Sarawak makes access to Borneo’s natural wonders and cultural riches a breeze. From Kuching, the island’s most sophisticated and dynamic city, pristine rainforests – where you can spot orangutans, proboscis monkeys, crocodiles and the world’s largest flower, the Rafflesia – can be visited on day trips, with plenty of time in the evening for a delicious meal and a drink by the waterfront. More adventurous travellers can take a ‘flying coffin’ riverboat up the 'Amazon of Borneo', the Batang Rejang, on their way east to hike from longhouse to longhouse in the cool environs of the Kelabit Highlands, or to the spectacular bat caves and extraordinary rock formations of Gunung Mulu National Park. Everywhere you go, you’ll encounter the warmth, unforced friendliness and sense of humour that make the people of Malaysia’s most culturally diverse state such delightful hosts.
Bako National Park
A National Park since 1957, Bako offers the perfect introduction to Sarawak’s forests and wildlife. T In fact, at Bako it is possible to see almost every type of vegetation found in Borneo. Bako also contains a rich variety of wildlife and a coastline covered with small bays, coves and beaches. The park has a number of well-marked trails offering interesting walks ranging from short pleasant strolls to serious full-day hikes. Unlike some national parks, visitors to Bako are almost guaranteed to see wildlife. Long-tailed macaque monkeys and silver leaf monkeys are ever present, wild boar are often found rummaging around the park HQ, squirrels and monitor lizards are also common. There is every chance of seeing the rare and unusual proboscis monkeys on trails such as Telok Paku and Telok Delima, particularly if you go late afternoon. You are more likely to see wildlife if you quietly follow the trails and keep listening.
For over 20 years, the wardens here trained young orangutans, who had been orphaned or rescued from captivity, how to survive in the wild. The success of this programme has left the surrounding forest reserve with a thriving population of healthy adolescent and young adult orang utans, who are now breeding in the wild. The programme has been transferred to Matang Wildlife Centre, but Semenggoh is still home to its successful graduates, semi-wild orang utans and their babies. They spend most of their time roaming the forest but frequently come back to the Centre for a free meal. If it is the fruiting season in the forest, some or even all of them may not come to feed. This in itself is a good sign and another step on the way to full rehabilitation.
Rainforest World Music Festival
The Rainforest World Music Festival is a unique festival that brings together on the same stage renowned world musicians from all continents and indigenous musicians from the interiors of the mythical island of Borneo.
Its formula of afternoon informative workshops, followed by evening performances on the main stage has proven to be a hit with the audience, who come from near and far.
The festival site also sets up a variety of food and drink stalls, an arts and crafts area as well as a counter for festival memorabilia, Sarawak souvenirs and CDs by the performing artists, all this contributing to a fun filled, wholesome festival experience. World Music plus a country fair atmosphere in the midst of lush greenery.
The Rainforest World Music Festival, a not-to-be-missed occasion, guarantees a smashing time in the heart of the Borneo Jungle.