Sarawak Travel Tribune

Sarawak, one of Malaysian states on the island of Borneo neighbouring Sabah is located on the north west of the island. Famously known as Bumi Kenyalang (it means Land of the Hornbills), it is the largest state in the country. Sarawak’s capital, Kuching has a population of over 600,000 that comes from plenty of ethnic groups namely Dayak Iban, Chinese, Malay, Melanau, Bidayuh, Penan, Kelabit and Kenyah.

Major cities in Sarawak

Other major cities of Sarawak including Sibu, Bintulu and Miri. Similar to Sabah, this state has no ethnic majority and thus, making it a rich multicultural state. The state is divided into several administrative divisions including Sibu, Miri, Limbang, Kapit, Kuching, Sri Aman, Mukah, Betong, Bintulu and Sarikei.

Sarawak’s history can be traced back when James Brooke arrived in the state. Prior to the arrival of Brooke, the state was under Brunei Sultanate administration. In 19th century, under control of Pangeran Indera Mahkota, the state was in chaos. The then Burnei Sultan, Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin II gave out his orders to Pangeran Muda Hashim to settle the chaos.

History Of Sarawak

When Brooke arrived in Sarawak, he refused assistance when Hashim requested for it. Several years later, when Brooke went to Sarawak for a second visit, he agreed to help out to restore the state, which was then already in poor condition.

As a result, Hashim signed a treaty in 1841 to hand-over Sarawak and Sinian to Brooke. In addition to that, Hashim also promoted James Brooke as the Governor. Brooke took the advantage to establish White Rajah Dynasty of Sarawak and extended his administration with Brunei Sultanate when he finally became Rajah of Sarawak.

Sarawak aboriginals

White Rajah Dynasty under Brooke’s administration ruled the state for more than a hundred years. Over the years, the administration provided assistance to protect the rights of indigenous population against exploitation. Besides that, they have also enlisted Ibans and a majority of other ethnic groups as a contingent militia. When Chinese immigrants decided to settle down in the state, the administration discouraged them from migrating to outside of town in order to minimize impact on Dayak traditional lifestyle.

Top Tourist Destinations in East malaysia

Since Sarawak is a rich multicultural state, it has been branded as one of the top tourism destinations in the country. There are plenty of festivals celebrated annually in the state. Perhaps, one of the most popular event is The Rainforest World Music Festival.

This is an annual 3-day music festival with a diversity of world music held in Sarawak Cultural Village, Kuching, the capital city of Sarawak. Among some of the activities featured are evening concerts, crafts and cultural displays and also daytime music workshops.  Visitors get to watch world class performance by Joey Ayala (Phillipines), Te Vaka (Samoa), Namgar (Mongolia), Tarika Be (Madagascar) and plenty more. The festival was founded by a Canadian music instrumentalist, Randy Raine-Reusch.

Sarawak major events

Other events of the year including the spectacular water sports event – Sarawak Regatta. It has always been a premier event that displays historical and cultural elements. First held in 1872, the event features a series of interesting activities namely dragon boats, traditional longboats, climbing greasing poles and also pillow fights. This grand affair is one of the major event to encourage foreign tourist to visit Sarawak.

Another fascinating event of the year – Miri International Jazz Festival aims to be the leading tourism driven music festival in the region. Featuring Miri as a city of cosmopolitanism and relaxing lifestyle with the organization of such grand event, the festival has featured  performance from Alamode (Australia), Bombay Baja Brass Band (UK), Dites 34 (France), Double Take (Malaysia) and plenty more.

Other colourful events including Kuching Festival and Gawai Festival. The festival is organized annually every August featuring a series of stage shows, concerts, nightly exhibitions and competitions. First organized in April 1986, the festival aims to promote Sarawak’s culture and arts.

Sarawak Geographical Information

Kuching is the state capital of east Malaysian state Sarawak. It is located within the eastern part of the state. Kuching is located south of Petra Jaya while Asajaya is over at the east. Meanwhile, the southern part of Kuching is where Samarahan is located while Serian is further down south. All other major towns of Sarawak like Bintulu, Miri and Kapit are all situated on the eastern parts of Kuching.

The city centre of Kuching is made up several main roads while the likes of Jalan Matang come in from the north. This will then head towards the west where it then joins with Jalan Batu Kawa-Matang which leads down south before coming to the Jalan Batu Kawa-Bau and Jalan Semantan intersection. Jalan Semantan will then head east where it will then go into the city centre.

Inside the Kuching city centre, the main road that cuts across the entire city is Jalan Datuk Tawi Sli where the Boulevard Shopping Mall is located. This main road will then open up to other major roads like Jalan Rock, Jalan Green before heading up to Jalan Satok which will then head on toward other roads like Jalan Tan Sri Ong Kee Hui and Jalan Batu Lintang.

