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Pesta Nukenen - The Bario & Kelabit Highlands Food & Cultural Festival

Pesta Nukenen Bario was founded in 2006 as a community-owned food and cultural festival. It was introduced by the management team of the multi-award winning E-Bario ICT centre with support from UPM, the Alde Valley Food Adventures UK and The Resident's Office Miri, receiving His Excellency TYT The Governor of Sarawak as its inaugural Guest of Honour.

Pesta Nukenen is managed and owned by the Kelabit Highlands Kaum Ibu women's group for and on behalf of the Kelabit Highlands community. The Festival celebrates the unique food, farming, forest and cultural heritage of the Highlands - one of the last surviving intact traditionally farmed and forested highland watersheds in Sarawak and East Malaysia.

It seeks to celebrate this remarkable heritage at a time when the forested landscape and cultural monuments of the northern Highlands are at considerable risk from logging conscessions. It celebrates the food, farming and forest heritage of rural areas by promoting low impact community based cultural tourism and medium-long distance eco-trekking in the beautiful Heart of Borneo.


Photo from Bario Food Festival Facebook Page

Activities held during Pesta Nukenen:

Bario Rice Farm Walk: Learn about rice production with a 1-hour guided walk around a family-owned organic rice farm, followed by a long house visit & tea.

Wild Food Walks: Discover some of the common wild vegetables found on farms and next to streams in the forest. Three-hour walk followed by cooking demonstration and wild food tastings.

Homestay Supper: Commission a special Pesta Nukenen meal at homestays and cafés in the highlands, made with Bario Rice & seasonal foods.

Long-Distance Trekking: Ask your homestay or official Bario Nature Guide Council guides about 2- to 6-day treks in the beautiful forest of the Kelabit Highlands in the heart of Borneo.

Pesta Nukenen is held annually, usually in July. Get in touch with us to arrange a trip to experience Pesta Nukenen.
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