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When it comes to natural beauty, Sarawak has it all. Perched on the northwestern edge of the exotic island of Borneo, Sarawak is the largest of Malaysia's states and is literally quite unlike any other place on earth. An amazing variety of wonders await visitors who come to Sarawak. Home to over 30 different ethnic groups, long sandy beaches, and an incredibly large natural world with a rich history makes Sarawak one of the most popular tourism spots in Malaysia. 
Sarawak is popularly known as 'The Land of the Hornbills' in tribute to the majestic-looking hornbills found in the state. Considered as a messenger from the spirit world by the Iban community, an indigenous group, hornbills are central to many Iban ceremonies, beliefs and even traditional dances.  

Iban Tradisional Dance


Sarawak's history dates about 40,000 years ago. Remains of a pre-historic civilisation including stone-age tools, artifacts and skull fragments of a 'Niah Man', aged between 35,000 and 40,000 years old, have been discovered at the Niah Caves, located at the northernmost corner of the state. Around 7th or 8th century AD, when traders form China, Japan, India and Arabia plied the maritime route, the early Sarawakians traded using beads, pepper, and swiftlets' nests-found in the roofs of the Niah Caves-as trading currency. The two spectacular cave parks, Mulu and Niah have both been put foward for nomination as World Heritage Sites. Currently, only Gunung Mulu National Park has been declared a World Heritage Site. Places listed under the World Heritage Site list are given technical and emergency assistance under the World Heritage Fund, benefiting the site itself, the public, and foreign and local experts in various fields.

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Harmony in Diversity
Sarawak is also home to more than 30 ethnic groups living together in perfect harmony. For an insight on the lives and culture of some of these major ethnic groups in Sarawak, a visit to the Sarawak Cultural Village is a must. The village contains replicas of ethnic houses for the viewing pleasure of visitors. Major ethnic groups are the Ibans, Chinese, Malay, Bidayuh, Melanau and The Orang Ulus. 

Cultural in Sarawak

Cultural in Sarawak

The Ibans
The Ibans are a mobile people, fishing in the rivers, hunting in the forests and cultivating hill rice in the jungle. In the past, the Ibans practiced headhunting as a means of survival against enemies. However, headhunting has long ceased but their colourful festivals centre on dances that tell of heroism, spiritualism and are a form of thanks giving for a bountiful harvest.

The Chinese
The Chinese first came to Borneo well before the Brooke era. There is evidence unearthed from excavations around Santubong that the Chinese might have come to trade during the Tang Sung Yuan dynasties from A.D.618 to 1368.

The Malay
The Malays were mostly farmers and fishermen and are thus found in the coastal areas, fringing the rivers. They were believed to have come from the Malay Archipelago, Brunei and Kalimantan. Their culture is largely influenced by Islam.


The Bidayuh were once a coastal people who had been driven inland by sea pirates called Lanuns. Like the Ibans, headhunting used to be practised in the olden days.

The Melanau are considered to have been the original settlers in Sarawak. They settled mainly around the coast and rivers and are highly regarded as good boatbuilders and fishermen.

Orang Ulu
Orang Ulu refers to all the other minority indigenous groups in Sarawak. It is a name given collectively to describe the upriver people living in Sarawak's interiors. They total 21 groups in all.

Places of interest:

Nestled on the banks of the Sarawak River, the capital, Kuching, retains the old-world charm of its romantic past.
The river is the focal point of the town and features a graceful, European-style esplanade -The Kuching Waterfront - with views across to the Astana (the palace) and Fort Margherita. For another perspective on the town, hire a boat and float down the river either by day or night-the sunset is fantastic.

Kuching Town

Kuching Town at night view

The narrow, bustling streets near the river are crammed with ornate temples, markets, historic buildings and traditonal Chinese shophouses selling local handicrafts. Kuching also lays claim to nine museums, many within walking distance of each other.
Approximately 35 km from the capital of Kuching lies the picturesque fishing village of Santubong boasting some of the finest beaches in Sarawak.

For more infomation about Santubong

The Natural Wonders of Sarawak
Scattered national parks throughout the land allow visitors easy access to Sarawak's natural treasures where the proboscis monkeys, the famous bearded pigs, silver leaf monkeys and long tailed macaques can be seen. These huge parks are also home to an enormous range of fauna including the carnivorous pitcher plants, sundews, wild orchids and the Rafflesia, the largest flower in the world.

Niah Cave

Mulu Cave

In addition, the Niah and Gunung Mulu national park situated close to Brunei houses the Niah Caves containing prehistoric remains dating back 40,000 years. There are also quite a lot of National Parks scattered in Sarawak such as : Bako, Similajau, Kubah, Lambir Hills, Gunung Gading, Batang Ai, Tanjung Datu and Loagan Bunut National Park.

Adventures in Sarawak
The opportunities for an adventure in Sarawak are as numerous as they are diverse. Visitors will be able to easily find tour operators that offer trips where one can enjoy jungle trekking, mountain climbing, caving, and mountain biking or river safaris. Jungle trekking offers visitors a close up view of the amazing flora and fauna of Borneo.

Jungle Trekking

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