THE ROTARY FOUNDATION

The Rotary Foundation, provision for which is made in the RI Constitution (Article XII) and By-Laws (Article XVIII) was started by then RI President Arch Klumph at the RI Atlanta Convention in 1917. It was then known as the “Rotary Endownment Fund” and the first contribution was in 1918 when the Rotary Club of Kansas City gave US$26.50. In 1928, it was formally established at the Minneapolis Convention and by 1965 a million dollars was received. Today the Rotary Foundation receives more than US$45 million each year. In 1983 it was established as a “Not for Profit” Corporation under the Laws of the State of Illinois, USA.

THE OBJECTIVE OF THE FOUNDATION

The Objective of the Rotary Foundation is to further understanding and friendly relations among the world’s people by funding education and charitable programs. There are 9 such programs.

THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE ROTARY FOUNDATION

The By-Laws of RI (Article XVIII) provide for the appointment by the President of RI with the approval of the Board of thirteen (13) Trustees.
The By-Laws of the Rotary Foundation provide that the Trustees determine their committees and subcommittees and the duties of each.
A joint committee of the Board of RI and the Trustees of the Rotary Foundation is established consisting of a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 5 members from each organisation shall meet to discuss matters of the Rotary Foundation.

The Yayasan Kelab-Kelab Rotary Malaysia or Rotary Foundation of Malaysia (ROTAFOM in short) is dedicated to support and enhance Rotary’s Community Service and Vocational Service programmes in Malaysia. The Foundation was formerly known as District 330 Foundation, Rotary Foundation Malaysia. On 1 July 1991, when District 330 was split into the current Districts 3300 and 3310, the Foundation became fully Malaysian in character.

The Malaysian tax authorities granted ROTAFOM tax exemption on its income on 19 March 1993 and tax exemption for donors for donations made to the Foundation on 1 November 1994. One of ROTAFOM’s most significant projects has been the JE/Nipah Education Fund which has raised over RM200,000 for victims of the JE/Nipah epidemic.

 

THE OBJECTIVE OF ROTAFOM

ROTAFOM’s only objective is charity, the alleviation of human suffering in every form and the promotion and encouragement of higher education within Malaysia. ROTAFOM is a platform from which Rotarians in Malaysia can contribute to programmes for welfare, health and humanity.

ROTAFOM DONOR RECOGNITION

The vitality and effectiveness of ROTAFOM depends on the generosity of Rotarians, Rotary clubs and members of the public. With the low interest rates currently prevailing, additional funding is essential for ROTAFOM to earn the much needed income to carry out its programmes. Please support our very own foundation by making a donation. All donations are tax-exempt. Donors are entitled to the following forms of recognition:

Rotarians & Individuals
RM 20,000 5-Star Patron of ROTAFOM
RM 4,000 Patron of ROTAFOM
RM 2,500 Jamil Rais Fellow (JRF)
RM 2,000 Benefactor of ROTAFOM
RM 1,000 Friend of ROTAFOM
RM 500 Supporter of ROTAFOM
Rotary Clubs
RM 2,000 per member ROTAFOM Patron
RM 1,000 per member ROTAFOM Benefactor
RM 500 per member ROTAFOM Friend
RM 250 per member ROTAFOM Supporter

Rotary Youth Leadership Awards

RYLA
Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) is Rotary’s leadership training program for young people. RYLA participants can be in the age group of 14-30, but most clubs and districts choose to focus on a narrower age range, such as 14-18 or 19-30.

RYLA emphasizes leadership, citizenship, and personal growth, and aims to Demonstrate Rotary’s respect and concern for youth Provide an effective training experience for selected youth and potential leaders Encourage leadership of youth by youth

Recognize publicly young people who are rendering service to their communities

About

Each year, thousands of young people aged between 14 and 30 take part in the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) program worldwide. Participants, who are chosen for their potential as leaders, attend an all-expenses-paid seminar, camp, or workshop to discuss leadership skills and learn them through practice. Rotary clubs and districts select attendees and facilitate the events.

RYLA was officially adopted by Rotary International in 1971, and it is one of the most significant and fastest-growing Rotary service programs. RYLA often leads to the formation or strengthening of Rotaract and Interact clubs, and participants frequently go on to become Rotary Youth Exchange students or Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholars. For more information about RYLA in your area, contact your local Rotary club.

The RI Board encourages clubs and districts to consider inviting socially and economically disadvantaged youth with leadership potential to participate.

Through RYLA, district chairs and other Rotarians have the exciting opportunity to become involved with young people in their community. By nurturing youth, Rotarians can provide the skills young people need to succeed as future community leaders. Taking part in RYLA also helps Rotarians develop their own leadership and communication skills

History

In 1959, the state government of Queensland, Australia, invited local Rotarians to help plan a festival celebrating Queensland’s upcoming centennial. Learning that Queen Elizabeth II was sending her cousin Princess Alexandra, who was in her early 20s, to the celebration, Rotarians planned activities specifically for the princess’s age group.

The gundoo , an aboriginal word meaning “festival” or “fun together,” was a rousing success. More than 300 men and women between the ages of 17 and 23 attended. Encouraged by the event’s popularity with the young attendees, Rotarians saw potential to create a similar annual youth program. With little hesitation, Art Brand, governor of what was then District 260, approved the project, and on 2 May 1960, RYLA was born.

