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Sarawak, The Land of the Hornbills

Sarawak map, Click to enlarge Rich in history and heritage, this quarter of Borneo - the third largest island in the world - is home to a populace comprising of local ethnic groups including Malays, Chinese, Indians, Ibans, Bidayuhs and many more, who live together in total harmony.
Once upon a time the tree-smothered hills were Sarawak's supreme treasures, yet in recent years the bleak realism of contemporary capitalism has put paid to many of them - unremitting logging has taken its toll and resulted in a thinning tropical forest.
Nevertheless intrepid explorers will be glad to know that the fundamental flavour of the region continues to inundate most features of life here - unscathed crooks of rough country still flourish, age-old longhouses are plentiful, murky rivers are abundant and secreted caverns and outlandish creatures abound. Most people love the idea of this Borneo masterpiece because of the legends of the head-hunter and blowpipes that permeate about it.

The Living Museum
Tucked away on the foothills of legendary Mount Santubong, the Sarawak Cultural Village lets you immerse in true Sarawak culture and heritage. The village - located 35 kilometres from Kuching - is a living museum which depicts the heritage of the major racial groups in Sarawak. This award-winning exhibit portrays the different ethnic groups' respective lifestyles amidst the 14-acre tropical vegetation.
Also featuring fascinating 45-minute cultural performances - the song and dance performances are not something you'll want to miss - the Sarawak Cultural Village is the venue for the renowned annual Rainforest World Music Festival. Handicrafts are proudly displayed and the authentic longhouses are the perfect way for you to get a tempting glimpse into true indigenous tribal daily life.

Indigenous houses
The Sarawak Cultural Village has seven unique houses scattered across the 17-acre landscape, each housing information and insight into each ethnic group's daily life.

Each house is interconnected by the Plank Walk - a circular blueprint that unites each domicile; the first longhouse beside the main entrance is the Bidayuh Longhouse. At this house you'll get to crush sugar cane, pound paddy, winnow rice and watch bamboo carvers at work. The Iban Longhouse - located next door - is a wholly different experience; watch an Iban warrior perform a traditional war dance, listen to the drums and gongs and watch as the womenfolk plait exquisite pua - a mat weaving.

Further along the Plank Walk is the Rainforest Stage - the site for the Rainforest World Music Festival; the Penan Hut lies beside it - it houses the last of the hunter-gatherers and here you can try your luck at blowpipe shooting. Enjoy the cool mountain breeze amidst the humid tropical air as you walk to the next house - the Orang Ulu Longhouse. Home to the Kayan peoples - the gentlest and most graceful of the indigenous tribes - you can check out the amazing displays of wood-carvings and 'tree-of-life' murals at this abode.

At the Melanau Tall House next door, you'll be entertained by shaman tales, watch traditional sago-palm processing and get to taste sago-based titbits. You’ll get to experience a truly traditional Malay experience at the Malay Town House where you'll get to play traditional Malay games such as gasing and congkak. Finally at the Chinese Farm House you'll get to sample true traditional farmhouse life, visit the pepper and vegetable gardens and taste conventional Chinese herbal tea while enjoying the view of the sprawling countryside.

Beyond doubt a visit to the Sarawak Cultural village is more than worth your time and a true treat for those seeking to experience Sarawak at its most authentic. The village represents the best of this slice of Borneo heaven and encompasses everything that the state has to offer - nature, culture, customs and tales to thrill.

Orangutan can be found in Sarawak. Orangutan can only be found in Borneo (Sarawak, Sabah and Kalimantan Indonesia) as well as in Sumatra Indonesia.

National Parks in Sarawak Malaysia

There are 15 National Parks in Sarawak with a wide variety of flora and fauna and world class attractions including the largest cave chamber in the world, white water rivers with impressive rapids and waterfalls and virgin rainforest. Some of the most unique animals and flowers can be found here. Animals include the endangered Borneo Orangutan, langurs, . The flowers and plant life include the largest flower in the world the Rafflesia.

Bako National Park is the oldest National Park in Sarawak. It takes around 2 hours to get to Bako National Park from Kuching, located north of the city.

Batang Ai National Park is home to the Borneo Orangutan. Batang Ai National Park is located 250km east of Kuching.

Gunung Mulu National Park has the largest cave in the world. Gunung Mulu National Park is located close to the border of Brunei.

Gunung Gading National Park is where you will find the largest flower in the world, the Rafflesia. Gunung Gading National Park is located on the coast.

Niah National Park has a number of archeological areas with human remains dating back to 35000BC found in the large cave network. The Niah National Park is located half way between Miri and Bintulu.

Lambir Hills National Park contains some of the oldest virgin rainforests in Sarawak. Lambir Hills National Park is located 32km south of Miri.

Similajau National Park has some impressive white water rivers. The Similajau is located in the coast, northeast of Bintulu. There are saltwater crocodiles living in the park.

Loagan Bunut National Park has the largest lake in Sarawak, Lake Loagan Bunut which feeds into the River Bunut (Sungai Bunut).

Maludam National Park is home to some of the last remaining Red Banded Langur in the wild. Maludam National Park is accessible from Miri.

Talang-Satang National Park is a group of islands reserved for conservation of the nesting turtles that use the beaches to lay their eggs.

Rajang Mangroves National Park is predominatly swampy mangroves which supports a huge population of animals and birds.

Gunung Buda National Park is the newest of the National Parks in Sarawak declared a National Park to protect it's ecosystem in 19

Kubah National Park is located around 20kms from Kuching and contains 3 mountains - Gunung Serapi (911m), Gunung Selang and Gunung Sendok. There are a number of impressive waterfalls throughout this National Park. There are regular buses leaving Kuching to get to this park. A taxi trip will take around 40 minutes from Kuching to Kubah National Park.

Bukit Tiban National Park is located 80km northeast of Bintulu.

Tanjung Datu National Park is the smallest National Park in Sarawak.

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