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home > Malaysia  > Sarawak

 Kedah . Penang . Perak . Selangor . Melaka . Kelantan . Terengganu . Sarawak . Sabah . Kuala Lumpur




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Sarawak, East Malaysia

myMalaysiabooks takes you into the hidden paradise of Borneo. Explore nature's paradise in Sarawak, Borneo, East Malaysia.


hornbill sarawak, East Malaysia travel

Welcome to the land of the hornbills....  SARAWAK, the paradise of Borneo


Sarawak is located in East Malaysia, north of Kalimantan Indonesia. Malaysia Airways, Air Asia and other international Asian airlines flies to Kuching Sarawak daily. Domestic flights from KLIA takes you to Kuching, Bintulu, Sibu, etc. Enjoy the virgin tropical forest, tropical beaches and rich culture of Sarawak, Malaysia.

     Sarawak is the place for nature and adventure lovers. Located on the vast forested continent of Borneo, most of Sarawak is a forest reserve.



On this page:

Sarawak the State

People and Culture

Where to go in Sarawak

Kuching and other towns

Sarawak food and buys

How to get there

Where to Stay



People and Culture

 The People

Be overwhelmed by the cultural diversity of the state  There are more than 30 ethnic communities in Sarawak, each retaining their cultural identity -  Malay, Chinese, Iban, Bidayu, Melanau, Orang Ulu, Penan, Kayan, Kelabit, Kenyah, etc. There are 27 distinct indigenous ethnic groups in Sarawak and collectively they speak 45 different languages and dialects. (Dayak is a collective name for the natives races in Sarawak i.e. the Iban, Bidayuh, Kayan, Kenyah, Kelabit, Murut and others)

    Iban is Sarawak's most known ethnic group, who were once the legendary head hunters of Borneo. Today they have adopted a peaceful lifestyle and travellers can plan a visit to an Iban longhouse. The Penan of Sarawak is traditionally a nomadic tribe who survive by hunting and gathering. Today, only a small number continue to practice the old lifestyle. Most Penan now settle by the riversides and make long journeys into the forest to collect food, medicinal plants or other jungle products. Sarawak is the best place to shop for traditional handicrafts. Each ethnic community here produces some unique and beautiful crafts, mainly available in the state.


 Festivals and Celebrations

Gawai Dayak - If you are preparing to come to Sarawak in June, come over during the Gawai Dayak. This celebration for the Dayaks mark the end of the rice harvest and ushers in another year of bountiful goodness. Locals dresses in traditional costumes while the elders perform traditional rites. This party and continous celebrations is throughout the month of June. It provides an exciting and excellent opportunity for visitors to learn about life at the longhouse.


more on this festival at


Other festivals and celebrations in Malaysia



Kuih Lapis Kuching, Sarawak

Kueh Lapis selling at five-foot-way, Kuching


Cultural dance of Sarawak


Tribal costume, Sarawak


Sarawak dance



Where to go

City of Kuching, Sarawak, East malaysiaTowns and cities of Sarawak

Kuching - the capital of the state of Sarawak, lies on the banks of the Sarawak River. Kuching in the Malay language means cat and you will find a cat museum with displays of anything on cats. There are museums, pasar malam (night markets) all within walking distances of the city centre.

The city centre is small enough to walk around. Take a stroll along the river front and across it is a streets lined with many small shops selling an assortment of beautiful handicrafts - wood, ceramic or weaved crafts. Its the best place in Malaysia to get traditional crafts of the natives.

The Kuching waterfront is a place to stroll or to take a boat ride to see the Astana (palace) and enjoy the sunset. Visitors can take the 40sen boat ride across the river to buy 'kueh lapis' (layered cake) at the small factory/backery across the river.  

Kuching, Malaysia

Kuching, Sarawak , Malaysia

 Nature Tours and Adventures

 National Parks

There are over 10 national forest parks that you can visit in the state. Over 120,000 visitors visits these parks yearly. However much of the forested areas in Sarawak are still unexplored. Some of these parks include:

 Gunung Mulu National Park and World heritage site  is considered the 'jewel in the crown' of Sarawak's network of national parks. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site

Kubah National Park

Bako National Bark

Niah National Park

Tanjung Datu National Park

Lambir Hills National Park

Similajau National Park

Loagan Bunut National Park

Talang-Satang National Park

Rajang Mangroves National Park 

Maludam National Park

Gunung Buda National Park

Details at Nature Park Sarawak



Sarawak - Mulu Forest Park



Sarawak Food and Buys

What to Eat in Sarawak

Sarawak is famed for pepper and handicrafts

Sarawak pepper - a must buy item from Sarawak. Malaysias often consider pepper from Sarawak the best.