Australian districts 258 and 260 shared in establishing a committee that developed the official framework of RYLA: to train youth ages 14-30 in character, leadership, personal development, and good citizenship. These guidelines helped RYLA expand to all Rotary districts in Australia and led to its approval as an international program by the RI Board at the 1971 RI Convention in Sydney, Australia.

By 1998, RYLA had become an established program in more than half of the 521 Rotary districts worldwide. Also in 1998, then RI President James Lacy, emphasizing his concern for children, appointed an international RYLA committee, dedicated to improving and expanding this special Rotary program throughout the world. Rotarians with different RYLA experiences were invited to RI headquarters to exchange information and ideas; they agreed that the program could be improved through regional training workshops.

After District 5520′s first RYLA camp, about 20 years ago, a participant summed up his experience in one word: Camelot . He wrote: “If you know the story of King Arthur, you may recall that as King Arthur was dying in a young man’s arms, he turned to the youth and said, ‘If you learn of anyone that has not heard of Camelot, tell them loudly and clearly that there really was that one wisp of glory called Camelot.’”

Gundoo or Camelot ? RYLA is both, and aren’t we fortunate? Dedication, passion, and love describe the heart of RYLA, a most remarkable investment that assures Rotary’s future. Every Rotarian should take the opportunity to enjoy this exciting program and life-changing experience.

Irving J. “Sonny” Brown, a 2000-04 trustee of The Rotary Foundation, was chair of the RI RYLA Committee when this article was published. He has also served as RI vice president and as chair of the 2001 San Antonio Convention Committee. 2001 San Antonio Convention Committee.

For more info visit www.rotary.org/en/StudentsAndYouth/YouthPrograms/ RotaryYouthLeadershipAwards(RYLA)/Pages/ridefault.aspx or Contact District 3300 service to New Generations Committee Chairman : PP Varpal Singh Sagoo varpalss@pd.jaring.my

ROTARACT

Rotaract Clubs

Rotaract is a Rotary-sponsored service club for young men and women ages 18 to 30. Rotaract clubs are either community or university based, and they’re sponsored by a local Rotary club. This makes them true “partners in service” and key members of the family of Rotary.

As one of Rotary’s most significant and fastest-growing service programs, with more than 7,000 clubs in about 163 countries and geographical areas, Rotaract has become a worldwide phenomenon.

How does it work?

All Rotaract efforts begin at the local, grassroots level, with members addressing their communities’ physical and social needs while promoting international understanding and peace through a framework of friendship and service.

What are some other opportunities available to Rotaractors?

Rotaractors may also Assist in organizing Interact clubs or mentor Interactors

Participate in Rotary Youth Leadership Awards Become Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholars or Group Study Exchange team members

Seek membership in their local Rotary club Rotaractors are encouraged to keep their contact information current.

Rotary International District 3300

Rotary International District 3300 had in fact undergone a series of changes since its inception two years ago after the formation and establishment of the first Rotary Club – the Rotary Club of Seremban in 1929. Rotary International designated the area comprising Siam (now Thailand) and the Straits Settlements (then Penang, Malacca and Singapore) as “Provincial District B”. In the intervening years Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh, Klang and Coast, Singapore, Malacca and Penang were formed.

In 1935, Rotary International re-designated the district as “District 80” and with that the President of the Rotary Club of Bangkok, His Royal Highness Prince Purachatra of Thailand was appointed as the first District Governor. The District was then extended to include what was then known as French Indo-China which comprised Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.

A year later in 1936, with the inclusion of Borneo, District 80 was extended to include Sarawak and North Borneo (later known as Sabah) and Brunei. Sarawak and Sabah subsequently became part of Malaysia. The Japanese Occupation between 1942 and 1946 saw the suspension by Rotary International of all clubs in this District. Rotary International then reinstated them after a resolution in 1946 following an application by all clubs concerned. Klang and Coast, however, did not apply for reinstatement and as a result joined the fold only in 1961. In 1948, the district was again re-designated as “District 46” and subsequently in 1961, as “District 330”.

Following the independence of Malaya in 1957 many more clubs were formed in the countries to the north of the peninsular. In 1981, Rotary International established District 335, which was to include Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. Malaysia (which now included the new Borneo States of Sabah and Sarawak), Singapore and Brunei remained in District 330.

“District 3300” came into being in 1992; and with its emergence, all clubs south of the state of Negeri Sembilan, namely Melaka (Malacca) and Johor as well as the East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak of the former North Borneo, together with Singapore and Brunei, were grouped into the new District 3300.

District 3300 now boasts of 72 clubs with about 1,800 Rotarians, 155 Interact clubs and 22 Rotaract clubs.

Rotary Club of Miri works to protect Mangroves

The Rotary Club of Miri has embarked on a planting project to protect mangroves in Sarawak, as part of their Centennial project.

The Recent tsunami disaster has taught us some very important lessons on coastal zone management. Nature lashes out at mankind when the environment is provoked.
The Prime Minister, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, has now appealed to all states to protect mangrove forests along the coast. ”Ideally, mangrove forests should not be disturbed as they prevent large waves from encroaching too far inland,” he said.

