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Your destination : Malaysia / Sarawak


Sarawak, the largest state in Malaysia, is located on the southwestern corner of Borneo. It is a land of vast primeval rainforests, majestic mountains, caves, unique flora and fauna and diverse ethnic communities.Sarawak's history is one of heroic adventure and romance, piracy and rebellion. The state came under the rule of the White Rajahs when the Sultan of Brunei made James Brooke, an English adventurer, the ruler of Sarawak in 1841 for his help in quelling a rebellion.Administratively, Sarawak is divided into nine divisions. Kuching, the state capital which incidentally is also located in Kuching division sits on the banks of the Sarawak River, 32 km from the sea. The influence of the British is reflected in the architecture of some of its public buildings. A fine example is the Sarawak Museum, one of Asia's best, housing a fascinating collection of Borneon ethnological and archaelogical artefacts. The Cat Museum, Islamic Museum, Chinese Museum, Timber Museum and Police Museum also offer interesting insights into Sarawak. Other notable attractions in the city include the Fort Margherita, named after the wife of Charles Brooke, the second White Rajah and the Astana, presently, the residence of the Governor of Sarawak. The Sunday Market or Pasar Minggu, where local produce is sold, is the best place to mingle with the local folk. The Sarawak Cultural Village at the foothills of the legendary Mt. Santubong, 35 km from Kuching, is a major tourist attraction. Popularly known as the living Museum, the village is a showcase of the state's rich cultural diversity. Sarawak's magnificent caves is truly one of nature's greatest gifts. The Niah National Park is an area of major archeological significance as the oldest human remains in Southeast Asia, dating back 40,000 years, were found in its world renowned Niah Caves. The caves is home to millions of bats and swiftlets and witnessing the collection of guano for use as fertiliser and the hazardous task of harvesting birds' nests can be an absorbing experience.Equally awe-inspiring are the Mulu Caves located in the Mulu National Park. These enormous caverns contain Southeast Asia's largest cave system and other major caves which can only be described in superlatives. The spectacular Sarawak Chamber, the largest cave in the world is claimed to be able to accommodate 40 Boeing-747 aircraft. The Clear Water Cave and the Deer Cave are no less intriguing for cave explorers.Another highlight of a holiday in Sarawak is to go on a safari up its mighty rivers like the Skrang, Lemanak and Batang Ai. Make it a point too to experience life in a longhouse, once the home of notorious headhunters. Sarawak's traditional cottage industries and agricultural activities possess a charm of their own and their products make memorable souvenirs. The handicrafts of fine craftsmanship include woodcarvings, beadworks, 'pua kumbu' (handwoven Iban textile), the 'ajat' baskets and sleeping mats of the Penans and sunhats of some communities. Sarawak's fine art of pottery-making has today flourished into a popular indigenous industry especially in Kuching, Miri and Sibu. Pepper growing is also a significant economic activity in Sarawak which is noted for its high-grade black and white pepper. The Iban and Chinese each make up a third of the population. The Malays are third in number followed by the Bidayuh, Melanau and Orang Ulu. The Iban traditionally depend on fishing, hunting and farming for a living.The Malays are mostly farmers and fisher folk, and live in the coastal areas. The Bidayuh were coastal settlers who had been driven inland by sea pirates.Considered the original settlers of Sarawak, the Melanau are fisher folk. Many of these ethnic groups dwell along the great rivers. They live in longhouses, where the entire population of a village lives under one roof. They are very hospitable to travelers and many visitors stay overnight in a longhouse during their visit. Situated in Malaysian Borneo, Sarawak is the largest state in the country. Its colourful history under the rule of the White Rajahs, rich tapestry of cultures and superb natural attractions make it a mesmerising holiday destination. Many heritage buildings in Kuching, the capital city, reflect its rich past. An eco-adventure land, Sarawak is great for trekking, caving, mountain climbing, kayaking, biking, rafting and diving.The state has a wide range of accommodation to suit all budgets and preferences. There are international-standard beach resorts, jungle resorts, star-reted hotels as well as longhouse-style resorts. Budget accommodation is widely avaiable. Take your pick from the variety of cuisine, from local delicacies to Continental fare.Places of Interest Kuching Waterfront This 900m long esplanade, with landscaped surroundings and eateries, is a popular place for locals and foreigners alike. Places of interest here are The Square Tower, Sarwak Steamship Building and Chinese History Museum. A nearby attraction is the ornate Tua Pek Kong Temple, reputed to be the oldest in the city.Main Bazaar This is the oldest street in the city. The shophouse here enjoy immense popularity for the bewildering variety of items, from ethnic crafts, textiles to bamboo mats and pottery. Take home exquisite souvenirs of your visit!.Sarawak Museum Sarawak Museum is hailed as one of the finest in Southeast Asia. The old Wing, designed in the style of a Normandy town house, houses an exceptional ethnographic collection. Within the grounds are an Aquarium, Botanical Gardens and Heroes' Memorial.Sarawak Cultural Village An award-winning attraction, Sarawak Cultural Village showcases the diverse lifestyles of the state's ethnic groups. Visit the authentic dwellings and view their crafts, household items and musical instruments. The lively cultural performance is a major highlight here. Sarawak Cultural Village is the venue of the annual Rainforest World Music Festival.More information about Sarawak cultural village Semenggoh wildlife Centre Enjoy the amazing experience of standing close to orang utans in their natural habitat. Watch them swing gracefully as they make their way here during the feeding times. Other attractions include an arboretum, fernery, botanical garden and fruit orchard. Matang Wildlife Centre provides the opportunity to view animals in enclosures.Cat Museum Welcome to a world dedicated to cats! Touted to be the world's first, the Cat Museum pays tribute to these adorable felines with a range of exhibits, photos, statues and souvenirs. Kucing means 'cat' in Malay.