Malaysia // Sabah //

Mari Mari Cultural Village

A newer alternative to the similar Monsopiad Cultural Village, with rather more of a theme park feel but also more interaction right from the start: groups have to assign a leader who will introduce them to the costumed “tribal leader” at the village entrance. Inside, visitors are taken on a whistle-stop tour through the longhouses and customs of Sabah’s various tribes.

Activities and demonstrations include rice wine tasting, beekeeping for honey and glue production, starting a fire using bamboo, bouncing on a trampoline, making sweets and using a blowpipe. Towards the end there’s a dance show, followed by a buffet meal. It may all feel a little phoney but, taken in the right spirit, it is also great fun and you come away both entertained and educated.

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