In line with that, the Rotary Club of Miri has launched a Mangrove planting project at Kuching Beach in Sarawak. 14 of the team members have conducted a expedition into the mangrove forest in search of 63 sapling of the rhizotopa stylosa species. It took three hours for their member to collect the species. This was followed by another 2 hours of planting those saplings.

There is now greater commitment from the government to conserve and restore mangrove swamps in the country. And the Rotary Club of Miri will be the first organization in the Nation quickly responded to the Prime Minister’s call.

The Club intends to plant another 400 trees, which will be done in the next 6 months.

Rotarians sweat it out for charity

Sweating Rotary club members? It is a rare sight, but it has happened and many hope will happen more often, especially when charitable works are concerned.

Perspiring Rotarians were very much in evidence when the Rotary Club of Ampang recently staged a 100km cycling felloship in Putrajaya to raise money for education as part of the celebration of Rotary International’s 100 years of service to the community.
The cycling event – four rounds along a 25km long route – was more than an attempt to dispel the notion that Roatarians are old gentlemen who wear suits, have lunch and give away cheques.

Apart from raising RM100,000 for the club’s Education Scholarship Fund, the Centennial Cycling Fellowship that was flagged off by Rotary District 3300 Governor Dr. Mahinder Singh was also to raise the public profile of Roatary and attract new members.

Ampang Club President Donny Kwa led the 111 cyclists, which included Rotarians from Teluk Intan, Kelana Jaya, Gombak, KL North, Port Klang, Putra Jaya, Seremban, Bangsar and KL di Raja in pedalling their way to the charitable target.

At the end of the event, 40 of the bicycles were donated to schools in Dengkil in Selangor and Teluk Intan in Perak through the courtesy of RC Port Klang, Teluk Intan, Putrajaya and Ampang.

Major event at the Rotary International Convention

The cyclathon was recognised as a major event at the Rotary International Convention held in Osaka recently and the Ampang Roatary Club, now 20 years old, was commended for its support of the year-long Rotary centennial celebration which began in February 2004.

HSBC Bank Malaysia later handed over a cheque for RM40,000 in fulfilment of its pledge towards the Ampang club’s education fund, for which the club hopes to raise RM200,000. The cheque was presented by HSBC deputy chairman and chief executive officer Zarir Cama.

Expaining the idea for the fund, Kwa said that at the beginning of every school term, many families could not afford to buy school uniforms or books, pay examination fees, or even give their children pocket money for canteen breaks or meals.

He said the club education committee would work closely with schools to provide assistance to deserving cases.

On the efforts to create greater public awareness of Roatary, Kwa said: “We want to make younger professionals and business people realise that Rotarians do comminity service not only by providing their expertise but by giving their personal time, too.”

RC Kuching marks Centennial with 100 bikes

Sending a hundred pairs of wheels spinning for 100 kilometers (62.14 miles) was how members of the Malasyian Rotary Club of Kuching decided to set the celebration of Rotary’s Centennial anniversary in their community.

In pursuit of that aim, the club launched a symbolic cycling fellowship in Kuching on 29th February 2004, hoping to attract 100 rotarians and supporters. With 111 cyclists gathered at the assembly point in the early morning, the turnout well surpassed their expectations.

Registered as the club’s Centennial project, the rally was organised with the additional aim of raising RM100,000 (more than US$ 26,000) toward a scholarship fund.

Rotarians from clubs in Teluk Intan, Kelana Jaya, Gombak, Kuala Lumpur North, Port Klang, Putrajaya, Seremban, Bangsar and Kuala Lumpur Diraja flocked to the launch rally that was flagged off by District 3300 Governor Dr. Mahinder Singh.

Attracting potential Rotarians to join the club

The rally was also aimed at burnishing the public profile of Rotary, attracting potential Rotarians to join the club, and invigorating participation among existing members.

“The novelty of the event helped create an awareness of Rotary to the community. It showed that Rotarians perspire and put in personal time for a charitable cause as against the old view that Rotarians are old gentlemen who wear suits, have lunch, and give away checks,” says club President Josh Lim, initiator of the projet. The involvement of all members of the club was paramount in making this a success. I received 100 percent commitment from all.”

By James Louis, RI reporter,

District Centennial Planning Calendar

As Rotary commemorates 100 years of service, many Club and District Projects have been planned to celebrate the Centennary.

