Borneo Sarawak, Malaysia

A juvenile Proboscis Monkey in Bako NP, Sarawak, borneo, malaysia

A Proboscis Monkey in Bako NP, Sarawak. Unique and endangered. Photo by David Dennis.

Malaysian Borneo is divided into two states – Sarawak and Sabah

Sarawak is  the western part of Borneo island, the largest and the least visited state of the country. 70% of its land is covered with 15 national parks and nature reserves and some superb beaches along its 700 km of the unspoilt coastline.

Gunung Mulu NP, Sarawak

spikey rock formations in Gunung Mulu National Park, Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia

Gunung Mulu National Park near Miri, in Sarawak, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that offers spectacular caves and karst formations in a mountainous equatorial rainforest setting. Photo by Paul White.

Gunung Mulu is also riddled with some of world’s largest underground river and cave networks, such as famous, Deer Cave, the largest passage, and Sarawak Chamber, the biggest known natural underground chamber.
The park offers many possible adventures, though it is a bit remote, near the Brunei border, so access by air is the best way to get there.
Accommodation is available in the park, at a nearby resort or in homestays across the Melinau River. Guided cave and/or trekking tours including accommodation are offered by local tour companies.

Semengoh Orang Utan Sanctuary

Situated in the Semenggoh Nature Reserve, this Orang Utan Sanctuary is a rehabilitation centre for orphaned or captured orang utans. It’s wonderful to see the almost wild animals in close proximity if you are lucky (no guarantees). Bear in mind that you are only allowed to view our ginger cousins at feeding platform and with other tourists.  Check opening/closing time before you go. Semengoh is 24 km from Kuching. The photo was actually taken in a sanctuary in Borneo’s other half, Sumatra.

Sarawak’s star wildlife reserve is probably Bako National Park, home to the unique proboscis monkey and many other genuinely wild lifeforms.

Native people in Sarawak

A Kuching Mosque, Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia

Kuching Mosque. Photo by wenwendream.

Apart from experiencing the natural beauty of its dense rainforest, one of Sarawak’s highlights is visiting indigenous Dayak people (also Dyak)and their longhouse communities. Dayak are best known for the ethnic tattoo motif as well as their housing.

Although some of the villages easily reachable from Kuching are touristy, it is still fascinating to see examples of tribal life and culture in these living museums.

Needless to say, the farther you are willing to go from Kuching, the more authentic the villages get, though actually one of the oldest longhouses – Annah Rais – is located near Kuching.

Sarawak Cultural Village

Located about 35km from Kuching city is this large award-winning theme park (‘living museum’) with seven ethnic houses representing Malay, Chinese, Penan and the longhouses of the Bidayuh, Iban, Orang Ulu and the Melanau. Authentically built and full of traditional crafts, tools, and other artifacts.

Worth mentioning is the growing popularity of the ‘Rainforest World Music Festival’ featuring some of world’s leading musicians and held over three days in June, annually in Kuching.