SARAWAK EAST MALAYSIA
Sarawak , covers an area of 124,000 square kilometer,
is the largest state in Malaysia with the population of 2.5
million people, consisting of the Iban, Malay, Chinese, Melanau,
Bidayuh, Orang Ulu and the Penan. The state is made up of 9
districts namely, Kuching, Sri Aman, Sibu, Miri, Limbang, Sarikei,
Kapit, Samarahan and Bintulu. Sarawak has a coastline of some
800km facing the South China Sea. Lying on the northwest coast
of Borneo, the third largest island in the world, Sarawak shares
its boundaries with Kalimantan (Indonesia Bomeo) in the south,
Brunei and Sabah in the north. Nearly three-quarters or 8.7
million hectares of Sarawaks surface area of 12.3 million hectares
are covered with natural rainforest developed over a million
years ago. Much of it is mixed dipterocarp forest which accounts
for 7.3 million hectares stretching from the coastal lowlands
to highlands of over 1,500 m. Two-thirds of its land area is
still covered in jungle and the rest is a network of rivers,
plains, undulating hills and rugged mountain ranges.
Most of the population have settled along its rivers and many
of these live in ‘long houses’ or ‘villages’
where the entire clan lives under one roof. Each longhouse has
separate rooms leading onto one long, communal veranda. Sarawak
too has a good selection of National Parks worth visiting. The
most popular of these are Bako, Lambir Hills, Gunung Mulu and
Niah all of which give the visitor an excellent opportunity
to experience the wilds of Sarawak and explore the tropical
rainforest which is alive with fauna and flora.
Sarawak remains one of Malaysia’s ‘best kept’
secrets. The land of the hornbill'. Sarawak is also known as
'The land of many rivers'. The rivers provide natural means
of transportation and communication. The 590km long Sungai Rejang
is the longest river in the country. The rivers together with
the wide spread trunk roads and well connected domestic air
links make traveling to interior destinations easily accessible.
HISTORY OF SARAWAK EAST MALAYSIA
Prehistoric paintings found on the walls of Sarawaks
limestone Niah Caves and the discovery of human bones, pottery
shards and stone tools indicate that Neolithic man may have
once roamed Borneo. However Sarawak's current borders and national
status date from 1839 with the arrival of the young English
adventurer, James Brooke, to Kuching, the present capital, located
on the banks of the Sarawak river. Kuching in those days was
called Sarawak, stemming from the Malay word serewa, meaning
antimony which was widely mined in the area. Since the 15th
century, Sarawak was a dependency of the Sultan of Brunei, who
would appoint a Rajah to rule on his behalf. In the 19th century,
some Land Dayaks and Malays living on the Sarawak river carried
out a revolt and declared themselves independent in protest
against the unpopular Rajah, Pengiran Mahkota. The Brunei Sultan
appealed to Brooke for help in quelling the rebellion. When
he successfully did so, the grateful Sultan installed him as
the new Rajah in 1841. This set in motion a chain of events
that saw the Brooke Dynasty establish a despotic but benevolent
rule of successive White Rajahs over Sarawak for a hundred years.
James Brooke's initial jurisdiction was over a small land area.
When he died in 1868 his nephew, Charles Brooke became the second
White Rajah. He established Kuching as the capital and expanded
Sarawak to its present state boundaries. The Brooke dynasty
ended in 1941 with the occupation of Sarawak by Japanese military
forces during World War Two. After the defeat and surrender
of the Japanese, Sarawak became a British Crown Colony in 1946.
On September 16, 1963, Sarawak together with Sabah, Singapore
and Malaya formed Malaysia. Singapore subsequently left and
became an independent nation.
PLACES OF INTEREST IN SARAWAK EAST MALAYSIA
Kuching, the state capital, sits on the river bank of the Sarawak
River, 32 kilometres from the sea. Sarawak Riber is the focal
point of the town and features a graceful, European-style esplanade.
Take a boat ride and float down the river either by day or night-the
sunset is fantastic. The narrow, bustling streets near the river
are crammed with ornate temples, markets, historic buildings
and traditonal Chinese shophouses selling local handicrafts.
Kuching also lays claim to nine museums, many within walking
distance of each other.