District Centennial Planning Calendar

PRE-CENTENNIAL YEAR

Clubs/districts initiate Centennial essay project
Clubs submit Centennial community project progress report to RI
Convenors promote Rotary’s Centennial at Rotary zone institutes
Clubs establish membership goals to support Centennial goal of 1.5 million members
Rotarians register for the 2017 Centennial Convention in Chicago at the 2017 Osaka convention
Clubs support TRF promotion of $100 per capita goal
Clubs initiate a “twin club” relationship with a club in another country to promote international service and fellowship
RI starts the Centennial Bell Around the World project – a special bell to travel to all districts of the world much like the Olympic flame, culminating at the 2017 convention in Chicago
RI Board to obtain Council on Legislation endorsement of Centennial services
RI produce and begin sales of Centennial History Book at the 2017 International Assembly
RI selects winners of the Centennial poster contest
RI mails Centennial celebration promotion materials

CENTENNIAL YEAR
Clubs establishes membership goals to support Centennial goal of 1.5 million members
Districts hold district conferences with Centennial emphasis
Clubs support TRF promotion of $100 per capita goal
RI President addresses the United Nations (tentative)
RI offers series of educational programmes on Rotary history
RI begins Centennial travelling displays, transported by appropriate Rotary Fellowship
OFFICIAL CELEBRATION BEGINS

February 2018 – Centennial Month
Clubs/districts hold observances emphasising heritage of Rotary
Clubs mount public displays during World Window Week, the week in which Rotary’s anniversary falls
Clubs display Centennial banners and posters in communities worldwide
RI holds worldwide video/web cast to celebrate Rotary’s 100 th anniversary
RI launches a worldwide promotional campaign
26/02/05 : Celebration in Forest National, Brussels
March 2017

Clubs complete Centennial community projects and submit reports

RI holds a Worldwide Peace’s Symposium utilising Rotary World Peace Scholars
RI holds convention, Kuching
RI shares statements of support for world leaders at convention
RI holds Rotaract Convention, Kuching Sarawak
RI dedicates the Centennial commemorative statue in Kuching Sarawak
RI offers tours of One Rotary Center

Shopping in Sarawak

Walking around town and larger cities in Sarawak can be an exciting and wonderful experience as there are various traditional handicrafts and local items sold everywhere from night markets to shopping malls.

Few must-buy items on your list including pottery, wood, textiles, beads, bamboo, rattan, reed basket, salted terubok fish, Sarawak pepper and terendak. Pottery made in Sarawak can be divided into two types namely one by Chinese potters and another by Iban, Murut and Kelabit potters. There are various pottery items available such as candle holders, ashtrays, teapots, mugs, drinking water cisterns, decorative jars and vases.

Another unique handicraft, woodcarvings are made by Kayan and Kenyah ethnic groups. There are several popular shopping sites suitable for tourists to purchase genuine woodcarvings by these ethnic groups – Abau Regong, Saging Anyi Taman Delight, Karya Indah and JJ & LL Family.

Perhaps, the most popular must-buy item when you are in Sarawak is the pepper. The high quality Sarawak pepper has gained international recognition due to its distinctive flavour. Pepper plantations can be seen around Kuching-Serian Road.

An all-time favourite, salted terubok fish is a unique souvenir nicely wrapped in a box for longer preservation. Even though terubok is full of bones, it has always been a favourite gift among the tourists. A tip for those who would like to try this salted fish, find the biggest terubok as bones are larger and thus, easier to dispose.

Rattan, a durable jungle product in Sarawak is sold everywhere in Aji @ Ismadi bin Chupak, Kg. Pahlawan, Awing Crafts & Cultural Centre Workshop, Nuran ak Jawa, Rh.Sap Batu Lintang Undop and Orah Bampa Badeng Lg. Mejawah. Lastly, purchase the beautiful ornamented beadwork hand-made by indigenous people of Sarawak. Sold widely in various forms and colours, you can get it in Agnes Nani Ganti at Saberkas Commercial Centre or Miri Heritage Centre.

Top Hotels in Sarawak

RH Hotel, Sibu

The RH Hotel is one of the established hotels located in the heart of Sibu, one of the major towns of Sarawak which is also widely regarded as the ‘gateway’ to the central regional hub of the state. The hotel is easily accessible which can be reached through a bridge from Wisma Sanyan, the largest shopping center in Sibu.

The hotel houses 226 rooms which come in different shapes and sizes. Decorated and equipped with the best possible facilities to the customers, it is one of the most ideal places to stay whether it is for leisure or business. Standard facilities in the room include a Mini-Bar, Astro TV services, complimentary water and coffee and tea, ironing facilities and safe deposit boxes. The hotel also offers Wi-Fi internet access to the guests in the rooms. Hairdryers, bath-robes and a modern bathtub is also provided in the bathrooms so you can have the most comfortable stay here.

The rooms here are affordable with their Superior rooms starting from RM260, Deluxe rooms from RM300, Executive from RM350, Junior Suites from RM550, Executive Suites from RM1100 and the Presidential Suite starting from RM 4000. The hotel is located at Jalan Kampung Nyabor and can be reached at (6) 084-365 888.

Dynasty Hotel, Miri

Dynasty Hotel is one of the oldest hotels located in Sarawak’s popular oil town Miri. Located in the heart of Miri city, the 3 star hotel houses some 130 rooms that are designed to cater to the leisure and business traveller here. Its location is strategic as it is nearby to Miri’s commercial and shopping areas. For a taste of the authentic Sarawakian lifestyle, Dynasty Hotel provides a truly cultural and modern stay for its guests.

