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“Authentic jungle getaway”
Review of Kurakura Homestay

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Kurakura Homestay
Ranked #7 of 81 Kuching B&B and Inns
Reviewed December 2, 2009

Larz and Lisa are the real thing - genuine people with a true passion for life in the jungle. At Kura Kura Homestay, they open their beautiful home to their guests, and let you into their lives in the jungle.

Your time with Larz and Lisa will most likely start as ours did - with a mini van pick up from Kuching. A quick stop was made on the way at a local market frequented by people from the surrounding jungle villages where they sell their produce - all kinds of varieties of organic fruits and vegetables, and seafood, meats, and poultry. This is the last call before Lisa's home village, a further thirty minutes drive away. Upon arrival at Lisa's home village, the mode of transport changes from mini van to longboat for the twnety minute ride up the Sarawark river to their remote home in the jungle.

Kura Kura homestay is a simple affair, so don't expect luxury. Lar's and Lisa's way of life is very much back to the basics, and that's just the way they like it. They make use of solar power, grow a large vegetable garden, go 'jungle shopping' for food, recycle, and use rain water for alot of their water needs.

The rooms are private but small, and have the necessities - a bed with bedding and towels, mosquitoe net, desk, chair, mirror, and a fan. This is mainly out of practicality as it is diffictult to move large, heavy objects upriver on a boat (there is no access road). Most of your time will not be spent in your room anyway. We found that sitting on the deck overlooking the tranquil jungle surroundings, and chatting Lars and Lisa and other guests was much more entertaining than sitting in our room.

Your experiences at Kura Kura will depend on what you want to do, the weather, and how much time you have. For us, it was part of our honeymoon and we booked two nights and three full days. My husband got sick from eating some street food at the Sunday markets the day before our pick up, and so he didn't have much energy for long trecks into the jungle, but this can be arranged, and there are alot of interesting places to visit. We took a boat ride upriver to the entrance to a mountain cave, and then hiked back through the jungle on the narrow trails used by the local villagers for their farming and rubber sap collection. We also took a dip in the Sarawark river, saw a traditional longhouse, went to an orchid garden, saw orangutans at Semongok Wildlife Village, and did alot of bird watching from the deck.

The jungle is thick, and teeming with wildlife. Lars, and Lisa in particular because she grew up in the area and it is her family's village land, are very knowledgable on the area. We found out so much from them about the traditional usages of the plants and trees, like what can be eaten and what is poisonous, what can be used for medicine, and how to take care of yourself in the jungle.

What else can I say about Kura Kura other than that we had an unforgettable time. There was great food cooked in traditional ways using fresh ingredients from the jungle and markets, local wine and beer, all shared over good company and much laughter. We will be back to see Lars and Lisa again, hopefully for an anniversary in a couple of years to come, and we have a great respect for their way of life.

Tips:
*** Travel lightly. If you have big bags, as we did, you can take out what you need for your stay and put it into an overnight bag / backpack, and leave the rest at Lisa's parents house.
*** Bring insect repellent.
*** Ask Lars and Lisa before you come if there is something they need from your home country (if you have room in your luggage and are so inclined to offer this courtesy).

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank priscbazaar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 29, 2009

Thank god for tripadvisor or I would hardly have found Kurakura. Lars and Liza (and their cats) were the most perfect hosts in their hidden jungle lounge, only accessible by boat, making my three days there the highlight of my trip to Malaysia.
Sure, the room is very basic and small and the mosquitos feed on you but sitting on the verandah while a tropical rainshower pours down, making long hiking trips day and night, these are the things you will remember. Lisa sure is a great cook and while there might be no shoe-shine service this nice couple did everything to make me feel comfortable.
Maybe they´ll manage to build a guest bungalow with shower in the future? Then I will be happy to spend a week or two...
But anyway, if I happen to be in Sarawak again, I will definitely be a Kurakura guest again.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled solo
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1  Thank 30degreesminimum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 10, 2009

Transportation to and from the airport. Bargain for groceries at the local market. Stop at local Bidayuh village and say hello to Lisas family. Looking at wildlife as you drive up the river in a longboat. And this is before getting to Kurakura Homestay.
Once there you get the feeling that you’re in the middle of the jungle.

The place consists of four rooms with bunker beds, shared toilet and shower (all very nice and clean). There is also a proper kitchen, dinner table and a livingroom with a small library. Breakfast is usually on the terrace which is also a delightful place to just sit down and relax and listen to the junglesounds or read a book after the numerous activities they also offer (river safari, trekking to batcave, swimming, visit to local village).

The food is just amazing and how they get and prepare it is even more astonishing. They have a garden where they grow vegetables, herbs, fruit and spice but the true experience is going with Lisa and learn what the jungle offers (wild ginger, ferns, shoots of bamboo, tapioka, different kind of fruits and more...). Be sure to get a taste of their speciality: snails from the river (you pick them yourself) with pineapple, lemongrass and chili in a great sauce.
Needless to say Lisa is a great chef and more than willing to share one of her great recipes!

Lars and Lisa are truly a friendly and accomodating couple that loves to cater you and listen to your adventures as well as share their owns. They have travelled all over the world so do not hesitate to ask for some tips and tricks for your ongoing journey.

A highly recommeded place!

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Santanos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 8, 2009

We only intended to stay one night but after arriving by longboat to KuraKura we immediately decided to stay 2 nights and would have stayed longer if we didn't have to catch a flight to KK.
It is a gorgeous getaway that has been designed and built beautifully by Lars an Liza themselves. It is set right on the river in the jungle and overlooks stunning sunsets.
The hospitality is fantastic. Lars and Liza are so very friendly. You feel like you are at home or staying as a friend and not just a passing tourist. Liza cooked us all kinds of exotic meals, using ingredients from their endless fruit and veg garden! - including chilli and lemongrass snails!!
They were happy to organise a kayaking trip down the river for us. They have many activities that can be arranged depending on how adventurous you are. We did a night walk through the jungle to the local village and then night swim in the river, so peaceful.

If you are wanting to get away from the touristy areas and experience the 'real' Borneo, definitely make this stay a priority. A top spot that isn't to be missed!

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank millz09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 3, 2009

Situated in what felt like the middle of nowhere, this homestay is definitely for you if you are looking for an exotic retreat away from the hustle & bustle of the city. A small place with four guestrooms furnished with double / bunker beds, very simple and clean. Common shower & toilet. Everything is kept basic yet my husband and I found it to be sufficient.
Owners Lars & Liza are very accommodating. They share their homestay with their cats. Follow Liza "jungle shopping" & learn a thing or two about the vegetation in the jungle. Most of the ingredients she uses for her cooking are found right outside her doorstep. She is an amazing cook, very exotic food.
Some activities include jungle trekking, exploring a bat cave and taking a dip in the river to cool-off, or simply relaxing on the terrace in the evening when it is cooler and just listening to the calming sounds of nature.
Highly recommended for a short relaxing trip to recharge your batteries.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank ghazama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 4 days ago via mobile
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Stayed: September 2017
Thank Jessica Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 19, 2017
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  • Stayed: April 2017, traveled with family
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Thank Fanny K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kurakura Homestay

Address: Kampung Semadang | Q325 Jalan Kampung Semadang, Kuching 93250, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Sarawak > Kuching
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 81 B&Bs / Inns in Kuching
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kurakura Jungle Homestay is a place to explore the wildlife surrounding and to escape from the city stress. You'll find us next to the Sarawak river, a paradise surrounded by the rainforest of Borneo. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Kurakura Homestay Hotel Kuching
Kurakura Homestay Kuching, Sarawak

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