Welcome to Sarawak: Bumi Kenyalang (Land of the Hornbills)

Sarawak Travel Blog

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Kuching City, Sarawak River - Waterfront Layout The main hotels & museums are here


Welcome to Sarawak: Bumi Kenyalang ("Land of the Hornbills").

It is the largest state in Malaysia and the capital city is Kuching (yup, it means Cats in Malay, though I hardly see much live cats around) 

Home to at least 27 ethnic groups; each with its own distinct language, culture and lifestyle, Sarawak is a melting pot for racial-integration (so says the official line, what it means is that it's a nightmare to get people to agree to anything by consensus). Having a very diverse and rich ecosystem, this area is excellent for those who are into related research work. (We might even bump into each other while running around in the forest !)

The rainforest is also home to the world's largest flower, the Rafflesia, and a myriad of rare species of plant life.

Kuching Map, Legend
Other species of interesting animals include the orangutan and proboscis monkey. This Rafflesia plant, I must warn you, smells big time ! The nick name is the 'corpse flower' and not for nothing. It's big and flowers rarely. I don't know if they were making a statement of sorts when they named it after Stamford Raffles, the British Governor General for some time in Singapore. (of course they didn't name it too obviously)

So many places and things to see. Where to start ?

The major national parks and protected areas are :

1) Niah

2) Mulu

3) Lambir Hills

4) Bako

5) Similajau

6) Gunung Gading

7) Batang Ai

8) Loagan Bunut

9) Kubah

10) Tanjung Datu

11) Talang-Talang and Satang Islands,

12) Bukit Tiban,

13) Maludam,

14) Gunung Buda.

Phone numbers for Kuching. If you need to call other than the first 5 numbers, you're in trouble.

15) Rajang Mangroves

* [if any of the maps are too small for you to see clearly, please contact me, I'll email you the originals I downloaded]

There are several wildlife sanctuaries.

Lanjak-Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary in Lubok Antu, Sri Aman Div
Sibuti Wildlife Sanctuary in Miri
Samunsan Wildlife Sanctuary in Sematan
Matang Wildlife Centre near Kuching.

Orangutan Rehabilitation Centres at Semengok(Semenggoh) and Matang.

Summary of the Parks :

Niah National Park is the most historic, with archaeological value as the oldest dated skull of modern humans in Asia was found right here at famous Niah caves.

Niah National Park, Trails & Layout
See the 'birds nest' delicacy in its original form and wonder why anybody eats it, much less pay the fanstastic sums for it.

Mulu National Park is the place where visitors can find Gunung Mulu, a beautiful 2,377 m high sandstone mountain. Do not miss the huge caverns of limestone caves which await you within the mountain. For those who are willing to trek, go for the 'Pinnacles' �" a natural rock formation which is a sight to behold.

Kuching has several areas of interest nearby such as Stutong Park, within the city.

Wind Caves and Fairy Caves at Bau.

Orangutan wildlife rehabilitation centres at Semengok and Matang.

Museums and Crafts

Visitors can get a quick update in Sarawak's history and cultural heritage by visiting the Sarawak Museum, Textile Museum and Crafts Centre in the City.

At the foothills of Borneo Highlands.
You can also do the Kuching Heritage trail in the City Centre. Along the waterfront of Kuching city, you can get your fill of crafts & souvenirs. Take a leisurely stroll during the day or evening to enjoy the sights along the riverside. There are Kuching river boat rides that bring you along the river to the end near Kuching port. (for those with some cash to spare, try dinner on board). While you pass by the sawmill at the old business district of town in your boat, do wave at those inhabitants making faces at you, I could be one of them !

The Cultural Village at Damai provides a compact introduction to all the various native groups in Sarawak. They have cultural dance performances during certain times of the day. You can see the various types of homes built by the native groups. Need to take a bus ride from Kuching city to Damai, Santubong. Entrance fee last known : RM 60 per adult

Anybody Looking for a Drinking Partner ?

For those looking to get really sloshed, go for the Pesta Gawai (Gawai festival).

Map of Bako National Park. It's about an hour plus drive out of Kuching City.
Traditional wine/ spirits made by the native groups are excellent for helping you achieve that out of body experience ! The murky colour of some of the concoctions may be a little scary to some of you but the flavour is something very unique.

* I had taken some made by the Kadazan people in Sabah, many years back. What a Christmas eve night !!!! Didn't even notice the hurricane which blew away most parts of the city near the sea ! Only realised how strong the winds were when I noticed capsized and sunken ships in the harbour on the next day. *

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Kuching City, 
Sarawak River - Wa…
Kuching City, Sarawak River - W…
Kuching Map, Legend
Kuching Map, Legend
Phone numbers for Kuching. If you …
Phone numbers for Kuching. If you…
Niah National Park, Trails & Layout
Niah National Park, Trails & Layout
At the foothills of Borneo Highlan…
At the foothills of Borneo Highla…
Map of Bako National Park.
Its a…
Map of Bako National Park. It's …
Lambir Hills National Park Map
Lambir Hills National Park Map
Satang & Talang-Talang Islands Nat…
Satang & Talang-Talang Islands Na…
Kubah National Park
Kubah National Park
Kubah National Park, Trail Routes
Kubah National Park, Trail Routes
Bukit Tiban National Park
Bukit Tiban National Park
Map of Sarikei Town, Sarawak
Map of Sarikei Town, Sarawak
At the foothills of Borneo Highlan…
At the foothills of Borneo Highla…
photo by: dyron_888