Explore Sarawak

Welcome to Sarawak!

About Sarawak

Sarawak is the largest of 13 states in Malaysia.  Sarawak is unique in that there are significant differences in culture, administration and lifestyle. Sarawak’s population of 2.4 million people comprises of roughly 27 main ethnic groups still in existence, each with its own language, traditions and way of life. Sarawak is renowned for its abundance in natural resources.


KUCHING, Gateway to Sarawak


About Kuching, Sarawak

Take a peek at vibrant and exotic Kuching, Sarawak, poised on the world’s third largest island, beautiful  Borneo. A haven of charming cultural heritage, invigorating adventure and diving tours, breath taking natural wonders in ancient rainforests and towering mountains,  natural resources (timber, oil, gas among them) and quaint colonial architecture, Sarawak has a stunning backdrop of cultural diversity and avant-garde city development to match! Visitors celebrate a fusion of Asia’s tastiest dishes and spectacular sights in one location that is in the centre of Asia.

Sarawak, and its various attractions, are as good as any first class destinations elsewhere in the world. Sarawak as a well-known tourism, business, leisure and adventure destination due to its unique cultural diversity, varied landscape, affordable accommodation and transport, excellent variety of food, and many other distinctive attractions.

The quaint city of Kuching is Sarawak’s capital and main entry point. A small city of great history and legends, Kuching is forever remembered as the Camelot of the White Rajahs. Although the name ‘Kuching’ is associated with the Malay word for ‘Cat’, the city’s origins go centuries further before its modern day affiliation to cats and cat-lovers. Nevertheless, like the feline, the city embodies its own brand of grace and subtlety. The world’s first cat museum was opened here. Fun, quirky, historic, Kuching and its region are filled with tourist attractions such as Bako National Park, Semenggoh Wildlife Centre, Borneo Highlands Resort, Sarawak Museum, Sarawak Cultural Village, Fairy Cave and many more.

Sarawak Attractions

Bako National Park
Semenggoh Wildlife Centre
Borneo Highlands Resort
Sarawak Museum
Sarawak Cultural Village
Fairy Cave

LANGUAGE

Sarawak was under British rule up till its independence in 1963. So the Queen’s English is widely spoken throughout the state, though Bahasa Malaysia (Malay) is the official language. Other local languages include Mandarin, Hokkien and other major Chinese and ethnic dialects. There is also a Sarawak version of Malay, called “Bahasa Sarawak”.

RELIGION

Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism are widely practised.

English Bahasa Melayu
Good morning Selamat pagi
Good afternoon Selamat petang
Good night Selamat malam
Thank you Terima kasih
You are welcome Sama-sama
I’m sorry Maafkan saya
My name is Nama saya
Welcome Selamat datang
Goodbye Selamat tinggal
Yes Ya
No Tidak
Maybe Mungkin
How much is this? Berapa harga ini?
I don’t understand Saya tidak faham

FOOD

In Kuching, your only culinary worry would be not having enough time to feast on all the city has to offer. Not only are Asia’s major races all represented in Sarawak cuisine, they are fused together in the forms that are truly unique to Sarawak. It is no surprise then that Sarawakians take pride in knowing their food. Today, in addition to all that, modern choices of superb vegetarian, halal, Western, Japanese, Korean and Middle Eastern eateries are easily available.You can enjoy meals along the streets at hawker stalls, duck into quaint cafes or dress up for a fine dining outing. Each meal is a delightful experience waiting to be savoured as Malaysia’s food capital takes great pride in its title, regardless of where you decide to dine.

Ayam Pansuh( Bamboo chicken )
Ambal( Bamboo clam )
Kolo Mee
Umai ikan( Fish Sashimi )
Midin Belacan
Sarawak Laksa

GETTING AROUND

 

Getting around Kuching town is easy. In general, taxis and car rentals are easily available. You can also use e-hailing services that are available except UBER. In Kuching, “Sampan” or boat services are also available on the iconic Sarawak River.

VISAS AND CUSTOMS

VISA

Visitors to Malaysia must be in possession of a valid passport or travel document with a minimum validity of six months beyond the period of stay. Most nationalities do not require visas for social or business visits within certain period.For those countries which require a visa, applications should be submitted to the nearest Malaysian ambassy with the following documentation:

  1. Visa application form with three (3) passport-sized photographs (link to the online form)
  2. National passport with remaining minimum validity period of six (6) months
  3. Letter of introduction or invitation letter
Visa required for any purpose of visit
Afghanistan (Visa with reference), Angola, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, China, Colombia Comoros, Congo Democratic Republic, Congo Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Hong Kong, India, Liberia, Mali, Myanmar, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Rwanda, Republic of Serbia, Republic of Montenegro, Sri Lanka, Taiwan (if stay is beyond 15 days), United Nations (Laissez Passer), Western Sahara
Visa required for visit exceeding 14 days
Iran, Iraq, Libya, Macao, Portugal, Palestine, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Yemen, Syria
Visa required for visit exceeding 1 month
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Barbados, Belarus, Benin, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Gabon, Georgia, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea Republic, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong SAR, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macao SAR, Macedonia, Madagascar, Moldova, Mauritania, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Nicaragua, North Korea, North Yemen, Panama, Paraguay, Portugal, Russia, Sao Tome & Principe, Senegal, Slovenia, Sudan, Surinam, Tajikistan, Togo, Ukraine, Upper Volta, Uzbekistan, Vatican City, Venezuela, Zaire, Zimbabwe
No Visa required for social visit within a duration of 3 months
Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Australia Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyz Republic, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Peru, Poland, Qatar, Romania, St Marino, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, S. Korea, Spain, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Yemen
No Visa required for any purpose of visit
All Commonwealth nationals Except: Bangladesh, Cameroon, Ghana, India, Mozambique, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka
  • No visa is required for visit duration of within one month for nationals of all ASEAN countries except Myanmar. For a stay exceeding one month a visa will be required, except for nationals of Brunei and Singapore.
  • No visa is required for citizens of the United States of America visiting Malaysia for social, business or academic purposes (except for employment).
  • For nationals of Israel, visas are required and permission must be granted from Ministry Of Home Affairs, Malaysia.
  • Nationals of countries other than those stated above (with the exception of Israel) are allowed to enter Malaysia without a visa for visit duration of within one month.

Source: Immigration Department of Malaysia

CUSTOM

The Royal Malaysian Customs of Malaysia is committed to providing the best professional services which will ensure delegates feel welcomed upon arrival as well as when departing from Malaysia.Current guidelines published by the Royal Malaysian Customs can be viewed by selecting the following links:  www.customs.gov.my
Alternatively, information on customs regulations can be obtained from the nearest Malaysian High Commission/Embassy or Consulate.

CLIMATE

The climate is pleasant with frequent tropical showers throughout the year. There are two recognised seasons: November to March is rainy whilst April to October is drier. However, global climate change in recent decades has made this less distinct. Comfortable clothing of natural fibres is the best option all year long.

CURRENCY

The unit of currency is Malaysian Ringgit, indicated as ‘RM’. Visit www.xe.com for the latest exchange rates.
Foreign Exchange Booths are common and do clearly state the exchange rate for all major currencies.ATMs are located at major bank branches, most shopping malls, airports, bus terminals, etc. ATMs in Malaysia require a 6-digit PIN.

Banking Hours:
Most banks open on Monday – Friday: 9.30 am to 3.30 pm
* Closed on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays. Some banks and their branches do open on Saturdays.