Extending along the north-west coast of Borneo, Sarawak is the largest state in Malaysia and shares its borders with Sabah, Kalimantan and Brunei. It’s largely blanketed by dense rainforest, much of which is protected within national parks and traversed by mangrove-fringed rivers. Overlooking the South China Sea are lively cities that include Kuching, Bintulu and Miru.
Things to do in Sarawak
With its buzzing cities and magnificent natural areas, Sarawak is a deservedly popular destination.
Sightsee in Kuching. Serving as the capital of Sarawak, Kuching is renowned for its British colonial architecture and abundance of cat statues. Feast on spicy laksa in the Old Bazaar and stroll along the scenic waterfront, which offers magnificent views of the 1870-built Astana and the whitewashed Fort Margherita. A short drive away is the Sarawak Cultural Village where you can learn about the state’s indigenous peoples.
Explore Bako National Park. Sarawak’s oldest national park is Bako, which encompasses 27 square kilometres on the Muara Tebas Peninsula. It’s home to deserted beaches, spectacular sea stacks and lush jungle home to wild proboscis monkeys. Join a boat tour to see the aptly named “Cobra’s Head” rock formation or explore along one of the hiking trails while spotting long-tailed macaques, monitor lizards and Bornean bearded pigs.
Discover the prehistory of the Niah Caves. Protected within Niah National Park, these limestone caves are one of Sarawak’s most important archaeological sites, with human remains dating back 40,000 years discovered here. Chopping tools, Neolithic axes and pottery have been found, together with paintings and wooden coffin “death ships”. Join a guided trek to see the magnificent Great Cave with its 250-metre-wide entrance and learn about the hundreds of thousands of swiftlets that come to nest here.
Getting around Sarawak
Kuching International Airport is the main aviation gateway to Sarawak and has flights to destinations across Asia. Due to the poor condition of roads, flights and river boats are the most convenient way of getting around the state, with regular services between Kuching, Sibu, Bintulu and Miri. Local buses and taxis are available in the cities.