|Sarawak coat of Arms.|
Sarawak is one of two Malaysian states on the island of Borneo. Known as Bumi Kenyalang ("Land of the Hornbills"), Sarawak is situated on the north-west of the island. It is the largest state in Malaysia followed by Sabah, the second largest state located to the North- East.
The administrative capital is Kuching, which has a population of 579,900. Major cities and towns include Miri (pop. 263,000), Sibu (pop. 254,000) and Bintulu (pop. 176,800). As of last census (2010), the total state population was 2,420,009.
|Map of Sarawak.|
Sarawak has more than 40 sub-ethnic groups, each with its own distinct language, culture and lifestyle. Cities and larger towns are populated predominantly by Malays, Melanaus, Chinese, and a smaller percentage of Ibans and Bidayuhs who have migrated from their home-villages for employment reasons. Sarawak is distinctive from the rest of Malaysia in that there is only a small community of Indians living in the state.
|Kuching city at night.|
Tourism also plays a major part in the state's economy. In 2010, Sarawak was visited by 3,270,655 tourists (international and domestic tourists). Steeped in traditional animistic beliefs and influences of world religions and its rich cultural heritage, the colourful ethnic tribes in this Land of the Hornbill celebrates a potpourri of events and festivals throughout the year. However, a feature common to all festivals in Sarawak is the open house tradition, where friends, relatives and strangers drop by homes and are welcomed with all the special food and drink appropriate to the event. Come discover a rich cultural heritage unlike any other in this festive paradise.
As for 2011, the state is targeting 4 million visitors.Some of the most popular tourist attractions are Kuching city, Gunung Mulu National Park, the Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) and many more.
|Music fans at the RWMF.|
The RWMF is the region's premier "world music" event, attracting more than 20,000 music fans.
Sarawak is also blessed with one of the world's richest and most diverse ecosystems: ancient rainforest.
The rainforest’s canopies nurture the world's largest flower, the Rafflesia, as well as a multitude of other plant life including numerous types of pitcher plants and orchids.
|A canopy walk-through the forest as Batang Al National park.|
The natural heritage of the state extends from the jungle wilderness to the pristine underwater world of untouched coral reefs and is appreciated by travelers from all over the world.
Looking for an unforgettable adventure? Start with the Headhunter's Trail. Sarawak's highly acclaimed trail that traces the route of the ancient Kayan tribesmen who traversed valleys, hills and rivers. Make a stop at Camp Five and climb Gunung Api (Fire Mountain) to the pinnacle, which reaches the sky at an amazing 2,377 m. An effort that rewards you with the towering 40 m razor sharp limestone pinnacles and panoramic vistas.
Fairy Caves sound mystical and magical, but wait till you try rock climbing and abseiling from it. Located near the town of Bau just 40 mins from Kuching. A must try for the adventurous.
|A view of Fair Cave in kuching|
Caving is demanding and requires reasonable mental and physical fitness, but it is great fun! Get wet and wild as you squeeze through rocks and boulders, swim through subterranean streams and get covered in mud!
For mountain bike enthusiasts, Sarawak is mountain bike haven! Enter the annual mountain bike competitions The Rainforest Cup, held in Kuching at the nearby beach resort of Damai and the Battle of Borneo at Mulu.
Described as a biker's dream, warm up by blazing the Sikoh Trail near Kuching. The technical single involves a number of water crossings and leads to a small waterfall. Two trails are accessible from Bau, the scenic Bratak Trail and the Kampung Opar trail with fast fire roads and screaming downhill!
For the adventuresome, just 100 km from Kuching, the Penrissen Highlands, near the Indonesian border is dotted with longhouses and villages, all linked by tracks that are largely unridden.
Looking for a cool trail? Head for Kelabit Highlands, aptly known as Sarawak's “heaven. Bario the main town is 1000 m above sea level, and flanked by Mount Murud (2,454 m) and Batu Lawi (2,043 m) which is more challenging. Treks vary in length; some last up to seven days and cross into Kalimantan (Indonesia). However, the cool air and friendly Kelabit folks make it an irresistible climb.
For more information about Sarawak