Located at Lot 683, Block 9, Jalan Pujut-Lutong, you can call 60 85 42 1111 for reservations or further enquiries. The rooms are designed elegantly to provide the most comfortable option one can get in staying here. Luxurious and modern, there are 2 non-smoking floors available where all the rooms are equipped with facilities like air-conditioning, hair dryer, satellite and cable television, internet access as well as a mini bar. Apart from accommodation, Dynasty Hotel also offers other services like meeting rooms and conference facilities with 5 function rooms to cater to any event of up to 150 people. Wedding banquets are also a common favourite at this hotel as its Chinese restaurant here are renowned for serving the best Chinese food in Miri.

Asian Hotel and China Town Inn, Kuching

Asian Hotel in Kuching is one of the most affordable hotels located within the heart of Kuching, the state capital of Sarawak. It is located just beside the waterfront and is easily accessible as it is about 8kms from the Kuching International Airport. Located within Kuching’s central district, it is also nearby to the local attractions here that include the Chinese Museum, Sarawak Museum, the Indian Mosque, the Sarawak Textile Museum, the Kuching Waterfront as well as the Tua-Pek Kong Temple. It is located at No.3 Jawa Street and can be reached at 6 082 231 133.

China Town Inn is one of the 2 branches operated by Asian Hotel. It is locate within Chinatown of Kuching made up of 3 shophouses which have been restored. Located at 2nd Floor, Lot 8-9, No. 117-119 at Jalan Padungan, this is where one can stay at one of the most traditional and cultural accommodations in Kuching that exudes the Chinese tradition.

The Grand Margherita Hotel, Kuching

The Grand Margherita Hotel is the first international hotel established in Kuching, the state capital of Sarawak. It is a majestic building located by the riverfront with a great view of the Sarawak river and its surrounding landscape. Located within the heart of Kuching, it is easily accessible and is nearby the business and commercial areas of the city. Furthermore, it is also very near to the Kuching International Airport which brings about tourists and business travellers alike. Nearby to the Hotel are local attractions like the Tua Pek Kong temple, the Chinese Museum, the Kuching Waterfront as well as the Fort Margherita.

The hotel offers 288 highly comfortable rooms that are equipped with world class facilities and offerings. The rooms are very well equipped with standard facilities that include tea and coffee making facilities, IDD phone services, air-conditioning, satellite television and such. On top of that, there is also an Executive Club here that offers services for the business traveller. It is considered to be one of the most established hotels and is the only hotel at the riverfront in the state where it can be reached at Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, Kuching or call 6082423111 for more information or reservations.

Mega Hotel, Miri

Mega Hotel is one of the most established hotels operating within the heart of Miri city, known as the oil town of Sarawak. It is situated within the business and entertainment district of the city, making it one of the most convenient hotels around. Whether you are here for leisure or business, Mega Hotel is an ideal accommodation choice as it is easily accessible as well as affordable, offering the best choices in Miri.

There are many different choices in terms of rooms that are offered in Mega Hotel which are catered to different range of stays where each of the rooms come with several facilities for optimum luxury and comfort. The bathrooms are equipped with a shower and a bath while the rooms offer individually controlled air-conditioning, IDD phone services, a mini bar, complimentary coffee and tea, hair dryer, a safe deposit box, satellite television channels as well as Wi-Fi internet access.

If required, there are also non-smoking floors, 24 hours reception, security with room service as well as more than enough parking spaces. Rooms are accessed using keycard system while the hotel also offer laundry and dry cleaning facilities too. A business center is available for travellers who need to use facilities like photostating, courier, email and such. The hotel is located at Lot 907, Jalan Merbau and can be reached at 6085-432432.

Hotel Bahagia, Sibu

Known to be one of the most convenient hotels in Sibu, Hotel Bahagia also offers the most affordable accommodations here. It is located in the heart of Sibu town area where it can be accessed through the major business and entertainment areas of the town. Here is where you can reach the major offices and shops around Sibu which are only a stone’s throw away from the hotel.

There are many choices of accommodations here which include the Standard rooms which are ideal for 2 people or the Double rooms or Deluxe rooms for more while there are also the double-bed rooms here for the business travellers. Each of the rooms are well equipped to provide the best and most comfortable stay for the traveller. Individually controlled air-conditioning are provided while one can also enjoy IDD telephone services, television as well as free Internet access.

Room rates start from RM55 for the Double rooms and for the Family suites, they start at RM120. One can easily find food here that include fast food chains like Sugarbun and KFC while there are more than enough parking spaces around here. It is minutes away from the Sibu Market as well as Wisma Sanyan, the largest shopping mall here. Call 084-331131 for reservations and for further information.

Top Attractions in Sarawak

You’ll just have to spend more than few days in Sarawak as the state offers various historical sites and natural attractions. One of the most popular places of interest is the Gunung Mulu National Park.

