Things to do in Sarawak: Exploring the Best Attractions and Activities in Malaysia’s Largest State
Sarawak is a Malaysian state located on the island of Borneo. It is known for its diverse culture, stunning natural landscapes, and unique wildlife. Tourists from all over the world come to Sarawak to experience its rich heritage and explore its natural wonders.
There are plenty of things to do in Sarawak for tourists of all interests. Those who love the outdoors can take a trip to Mulu National Park, home to some of the largest cave systems in the world. Visitors can also go river kayaking in the rainforest or take a guided tour to see orangutans in their natural habitat. Sarawak’s colonial capital, Kuching, offers a charming mix of colonial architecture and Buddhist temples for those who prefer a more relaxed pace.
This guide will provide an overview of the best things to do in Sarawak, from exploring its rich heritage to experiencing its stunning natural beauty. So pack your bags and get ready to discover all this amazing state has to offer!
Sarawak is a state located on the island of Borneo in Malaysia. It is the largest state in Malaysia and covers an area of approximately 124,450 square kilometers. The state is known for its diverse geographical features, which include lush rainforests, stunning beaches, and vibrant cities.
The state is home to several rivers, the most notable being the Sarawak River. The river flows through the heart of Kuching, the capital city of Sarawak, and is a popular tourist attraction. Visitors can leisurely cruise down the river and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
Sarawak is also home to several national parks, including Gunung Mulu National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park is known for its impressive limestone formations and extensive cave systems. Visitors can explore the caves and take guided tours to learn about the unique ecosystem.
The state also has several beautiful beaches, including Damai Beach and Tanjung Batu Beach. These beaches are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and enjoying water sports such as snorkeling and scuba diving.
Sarawak is also known for its dense rainforests, home to various flora and fauna. Visitors can take guided jungle treks to explore the rainforest and learn about the unique ecosystem within. The state is also home to several indigenous tribes who have lived in the rainforest for centuries.
Overall, Sarawak offers a unique blend of geographical features, making it a must-visit destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers.
Sarawak is a melting pot of different cultures, with Malay, Chinese, and various ethnic groups coexisting harmoniously. Visitors to Sarawak can immerse themselves in the state’s diverse cultural experiences, from exploring indigenous homes to experiencing communal living.
Sarawak Cultural Village
One of the most popular cultural attractions in Sarawak is the Sarawak Cultural Village, which showcases the traditional lifestyles and customs of various ethnic groups in Sarawak. Visitors can witness traditional dances, music, and crafts and sample local delicacies.
The Chinese influence in Sarawak can be seen in the architecture of the Chinese House, a historical building in Kuching that was once the residence of a wealthy Chinese businessman. The house is now a museum that offers insights into the lives of wealthy Chinese families in the past.
For a truly unique cultural experience, visitors can visit the Penan people, one of the indigenous communities of Sarawak. The Penans are known for their nomadic lifestyle and intricate weaving techniques, which produce beautiful and intricate baskets and mats.
In addition to these attractions, visitors can explore the communal living practices of the various ethnic groups in Sarawak. Many indigenous communities still practice communal living, where extended families live together in longhouses. Visitors can witness this way of life and learn about the customs and traditions of these communities.
Sarawak has a rich history, and visitors can explore several historical landmarks to learn more about the region’s past. One of the most prominent figures in Sarawak’s history is James Brooke, who became the first White Rajah of Sarawak in 1841. Visitors can learn more about Brooke and his impact on Sarawak at the Brooke Gallery, which is located in Fort Margherita.
Fort Margherita is an important landmark and monument in Sarawak’s history that dates back to the Brooke Dynasty. The fort was built in 1879 by Charles Brooke, Rajah of Sarawak, in the style of an English castle.
It is located in Kuching, Sarawak, named after Charles Brooke’s wife, Margaret Alice Lili de Windt. Today, the fort serves as a museum and houses the Brooke Gallery, which displays fascinating artifacts and storyboards about the white rajas of Sarawak.
Another must-see historical landmark is the Astana, built in 1870 as a residence for the White Rajahs. Today, Astana serves as the official residence of the Governor of Sarawak, but visitors can still explore the impressive architecture and learn about its history.
Old Court House in Kuching
In addition to these landmarks, several other historical buildings throughout Sarawak are worth exploring. For example, the Old Court House in Kuching was built in 1874 and served as the seat of Sarawak’s government until 1973. Today, the building has been restored and houses the Sarawak Tourism Board.
