Rainforest World Music Festival 2012 was wicked!!!!

Updated: I listed down my spending for the whole trip as a friend requested for it. I hope that’ll help you in budgeting your expenses for next year’s RWMF! :)

Note: This will be one of those blog post where I’m going to show off things. So get ready to be bombarded with party pictures :) Yes, I am writing this post to make you super jealous that I had a fucking awesome weekend. That is the point. Hehe. 

First of all, the Rainforest World Music Festival 2012 (RWMF) was AMAZING!!!!!!! I was so blown away by all the international and local performances! They were sooooo gooooodddd!!!!!!

It was my first time at the festival and it would definitely not be my last! I just had such a ball of time there with great friends, meeting new local and international friends, drinking away and dancing my ass off. It was such a wild experience and definitely more worth it than *cough* MTV World Stage *cough*.

Well technically, I could never compare the both because World Stage could not come close to being as awesome as RWMF! Hehehe.

Let’s start from the beginning. And mind you, this will be a long but extremely fun (hopefully!) post. :)

Early this year

I have always wanted to go RWMF. When my friend went last year and told bragged about it to me when she got back, I made it a point to go this year so that I too can brag about it myself. (Like what I’m doing now. Hehe.) I didn’t have friends go to with, but I figured that I could just go by myself and find new friends there instead, so I booked a flight ticket to Kuching. I wanted to do something fun where I could travel and meet new people but at the same time, it must not be too expensive either so what better way to do that than to travel to an international festival in your own country!

Because I wanted to meet new people, I chose to stay in a dorm in this place called B&B Inn in Kuching. They had some fairly good reviews from people, so I figured, “why not?”.

Then, the BIG day came!

Thursday (12th July)

Woke up early to take the train to the airport. From KL Sentral to LCCT via KLIA transit is RM12.50 which was not too bad. It was super fast.

Reached Kuching around 1.30pm and got picked by Ari who’s a Kuching native. It was my first time in Kuching and he was such a sweetheart for showing me around. We went to check into my dorm which I thought was fairly decent. It was clean and the staff was friendly. It was also my first time staying in a local (Malaysian) dorm which was not that expensive, it was only RM20 per night (my first time staying in a dorm was in London)!

My room, well, part of it.

As I was chilling in my room taking countless vain pictures of myself, I bumped into Nat, a German girl who was on the beginning of her two-month travel around Asia. We chatted for a bit and that eventually led to me inviting her to join my Ari and I for dinner and then seeing Ari spin in Havana before partying with a bunch of friends in this bar with, as I found out from Ari, many names – Junk, Backstage…

Vain picture.
My awesome host and friend, Ari, after his gig.
Nat, Ame and I

Ame is another interesting story. Also from Germany, he took a year off just to go travelling! It’s so insane! I wish I could be more like them, just travelling by myself… That would be wicked!

Products of Miri, KL and KK!

Nat and I got back around 3am while the others decided to end their night in some mamak. We were so tired, we needed to sleep!

Friday (13th July)

By noon, we headed off to the Sarawak Cultural Village where the RWMF is held. We checked into our rooms in the many long houses there and went exploring around the village and the Damai beach which was just across the road from the village. It was so beautiful!

Orang Ulu Long House where we stayed!
The beach, Ame’s ukulele and my glorious feet.

Then it was time for the first night of RMWF!

Look at that crowd!
Post-festival; the Photographer at work.

Performers that I enjoyed that night; String Sisters (I was blown away!), Rhythm of Borneo (The moment they said, “Aramaitii!”, I was in love! Lol!), La Zikabilo (Really upbeat music. Had fun dancing to them!) and Zee Avi. It was pretty neat to see Zee Avi live, she’s just so full of energy. Her music’s pretty mellow to be a closing act though, especially since La Zikabilo totally hype up the crowd before she came out.

Saturday (14th July)

The next morning we woke up to the sounds of a rock performance. They were doing sound checks for the night’s performance and we pretty much had an idea on what the performance for the night is about.

After we got ready, we headed straight to have breakfast before going to the beach for a morning swim or for me, relaxing.

Orang Ulu long house; verandah.
Kav and I showing off our funky wristbands.
Ad having his hair done.
Saw this and thought it was pretty hilarious!
The Photographer at work.

If you’re going for next year’s RWMF, make sure to also head to the workshops! They are super fun and interesting to be a part of. It’s always nice to soak into other cultures and most of the workshops are interactive so you can join in the fun too.

