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Sarawak Tourist Attraction

 

There i something utterly fascinating and mystical about Sarawak. This is the largest state in Malaysia, occupying the southern western ridge of Borneo.

Its verdant jungles are strewn with massive natural formations, the world's largest cave chambers as well as endemic flora and fauna. Sarawak's greatest assets include its UNESCO World Heritage Site and numerous protected national parks. The vast number of hornbills found here has made Sarawak to be fondly known as "the Land of the Hornbills".

Its vibrant ethnic groups, coupled with the legacy of the Brooke dynasty, weave a history filled with intrigue and fascination. Kuching, the capital city, is a good place to get a glimpse into the past.

 

Gunung Mulu National Park

Miri

 

 

One of the most outstanding attraction in Sarawak, Gunung Mulu National Park is a treasure trove of beritcal cliffs, jagged limestone pinnacles and intricate cave networks. The area is a paradise for researchers with some 20,000 animals and 3,5000 plant species.

Tours and caving expeditions are available from the park office. Visitors can choose from introductory intermediate or advanced tours depending on their experience and fitness levels. Tours are accompanied by World Heritage Guides. To truly appreciate the beauty of Mulu, visitors are advised to allocate at least several days for their trip here. Accommodation ranges from camp sites, forest huts to the exclusive Royal Mulu Resort nestled amidst amidst the rainforest. Mulu is accessible by air from Miri.
 

Must do:

  • Visit the four show caves - Deer, Lang, Clearwater and Wind Caves

  • Watch million of bats from the Bat Obserwatory

  • Make your way to The Pinnacles

  • Trek along the Headhunters Trail to Limbang

  • Go up the 480m Mulu Canopy Skywalk

  • Explore the Medicine Plants Trail

Mula is the site of some astounding natural attractions:

  • Deer Cave has the largest cave passage in the orld

  • Clearwater Cave is Asia's longest cave

  • The Sarawak Chamber is the world's largest cave chamber. It can chamber. It can accommodate 40 Boering 747 aircrafts

~ A unique feature at the Deer Cave is the formation which resembles the profile of Abraham Lincoln

~ Gunung Mulu's signature attraction is the razar-sharp limestone spikes called The Pinacles.

 

Niah National Park

Miri

 

Millions of bats and swift lets, numerous historical sites, ancient tombs and a primary rainforest come together to enchant visitors at this national park. Sprawling over 3,238ha, Niah National Park enjoys great popularity among history lovers and researchers for its archaeological significance. The Great Cave here was inhabited by prehistoric men nearly 40,000 years ago. Among the relics unearthed includes Neolithic paintings and Paleolithic artifacts. Another attraction is the Painted Caves, where depictions of human-like figures were found near an ancient buriat site. Niah National Park is accessible from Miri and Bintulu. It is situated about 109km from Miri or 131km from Bintulu. Accommodation ranges from chalets, hostels to a rest house.
 
Must do:

  • Explore the forest trails

  • Visit the Iban longhouse nearby

  • Enjoy a boat ride

  • Explore the Freat Cave to see the excavation sites

  • Visit Niah's famous Painted Cave

~ Niah's Great Cave and Painted Cave are declared as National Histarical Manuments

~ Dubbed as the cradle of human civilization in the region Niah is one of the most important archaeological sites in the world

 

Bako National Park

Kuching

 

Boka National Park is ideal for day trips because of its proximity to the city. It is also said to be the best place to start your discovery of the state's rainforest. Among the occupants of this national park are the rare proboscis monkeys, long-tailed macaques, leaf monkeys, monitor lizards, plantain squirrels and about 150 species of birds. Accommodation is available in the form of forest hostels and lodges. Many tour companies organise tours to Bako.

 

Kuching Waterfront

Kuching

 

Kuching Waterfront is a 900m long esplanade. It is a popular hangout for locals and foreigners alike. A number of heritage building surround the waterfront. interesting sights include the Chinese History Museum, Sarawak Steamship Building and square Tower, each with its own history and saga. The area is best explored via the walking trails that have been laid out Avid shoppers can visit the Main Bazaar nearby, where a stretch of shops offer an assortment of handicrafts.

