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Sarawak Activities

What to Do in Sarawak

Sarawak’s main draws are the indigenous communities that call this state home. Most people start out their exploration of the state in Kuching – located in the southwest corner of Sarawak. It is the most convenient starting point for visiting the Iban longhouse communities in the Batang Ai river system as well as the Bidayuh dwellings south of the city. Additionally, the Bako National Park is located here and north of Sibu is Bintulu where you’ll find the Niah National Park, a popular camping and hiking spot. Further east from Miri is the Gunung Mulu National Park, the state’s principal national attraction; meanwhile, just west of the state, there’s a beach four hours away at Sematan. Further in the northeast, the Kelabit Highlands is a forested plateau that’s listed as one of Malaysia’s premier highland destinations.

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Bako National Park

Located on a jagged peninsula jutting out into the South China Sea, you’ll need a few days to explore this sprawling park, where you’ll be able to visit the Bidayuh longhouses near the remote Kalimantan border and the languid coastal village of Sematan to the west. Featuring Borneo’s signature jungles, Bako – Sarawak’s oldest national park – is full of wildlife and boasts 17 jungle trails ranging from short walks to strenuous-yet-rewarding treks.

  • Opening Hours: 08:00 – 17:00
  • Location: Southern Sarawak
  • Tel: +608 247 8011
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Batang Ai

Home to orang-utans – as well as other protected wildlife like the hornbills and gibbon – the muddy Batang Ai is a national park that is the water-catchment area to Sarawak's only artificial lake. The dipterocarp forest is a beautiful flora haven with drooping trees that hang above the complex river system. Home to Iban longhouses, the park is a good alternative especially if you can’t make it out to Batang Rejang or if you want to avoid the crowds there.

  • Location: Central Sarawak
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Gunung Mulu National Park

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Gunung Mulu National Park is the largest national park in Sarawak. Dominated by three mountains - Gunung Mulu, Gunung Api and Gunung Benarat – the park spans across 52,865 hectares of primary rainforest. Gunung Mulu’s greatest attraction is the 300km expanse of twisting passages that lie buried deep beneath it – these underground fissures are home to the largest cave chamber in the world, the Sarawak Chamber.

  • Location: Northern Sarawak
  • Tel: +608 579 2300
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Kelabit Highlands

A highland plateau located between the margins of the Tama Abu Range and Apo Duat Range on the Sarawak-Kalimantan, Kelabit Highlands is a popular jungle trekking site. Most people who make their way up to this plateau come here for the hiking, mountain climbing and camping opportunities – trails up the mountain range from lazy strolls to arduous treks; the ‘capital’ of the highlands is Bario, which is best known as the plantation site for ‘bario rice’ – one of the finest rice grains of the world.

  • Location: Northern Sarawak

Kubah National Park

Some 15km from Kuching, the 22sqkm Kubah National Park comprises a range of forested 450-metre high sandstone hills. Offering good trekking with shaded jungle trails, Kubah has numerous waterfalls and the park is home to a wide variety of palms and orchids. In addition it was the backdrop for two Hollywood productions – the 2003 ‘Sleeping Dictionary’ which starred Jessica Alba and the 1989 flick ‘Farewell to the King’ fronted by Nick Nolte.

  • Location: Southern Sarawak
  • Tel: +601 122 5003

Niah National Park

Home to the Niah Caves, the 32sqkm Niah National Park is one of Sarawak’s top tourist draws and is an important nesting site for swiftlets, who supply the vital ingredient for birds-nest soup. Located approximately 115km south of Miri, in the centre of the park is the Great Cave – one of the largest caves in the world.

  • Location: Northern Sarawak
  • Tel: +608 224 8088
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Sematan

One of the few places in Sarawak where you can enjoy near-perfect beaches, Sematan is a fishing village with a promenade-lined waterfront, concrete pier, colourful stilt houses and a park. Located 107km away from Kuching, the beach is lined with coconut trees and its shallow waters make it especially kid-friendly. Telok Melano village, about 30km down the coast from Sematan, also has pristine beaches and clear blue waters.

  • Location: Souther Sarawak

Talang-Satang National Park

Comprising two pairs of islands – Big Satang Island and Small Satang Island and Big Talang Talang Island and Small Talang Talang Island – the Talang-Satang National Park is Sarawak’s first marine park. Established in 1989 to protect the egg-laying habitat of the endangered sea turtles, you can snorkel and dive within limited areas of this protected park.

  • Opening Hours: National Parks Booking Office: 08:00 – 17:00 Monday – Friday
  • Location: Southern Sarawak (National Parks Booking Office: Sarawak Tourism Complex, Jalan Tun Abang Haji Openg)
  • Tel: National Parks Booking Office: +608 224 8088

Tanjung Datu National Park

Adjacent to the Kalimantan border, the 14sqkm Tanjung Datu National Park is located at the far west end of Sarawak. The park encompasses rainforests, rivers as well as virgin beaches and is noteworthy for the endangered turtles that lay their eggs on the beaches. Featuring excellent jungle trails, snorkelling and scuba diving are allowed in certain areas though the sea can be rough between October and March.

  • Opening Hours: National Parks Booking Office: 08:00 – 17:00 Monday – Friday
  • Location: Southern Sarawak (National Parks Booking Office: Sarawak Tourism Complex, Jalan Tun Abang Haji Openg)
  • Tel: National Parks Booking Office: +608 224 8088
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