Sarawak on Malaysian Borneo
Sightseeing and Attractions
Sarawak offers almost everything, from national parks with its wildlife and nature, cultural attractions and festivities, sports, including diving, caving, rafting, and golf. Sarawak's key attractions include Mulu National Park, Niah caves, Bako National Park, traditional longhouses, trekking in the highlands, a visit to one of its orang utan sanctuaries, or a trip to one of its islands offshore to experience diving and snorkelling.
Wildlife and Nature
Sarawak's wildlife and nature is rich and the state is home to many endangered species, including orang utans, proboscis monkeys, and green turtles.
Sarawak is home to many different ethnic groups. Several traditional longhouses can be visited throughout this large Malaysian state.
Hotels and Accommodation
There is plenty of good accommodation in Sarawak catering to the leisure visitor, as well as to the business visitor, and expatriate. Kuching, Miri, Sibu, and Bintulu have a range of hotels of different categories, inns, and guesthouses. Resorts, guesthouses, and backpacker hostels are primarily in and near the main tourist areas. There may also be opportunities to stay with a local family as part of a home-stay program.
Restaurants and Food
People is Sarawak love food and there is a good selection of restaurants serving local food or international cuisine. Kuching has several seafood restaurants serving tasty local sea fish. There are also food markets with stalls serving local delicacies. Local markets sell a range of local tropical fruits.
There is ample nightlife in Kuching and Miri. Most hotels have bars catering to leisure and business visitors and locals alike, as well as numerous bars in the centre of town.
Traditional handicrafts, such as ethnic wood carvings, textile, weaving, bamboo and rattan baskets, ethnic jewellery, pottery, and paintings can be bought in Kuching as well as at various traditional markets.
Sarawak offers good sports facilities, particularly adventure sports, including diving, jungle trekking, water rafting, mountain biking, and golf.
Flights and Getting there
Sarawak's international airport is outside Kuching. Several international airlines, primarily originating from South East Asia fly directly to Kuching. Taxis can be hired from the airport and hotels can also offer a pickup service. Miri got recently a new airport - Miri International Airport with a capacity of 2 million passengers. Some international flights, although subject to regular changes, take off from Miri.
Getting around is mainly by plane or boat. There is a good network of local airports. Flights to smaller airports may be late or subject to cancellation, so give yourself ample time. For short distances taxis may be the right choice of transport. Several inland destinations may only be reached by boat, a convenient means of transport used by locals, business people, and visitors alike. Regular express boats provide travel up and down the many rivers.
Best time to travel
Best time to travel to Sarawak is during the dry season, which is usually from April to October.
Although Sarawak belongs to Malaysia, visitors from Malaysia have to pass immigration upon arrival. Most visitors from European countries, Asia, Australia, and the USA will probably be entitled to a 3 months visa on arrival. Visitors may however be asked to provide evidence of sufficient funds and a valid return airline ticket. Work visa will only be issued prior to departure. Best is to check with the Malaysian Embassy or High Commission before travelling.
Tourist and travel information can be obtained from the international representations or local tourist offices of Tourism Malaysia or Sarawak Tourism.