 

Sarawak Museum

Kuching

 

Housed in a stately building bearing Victorian-style architecture, this museum is a repository of information on the state's ethnography, natural history, crafts and the petroleum industry. The new wing (Dewan Tun Abdul Razak) showcases artefacts related to archaeology. Please take note that visitors are not allowed to bring in their cameras.
 
Opening hours:

  • 9.00am - 4.45pm (Monday - Firday)

  • 10.00am - 4.00pm (Saturday & Sunday)

 

Cat Museum

Kuching

 

Enjoy an interesting display of all things feline! Exhibits range from feline art, souvenirs, a pictorial collection of cats, to statues and legends that are associated with these adorable furry friends.

~ Kuching's Cat Museum is the first of its kind in the world. Kuching means "cat" in Bahasa Malaysia, the national language.
 
Opening Hours:

  • 9.00am - 4.45pm (Monday - Firday)

  • 10.00am - 4.00pm (Saturday & Sunday)

 

Semenggoh Wildlife Reserve

 

Situated in the Semenggoh Wildlife Reserve, this centre was established to rehabilitate orang utans that were injured, orphaned or kept illegally. In the sprawling nature reserve, visitors can see orang utans of various ages, from adorable and mischievous young primates, to caring and protective mothers, to mature adults. Enjoy observing their antics during the feeding times (9.00am and 3.00pm) or watch them frolic in the rainforest. Other attractions include an arboretum, orchard and botanical garden.

Opening hours: 8.00am - 5.15pm

 

Sarawak Cultural Village

Damai

 

An award-winning attraction, Sarawak Cultural Village is a culture microcosm of the entire state. Dubbed as a 'living museum', the village showcases the lifestyles and traditional dwellings of the major ethnic groups in Sarawak. Among the items on display are cooking utensils, tools, musical instruments and many more . The highlights of a visit here is the cultural performance held at 11.30am and 4.00pm daily. Sarawak Cultural Village is situated at the foothills of Mount Santubong, about 35km from Kuching.

~ According to local legend, Mount Santubong derives its name from two mythical princesses, Santubong and Sejinjang. They were cursed to turn into mountains after a fearsome quarrel over a prince.

 

River Cruises

 

Rivers play an important role in Sarawak's transportation. Since time Immemorial, The locals have been using river transportation to get access to various parts of the state. Now visitors too can experience important aspect of local lifestyle.

One of the most popular cruises is the Sarawak River Cruise, which departs from the Kuching Waterfront twice a day. It retraces the historical journey of Sir James Brooke in the yesteryear while giving a glimpse of the city's old-world charm.

Visitors in search of more excitement can board the perahu tambang, a local boat, It is the easiest and quickest method to get across the Kuching River. This service is widely used by the locals because of its reasonable fare.

 

Irrawaddy Dolphin Watching

 

The Santubong peninsula beckons with a delightful attraction - dolphin watching. The shallow coastal area and estuaries make good habitats rare Irrawaddy dolphins. Although sightings are not guaranteed, the serene views along the river will keep visitors facinated. Moat cruises can be arranged through agents.

 

Borneo Highlands Resort

Padawan

 

Poised atop undulating mountain ridges at 1,000m above sea level, this resort offers a tranquil getaway amidst the lush greens of the rainforest. Be pampered in the jungle spa, or enjoy a round of golf at the award winning greens. Resort activities range from guided highland tours, bird watching to longhouse visits and cooking demonstrations. This resort is situated about 60km southwest of Kuching.

 

Annah Rais Longhouse

Padawan

 

Live in a Bidayuh longhouse with the locals, savour the local delights and experience their traditional lifestyle. A trip to the Annah Rais Longhouse offers great nature-based activities and cultural shows. Annah Rais Longhouse is situated about 60km or 1 hours's drive from Kuching Trips must be pre-arranged.
 