Wildlife and Nature
Sarawak is home to diverse flora and fauna, making it a nature lover’s paradise. From national parks to wildlife reserves, there are plenty of opportunities to explore the natural beauty of Sarawak.
Semenggoh Nature Reserve
One of the most popular attractions in Sarawak is Semenggoh Nature Reserve, where visitors can observe rehabilitated orangutans during feeding times. Other wildlife reserves in Sarawak include Bako National Park, where visitors can spot proboscis monkeys and hornbills, and Kubah National Park, which is home to various bird species.
Wind Cave and Fairy Cave in Bau
For those interested in bats, the Wind Cave and Fairy Cave in Bau are must-visit destinations. The caves are home to a large number of bats, and visitors can witness their mass exodus during sunset.
Sarawak is also famous for its diverse range of bird species, including hornbills, kingfishers, and eagles. Birdwatchers can head to places like Lambir Hills National Park and Gunung Mulu National Park to catch a glimpse of these beautiful creatures.
In addition to its wildlife, Sarawak is also home to a rich variety of flora. Visitors can explore the botanical gardens in Kuching or head to the Borneo Highlands to see the rare Rafflesia flower, which is the world’s largest flower.
Sarawak is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a plethora of outdoor activities. From hiking to kayaking, there is something for everyone to enjoy in the great outdoors.
Adventure seekers can head to Gunung Mulu National Park to explore the otherworldly caves and pinnacles. The park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offers a range of activities, including caving, trekking, and canopy walks.
For those who enjoy hiking, Sarawak has plenty of trails to choose from. The Bako National Park is a popular spot for hiking, with trails that lead through dense forest and along rugged coastlines. The park is also home to a variety of wildlife, including proboscis monkeys, bearded pigs, and monitor lizards.
Fitness enthusiasts can join the Forest Rangers program, which offers a range of fitness activities, including jungle runs, boot camps, and yoga sessions. The program is a great way to stay fit and healthy while enjoying the beauty of Sarawak’s rainforest.
Kayaking is another popular outdoor activity in Sarawak, with several rivers and waterways to explore. The Sarawak River is a great spot for kayaking, with calm waters and stunning views of the city skyline.
Sarawak is known for its stunning caves that offer a unique and exciting experience for visitors. From the magical Fairy Cave to the impressive Sarawak Chamber, there are plenty of caves to explore in Sarawak.
One of the most popular destinations for cave exploration is the Gunung Mulu National Park. The park is home to several caves, including the Deer Cave, Clearwater Cave, Wind Cave, and Lady Cave. The Deer Cave is one of the largest cave passages in the world, and visitors can witness a spectacular sight of bats flying out of the cave at dusk. The Clearwater Cave is another popular attraction that features crystal-clear water and impressive rock formations.
Another must-visit cave in Sarawak is the Niah Caves, which is located in the Niah National Park. The caves have been inhabited by humans for thousands of years and are home to some of the oldest human remains in Southeast Asia. Visitors can explore the Great Cave, which is one of the largest cave chambers in the world.
For those who prefer a more off-the-beaten-path experience, the Sireh Cave in Serian is a hidden gem with stunning rock paintings believed to be about 20,000 years old. The cave also features large chambers and caved parts with clean underground water.
Sarawak is home to several national parks that offer a glimpse into the state’s natural beauty. Each park has its own unique features and attractions that make it worth a visit. Here are some of the most popular national parks in Sarawak:
Bako National Park
Bako National Park is located on the Muara Tebas peninsula and is known for its stunning coastline, dense rainforest, and diverse wildlife. Visitors can take guided tours to explore the park’s many trails, which lead to secluded beaches, waterfalls, and rock formations. Bako National Park is also home to several rare and endangered species, including the proboscis monkey, which can only be found in Borneo.
Gunung Mulu National Park
Mulu National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to some of the largest cave systems in the world. Visitors can take guided tours to explore the park’s many caves, which are home to unique rock formations and underground rivers. The park is also known for its limestone karst formations and stunning rainforest scenery.
Niah National Park
Niah National Park is located in the Miri Division and is known for its limestone caves, which are home to ancient human settlements and unique rock formations. Visitors can take guided tours to explore the caves and learn about the park’s history and cultural significance. The park is also home to several rare bird species and is a popular spot for bird watching.
