Top 10 Cultural Activities in Sarawak

Sarawak has a cultural diversity that is only rivalled by its natural splendour. With some 27 different native tribes still living a traditional life in their native environments, there are more than enough choices when it comes to cultural adventures. Many tours companies are located in the area and offer the best chance to visit one of these traditional villages, making them one of Sarawak’s most famous tourist excursions. In addition, Kuching has a few good museums if you want to brush up on the local culture before striking out.This article will provide you top 10 cultural activities in Sarawak.

1. Pesta Benak


This joy cultural festival takes place in the town of Sri Aman. Its objective is to promote the town’s heritage and uplift tourism through food fairs, cultural performances and also friendly competitions. It’s a best chance to get intimate with a Sarawak community.

2. Kaul


Melanau fishing villages start the beginning of their fishing season during Kaul. This festival is both a ritual of purification and thanksgiving, as the Melanau hope for a good fishing season. The major highlight is the tibau competition, held to see how many men and women can swing together at the end of a rope.

3. Baleh Kapit River Safari


This fun and thrilling river race run along Malaysia’s longest river, the Rejang, to the frontier town of Kapit. Iban hospitality is on display with a few serious partying the night before the race. Only natural manmade rafts are allowed, making for some excitement when they hit the rapids.

4. Miri Jazz Festival


Every category of jazz imaginable converges on the resort town of Miri for a week of good times. This famous international festival draws talented musicians from all corners of the globe for a series of outdoor concerts in an intimate setting.

5. Gawai


This vital cultural event is a harvest festival, religious ritual, New Year celebration and family reunion rolled into one. All the lowland tribes of Sarawak become beehives of activity as people return home for this holiday. Expect plenty of fine times and a few great cultural exposure if you visit a longhouse during Gawai.

6. Rainforest World Music Festival


The Rainforest World Music Festival is a once a year three-day music festival celebrating the diversity of world music, held in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia, with daytime music workshops, ethnic displays, craft displays, food stalls, and main-stage evening concerts. The festival has been awarded 25 of the top International Festivals by Songlines for six consecutive years; from 2010 to 2015.The festival features a wide variety of performances from traditional music to world fusion and contemporary world music. The festival emphasises the use of traditional acoustic world instruments, although electric accompaniment instruments are equal.

7. Borneo Cultural Festival


For a month, the town of Sibu comes alive with the presence of Sarawak’s native groups. This unique cultural convention attracts delegates from all over the region to showcase their song and dance talents. The Sibu town square is where all the colourful activity takes place.

8. Sarawak Festival

Kuching hosts this crucial event which is akin to a citywide carnival. Parades of colourful floats and endless processions of Chinese-inspired lanterns make this a wonderful festival to experience. Drama competitions and other cultural performances round off the week.

9. Sematan Festival


This seaside town held on a carnival for three days to promote itself. Food stalls line the streets, where crab dishes are the speciality. Nearby attractions such as Gunung Gading and Tanjung Datu national park are highlighted, along with the town’s wonderful beaches.

10. Sarawak Regatta


The Sarawak River is the place for this fun but competitive boat race. Warring tribes line the Kuching waterfront to beat drums for their team as each tribe tries to outpace the other in whatever shape of boat they traditionally use.

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