Sarawak: the name itself brings about a lot of curiosity and intrigue as it has been known since time immemorial for its ethnic population, and its location in the enigmatic and clandestine Borneo region makes it even more mysterious. It is very interesting and very close to nature. Sarawak produces a major share of the total oil that Malaysia produces and prides itself for being home to the first oil well in the country. Apart from nature and culture, Sarawak is also popular because of the oil and gas industry. So, let us find out what interesting activities you can do in Sarawak:
1. Climb Gunung Mulu at Mulu Caves National Park
Gunung Mulu, or Mount Mulu, is the second-highest peak in Sarawak. This mountain is located in the Gunung Mulu National Park in Mulu, Sarawak. What is special about this mountain is the limestone karst formations. You can see caves, rock pinnacles, and cave networks, as well as gorges and cliffs! This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a hiking expedition here is highly recommended. The circling of bats at twilight is a treat to watch, so don’t miss it!
Apart from these caves, you can find a wide variety of flora and fauna in this region, including the pitcher plant Nepenthes faizaliana, which is endemic to the Gunung Mulu National Park. Daily flights from Kuching, Miri, and Kota Kinabalu are available to help you get there. Entry tickets allow visitors to enter the park for a period of 5 days and cost 30 MYR (7.50 USD) for a foreign visitor, and half that rate for a local. June to September is the busiest period so plan your trip accordingly.
2. Visit Niah Caves, Miri
Niah National Park is located in Miri, Sarawak, near the Niah River, or Sungai Niah. This site is famous for the discovery of human remains that were 40,000 years old. At this park, you can find the Niah Caves, which are limestone caves as well. Apart from exploring the caves, you can experience an Iban longhouse and also do a jungle walk.
An entry fee of 20 MYR (5 USD) is charged, and the park is open all through the year for visitors.
3. Crocodile Farm, Miri
One of the popular attractions of the oil town of Miri is the Crocodile Farm. The farm is located in Lutong near the Kuala Baram river mouth. There are at least 1,000 of these estuarine animals in the farm, and you can find out the different species of the crocodile kind. Apart from this, you also have a mini zoo that houses Borneo gibbons, snakes, different species of deer, and birds, and this will be loved by kids a lot. An entrance fee of 10 MYR (2.50 USD) is charged, and the Crocodile Farm is open all through the year.
4. Check out the Grand Old Lady at Canada Hills, Miri
Wondering who or what the Grand Old Lady can be? Well, it is nothing but the first oil well that was dug in the town of Miri in 1910. Located atop the Canada Hills, a popular hiking spot for locals, this oil well produced oil continuously every year until it was shut down and retired in the 1970s. Today, what stands is the structure of the oil well that was in operation. You also have a petroleum museum next to the oil well, and a very informative one at that. The Grand Old Lady is open for public viewing all day, all through the year, while the museum is open every day from 9 am to 5 pm. The view from Canada Hill is breath-taking as you can see the entire panoramic view of the city of Miri from the top, including the South China Sea. It is an experience to enjoy the sunset from the top.
5. Lambir Hills National Park, Miri
Miri is home to yet another National Park, the Lambir Hills National Park. This park is home to extremely diverse flora and fauna, has the most challenging trails, and has lots of waterfalls! Kids and adults will enjoy trekking and hiking at this place followed by a shower at the waterfalls! The admission fee is 10 MYR (2.50 USD) for (non-Malaysian) adults and 5 MYR (1.25 USD) for children.
6. Bako National Park, Kuching
Bako is said to be one of the oldest national parks of Sarawak. This is the perfect place to experience all forms of nature on the island of Borneo, be it the rainforests or creatures. You can also find trails and treks for hiking. The park is closed on the weekends and public holidays. During the rest of the week, it is open from 8 am to 5 pm. An entry fee of 20 MYR (5 USD) is charged, and a boat trip to the park costs 40 MYR (10 USD).
7. Attend the Rainforest World Music Festival at Kuching
The annual 3-day music festival is held in Kuching, Sarawak, to celebrate the diversity of world music. There are workshops, craft displays, cultural displays, food, and, of course, concerts during the evenings. The music featured in the festival includes world music, contemporary music, fusion, and traditional music. The use of traditional instruments is emphasized in this festival. So if you are interested in this kind of music, this is one festival you must attend. And, what a lovely place to host it!
8. Visit rice fields at Bario
The Bario Highlands is the place where the famous, small-grained Highland Adan rice is grown. The highlands are located about 900 meters (2,953 feet) above sea level and close to the Indonesian border, near Kalimantan. The river Kelalan is the irrigation source for the paddy crops.
9. Merarap hot springs at Lawas
Lawas is a small town in Sarawak known for its hot springs. The Merarap hot spring is located about 70 kilometers (43.5 miles) from Lawas town. You can try out some kayaking and angling at the river here.
10. Eat Sarawak laksa
Sarawak laksa is the “national” dish of Sarawak. With a mix of noodles and the amazingly flavorful laksa paste, the food item is a clear favorite among locals and tourists alike. The best Sarawak laksa is available at Poh Lam Laksa, Chong Choon Café in Kuching, and at Big Prawn Laksa shop in the Golden Arch Shopping Mall in Kuching.
So, what are you waiting for?
Sarawak represents Borneo in a true natural style, and this place has more history and culture when compared to other regions of Malaysia. So, to get the real feel of Borneo, head to Sarawak soon!
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