Lambir Hills National Park
Lambir Hills National Park is located near Miri and is known for its diverse range of flora and fauna. Visitors can take guided tours to explore the park’s many trails, which lead to stunning waterfalls, rock formations, and panoramic views of the surrounding rainforest. The park is also home to several rare and endangered species, including the Bornean bearded pig and the slow loris.
Kubah National Park
Kubah National Park is located near Kuching and is known for its stunning rainforest scenery and diverse range of wildlife. Visitors can take guided tours to explore the park’s many trails, which lead to secluded waterfalls, rock formations, and panoramic views of the surrounding rainforest. The park is also home to several rare and endangered species, including the Bornean orangutan and the clouded leopard.
Sarawak has many cities that offer unique experiences to visitors. Here are some of the highlights of the cities in Sarawak:
Kuching is the capital city of Sarawak and has a lot to offer visitors. The city is known for its beautiful waterfront, which is a great place to take a stroll and enjoy the view of the Sarawak River. Visitors can also learn about the city’s history and culture by visiting the many museums and galleries, such as the Sarawak Museum and the Chinese History Museum. The city is also famous for its love of cats, and visitors can find cat statues and murals throughout the city. For those who love shopping, Kuching has many markets and shopping centers, including the famous Carpenter Street.
Miri is the second-largest city in Sarawak, known for its oil industry. Visitors can learn about the history of the oil industry by visiting the Petroleum Museum. The city has many beautiful beaches, such as the Tusan Beach and the Luak Bay Beach. Visitors can also explore the city’s natural beauty by visiting the Lambir Hills National Park and the Niah National Park.
Sibu is located on the Rajang River and is known for its Chinese culture. Visitors can learn about the city’s history and culture by visiting the Sibu Heritage Centre and the Tua Pek Kong Temple. The city is also known for its food, especially its seafood. Visitors can enjoy fresh seafood at the Sibu Central Market and the Kampung Nyabor Market. For those who love nature, Sibu is a great place to explore the outdoors, with many parks and gardens to visit, such as the Bukit Lima Forest Reserve and the Sibu Lake Garden.
Sarawak is a food lover’s paradise with its unique blend of Malay, Chinese, and indigenous Dayak cuisine. Visitors can find a wide variety of dishes ranging from the famous Sarawak Laksa to exotic meats like crocodile and wild boar.
One of the must-try dishes in Sarawak is the Sarawak Laksa, a spicy noodle soup made with a special blend of spices and herbs. It is typically served with prawns, shredded chicken, and bean sprouts. Visitors can find this dish in many food stalls and restaurants throughout Sarawak.
Aside from Sarawak Laksa, visitors can also try other local delicacies like Kolo Mee, a dry noodle dish tossed with minced pork and spring onions, and Kueh Chap, a soup dish made with flat rice noodles and pork offal.
For those looking to try exotic meats, Sarawak offers a variety of options, including crocodile, wild boar, and deer. Visitors can find these meats in specialty restaurants and food stalls.
Festivals and Events
Sarawak is known for its rich cultural heritage and celebrates several events and festivals throughout the year.
Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF)
One of the most popular festivals in Sarawak is the Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF). This three-day festival takes place annually at the Sarawak Cultural Village and features world music performances and workshops.
During the day, visitors can attend musical demos and workshops conducted by musicians from around the world. At night, the festival comes alive with full-on concerts featuring world music in the Borneo rainforest. The RWMF attracts both local and international musicians and artists, making it a unique and vibrant event.
Gawai Dayak festival
Aside from the RWMF, Sarawak also celebrates other festivals such as the Gawai Dayak festival, which is celebrated by the Dayak community to give thanks for a bountiful harvest. Visitors can witness cultural performances, traditional games, and taste local delicacies during this festival.
What About Kuching (WAK) festival
Another festival worth checking out is the What About Kuching (WAK) festival, which is a month-long celebration of arts and culture. The festival features various events such as art exhibitions, music performances, and cultural workshops.
Sarawak offers a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy. However, before embarking on any adventure, it is important to keep in mind some practical information to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip.
Getting around Sarawak is relatively easy, with a variety of options available. Visitors can rent a car, take a taxi, or use public transportation such as buses or trains. However, it is important to note that traffic can be heavy during peak hours, so it is advisable to plan ahead and allow extra time for travel.
There are a variety of accommodation options available in Sarawak, ranging from budget-friendly hostels to luxury hotels. Visitors can choose to stay in the city center or in more rural areas, depending on their preferences. It is important to book accommodation in advance, especially during peak travel seasons.