Must do:

  • Trek to a hot spring or waterfall

  • Try 'waterfall massage'

  • Go bamboo rafting

  • Leam how to cook bamboo rice and bamboo chicken

  • Enjoy a cultural performance

  • Try your skills with a blowpipe

  • See how rice is harvested

  • Try your hand at playing the traditional instruments

  • Savour local fruits and don't miss the local

  • Savour local fruits and don't miss the local home-made wine

 

Iban Longhouse Tours

Batang Ai, Lemanak and Skrang

 

The Iban longhouse tour at Batang Ai is a unique experience to be cherished. Lemanak River is about four hour's drive from Kuching. Visitors will get an opportunity to journey upstream along the river on a wooden longboat, before arriving at the longhouse where many interesting activities await. Be awed by a blowpipe demonstation, see how rice is cooked in bamboo tubes and watch a traditional native dance.

Batang Ai is the site of the 24,040ha Batang Ai National Park. It is home to the endangered gibbons, orang utans and hornbills, Just outside the park is the five star Hilton Longhouse Resort, offering longhouse-style accommodation with will all the trappings of modernity.

 

Diving In Miri

 

Miri's underwater attractions are fascinating to both beginners and experienced divers. These attractions were only recently discovered, placing Miri at par with some of the most pristine dive sites in the region. With an average visibility of 10 to 30 metres, divers can marvel at hard and soft corals that cover the entire reef. The awesome sights include Gorgonian sea fans, sea whips, anemones, sponges and crinoids. Marine species include angel fish, butterfly fish, fusiliers, groipers, stingrays, trigger fish, parrot fish, wrasses and many more, Miri's underwater gardens also feature 40 species of nudibranchs.

 

Ba'Kelalan

Miri

 

Situated atop the cool Bario Highlands. Be'Kelalan is a group of nine villages. It is one of the most important settlements of the Lun Bawang ethnic group. At about 3,000 feet above sea level, Ba'Kelalan has the idea climate for the growth of apples, organic vegetables and a special type of highland rice. The community is know for its' bamboo band', where local musicians play the flute and bass made of bamboo. Remote and off the beaten track, this highland area is also a great trekking site. Ba'kelalan is connected by air to the towns of Miri and Lawas. Visitors who wish to dive to Lawas can do so via an old logging road.

Must do:

  • Join a homestay programme to experience the local lifestyle

  • Go trekking up the Bario Loop Trails

  • Pluck and savour fresh apples

  • Enjoy the highland rice and tasty dishes made with fresh ferns

  • View kelabit megaliths and rock carving

 

Sibu Market

Sibu

 

Recently refurbished, the Sibu Market offers interesting and lively sights of traders selling a variety of items in a clean and hygenic setting. This the largest market in Sarawak, offering everything from exotic fruits and vegetables of the rainforest to handicrafts and poultry. The Sibu Market is situated along Jalan Channel opposite the Express Boat Passenger Terminal.

 

Medan Niaga Satok

Kubah Ria

 

Medan Niaga Satok is the biggest market in Kuching. It has an assortment of products ranging from vegetable, fruits, traditional snacks to crafts. This brand new structure replaces snacks to crafts. This brand new structure replaces the old Satok Weekend Market. Medan Niaga Satok has five main complexes housing a farmer's market, a wet and court. It is situated in Kubah Ria, about 3km from Kuching.

 

Talang-Satang National Park

 

Talang-Satang is Sarawak's first marine national park, established to conserve and protect Sarawak's marine turtle population. The park is made up of four islands Pulau Talang Besar and Pulau Talang Kecil which are situated off sematan, as well as Pulau Satang Besar and Pulau Satang Kecil which are situated off Santubing, near Kuching Known as 'Turtle Islands', these islands have 95% of all the turtle landings in the state. The park also comprises the Pulau Tukong Ara Banun Wildlife Sanctuary wich is an important nesting site for Bridled Terns and Black-Naped Terns.

 

Gunung Gading National Park

Lundu

 

Rafflesia, the world's largest flower, stands as the main attraction in this national park. The species here is called Rafflesia tuan mudae, which can grow up to one metre in width. Forest lodge are available for overnight stays. This park is about two hours drive from Kuching. Visitors are advised to call frst to find out it the Rafflesia is in bloom.
 
Must do:

  • Picnic at the nearby Pandan and Siar beaches

  • Hike to the peak of Mount Gading at 900m

  • Walk along the jungle trails to view the Rafflesia

~ The gigantic Rafflesia flower can reach up to one metre in full bloom. It take about nine months to mature but the bloom only lasts far a week.

