Ba Kelalan Apple Fest

 
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Ba Kelalan Apple Fest is a festival to commemorate the Apple harvest in the highland located near the foot of Mount Murud. The first Apple Fest was held on March, 2007 for the 38th Apple Harvest, but the villagers have been actively involved in growing apples since 1986, and had now enjoyed bountiful harvests and marketing these apples to Lawas, Miri and other nearby towns as far as Kota Kinabalu in Sabah.

Ba Kelalan is the only apple orchard in the country. The cold and serene area is located about 3,500 meters above ground level, environment suitable for the fruit.

The usual Apple species like Rome Beauty, Lady William, Apple Anna, Tropical Beauty, Michelle, Kwan Lin and Jonathan are grown here, but the local species known as Mana Lagi (translated "Where Else") locally cultivated from - where else - Ba Kelalan. The Mana Lagi type looks like the usual variety green apples found at supermarkets, but the differences is that they are sweet and crunchy.

Apples are just one fruit the people in Ba Kelalan got their hands on. They have also farming strawberry, and these are in the initial stages at the moment.

The Apple Fest is an annual event, and to reach Ba Kelalan, one has to travel by air. Regular flights by Twin Otters to Ba Kelalan are available from Miri Airport, and it is important to consider that flight schedules are affected weather, as with all other inland flights. So in order to visit one needs to plan accordingly and take into account possible weather-related delays.

Besides the Apple Fest, there are quite some interesting activities to be done at Ba Kelalan, such as trekkings to Mulu, Merarap Hot Spring, Bario and even to Indonesia. Accomodations in Ba Kelalan are homestay-style - the best way to learn about the rich culture and traditions of the Lun Bawang.

Borneo Jungle Safari Sdn. Bhd. arranges regular tours to Ba Kelalan and also operates Apple Lodge accomodation in the village.

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