Ideally located near Miri, it has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can enjoy wonders of caves and karst formations in an equatorial raiforest setting. This is an ideal place for nature lovers to explore the surrounding rainforest, Royal Geographical Society Expedition. In addition to that, remember to check out the largest natural chamber which is found in Nasib Bagus Cave. You’ll also have to pay a visit to other notable caves – Benarat, Wind and Clearwater. The park is named after Mount Mulu that is the second highest mountain in the state.

Besides the national park, remember to drop by at Kuching Waterfront, Sarawak Museum, Cultural Village, Semenggoh Wildlife Centre, Cat Museum and Bako National Park.

Kuching Waterfront lengths 900 metres long with beautiful landscaped surroundings. Popular amongst local and foreign tourists, this place also features The Square Tower, Sarawak Steamship Building and the nearby beautifully carved Tua Pek Kong Temple.

While you are enjoying the annual Rainforest World Music Festival in Sarawak Cultural Village, take a tour down this award winning attraction during the day and learn about the lifestyles of various ethnic groups in Sarawak.

Another notable attraction – Semenggoh Wildlife Centre enables you to touch and feel orang utans up-close in their natural habitat. Besides that, you can also spned time on the greenery botanical gardens, fruit orchard and arboretum.

Lastly, include Bako National Park under your trip itinerary as this state’s oldest park houses long-nosed proboscis monkeys, long-tailed macaques and various animal species.

Loagan Bunut National Park

The Loagan Bunut National Park is located within the Miri city of Sarawak. It sits on a large 10,736 hectare land which was gazette on January 1990 and was operational to the public a year later. Located towards the upper reaches of Bunut River, this is where one would be able to find the largest natural lake in Sarawak. The unique feature of this lake named ‘Logan Bunut’ by the Berawan people here is that the water level is totally dependent on that of Bunut River, Tinjar River and Baram Rivers respectively. At a time when the water levels of these rivers rise, the water level at Logan Bunut will follow suit. Around the months of February, May or June is when the water levels are at its lowest.

Here is where one would be able to visit nature at its best as you can practically walk around the dry mud areas here while enjoying the scenic and natural landscape regardless of the water levels of the rivers and the lake. For those who are interested in the traditional fishing methods here, you can experience what the locals call the ‘Selambau’ where fishes are ‘retained’ by the Berawan people especially during the low water level seasons. Apart from that, one can also enjoy the flora and fauna here while there are hundreds of bird species as well as animals like the argus pheasant, the black barded langur and many more.

To get here, you will have to come from Miri town where travel agencies will arrange 4WD to get here through the 130km journey.

Bintulu Promenade

The Bintulu Promenade is one of the latest tourist attraction enacted in the Bintulu town of Sarawak. This would be the longest waterfront in Sarawak which is built on a 120 acre land which is very much similar to the Kuching Promenade. Basically, it is a commercial and recreational park that offer a wide range of facilities and attractions for the business and leisure traveler. Whether you are here for holiday or on business, a walk along the waterfront will be as relaxing and therapeutic as it can be.

The Promenade is perhaps the best place to go if you want to watch the awesome sunset while enjoying the sea breeze here. Developed by Sarawak’s own Sarawak Land (Kemena Park) Sdn Bhd, the Bintulu Promenade is located around the river mouth of Kemena River. Here is where one will be able to enjoy and use the public amenities and facilities like its jogging track, the cycling trails and many more. As the Bintulu Promenade is still a very new place, more amenities are still being developed which will see a retail complex, a hotel and residential units will be added in due time. Apart from that, one can also experience a unique sight where swans are seen flying across the Kemena River.

Bako National Park

The Bako National Park is one of the many national parks located in the naturally rich East Malaysian state of Sarawak. This is where one would be able to enjoy the rich vegetation and the thick forest which are abundantly found in the state which is also the natural habitat of the obscene-nosed proboscis monkey.

The park is relatively small as compared to other parks around the state but it does not come any less interesting because this is where you will be able to find the naturally awesome rainforests as well as some very beautiful beaches.

If you like you can stay overnight at the park where there are lodges available. On top of that for those of you who like to trek, there are 16 color-coded jungle trails on the oldest national park in Sarawak. Generally, the park is made up of a complete range of natural attractions that include cliffs, hills, jungle as well as sandy beaches. It is also renowned for the bearded boar on top of the 150 proboscis monkeys here. Lizards too are aplenty here with the monitor lizard being the largest where they could be up to 2 meters long. It is also known to house almost every type of vegetation in the state.

Jalan Satok Sunday Market

Every tourist knows that to learn and know all about the local produce of a certain place, one must visit the local market. Hence if you are in Sarawak, you must go to the Jalan Satok Sunday Market which is where you will find a wide range of local products here on sale. While most people will assume that Sunday markets are in the mornings, the Jalan Satok one takes place in the afternoon and this is when you will find a lot of local traders coming from outside Kuching to congregate here to sell their products.

Some bargaining and haggling skills will be needed here as it is pretty much the trend. However you might need to speak a bit of the local slangs or language or otherwise it might be difficult. Here is where you might find squirming grubs, wild ferns, sieet and many other stuff which are found in the natural jungles of the state. As it only takes place on Sundays, this is one chance to see all of Sarawak in one place. There are food, vegetables, clothes and even handicrafts on sale here. Located along the junction of Jalan Satok and Jalan Palm, you can come here using the taxi or by foot. Just look for Miramar Cinema and the market is just opposite this building.