 

Lambir Hills National Park

Miri

 

A botanical paradise, this park is said to have about 1,100 tree species in just 50ha. Tall dipterocarp trees such as kapur and meranti cover much of the forest canopy. With some patience and luck, visitors may be able to catch sight of pangolins, barking deer or monkeys. Walk along the trails or trek to the scenic waterfalls for a picnic. This national park is situated along the Miri-Bintulu road. it is about 30km frim Miri town.
Sarawak has the highest number of national park in the country. Each national park is different in character and offers distinct attractions. The national park are managed by Sarawak Forestry Corporation. Several parks are complemented with jungle resorts that provide modern amenities. The information above is only an overview of the majestic attractions can be obtained from Sarawak Tourism Board's.

 

Homestay

 

Experience the unique cultures of Sarawak by living with the different ethnic groups. In a homestay programme, visitors can stay an Iban, Bidayuh or Orang Ulu longjouse, a Malay Kampung (village) house, or even a Melanau house. There are 19 homestay villages in the state. Among the well-known village are:

  • Santubong Homestay, Santubong

  • Kampung Darul Islam Belimbing Homestay Padawan, Kuching

  • Abas Homestay, Kampung Panglima Seman, Kuching

 

There's Much More In Sarawak

Long-staying visitors can head to many other places of interest that are waiting to be explored the are many museums and heritage buildings around Kuching. Miri the second largest city in Sarawak, is an oil-rich destination with sculptures of seahorses which stand as the icons of the town. The recent discovery of the Miri Reef has made the city popular among reef diving enthusiasts. Anumber of star-rated hotels are available here. More attractions await at the towns of Sibu, Bintulu and Kapit. Many of these town serve as the gateways to the interiors and national parks.

Siri Aman

  • Batang Ai National Park

  • Longhouse Safari

Bintulu

  • Similajau National Park

  • Taman Tumbina

Baram

  • Bario Highlands

  • Merarap Hot Spring

Matang

  • Matang Wildlife Centre

Kuching

  • Sarawak River Cruise

  • Sarawak Tourism Complex

  • Main Bazaar

  • Tua Pek Kong Temple

  • State Mosque

  • Chinese History Museum

  • Textile Museum

  • Tun Jugah Pua Kumbu Museum

  • Timber Museum

  • Kuching Wetlands National Park\

  • Jong's Crocodile Farm

  • Kampung Timurang Rafflesia Site

  • Kubah National Park

  • Tanjung Datu National Park

Miri

  • Grand Old Lady (Miri's first oil well)

  • Seahorse Island

  • Luconia Shoals

  • Miri Public Park

  • Miri City Fan

  • Luak Bay Esplanade

  • Lian Hua San Temple

  • Loagan Bunut National Park

Sibu

  • Rejang Esplanade

  • Mist Garden

  • Eng Ann Tua Pek Kong Temple

  • Sungai Merah Township

  • Bukit Aup Jubilee

Damai and Santubong

  • Beaches

  • Golf Resort

  • Santubong Wildlife Cruise

  • Pulau Talang and Pulau Satang National Parks

 

Shopping & Dining

 

Shopping

Shopping in Sarawak is an adventurous experience. The state's many ethnic groups are known for their intricate crafts and souvenirs. One of the state's most popular crafts is the Sarawakian beads. Colourful beads of all sizes are fashioned into necklaces, rings, bracelets and earrings. Another must-have item is the pua kumbu textile. This hand-woven fabric can be used as well hangings, table covers and shawls. Sarawak pottery has gained a name for itself for its distinct designs and carvings. In some places, visitors can watch pottery making. Bamboo mats are another popular item. These mats come in various sizes and are a great idea to enhance your home decor. Some shops even offer packing and delivery arrangements for a fee.

Main Shopping spots around Kuching are:

  • Main Bazaar

  • Kuching Waterfront Bazaar

  • Sarakraf Pavilion (Jalan Tabuan)

  • Sarawak Handicraft Centre (Round Tower)

  • Jalan Padungan

  • Medan Niaga Satok

  • India Street

  • Jala Penrissen

 

Dining

Diverse tasty and exotic! Sarawak's traditional delights are simply superb for those who are adventurous enough to give it a go. Coastal areas such as Damai and Santubong offer a variety of seafood dishes.