One of the workshops. We were told to stand up and dance after this picture was taken. It was heaps of fun!
The Photographer outside of the Iban Long House.

After the workshop, we spent our evening at the beach and just enjoying the sunset.

Who knew I have a talent in taking pictures of sunsets! :P
Sun setting on Santubong and the Damai Centre.

Then it was concert time!

My favourite group; Khusugtun from Mongolia. They do throat singing which is eerily beautiful!

With Sev (Germany) and Cass (Australia). Wicked bunch!
With my sister from another mister! College friends and party dinosaurs. Roar!

Performers that I really enjoyed were Khusugtun (I don’t have to tell why, they’re just super amazing!), Raiz De Cafezal (They’re from Brazil! BRAZIL! Need I say more about their music?) and Diplomats of Drums (I enjoyed their workshop and again, nothing says Malaysia than having a band with various traditional instruments from the Chinese, Malay and Indian!).

I totally danced my ass off on the second day as it was also my last night. I decided to make the best of it! It was so fun to dance with everyone whom I met in Kuching and because nobody really cared how you dance, I just danced however I want to dance and not get self conscious of myself because I am not THAT good in dancing. But then again, there’s always a first in everything; mine was dancing in public and REALLY moving my ass off instead of just swaying. It was so fun!

My feet were really killing me by the end of the night and I literally couldn’t walk! Also, my hips were in pain from all the shaking! It’s a definite proof that I did indeed partied hard that night!

After hanging by the beach for a bit, we decided to head back. Instead of taking my shower (which I normally would take, especially when I’m overly sweaty), I proceeded to my bed and dozed off in an instant. I was THAT tired!

Sunday (15th July)

Last day in Kuching as well as the RWMF. Because my flight was midnight, I couldn’t go to the finale which sucks. We went around the cultural village (fully this time) and checked out some stuff being sold there. They were beautiful!

Waking up to the Sape being played is heaven!
Beautiful Melanau Tall House!
Nat’s new backpack that she has been eyeing on for quite some time.
Pretty scary staircase!
Bidayuh costume for guys that looks exactly the same as the Kadazan costume, but with only gold trimmings and buttons. Also, it would be worn by Kadazan women.
Cass’ hand. Jealous that she gets to go for three days of the festival!

After hanging with the group, I decided to pack my bag and go to town (Kuching) where I met up with Ari who took me to his place to have dinner. His mom was pretty sweet to cook dinner for us. The best part is too though is that she is from Sabah so we had a whole lot of story to share with each other!

At the airport immigration, I almost couldn’t pass through because I lost my visitor pass which sucks so bad! I told the immigration officer that it was my first time in Sarawak so he let me off. But I was told though that the visitor pass is very important and you need to keep it and give it back to them when you leave Sarawak. It’s weird though. I thought Sabahans and Sarawakians do not get visitor pass if they visit each other’s state since we’re both East Malaysia. :/



Here are some of the things that I got from my travel to Sarawak and to the RWMF.

1. Get my butt to RWMF 2013 because it’s just fucking awesome! Pre-book everything in advance and save money!

2. Stay in a B&B/dorm so that I could meet new people. Also, it is a smart idea to meet new people so that you could have each other to hang with during the festival.

3. Travelling is AMAZING. It opens your mind to new things and makes you look at the world and yourself in a new perspective. If you can’t travel, meeting people who travel around is just as awesome. Ask for their experiences, they always have cool stories to tell you about their travels.

4. Stay within the cultural village compound or near it. It’s always neat to stay in one of the long/tall houses.

5. Bring more sleeveless tops and shorts. It will be hot! Also, tops that you don’t mind getting soak in mud if so happens it rains.

6. Save money for booze or just surround yourself with friends who drink. They would eventually share their drinks with you! Lol! Can you believe it, I did not spend a single cent on booze when I was there and I got to drink a whole ray of alcohol; from beer to the traditional rice wine – Tuak and Langkau.

7. Try not to bring bags during concert. It’s so hard to move (dance). What you need is just a small plastic bag and put your camera, money and phone in it. That was what I did!

8. Don’t be shy to dance. Let yourself loose! Nobody cares how you look like when you dance. It would look more weird if you don’t dance. Dancing is the whole point of any music festival! You HAVE to dance! Also, it’s fun!

9. Bring comfortable slippers/shoes. I wore the wrong pair of sandals and my feet hurt like mad after that! A definite must have – comfy footwear!

10. Go there with an open and curious mind. Absorb all the different cultures not only from the performers themselves, but also from the native groups of Sarawak as well people you meet in general. Be inquisitive and get ready to share your own story with them too!



