What to See in Sarawak
A visit to Sarawak entails a wonderful journey of discovery into its culture, heritage and history. From the peaceful sights of Kuching city to the awe of its historical museums, there are plenty of things for the whole family to see and do in Sarawak.
Other Attractions around Sarawak
Chinese History Museum
Built in 1912 but officially opened as a museum in 1993, the Chinese History Museum was originally a court for the Chinese community in Kuching. The museum depicts the rich history of Sarawak’s diverse Chinese groups. Visitors will learn about their origins, traditional skills and culture through the exhibits here.
This is Sarawak’s most popular and scenic beach. Damai, located on the Santubong Peninsula, is about 35 minutes away from Kuching. Besides the beautiful sandy beaches to relax on, you can engage in water sports such as jet-skiing and windsurfing. The rich jungle in the background is also suitable for trekking and climbing. Bird-watchers will enjoy sighting a variety of birds such as Sandpipers, Egrets, Terns, Collared kingfisher, the White-bellied Sea Eagle and Brahminy Kites.
Built in 1879, the Fort was used by the Brooke dynasty to guard the Sarawak River. It was named after the second Rajah, Charles Brooke’s wife. Inside, you will find a police museum that depicts the punishment inflicted upon criminals
The Islamic Museum in Kuching, opened in 1992, was originally a Malay college but now houses seven galleries displaying elements of the Islamic culture and religion. They are divided into; History of Islam in Sarawak; Islamic Architecture; Science, Technology, Economics, Education and Literature, Music, Costumes and Personal Ornaments, Weaponry, Decorative Arts, Domestic Utensils and a Quran Collection.
Kuching is the capital city of Sarawak, built along the banks of the Sarawak River. It is also very near the coastline, about 32 km away from the sea. A tranquil location, Kuching has some nice landscaped parks and gardens, classic colonial buildings, colourful markets and a beautiful waterfront called the Kuching Waterfront. This place has been transformed into an esplanade, making it a great place to stroll around and relax. It is also the commercial point of Kuching.
Longhouses are the traditional homes of Sarawak’s indigenous groups. Each tribe has their own style of design but the overall shape and architecture remain the same. Basically, a longhouse constitutes a series of interconnecting rooms built on stilts, covered by one roof and a verandah for communal activities. Visitors who come will be greeted by a glass of rice wine or ‘tuak’ and entertained with a welcome dance. There are also options to spend the night in a longhouse.
Miri is emerging as one of Sarawak’s most popular tourist destinations. This is because Miri is the gateway to many national parks, rivers and some of Borneo’s best diving sites. People from nearby Brunei often escape to Miri for a time of shopping and sight-seeing.
Completed in 1891, this old museum in Kuching is the permanent housing place for local native arts and crafts as well as collections of local animals. The ground floor is a gallery dedicated to Sarawak fauna, with specimens of wildlife on display. The west wing, on the other hand, teaches about the history of the oil industry in Sarawak. At the first floor, various ethnographic artefacts are displayed such as models of traditional longhouses, musical instruments, various kinds of fish and animal traps, handicrafts, boats and other things.
Santubong Fishing Village
This little fishing village is located about 32 km away from Kuching. What make this place historically significant are the archaeological findings in the area. Ancient Hindu and Buddhist rock carvings have been discovered around the Santubong River delta.
Sibu was named after a local fruit called ‘Sibau’, similar to a rambutan. Today, Sibu is a centre for eco-adventures and cultural experiences. Visitors can get rides from this town into remote areas by ferry to explore the rainforest and visit indigenous communities.
The Astana is a palace built by Rajah Charles Brooke in 1870 by the Sarawak River, but is now the official residence of Sarawak’s Yang Di-Pertuan Negeri, or Governor. Visitors are allowed to stroll in the Astana’ beautiful landscaped gardens which are decorated with artefacts. The palace is open to visitors during the Hari Raya festival.
As its name suggests, the Timber Museum located on sprawling grounds of rainforest is dedicated to creating awareness and knowledge of Sarawak’s natural heritage. On display are products made by indigenous people using harvest from the jungle along with the opportunity to do a forest walk.
Tua Pek Kong Temple
Located at Tunku Abdul Rahman Street in Kuching, this temple is over a century old, making it the oldest in the city. On certain Buddhist festivals, the temple becomes a hive of activity