The state is also a leading producer of pepper and pineapples. In the cool climate of Kelabit Highlands, the natives cultivate a special climate of Kelabit Highlands, the natives cultivate a special rice called Bario Rice. It is harvested by hand using age-old methods. The equally cold highlands of Ba'Kelalan is gaining popularity for its crunchy apples. For decades, Sarawak has been exporting high quality swiftlet's nests.

Aside from the local food, visitors can enjoy Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Western food in Kuching. Major hotels around the state serve a variety of continental cuisine.

 

Sarawak's authentic dishes include:

 
Sarawak Laksa - This signature dish consists of noodles served with an aromatic, tangy soup.
 
Mee Kolok - Handmade yellow egg noodles are used to prepare this tasty dry dish. The noodles are tossed with lard, garlic oil and black vinegar to give it the special flavour and taste. Muslim stalls offer a halal or pork-free version of this dish.
 
Bubur Pedas - Literally meaning 'spicy porridge', this dish is made with condiments such as yam, bamboo shoots and wild ferns. It is popular during the Muslim fasting month.
 
Manok Pansoh - A specialty of the Iban people, this dish is made of chicken and ginger. it is cooked in a bamboo log over an open fire to seal in the aroma and flavour.
 
Sarawak Layer Cake - Pretty and colourful, the Sarawak layer cake has a mosaic-like look. They are usually homemade and taste simply delicious with a cup of coffee.
 
Ikan Terubok Masin - The salted terubok fish is popular in Sarawak. It tastes best when grilled.
 
Bird's Nest Soup - This highly prized Chinese delicacy is said to have medicinal properties. Try it at upmarket restaurants.
 
Sarawak Pepper - Bottled Sarawak pepper can be purchased at most departmental stores, supermarkets and mini markets. it is locally produced and fresh.
 
Sarikei Pineapple - Sarikei is known as 'the pineapple capital of Sarawak'. The variety grown here is juicy, and low in acid and sugar.
 
Other specialties of Sarawak include Umai, a raw fish salad and Tabaloi, a traditional sago cookie

 

Transportation

 

Getting There

By Air

Sarawak is well-connected to Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia's capital city) as well as several other international destinations. The main airport is the Kuching International Airport. There are a number of other airports and airstrips in Sarawak situated in Miri Bintulu and Sibu Malaysia Airlines, the national carrier, provides daily direct flights from Kuala Lumpur to Kuching with connecting flights to other towns. The flight from Kuala Lumpur to Kuching takes about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Direct flights are also available from Kuala Lumpur to Sibu, Miri and Bintulu.


In addition, the budget carrier AirAsia operates direct flights to Sarawak. Unlike Malaysia Airlines which departs from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport AirAsia operates from the Low Cost Carrier Terminal LCCT situated about 20km from the main terminal building. Prices are cheaper when visitors book in advance.


Sarawak is also accessible by air from the neighbouring state of Sabah, and as well as Brunei Darussalam. The airlines that provide air links to Sarawak Include Silk Air and Xpress Air for the Jogjarkarta Kuching via Pontianak route.


By Sea


There are regular ferry services to Sarawak from Labuan and Brunei Darussalam. The staging points are situated in Limbang and Lawas.


By Road


It is possible to take a bus form Brunei Darussalam to Miri. The journey takes about five hours. The route Pontianak (Kalimantan Barat) to Kuching is also available via Tebedu immigration post.


Getting Around


Getting around Kuching is simple with the east availability of buses and taxis. Taxis are mostly available in front of major hotels and shopping malls.


Despite the vast size of the state, getting around Sarawak is fairly convenient with a good network of rural air services. Airports are situated in Miri, Bintulu Sibu and Mulu. Mas Wings, a subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines, connects the interiors such as Bario, Lawas, Limbang, Long Banga, Long Seridan, Long Lellang, Marudi and Mukah which are equipped with air strips.
Overland transfers are possible via the Trans Borneo Highway which connects Sarawak to Sabah and Brunei Darussalam. Visitors are encouraged to get adequate Information from the Tourist Information Centres on the duration of journey and routes.

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