Sarawak Laksa - rice noodles served with hot peppery sauce. Very unlike Penang Laksa

Sarawak Kolo Mee - A must try in Kuching. Dry Yellow noodles with light gravy - noodles are very good too taste and a good buy for those who love noodles.

Kueh Lapis - layered cake popularly sold in Kuching which has a factory.

Local Fruits - check out some exotic local fruits at the markets

More about food at:

Malaysian Food


What to buy in Sarawak

Sarawak Pepper - pepper is a major export of Sarawak

Sarawak vases - unique local designs

Sarawak batik - of unique local designs

Beaded Products - unique beadworks are available at craft and souvenir shops

Wooded craft - Unique craft from the various cultural communities made from wood taken from the forest of Sarawak

Weaved product - Bags , mats, etc

Bird's Nest - valued by the Chinese, this product is from the many caves in Sarawak



Sarawak beaded craft


How to get there

Flights to Mulu by planeBy air

Kuching, the capital of Sarawak, is linked by airways to other major cities in Malaysia, as well as Singapore, Bangkok, Hong Kong and Brunei by air. Kuching airport is an International airport. Other domestic airports in Sarawak are at Miri, Sibu and Bintulu. Daily flights are available on Malaysia airlines and Air Asia from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) to Kuching.

     You can also fly to Kuching direct from Penang International Airport daily or Kota Kinabalu (Sabah) or Brunei Darussalam.

  Air Asia also flies directly from Singapore to Kuching and Miri. Daily flights to Kuching from Singapore are available on Malaysia Airlines, Air Asia, Singapore Airlines and silk air and other Asian airlines. (Details on flight from Singapore here)   

     To fly between cities in East Malaysia (between Sabah and Sarawak) and within Sarawak, by AirAsia or MasWings.

     Sarawak also has a number of rural airstrips serving the rural settlements that are not linked by roads. Regular scheduled air services on small planes and helicopter services also links various towns and more inaccessible areas in the Sarawak interior.

Kuching AirportAirlines flying to and from Sarawak: AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines, MASWings, Silkair and Batavia Air

Malindo Air -also operates from East Malaysia destinations to West Malaysia

Location of Airports in Sarawak:

International: Kuching

Domestic: Sibu, Bintulu, Miri, Mulu (also at Labuan)

By roads

The Trans-Borneo Highway runs from Kuching to all major cities in Sarawak and into the state of Sabah through Brunei Darussalam. The journey by bus between towns are usually long and tiring because Sarawak is big. There are fewer roads here but roads takes you pass major towns such as Kuching, Sibu, Miri, Sarikei and Bintulu. It take about 5 hours by car from Kuching to Sibu and another 5 hrs to Miri.

     Major towns in Sarawak have public transport services including buses, taxis and limousine services. Intercity bus services are available for travel from town to town within the state and to Indonesia (Pontianak) and Brunei. Where roads don't go, you can travel by boat or by small planes or helicopter.

Main bus companies that travel the Borneo highways are:

1) Biaramas serving Kuching, Sarikei, Sibu, Bintulu, Miri, Kuala Belait, Bandar Seri Begawan, Pontianak

2) VFT transport serving Kuching, Serian, Sri Aman, Sarikei, Sibu, Bintulu, Simpang Batu, Niah, Miri, Dalat, Mukah, Pontianak


By river - water transport

The rivers of Sarawak are an important means of transportation for the people and goods. Sarawak has a total of 55 navigable rivers. The Rejang, the longest river in Sarawak and in Malaysia, has between 300-500 boats plying the river daily. Some 50% of the traffic is passenger transport and the rest for transportation of goods including logs. Detail on travelling to Malaysia:

Malaysia transport pages

From Malaysia to Singapore                     


Where to stay

Book your hotel accommodation early especially during the Malaysian and Singapore school holidays or public holidays in Malaysia and Singapore. Sarawak especially Kuching is a popular tourist destination.

Hotels by cities/ location in Sarawak

Hotels in Kuching

Hotels in Miri

Hotels in Sibu

Hotels in Mulu

Hotels in Bintulu

Hotels in Labuan

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