Iconic bird nests of Long Lama frequently featured as Chinese wedding dinner delicacies (Travelogue Day 4)

A sample of the processed bird nest shown by Yap at a coffeeshop in Ulu Baram on March 14, 2024.

By D’Drift Team

ULU BARAM, March 14: At every Chinese wedding banquet in Long Lama, surely a dish made with bird nest, mostly chicken with bird nest and herb stuffing, will be served.

With Long Lama being the only bird nest collection centre and supplier in Baram, it is only natural for their local product to be included on such important occasions.


According to 58-year-old community leader Penghulu Desmond Yap, bird nests from Long Lama, or widely known as Baram Bird Nest, are different from those in the market.

He said bird nests collected from caves in Baram by the local Kayan and Kenyah are cleaner than those from Niah Caves because the swiftlets here are of a different species.

“Our bird nests are of higher quality. They taste better, and do not disintegrate as easily when cooked,” he added.

Yap speaking to the D’Drift Team at a local coffeeshop in Ulu Baram on March 14, 2024.

Despite it being sold at a price range of between RM6,000 to RM10,000 per kilogramme, which is double the price of those obtained from the Niah Caves, he said bird nests from Long Lama remain in high demand, with global buyers from China and Singapore.

Yap also shared that Long Lama started bottling bird nest infused drinks about five years ago, and ever since then it has become a popular drink among visitors and locals alike.

Each bottle is priced between RM10 and RM25, depending on the amount of bird nests added.

When asked about the health benefits, he said consuming bird nests mainly contributes to fair and smooth skin, which is why it is popular among the ladies.

Another perk about eating bird nests regularly is to improve one’s general health.

“When my father had cancer and was undergoing chemotherapy, there was one week when he had bird nests daily, and he did not experience any side effects from the procedure,” Yap told the D’Drift Team when met at a local coffeeshop here today.

Apart from bird nests, Long Lama is surprisingly also famous for its durians, which Yap boasted can compete with the legendary Musang King.

He said Long Lama durians may not be as fleshy as the Musang King, but its fragrance lingers longer and can last for an entire day.

“Bruneians and Mirians often come here during the (durian) season and buy in bulk,” said Yap, who is the third generation of his family — one of the founding families of Long Lama.

Meanwhile, Yap clarified that the name ‘Long Lama’ does not translate to ‘old river’, as the original name of the town was Long Lamah, which is named after the Lamah River. — DayakDaily