NIAH AND MULU CAVES
The Niah and Gunung Mulu national park situated close to Brunei
houses the Niah Caves containing prehistoric remains dating
back 40,000 years. There are also quite a lot of National Parks
scattered in Sarawak such as Bako, Similajau, Kubah, Lambir
Hills, Gunung Gading, Batang Ai, Tanjung Datu and Loagan Bunut
The Sarawak Museum, located in Jalan Tun Abang Haji Openg, is
one of Asia's finest. It houses a collection of Bornean ethnological
and archaeological items and an exhibition featuring a reconstruction
of the great Niah Caves, with remains of the Neolithic people
who lived in the Caves. Closed on Fridays and public holidays.
KUCHING SKRANG RIVER SAFARI
The safari takes you on a four-hour journey along the Skrang
River, occasionally shooting the rapids, to the Iban longhouses.
Their traditional ceremonies include an offering of rice wine
to their guests.
Sarawak is Malaysia's largest exporter of pepper. Pepper plantations
can be seen along the Kuching-Serian Road.
THE SARAWAK CULTURAL VILLAGE AND HERITAGE CENTRE
A living museum located at Santubong, the Sarawak Cultural Village
conserves and portrays the multi-faceted cultures and customs
of ethnic groups such as the Ibans, Bidayuhs, and Melanaus.
The Heritage Centre is an integral part of the cultural village,
which offers traditional arts of Sarawakians.
Opening hours: 9.00am -5.00pm. Cultural Show: 2.00pm-3.00pm.
Fees: Adults:RM45; Children (6-12 years) - RM22.50. Below 6
SANTUBONG FISHING VILLAGE
Santubong is attractive not only because of its good beach resort;
it has also captured the interest of archaeologists who have
discovered Hindu and Buddhist influences around the Santubong
River estuary. Also, history reveals that the discovery of gold
made it an important trading center during the "golden"
era of the seventh and thirteenth century AD.
Just 30 minutes off the coastline of Miri, there are several
diving spots where natural reefs provide diverse marine life.
You can explore old shipwrecks and spectacular coral reefs.
South Luconia Shoals, Eve's Garden, Anemore Garden, Royal Charlotte
Atoll Grouper Patch Reef, Sri Gadong and Atago Mari Wrecks are
just some of the newest attraction for diving enthusiasts.
OTHER PLACES OF INTEREST IN SARAWAK
Other places of interest worth visiting includes Fort Margherita,
a magnificent whitewashed colonial building built in 1841, it
houses weapons and life-sized dioramas of figures from important
military conflicts, the Main Bazaar where you can find some
of the oldest Chinese shophouses in the country, Sarawak Craft
Council, The Sunday Open Market offers vast variety of handicraft,
woodcarvings, beadwork, bamboo and rattan products, and woven
cloth, hats, baskets, sleeping mats and pottery, all created
in the distinctive designs peculiar to each ethnic group, Damai
Beach, Islamic Museum, Living Museum, Longhouses, Kuching Waterfront,
Sarawak Handicraft, Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre,
Sibu, The Pinnnacles, National Parks such as Bako National Park,
Mulu National Park, Niah National Park, river safaris such as
The Lemanak River Safari and The Skrang River Safari.
Accommodation facilities available in the state of Sarawak includes
Somerset Gateway Kuching, Sarawak, Regency Pelagus Resort, Regency
Bintulu and Regency Rajah Court.
Sarawak has a tropical climate. It is hot and humid throughout
the year with a mean daily temperature ranging from 23 deg.C
to 32 deg.C. It experiences two monsoon changes. The north-east
monsoon brings heavy rainfall from November to February. The
south-west monsoon is usually dry and less wet. Except for monsoon
changes, the climate remains fairly stable throughout the year.
Annual rainfall varies between 330 cm to 460 cm for the greater
part of the country.
GETTING TO SARAWAK EAST MALAYSIA
The national air carrier Malaysia
Airlines has daily flights from Kuala Lumpur, Penang,
Johor Bharu, Kota Kinabalu and Miri into the Kuching International
Airport. There are also direct flights from Brunei, Singapore
and Hong Kong into Kuching.
Other types of local public
transportation depending on budget available includes buses,
taxis, air charters, car-hire, etc.
MALAYSIA HOTELS DOT CC
Malaysia Hotels Dot CC, brings you some of the best
hotels in the state of Sarawak, East Malaysia. We bring to you
Somerset Gateway Kuching, Sarawak, Regency Pelagus Resort, Regency
Bintulu and Regency Rajah Court. We present them here comprehensively
with factual information on all our participating hotels and
resorts in the state of Sarawak, East Malaysia.
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