Festival Tickets: RM220 (Per day – RM110)

Flight tickets (KL – KCH – KL): RM195

Accommodation (Dorm): RM20 X 4 Days = RM80

Bus Rides (KCH – RWMF – KCH): RM30 (One Way – RM15)

Miscellaneous (Food, drinks etc…): RM50 (I chose cheap food to eat – less than RM10 – and it helps to share with friends too. I had RM2 nasi lemak at the Damai Centre food court, just across the street from the cultural village which was pretty filling. Also, it’s worth noting that I did not buy any souvenirs during my stay there.)

Total = RM575



Festival Tickets:
50% off on tickets, hence 3 days package would be RM150 instead of RM300

Flight Tickets: 
I bought my KL-KCH tickets for RM75 around February, but RM120 for my KCH-KL tickets which I got in June. So if I did get my round trip tickets in February, it would probably be around RM150 too or cheaper. Probably.

Accommodation (Dorm):
RM20 X 4 Days = RM80

Bus Rides (KCH – RWMF – KCH):
RM30 (So if you are staying in Kuching itself and plan to take the bus to go back and forth to the festival, it would be wise to get a 3-day bus pass worth RM60. Note: Price may change in the future.)

RM50 – RM100 (Well, it depends on how much you plan to spend for food, booze and everything else.)

Total Spending = RM460

* Note that this is just an estimation.


So, hopefully after reading this post, you’d be pumped to make your way down to RWMF 2013! If so, I’ll see you there!!!! Hehe.


Author: Jasmine

Jasmine is from tropical Borneo. She loves traveling, fashion and all things lifestyle.

14 thoughts on “Rainforest World Music Festival 2012 was wicked!!!!”

  1. My conclusion after reading your post:

    MUST. ATTEND. RWMF.2013.

    OMG I’m so jealous. Especially at the fact that you went alone and made a bunch of new friends along the way. I always have this apprehension about traveling alone that even if I wanted to do it, I didn’t.

    It’s changed now. I will go even if that means I have to do it alone.

    Btw, I’m Gladys. Been lurking your blog for quite some time. This is my first comment :p


    1. Haha! Yes you should!

      If you do plan to travel alone, always make a point to stay in a dorm to meet new people! I’ve met a lot of people during my stay in Kuching who travel by themselves during their semester break or just, like Ame, took a year off to just go travelling by himself. It’s really scary but you’ll always meet new people along the way and they’re super friendly too! I’ve come up to so many people and just talk to them. Remember, they’re as lonely as you too and they always welcome new people to interact with!

      And hello there Gladys! Glad that you dropped by to say hi! I’ll see you in RWMF 2013 then! :)

    Can you tell me on how to book if I want to stay in any of the traditional houses? and do boys and girls sleep in the same house?

    Your blog is awesome, by the way :D

  3. Hi there!
    I am planning to go next year but I am a bit unsure about the accommodation.. Is the dorm that you stayed in located in the cultural village itself? And how do I go about booking it?

    And thanks for the write up! It was really good and helpful.. :)

  4. Cool! I was there too! It was my second time at RWMF, but have to behave this year and seats cozily by the hillside since I just had a minor surgery…but its still an awesome experience! Will definitely be there on 2013!

  5. Hi! I’m headed to the fest next month! I’m traveling solo so I want to meet up with other travelers. What would be the best hostel/dorm to stay? Also does the festival sell out?


    p.s. I will be blogging about it if you’d like to follow at facebook.com/travelstache

    1. Hi Scott!

      Thanks for the comment! There are a lot of dorms/hostels in Kuching. The place that I stayed in was B&B Inn, directly at the centre of the city, so it was pretty near to everything – within walking distance to all the cool places in Kuching. You can check them out here (http://www.hostelbookers.com/hostels/malaysia/kuching/17360/). You can also find various other list of hostels and dorms in Kuching via hostelbookers.com. That website always helps me.

      Nope, the festival does not sell out. You can buy it at the counter on the festival day itself! :) But if you want to be safe, you can always purchase tickets online on their website (http://rwmf.net/).

      Good luck with your trip and have fun! I wish I could go there this year, but I won’t be. Perhaps next year for me!

  6. Hi there Jasmine!
    This is a very well written and comprehensive post on Rainfest 2012. I’m glad that you enjoyed yourself. Let me skip to it: I represent an up-and-coming Kuching-based travel agency. Can I contact you by email to explain further?

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