Known for its expansive land and rich culture, Sarawak is a natural wonder to behold. With rugged rainforests and protected parklands, this state is blessed with natural beauty unlike any other. If you wish to visit the Land of the Hornbills, we’ve narrowed down the 7 places that you shouldn’t miss here.

1. The Cat Museum

Did you know that having an abnormal love for cats is called ‘ailuromania’? If you have ailuromania, you will adore Kuching because it is the most cat-obsessed city you’ll ever find. You can spot many different cat statues scattered all over the city. They even built the Cat Museum in Petra Jaya, the first museum in the world that is devoted to all things feline. Here you can find over 4,000 exhibits, photos, art and souvenirs that are cat-related. Fellow cat enthusiasts are guaranteed to have the time of their lives here.

2. Sarawak Museum

Founded in 1891 by Charles Brooke, the Sarawak Museum is the oldest in Borneo. It is situated in Taman Budaya, Kuching, and the building dates back to the Victorian period. Moreover, the architecture is modelled on a traditional Normandy townhouse. This museum is a gold mine of Sarawak culture that showcases a vibrant array of artefacts. You can find models of longhouses and the Niah Caves where early human settlements were said to be. There are also tribal weapons and Sarawak animals that are mounted for display. We recommend this museum to those who are interested in Sarawak’s general history.

3. Bako National Park

From carnivorous pitcher plants to colourful Kingfisher birds, view the breathtaking sights of nature untouched by mankind. Sarawak’s abundance of forests might leave you wondering where to start first. Therefore, we suggest Bako National Park as the perfect first introduction to Sarawak’s natural forests and wildlife. It is nestled within Muara Tebas Peninsular and covers over 3,000 hectares of land. Known to be the oldest national park in Sarawak (since 1957), you can witness a wide variety of flora and fauna here. They have about 275 types of proboscis monkeys, unique only to Borneo.

4. Old Courthouse

Experience colonial history through the Old Courthouse situated on Jalan Barrack, Kuching. A heritage building that houses the official Sarawak Tourism Complex. Built in 1871, it contains beautiful architecture that reflects the beautiful history here. You can admire the quaint clock tower and the Renaissance Pavilion which has transformed into the Textile Museum. The Old Courthouse has been through many historical events. One of them was the Great Fire in Kuching town which almost burned down the first building in 1844.

5. Gunung Gading National Park

As Malaysians, we can pride ourselves on having the world’s largest flower. Gunung Gading National Park is 5 minutes away from Lundu town. It is home to the Rafflesia, a flower that can grow up to a diameter of one metre. It is also one of the rarest flowers in the world due to its short blooming period and temperamental nature. However, when the Rafflesia blooms, it is a spectacular sight to behold. The park also offers ‘The Waterfall’ jungle trekking trail. You can walk through forest paths while viewing a series of refreshing waterfalls.

6. The Cat Family

If you visit Kuching without taking photos with these cats, no one will believe that you went on that trip. The Cat Family is a must-visit icon if you ever land in this city. Located at the golden traffic triangle of Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, it is a walking distance to the Kuching Waterfront. It is the most popular cat statue in Sarawak that is featured in most travel posters and blogs. The statue consists of a father cat, a mother cat and seven little kittens. It has been here for over 30 years.

7. Fort Margherita

Charles Brooke named Fort Margherita after his wife, Margaret Brooke. People say that this might be the second White Rajah’s gesture of love towards his wife. Unfortunately, it didn’t seem to end happily due to their deteriorating relationship. This fort was used to defend against attacks from pirates and indigenous people many years ago. In 2016, the Brooke Gallery opened within this building. So visitors can learn all about the history of the White Rajahs that used to rule Sarawak. The colonial building has a classic look as green trees surround it.

Sarawak offers a tropical paradise that rewards you with stunning sights and senses. Step into the relaxing vibes of nature and history. This place is excellent to stay for a while or even for a living. As a resident here, you will be well-fed with good food every day. Sarawak’s local specialties here include Sarawak Laksa (rice noodles in tangy soup), Kolo Mee (dry noodles tossed in meat and shallots) and Kek Lapis (layered cake).

So why visit when you can live here? Check out our page to learn more about living in this delightful state:

(Written by Michelle Yoon, 21st July 2022)