near the river, fantastic!), as well a great kayaking tour on the river nearby, which we will both never forget! All accompanied by Apoi. He organises all tours and trips very well and he always brings the nicest local snacks with him (pineapple and Bario-rice snacks!)…

We hope to come back soon!!

Room Tip: We had the double room, but all rooms are fine!
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  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Kurvers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about The Ngimat Ayu House Bario

Address: Ulung Palang | Ulung Palang Village, Bario, Malaysia
Region: Malaysia > Sarawak > Miri District > Bario
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 B&Bs / Inns in Bario
Price Range: £29 - £43 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A House on the hill with breathtaking view of Bario valley offering accommodation and tours in the Kelabit Highlands. ... more   less 

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