Enchanting, wild and far removed from the beaten track, Sarawak’s many attractions for the intrepid traveler include jungle treks and indigenous culture.
Sarawak is the largest state in Malaysia, with a land mass that is nearly equal to the entire Malaysian Peninsula. Located on the western side of the island of Borneo, Sarawak offers what many consider to be the quintessential Borneo experience. Try local cuisine, learn about the area’s cultural history and explore numerous untamed pockets where it seems as if time has stood still for hundreds of years.
Visit a rumah panjai (traditional longhouse) still inhabited by the indigenous Iban people. These warriors were once known as Borneo’s most fearsome headhunters, but visitors needn’t worry as the practice has now died out. Learn about their fascinating culture when you visit the Sarawak Cultural Village. This also hosts the popular Rainbow World Music Festival in July, featuring international and local musicians.
Sarawak is a paradise for trekkers. Explore the mountainous trails of the Kelabit Highlands or take the routes through dense mangroves in the Bako National Park. Discover the natural wonders of the Gunung Mulu National Park, which contains some of the largest caves in the world. Take a longboat ride along the river or try the Mulu Canopy Skywalk and walk through vines and ferns high above the forest floor.
Kuching is the state capital and a good place to base your travels, with flights from Kuala Lumpur landing in Kuching International Airport. It is advisable to take internal flights within Sarawak as well, as the roads are still largely undeveloped.
Be sure to sample some traditional dishes during your stay. Umai, raw fish cured with lime and spices, and manok pansoh, chicken cooked in bamboo, are two of the most well-known local specialties.
The hot and humid climate is a constant year-round, but you can expect more rainfall from November to February during the wet season. Come prepared for hot weather, untamed wilderness and an experience like you’ve never had before and your trip to Sarawak will be one that you will remember for life.