Sarawak, Flag, things to do in Sarawak

Things to do in Sarawak

I can assure you that my post on what are the best things to do in Sarawak on a budget will be incredibly valuable to you as it’s far from a cheap destination.

Borneo’s treasures have long been far out of reach for all but the most determined of us. Places to visit in Sarawak makes it all a breeze due to the country’s incredible infrastructure.

Sarawaks Fragile cultures, incredible biodiversity and awe-inspiring landscapes draw in tourists from around the world. The only trouble is it can cost a fortune!

When I say what are the 8 best things to do in Sarawak it greatly depends on what you want. I have tried to balance the list so there is a little for everyone, so read on about the best places to visit in Sarawak that I believe will appeal to most.

squirrel, Malaysian, climbing

Niah Caves

At the top of my list is Niah Caves and for a bloody good reason. Most tourists come here for just the caves on a day trip and completely overlook the fact it is a national park with masses of wildlife to spot.

The grand cave is indeed very grand. It stretches back 2km into the bowels of the earth. You can enjoy discovering the ecosystem that dwells in a world with no lights. Out in the primary rainforest, you can expect to find a whole multitude of species that can keep any nature enthusiast entertained for days on end.

There is an ethical and well-thought-out projecy called the Rumah Patrick Libau Homestay one hour walk from the park entrance. I can not overstate enough the value of staying here. If you come for the day you will miss out on so much. Check out the link above for more info.

Bako National Park

Bako National Park Sarawak is a must-see destination near Kuching. Home to exceptional wildlife, visitors can spot various species near the park's HQ. Spending the night is recommended to fully appreciate the park's beauty, avoid busy day trails and catch magnificent animals in their natural habitats. Book through the Sarawak Forestry Commission in advance.

Semenggoh Nature Reserve

If you would like to get up close and personal with Orangutangs then Semenggoh Nature Reserve is your jam. The park is home to a considerable number of these red-haired beauties including the revered CEO of the park Richie. The dominant alpha male gets all the cameras aimed at him and he seems to relish it.

Some people complain it is touristy. Well duh? Yes, it’s absolutely loaded with tourists but the money that’s raised is critical for the conservation of the species. That money has to come from somewhere and you are helping support that cause.

Not only that but the animals have been rescued and seem very indifferent to you being there. 

Niah, Caves, Sarawak

Any viewing you have of orangutans in the wild will be fleeting and from a great distance.

Whereas in Semrnggoh one old grandma came right in the middle of the tourists to play. Something that would never happen in the wild.

Whether you want to be part of that or not is your choice but that’s what you are getting.


I will be honest here and tell you that if you looking for a deeply tribal experience where communities live in long houses the classical way you may be barking up the wrong tree in Sarawak. Malaysia has one foot firmly in the future and you are highly likely to be disappointed in your investments.

If you are hoping for an authentic experience by visiting the Sarawak cultural village it will not be long before you work out you have wasted your money. The village is not included in my list of the best things to do in Sarawak because it most definitely is not. It’s like a museum with people in it.

However, there are places where the local people still cling to their customs and one of the best around Belaga. Like anything in life, you get out what you put in. Belaga is a bit of a ballache to reach but you will be rewarded for your hard work when you reach it. There are many traditional villages not far from town that are easily reachable on a day trip.

Of all the things to do in Sarawak visiting here is your best bet if you’re looking for a cultural immersion. You can honestly get a taste of what traditional life must have been like and do it on a budget. 

Lambir Hills National Park

Lambir Hills National Park is a hidden gem and one of the most underrated things to do in Sarawak. It’s located right off the highway between Niah and Miri. The bus stops right outside! It could not be more convenient to stop here and it boasts some superb wildlife. Click the link above to find out what could be in store. In my humble opinion, the park is well worth the time invested.

Even if you have a couple of days to spare I would encourage you to take a look. Miri is not the most appealing of towns as a tourist and Lumbir Hills is a mere 23km away. Very handy for those of you on your way to Brunai or Gunang Mulu National Park.



Of all the places to visit in Borneo Kuching is the one nearly all of us will visit. Sarawak’s tiny capital has buckets of charm. The tiny lanes around Old China town are dotted with atmospheric temples.

It’s here you can sample some of the country’s best cuisine and of all the things to do in Sarawak trying the local dishes must be at the top of the list. I wholeheartedly recommend Sarawak Laksa as it is to die for.

Consider one of the very affordable evening cruises along the river to take in the majesty of this sleepy yet very significant city. The area along the river banks comes alive in the evenings and makes for a romantic stroll.

Take a Tour of Sarawak

Here is the bad news travel agencies buy all the beds in all the tourist areas leaving independent travellers with no chance to organise anything themselves unless you book well in advance. I have stayed at many National Parks that are “full” with plenty of empty beds but they have already been paid for. 

Tours in Sarawak and Sabah run at massively inflated costs and since this practice is not regulated by law unlike in most developed countries they run a danger of damaging the tourist industry as the cost of living increases the world over.

Your only choice is to be decisive and make a plan. If you do this you will save yourself hundreds. However, if time is an issue or you may find it hard to organize these things yourself here is a list of reliable tour agencies I begrudgingly recommend as they get good reviews by most.

  1. Borneo Experiances
  2. Adventure Alternative Borneo
  3. Borneo Adventure
Stump tailed, monkey , male

Sarawak Travel FAQ

According to Google, here is a brief answer to the most asked questions.


What is Sarawak popular for?

Firstly it would be the incredible biodiversity that can be found over a relatively small space. Golden sandy beaches give way to fertile Mangroves and primevil jungle. This masterpiece of nature is punctuated by magnificent caves that are quite unlike anything else on earth.

Why is Sarawak the best place to visit?

Well, that depends on what you are looking for, right? If you are looking for stunning landscapes and breathtaking wildlife, Sarawak is almost certainly one of the best places to visit.


Why is Kuching famous?

Kuching is famous for its historical sights, fine food, welcoming people and its proximity to areas of natural wonder like Gunung Gading National Park just a short bus ride away.


What is the best time to visit Sarawak?

The good news is there is not a bad time to visit Sarawak. Even in November when it’s chucking it down of rain, you can enjoy the rainforest at its most robust. It does depend on what you want from your trip.


In Summary

It’s no secret that travelling to this country can cost a small fortune but you can most definitely get a good feel of what this incredible country has to offer without breaking the bank. There are so many things to do in Sarawak and not everything has to cost the world. 

I Love Malaysia and for a damn good reason. It has a little bit of everything that a person can look for in a Holiday destination. To find out how to make the most out of your time and money check out my Malaysia travel guide for some solid advice.

I hope that you enjoyed my work and found it of value. These really are some of the best things to do in Sarawak for cheap. Of course, if you have any more questions please let me know.

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