Lambir Hills National Park

Located along the Miri-Bintulu road, the Lambir Hills National Park was gazetted in 1975 and is easily reached from Miri town which is about half an hour’s drive away. In this park, you will find more than 1,000 species of trees where it 286 genera and 81 tree families here making the park one of hte most diversified forests in the country. There are a lot to see here apart from trees where you might also find wild animals if you venture deeper into the park.

If you are lucky, you might spot the sun bear, pangolins, bats while monkeys are a common sight here. The best time to come to the park is usually in the morning as it will give you more than enough time to see as much as you can. The waterfalls here are one of the most beautiful ones where if you trek for about 15 to 20 minutes you will reach Latak waterfalls. However, most people take a while longer as there are so much to see along the way. You will need to register with the Park Office before entering the park where you will be told to leave the park before 5pm. Other popular waterfalls here include the Pantu and Nibong waterfalls but you will need to trek longer to get there.

Matang Wildlife Centre

Located about half an hour’s drive from Kuching, the state capital of Sarawak is the Matang Wildlife Center. This is basically an enclosed area of rainforest situated at the Kubah National Park where it is the home to some of the endangered wildlife here. Here is where you will be able to see how Orang Utans are trained and taught. It is basically a Orang Utan sanctuary to breed the endangered species who are either rescued from captivity or orphaned. Once they mature and are able to survive themselves out in the wild, they are then released back into the jungles.

Feeding times are the best times to come here as this is when one gets to see how the Orang Utans learn and when they actually come out to get their food. Apart from the Orang Utans, there are also other animals here like the Sambar Deer, the Civet Cats as well as the Sun Bears. On top of that, you could also see the Sea Eagles, Hornbills and other bird species in the 3 aviaries here. If you like, you can also go for one of the 4 jungle trails here namely the Pitcher, Sungai Rayu, Sungai Senduk and Sungai Buluh trails respectively. A taxi would be your best way to get here as there are no bus services from Kuching here.

The Grand Old Lady

Miri has always been regarded as an ‘oil town’. In fact, it is known to be one of the first places in Sarawak where oil was found that brought about the gas companies and establish their operations here. Hence one of the most important historical monuments in Sarawak is known as the Grand Old Lady. Located on top of a hill in the heart of Miri town, the Grand Old Lady was the first oil well which was built when oil was found here on 22 December 1910.

It got its name as the ‘mother’ who turned the poor country into a prosperous and rich nation. The tower is about 30 meters high and sits majestically on Canada Hill where one can job up to the hill to enjoy a view of Miri town or just to be reminded of the richness of the state. Miri before it became an ‘oil town’ was just a fishing village and the Grand Old Lady was used in oil production for the following 62 years. To get here, you will have to get a taxi or drive up yourself as there are no public buses up to Canada Hill. Here is where you can also visit the Petroleum Museum to find out more about the history and development of oil and gas in Miri and in Malaysia.

Kelabit Highlands

The Kelabit Highlands is home to the Kelabit people, one of the indigenous people of Sarawak. It is naturally a vast highland plateau located within the interior of the state. Located over 1,000 meters above sea level, this is where one could visit to enjoy the natural offerings of Sarawak at its best. Here is where you will be able to enjoy the cool weather of the highlands which can be very chilly during the nights. The people here are known as the Kelabits where most of them are Christians. However, there are also other communities here like the Penang, Lun Bawang where collectively they are all known as ‘Orang Ulu’.

The main town of the highlands is Bario which is where you will fly in to from Miri. Flying in would be the best way to come here through MASWings Twin-Otter planes which comes in to Bario or Ba Kelalan air strips. There are 2 daily flights to and from Miri except on Mondays where they only operate 1 flight at RM70 one way. Here is where you will be able to spend the night on the homestays available here while enjoying the natural and local lifestyle of the community. Most places do not have electricity as they depend on generators during the night. Jungle trekking is one of the common favourites here while there are also occasional performances and events held by the people here.

Belaga

The town of Belaga is located along the Rejang River in Sarawak. Here is where one would be able to explore the many longhouses which is common among the indigenous groups of the state. To experience the local lifestyle and practices of the people here, there are many tour guides around the town of Belaga who will be able to offer you with a holistic option. Getting into Belaga would require you to have a permit from Kapit. This is easily available which you must obtain prior to getting here.

However, if you are coming in from Bintulu on the road, you will not need to use a permit. From Kapit, you can get here by boat which leaves on 9am every day. The trip will take around 5 hours and will cost RM30. This is where your natural experience starts as you will go through some very scenic locations. From Bintulu, 4×4 services are available to get you here but it would be  long and gruelling journey. In Belaga, you can pretty much see the whole town in half an hour but as mentioned, you must engage the local guides to see the longhouses where you will be able to experience all the local practices like their culture and practices.