Sarawak has a lot of places that you should visit when you visit Sarawak.Though Sarawak is popular for its nature attractions, there are others places equally interesting and thrilling. These places of interests could be explored in a day or even a few days depending on its place and accessibility.From the intriguing colonial based of Kuching, you can leap into nature attractions and adventure. This article will provide you top 10 places to visit in Sarawak.
1. Bako National Park
Bako National Park is Sarawak’s venerable national park and, at 2,728 hectares (6,738 acres), is also one of its smallest. It packs a lot in for its size, however, containing almost each kind of vegetation found in Borneo.Sitting on a promontory at the mouths of the Sarawak and Bako rivers, Bako National Park contains no less than seven eco-systems – from cliff and coastal vegetation to mangrove, peat swamp and dipterocarp forest and grasslands.But it is the flora and fauna most people come for the sparse proboscis monkey, macaques, monitor lizards and bearded pigs – that, and the astonishing number of pitcher and carnivorous plants that call the National Park home.
2. Sarawak Cultural Village
The Sarawak Cultural Village portrays the variety cultures and customs of Sarawak’s ethnic groups. The village consists of pure traditional buildings each displaying artefacts made by individual dwellers. Demonstration of arts and crafts such as beadworks, wood and bamboo carvings, pua and straw weaving can be seen while visiting the Village.The buildings – a Chinese farmhouse, a Penan Hut, a Melanau Tall House and Bidayuh, Iban and also Orang Ulu Longhouses are set amidst a pleasing 17-acre (6.8hc) site. As part of the living museum, members of Sarawak’s many racial groups can be seen throughout the Village going about daily activities such as carving, sago-making, crushing sugar-cane, and growing pepper.
3. Kubah National Park
Located just 22 km outside of the capital city of Kuching, the sandstone mountains of Kubah National Park offer some of the best day trekking and plant-spotting opportunities in the immediate area. This 2,230-hectare park was opened to the public in 1995, and although infinite species of birds and mammals such as arguas pheasants and bearded pigs roam the tropical rainforest, what Kubah National Park is ultimately known for is its outstanding array of plant diversity, particularly palms.
Sarawak’s capital, Kuching, is one of the several cities in Malaysian Borneo that escaped a hammering during WWII. Its memorable buildings, multi-racial society, excellent climate and position alongside the banks of the Sungai Sarawak river all contribute to the city’s laid-back charms.Kuching has an impressive history.The city was once ruled as a kingdom by British-Adventurer-come-Rajah, James Brooke, whose son, Charles, was responsible for building a lot of the structures that, along with its Chinese temples, mosques and waterfront, make Kuching such an interesting city to explore.Kuching can be divided into two regions, which are more or less distinct. The Chinese dominated south is a commercial residential area, while the north shore is predominantly Malay in character, with old kampong houses lining the river.There are numerous places of interest in and around the city, and while Kuching as a whole is spread out, its primary centre is compact and easily explored on foot. A popular place for travelers exploring Sarawak, the city also allure travelers with its nightlife, wide-ranging accommodations and delicious Chinese-Malay cuisine.
5. The Astana
The Astana is a palace located in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia, on the north bank of the Sarawak River, facing the Kuching Waterfront. It is the official residence of the Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak, the Head of Sarawak. The name is a variation of ‘Istana’, meaning ‘palace’. It was built in 1870 by the second White Rajah, Charles Brooke, as a wedding present to his wife, Margaret Alice Lili de Windt. The palace is not usually open to the public, although the landscaped gardens are, which can be reached by a boat ride across the Sarawak River.
6. Satang Turtle Island National Park
Satang Turtle Island National Park contains two islands Pulau Satang Besar and Pulau Satang Kecil just off Sarawak’s west coast. These protected islands, surrounded by the unspoilt waters of the South China sea, are a recognised sanctuary for Green and rare Hawksbill turtles who return to the islands each year to lay their eggs.You can visit the turtle conservation and hatchery area and study about the conservation program on the island. Park rangers collect the turtle eggs, count them and replace them in a beach hatchery. When the hatchlings emerge from their eggs around 40 to 60 days, their numbers are recorded before they are released into the sea.The surrounding ocean contains an abundance of coral and marine life and it is probable to swim and snorkel here and to accept a guided stroll through the National Park’s jungle-filled interior.
7. Lambir Hills National Park
Encompassing a relatively small region of 26.8 square miles (6,952 hectares), Lambir Hills National Park protects what maybe be the planet’s most biodiverse and complex forest ecosystems. This jungle covered the swathe of land is a place to a staggering 1,173 species of trees, as well as monkeys, deer, flying squirrels, wild boar, gibbons and 237 counted species of birds.While the flora and fauna are reason enough to visit, it’s the park’s plentiful jungle waterfalls that tend to attract visitors, many with pools at their bases where trekkers can go for a cooling afternoon swim.
8. Niah National Park
Quite small compared to Sarawak’s other national parks, Niah National Park is one of the most unusual and archaeologically essential in the world. It’s also a location of great innate beauty and biodiversity, thanks to the rainforest and huge cave system where swiftlets, bats and a host of other wildlife thrive.Niah earned a mark on the map when an archaeological dig in 1957 and they found the oldest modern human remains in Southeast Asia inside the park’s Great Cave. A 40,000-year-old human skull, discovered a year later, gave evidence that humans have been housed in Borneo for tens of thousands of years. Another cave within the park, the aptly named Painted Cave, contains early cave paintings as well as several canoe-like coffins, called death ships, indicating that the cave was once used as a burial site.
9. Annah Rais
Situated 62 miles south of Kuching, Annah Rais is a Bidayuh longhouse community in the foothills of the Borneo Highlands. While the 500 or so residents of Annah Rais make a living from tourism and the community has long been on the tourist map, they’ve done well to maintain the traditional longhouse architecture, and visitors get a sense of what life in such communal community is like.Annah Rais consists three separate longhouses, Kupo Terekan, Kupo Saba and Kupo Sijo, which travelers can visit solo or with a guide. Each longhouse has a covered bamboo verandah, called an awah, used for common activities. Doorways spaced along the longhouse lead to each family’s private quarters.While some visit Annah Rais just for the day, some of the residents open their homes to visitors as part of a ethnic homestay program. Visitors are paired with a local family who provides a traditional dinner and breakfast in addition to the enhance cultural exchange.
10. Batang Ai National Park
The Sarawak area of Borneo shelters a few of the world’s most endangered species, most famously orangutans. Batan Ai National Park, along with Lanjak-Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary in Malaysia and Bentuang-Karimun National Park in Indonesia, is one of the biggest trans-national protected areas in the area, providing more than 3,800 square miles of valuable habitat for both orangutans and other rare and endangered species.Five jungle trails, ranging in length from 1 to 5 miles take visitors through pristine primary forest interspersed with several areas of old secondary forest. With one of the excessive concentrations of orangutans in Central Borneo, sightings are relatively common. Visitors might also see gibbons, hornbills and langurs.