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About Region - Sarawak (Borneo), Malaysia

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Sarawak (Borneo) Region Image Gallery
Situated on the northwestern coast of Borneo, Sarawak is Malaysia's largest state, two-thirds of which is under rich rainforest with intricate waterways. This wonderful land is rich in wildlife with over 550 species of birds and an indeterminate number of reptiles, insects and larger wildlife. The variety of flora and fauna and marine life is incredibly diverse. The world's largest primate, the orang-utan, and the largest flower, the Rafflesia, are to be found in this area. Exploring the mountainous terrain will uncover unique varieties of insect-eating plants, wild orchids and ferns. Most of Sarawak's wildlife, including the hornbill, which is a protected bird, can be observed in any of the nine national parks, or sanctuaries. Wide sandy beaches and lagoons offer a change of pace with crystal clear waters and off shore breezes.
The capital of Sarawak is located on the Sarawak river, and approximately 32km from the sea. The town has landscaped parks and gardens, some elegant colonial buildings, colourful markets and a bustling waterfront. . There is also a state mosque, Christian churches and Chinese temples. It has one of Asia's finest museums with an excellent collection of Borneon ethnological and archaeological exhibits.
The town is an excellent place for buying tribal artefacts and the best selection is to be found in the antique shops along Main Bazaar, Wayang Street and Temple Street where bargaining is normal.
The Jalan Satok Sunday Market is a colourful place to which the villagers bring their fresh jungle produce and livestock. Here may be seen wild boar and turtle meat on display along with fresh jungle herbs and fruits not available elsewhere.
Sarawak Cultural Village
The Cultural Village, which is located near the Santubong fishing village is known as the Living Museum. It is set within 15 acres of natural jungle in the foothills of the famous Santubong mountains. The Living Museum has traditional longhouse dwellings of the various ethnic groups of the state. There are arts and crafts demonstrations and presentations of the dance and music of the Iban, Kayan, Kenyah and Bidayuh people.
Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre
Located about 32kms south of Kuching, the sanctuary is a rehabilitation centre for orang-utans, which have been injured or captured. The centre also rehabilitates other wildlife including monkeys, honey bears and hornbills, which have been orphaned or kept illegally.
Niah National Park and Caves
This huge area of forest and limestone contains a vast cave system, which includes the Great Caves, Painted Cave, and the Trader's Cave, and was declared a National Historic Monument in 1958, and preserved as an archaeological heritage. Niah is also famous for its edible birds' nests found high up in the caves, which were once home to stone age people.
The Astana
A building of considerable charm, this palace of three substantial bungalows linked by verandas was build in 1870 by Rajah Charles Brooke as a gift of love to his wife Ranee Margaret. It is set among rolling lawns of the northern bank of the Sarawak River, and is plainly visible from Pangkalan Batu on the opposite side of the river. The building is now the official residence of the governor of Sarawak and the venue for important state functions.
Fort Margherita
The fort was completed in 1879 and was dedicated to Ranee Margaret Brooke. It commands a strategic position along the Sarawak river and served as a fort of defence for the town from attacks down river. The fort has since been renovated and is now a police museum.
The Court House
The Court House is another legacy of the Brooke empire and intended as a Secretariat. The imposing façade has intricate patterns of native designs of the various tribes on the doors and window grills and ceiling. Completed in 1874 it was the seat of government during the reign of the white Rajahs. A clock was added to the architecture in 1883, with the obelisk memorial to Rajah Charles Brooke commissioned in 1924. Today it houses the High Court of East Malaysia.
Sarawak Museum
The museum has a fine external structure, inspired by a house in Normandy, and is noted as one of the finest in Asia. It houses an excellent collection of Borneon ethnological and archaeological artefacts and a permanent exhibition of native arts and crafts. Many of the exhibits are from the collection of Alfred Russell Wallace, a naturalist who with Charles Darwin was a co-founder of the theory of evolution. Wallace spent a lot of time in Borneo and was a particular friend of the Brookes. An annexe to the Museum has Chinese porcelain and galleries devoted to the way of life the various tribes. There is also a reconstruction of the Niah Caves where evidence of human remains was uncovered some 40,000 years ago.
Sarawak State Mosque

This multi-million dollar mosque beside the Sarawak River was completed in 1968. It stands on the site of the original Masjid Besar, a wooden construction that was completed in 1852. With the increase in the Muslim population the need for a bigger mosque was pressing. The state mosque is a magnificent structure of golden domes.
Tua Pek Kong Temple - Kuching has many ornate temples and this, the oldest of its kind in Kuching, is particularly famous for its Wang Kang celebration to commemorate the spirit of the dead. The temple was built in 1843 but official records only recognised its existence in 1876 when repairs and renovations were made.

Kuek Seng Ong Temple - This temple was built in 1895 in honour of the deity Kuek Seng Ong. Henghua fishermen offer their prayers here for a good catch and safe return from the sea. Legend has it that Kuek, a native of Hokkien Province became a god over one thousand years ago and prayers to him never go unanswered.
Santubong Fishing Village
This picturesque fishing village is 32kms from Kuching and can be reached by express launch. It has good beaches and is the site of several archaeological discoveries. Ancient Hindu and Buddhist rock carvings have been found around the Santubong River delta. During the Tang and Sung dynasties from the 9th until the 13th centuries, Santubong was an important trading centre. Accommodation in government chalets is available but advance booking is advisable through the District Office in Kuching.
Pepper Plantations
Sarawak is the largest exporter of pepper in the country and the plantations can be seen along the Kuching-Serian Road. Sarawak pepper is noted for its taste and quality.
From a sleepy little town, Miri has blossomed into a booming commercial centre, thanks to the discovery of oil on Canada Hill in 1910. The town has managed to retain its charm and unhurried way of life, and serves as a lovely gateway to some of the spectacular wildlife in the region.
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