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Quick Glance on State of Sarawak
Sarawak Logo Flag of Sarawak
Land of the Hornbills

Map of Sarawak"Land of the Hornbills" as it is sometimes called, Sarawak is the largest state in Malaysia and also the richest in resources. Covering an area of 124,000 sq. km across the north-western tip of Borneo Island, it shares borders with Brunei and Sabah towards the north and Kalimantan (Indonesia) towards the south. Its state capital is Kuching.


HornbillThe state inhabits 27 ethnic groups with the Ibans making up the largest number followed by the Chinese and Malays. Together with the other groups the total population is made up to about 1.81 million.


Sarawak is one of the three states in Malaysia that are rich in oil. The largest Liquified Natural Gas plant (Bintulu LNG) in Asia, if not in the world, is found here. Other exports include crude oil, timber, pepper, cocoa bean, oil palm, rubber, gold, coal, silical sand, handicraft, agricultural produce and fertilisers. Apart from these, the mining and manufacturing industries as well as forestry have also boost the economic growth of Sarawak. However without the existence of the strong network of roads, railways, ports and airports, success may not have been so near.


Wonder of Caves:-

The Deer CaveThere are two magnificently huge caves in Sarawak one of which are the Mulu Caves, the world's largest cave system set in exotic tropical forest, and the other are the Niah Caves.

Mulu Caves
Tourists can experience the wilderness of the world's largest cave network in Sarawak's Majestic Mulu National Park. Home to thousands of bats, the Mulu Caves are marked with the ritual migration of these bats as they fly from these caves to forage for food every evening and the other are the Niah Caves.

'Abraham Lincoln'  profile at the entrance to the Deer CaveThe most unusual cave is the Deer cave where its entrance profile the side view of the late ex-president Abraham Lincoln of the United States of America.

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Travel to Sarawak

By Air

The Kuching and Miri International Airports are the two gateways to Sarawak. Travellers can either arrive directly or through connecting flights from Kota Kinabalu (Sabah), Bandar Seri Begawan (Brunei), Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Taipei, Manila, Seoul, Tokyo and Pontianak (Indonesia).

By Road

Currently there are only two ways to reach Sarawak by road. One of which is from Kuala Belait (Brunei) through Miri to Kuching. The other route is from Pontianak of Kalimantan (Indonesia) to Kuching. There are two bus-rides daily from Pontianak to Kuching which takes about 10 to 12 hours, while the journey from Brunei takes about 14 to 16 hours. Self-drive would indeed be very much faster. It is advisable, however, to drive during the day due to being unfamiliar with the roads. An international driving license is much preferred. The cars are all Right Hand Drive

By Boat

There are more entry points by express or speed boats to Sarawak. It is more interesting to travel inland this way.


There is no shortage of accommodation in Sarawak. One can find 5-star to 2-star hotels in most major towns whereas budget hotels, hostel or guest houses are offered in smaller towns. The rate ranges from M$30 to M$650 per night.


Sarawak experiences a tropical kind of climate with temperatures ranging from 24 to 34 degree Celsius. Usually, extra rainfall can be expected during the North East Monsoon period (December to February).


Electricity Current throughout Malaysia is 230 volts, AC, 50Hz. Plugs are either round or square with two or three-pin types.

Working Hours and Holidays

Government office hour from Mondays to Thursdays is from 8am to 4.15pm but that on Fridays is from 8.30am to 11.30am and then from 2.30pm to 4.45pm. On Saturdays the working time is from 8am to 12.45am. Sunday is a rest day. Banking hours is from 10am to 3pm on weekdays and from 9.30am to 11.30 am on Saturdays.

Public Holidays for Year 2011 of Rabbit:

New Year's Day 1st January (Saturday)
Chinese New Year 3rd-4th February (Thu-Fri)
Prophet Mohammad's Birthday 15th February (Tuesday)
Good Friday 22nd April (Friday)
Labour Day 1st-2nd May (Sun-Mon)
Wesak Day 17th May (Tuesday)
Gawai Dayak Festival 1st-2nd May (Wed-Thu)
Birthday of Seri Paduka Baginda Yang Di-Pertuan Agong 4th June (Saturday)
Hari Raya Aidilfitri 30th-31st Aug (Tue-Wed)
National Day 31st August (Wednesday)
Birthday of Yang Di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak 10th September (Saturday)
Malaysia Day 16th September (Friday)
Hari Raya Aidiladha (Haji) 6th-7th Nov (Sun-Mon)
First Day of Hijriah 1433 27th-28th Nov (Sun-Mon)
Christmas Day 25th-26th Dec (Sun-Mon)


Malaysian Currency Denomination:-

The denominations are: Coins- 1 cent, 5 cent, 20 cent, 50 cent and a dollar coin. Dollar Notes are: 2 dollar, 5 dollar, 10 dollar, 50 dollar and 100 dollar.(1, 500 & 1,000 dollar notes have been discontinued)

Malaysian Currency Control:-

As a result of Bank Negara Malaysia's Exchange Control Measure's Implementation Plan, which has taken effect from 1 October 1998, all travellers are required to fill in the Travellers Declaration Form (TDF) on arrival/departure. This move was made to regain the country's monetary independence in the current world economic environment and to stablise the country's economy.

Residents and non-residents coming into Malaysia are entitled to bring in not more than RM1,000 in cash and but are allowed an unlimited amount of foreign currency.

Residents leaving Malaysia are entitled up to RM1,000 in cash and foreign notes including travellers' cheques not more than the equivalent of RM10,000 on departure.

Non-Residents, on the other hand, are only allowed to take out amounts less than or equivalent to the amount they have declared upon arrival.

A resident means:-
(a) a Citizen of Malaysia, including one who has obtained a permanent residency outside Malaysia but is residing in Malaysia.
(b) a Non-Citizen of Malaysia who has obtained a permanent residency in Malaysia and is residing in Malaysia.

A non-resident refers to all who do not reside in Malaysia, including a Malaysian citizen living outside Malaysia.

The TDF can be obtained from the following venues:-
(a) Malaysia Embassies of High Commissions.
(b) Tourism Malaysia Offices.
(c) All entry/exits points.
(d) Airports.

On Arrival
Complete your TDF prior to immigration clearance. Then submit the completed TDF to the Immigration Officer for endorsement. When the TDF is returned to you by the Immigration Officer DO NOT REMOVE it from your passport.

On Departure
Complete your TDF prior to immigration clearance. Then submit the completed TDF to the Immigration Officer for endorsement and retention.

Failure to declare is an offence. Prohibited amount in the possession of a traveller may be seized.

Should your need to carry ringgit notes, foreign currency notes and traveller's cheques in excess of the permitted limits, prior written permission may be obtained from:-

Head of Department
Balance of Payment Department
Bank Negara Malaysia
Jalan Dato' Onn 50480
Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 603-291-0772
Fax: 603-293-7732


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