Food and Drink
Sarawak is known for its delicious cuisine, with a variety of local dishes to try. Visitors can enjoy breakfast at local cafes or try street food from vendors. It is important to note that tap water is not safe to drink in Sarawak, so visitors should stick to bottled water or other safe drinking options.
Points of Interest
Sarawak is home to a variety of points of interest, including stunning waterfalls and national parks. Visitors can explore the rainforest, go kayaking, or visit cultural attractions such as museums and temples. It is important to note that some attractions may have admission fees, so it is advisable to check ahead of time.
Internet and Communication
Internet and communication services are widely available in Sarawak, with many hotels and cafes offering free Wi-Fi. Visitors can also purchase SIM cards or use international roaming services to stay connected while traveling.
Cleanliness and Safety
Sarawak is generally a safe and clean destination for visitors. However, it is important to take precautions such as keeping valuables secure and being aware of surroundings. Visitors should also follow basic hygiene practices such as washing hands regularly to avoid illness.
Tourism in Sarawak
Sarawak tourism is known for its natural beauty, rich culture, and friendly people. The state is located on the island of Borneo and is the largest state in Malaysia. It has diverse landscapes, from rugged mountains and dense rainforests to sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters.
There are many things to do in Sarawak for tourists. Visitors can explore the state’s rich cultural heritage by visiting its many museums, temples, and historical sites. The state is also home to many national parks and wildlife reserves, where tourists can experience the natural beauty of the region up close.
One of the most popular tourist destinations in Sarawak is the Bako National Park. It is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including proboscis monkeys, hornbills, and bearded pigs. The park is also home to a variety of hiking trails, which offer visitors the chance to explore the park’s rugged terrain and stunning scenery.
Another popular attraction in Sarawak is the Gunung Mulu National Park. It is home to a vast network of caves, including the world-famous Deer Cave and Clearwater Cave. The park is also home to a variety of hiking trails, which offer visitors the chance to explore the park’s dense rainforest and stunning limestone karst formations.
Sarawak is also known for its vibrant cultural festivals, which are celebrated throughout the year. Some of the most popular festivals include the Rainforest World Music Festival, the Kuching Food Festival, and the Sarawak Regatta. These festivals offer visitors the chance to experience the state’s rich cultural heritage and sample its delicious cuisine.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some interesting places to visit in Sarawak?
Sarawak is a state in Malaysia that is known for its natural beauty and cultural diversity. Some of the interesting places to visit in Sarawak include Gunung Mulu National Park, Bako National Park, Semenggoh Nature Reserve, and Kuching Waterfront. These places offer a glimpse into the unique flora and fauna of the region, as well as the rich cultural heritage of the local people.
What are some recommended day trips from Kuching?
Kuching is the capital city of Sarawak and offers a variety of interesting day trips. Some of the recommended day trips from Kuching include visiting the Sarawak Cultural Village, exploring the Semenggoh Wildlife Centre, and taking a boat ride to the Santubong Peninsula. These day trips offer visitors the chance to learn more about the local culture and history, as well as experience the natural beauty of the region.
What are some popular activities to do in Sarawak?
Sarawak offers a wide range of activities for visitors to enjoy. Some of the popular activities to do in Sarawak include exploring the local food scene, visiting cultural sites such as temples and museums, hiking in the national parks, and taking part in water sports such as kayaking and rafting. These activities offer visitors the chance to experience the unique culture and natural beauty of Sarawak.
What is Sarawak known for?
Sarawak is known for its natural beauty, cultural diversity, and rich history. The region is home to a variety of unique flora and fauna, including the famous orangutans of Borneo. Sarawak is also known for its rich cultural heritage, with a mix of indigenous and colonial influences. The region is home to a variety of cultural sites, including temples, museums, and traditional longhouses.
What makes Sarawak unique?
Sarawak is unique for its natural beauty and cultural diversity. The region is home to a variety of unique flora and fauna, including the famous orangutans of Borneo. Sarawak is also unique for its rich cultural heritage, which is a mix of indigenous and colonial influences. The region offers visitors the chance to experience a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural richness.
Is Sarawak a safe place to visit?
Sarawak is generally a safe place to visit, with a low crime rate and a friendly local population. However, visitors should exercise caution when traveling in remote areas or at night, and should take appropriate safety precautions when engaging in outdoor activities such as hiking or water sports. Visitors should also be aware of local customs and laws, and should respect the cultural traditions of the local people.
Sarawak Travel and Tour Packages
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