Facing the South China Sea and located in the Sarawak state of Malaysia is the beautiful Damai Beach. It is situated on the Santubong Peninsula at the edge of the rainforests of Malaysian Borneo with Mount Santubong towers over it. With such stunning natural beauty all around, Damai Beach is a popular attraction for locals and tourists alike. Since it is located just 35 km (21.7 miles) from Kuching, the capital of Sarawak, it has become a weekend beach destination for Kuching residents. Several amazing activities like trekking to the top of Mount Santubong, exploring jungle trails, water activities, sunbathing, shopping and dining, are available here. Damai Beach is also a great starting point for short trips to nearby destinations. For more information, take a look at our guide to Damai Beach, Sarawak.
Things to do / Highlights
Lounge about on the beach
Of course, the must-do thing at any beach is to laze around and lounge about on the beach all day. And it is even easier to do so at Damai Beach for it is a spotless and clean beach, with miles of orange-brown sand and refreshing azure water. There is a nice and cool sea breeze blowing throughout the day, as well as a warm sun. Just get your beach towel or chair, a book and while the day away.
Trek to the top of Mount Santubong
Since the beach is situated at the foot of Mount Santubong, going on a trek on the slopes of the mountain is a very popular activity here. Many operators are available to organize a guided trek for you. Explore the many jungle trails through the beautiful tropical rainforests of Malaysian Borneo and take in breathtaking views from the top of the mountain.
Indulge in water sports
Damai Beach is still a relatively uncrowded tourist spot and far from the grasp of commercialization. Thus, it is a good place to enjoy some water-based activities and sports like swimming, wind-surfing and jet-skiing.
What to eat
Located in the Damai Beach Resort, one of the most popular resorts on the beach, is Cafe Satang. It serves a range of meals from breakfast to dinner. You can choose from buffets or order a la carte. They are well known for their local and international fare. At this halal-certified restaurant, you can sample everything from Lobster Thermidor to the traditional dish of Laksa Sarawak (a spicy Malaysian noodle soup)
Escobar Bar & Grill
For a beachfront dining option, check out Escobar Bar & Grill, which offers alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Situated in Damai Central, this restaurant has a chilled-out vibe with mesmerizing sunset views. They also have live music, DJ and a variety of cocktails and traditional pub favourites to enjoy. Food served here is international and a few local favorites too. Try the local Asian dish of roti (traditional flatbread) with sauce, with a cold beer while watching the sun set over the South China Sea.
Things to buy
Situated at a close walking distance to Damai Beach is the Sarawak Cultural Village where a handicraft shop sells a range of lovely traditional products representative of the Sarawakian culture and heritage. Must-buy things here are:
Shop for Sarawakian handicrafts like the beautiful products made from beads, and traditional headgears. The headgear is not just pretty to look at but it has practical uses too, and can be worn on special occasions. Amazing traditional beadwork is seen in necklaces, belts and other traditional products from local tribes of the area.
Traditional herbal plants
A number of herbs and plants used by the local ethnic tribes of Sarawak can also be purchased at the gift shop of Sarawak Cultural Village. Ranging in their health benefits from antiseptic properties through lung disease, cancer and arthritis to antidote for poison, several amazing beneficial herbal plants are on sale here.
Around holidays, especially the Islamic holidays like Eid-al-Fitr and Eid-al-Adha, it is advisable to carry your own food and water for restaurants, cafes and seaside food stalls may be closed. Restaurants in the beach resorts and hotels may be open, but it is best to call ahead and find out.
Be mindful of the season
The Sarawak region’s monsoon season falls between the months of October - March, and the region experiences moderate to heavy rainfall at that time. Thus, the best time to visit Damai Beach is during the drier months of April - September.
Carry a bug repellent
Since it has a tropical climate with year-round temperatures between 27 to 32°C and is close to the rainforest of Borneo, you may face a bug and mosquito problem in Damai Beach and surrounding areas. It is advisable to carry a bug repellent spray, especially while exploring the jungle trails.
How to get there
The easiest and quickest way to reach Damai Beach from Kuching is via taxi. It will take you approximately 32 minutes to reach the beach and fares are about USD 24 to 32.
Damai Beach is less than an hour’s drive away from Kuching City and it is easy to reach in your own car. It is a scenic drive with beautiful vistas along the way.
Shuttle bus service
Another convenient form of access to Damai Beach is via a shuttle bus service that is provided by most hotels in and around the beach. These shuttle buses run between Kuching’s city center and the beach area at regular intervals, and the one-way fare is about USD 5. Tour buses also regularly ply along the Kuching-Damai Beach route.
Damai Beach, Sarawak information
Damai Beach, Sarawak
Address: Damai Beach, Sarawak, Malaysia
Department of tourism: Malaysia Travel
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