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Sarawak

JUNGLE AND URBAN “SAFARIS” IN MALAYSIA

We braved the tropical jungle, creepy crawlies, and the wilds to bring you our top picks for a fantastic “safari” in Malaysia. While a few of our choices will lead you deep into rainforest territory, some are located in urban centers, and all are perfect for the entire family. So the next time you plan on visiting Malaysia, why not make it an educational one and get to know some of our “wilder” residents here!

Elephants at the Doorstep

Tabin Wildlife Reserve, Sabah (tabinwildlife.com.my)

Deep in rainforest territory, some seven hours’ drive or an hour’s flight from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, is Tabin Wildlife Reserve. Roaming the 300,000 acres of lowland dipterocarp forest are three of the largest mammals of Sabah, namely the Borneo Pygmy Elephant, Sumatran Rhinoceros and Tembadau. Though there is no guarantee that you will see them, there have been sightings of elephants very near the reserve’s on-site resort! Also calling this place home are the 300 species of birds, orangutans, civet cats, frogs and a multitude of insects!

Exploring the area is easy and one mustn’t miss the chance to visit the Lipad Waterfalls for a nice, cold dip, or the Lipad mud volcanoes (known as an RR for wildlife seeking their mineral intake). In the evening, take a dusk drive to look out for more nocturnal wildlife and birds coming out to look for food during this time of the day. After dinner, go for a night walk along the trail nearby the resort in search of sleeping birds, frogs, and nocturnal wildlife. Cozy jungle lodges are available to make your stay more comfortable, and we do recommend at least a three-night stay to really explore all that this amazing reserve has to offer.

elephants in the mud

Wings of Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur Bird Park (klbirdpark.com)

Nestled in lush green surroundings on top of a small hill lies the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park. So well does this man-made bird park blend with nature, that one easily forgets that it is located right in the heart of a bustling city. Convenience aside, this park really shines as the perfect place to spend a weekend morning with the children.

The bird park covers an area of more than 20 acres, with a landscape reminiscent of a tropical rainforest. It lays claim as the biggest bird park in Malaysia with the largest walk-in free-flight aviary in the world. At last count, there were some 3,000 birds of more than 200 species calling the park home. Among them are brahminy kites, rhinoceros hornbill (the largest hornbill species in the world), southern cassowary, channel-billed toucan, the rare Pesquet’s parrot (found only in Papua New Guinea) and the Moluccan cockatoo.

Here, birds are free to fly, glide or parade (as in the case of the peacock beauties) as they please. One of the amazing things to witness is the morning feeding session where birds of all colours and sizes suddenly swoop down from all sides in their rush to be the first at the feeding station.

Lucky visitors will get to witness the courtship display of the Indian Blue Peacock with its magnificent, colourful, five-foot train, or the yellow-billed stork build nests from fallen twigs. Also, don’t forget to say hello to the cheeky Indian Ring-necked parakeet, crowned pigeon (the largest of its species with a body the size of a turkey), the huge pelican, and the egrets, ibises, and flamingoes in the neighborhood!

Dancing with Butterflies

Entopia, Penang (entopia.com)

Have a fear of insects? Perhaps you can overcome it with close encounters of some of the world’s beautiful insects at Entopia. Situated at Teluk Bahang, Penang, it is a facility to learn all about insects and especially butterflies in a safe and fun environment.

Various species of butterflies “dance” freely in the so-called “The Natureland” outdoor ecological park. Those interested in entomology can walk among flying birdwing, autumn leaf, blue glassy tiger, and orange tip butterflies, among others. Certainly, one of the stars at Entopia is the beautiful Rajah Brooke Birdwing butterfly, one of the biggest diurnal butterflies in the world.

Apart from butterflies, other insects, invertebrates and small reptiles are also available at the park for study. These include the rhinoceros beetles, dragonhead cricket, dragonfly, firefly, leaf cutter ants, nephila spider, Malaysian giant scorpions, centipede, great angle head lizard, water monitor lizard, cat gecko, and many more. You can even see amphibians like tree frogs and poison dart frogs here. Learn more about them by signing up for the bug exploration sessions.

An Urban Farm

Farm in the City, Selangor (fitc.com.my)

Spread across an expansive 7 acres, Farm in the City is an animal-petting park where visitors wander around a Malaysian-style kampong or village while learning about more than 100 species of farm and unique animals from around the world.

Imagine strolling around the farm and encountering a rooster passing by, a tortoise grazing on a piece of vegetable, or an alpaca being led away! Well, that’s exactly what it’s like at this farm where many of the animals roam free.

Visitors can pet, stroke and feed animals such as fish, birds, hamsters, giant tortoise, rabbits and raccoons at selected times and under staff supervision. There is a popular section called “Longkang Fishing” where the young ones seem to have a whale of a time catching (and releasing) small fish in the ditch.

Besides the close interaction with animals, there are “briefing” sessions conducted by trained staff where you can learn more about each animal species, too. Get to know better the blue-tongued lizards, giant tortoises, star turtles, Javan deer, cute alpacas, rare white crows, Himalayan striped squirrels, meerkats, the Feenex fox, and more.

This outdoor park is dotted with various fruit trees and even has a spice and herb garden to explore. Nature guides are available and information signboard are full of information for young learners to know more about these animals and plants.

Hanging Out with Orangutans

Semenggoh Wildlife Centre, Sarawak (www.facebook.com/Semenggoh/)

Looking for friends to “hang out” within Sarawak? Take a 40-minute drive out from Kuching to Semenggoh Wildlife Centre, an award-winning rehabilitation center for orangutans in Malaysia. Here’s a chance to meet semi-wild orangutans, ranging from tiny infants and boisterous adolescents to dignified mature adults, all of whom are enjoying life in a secure natural habitat.

The orangutans here have been rescued from captivity and rehabilitated so that they are able to survive in the wild on their own again. So successful is the programme that today, the surrounding forest thrives with a healthy population of orangutans who are now even breeding in the wild.

They spend most of their time roaming the forest but frequently come back to the center for a free meal. If it is the fruiting season in the forest, some or even all of them may not come to feed at the center. This in itself is a good sign and another step on the way to full rehabilitation.

We recommend that you visit during the morning or afternoon feeding sessions – this is when these gentle creatures emerge from the surrounding forest to take their meals.

But, if in the event the orangutans shy away, Semenggoh is still a great place for birdwatching. Species like Yellow-rumped flowerpecker, Bornean black-magpie, long-billed partridge, red-bearded bee-eater and much more are there for you to find.

 

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Jalinan Kerjasama Budaya Melaka dan Sarawak

VISIT HISTORIC MELAKA MEANS VISIT MALAYSIA : MELAKA WORLD HERITAGE CITY UNESCO

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Tourism Melaka Short Visit To Kuching

Tourism Melaka Short Visit To Kuching

KUCHING, Tuesday – 27 officials from Tourism Melaka led by General Manager Norena Jaafar was in Kuching on January 13 for a three-day study visit.

The Melaka delegation including their dancers visited the Sarawak Cultural Village (SCV) to learn traditional Sarawak dances which they will perform in Melaka.

Norena said the delegation were particularly impressed with the new Darul Hana Bridge over Sungai Sarawak and its lighting at night.

They were also eager to emulate some of the Kuching Waterfront product experiences and activities.

The Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) hosted dinner for the delegation on Saturday night.

“We are excited to have Tourism Melaka coming to Sarawak to learn and experience the destination and this is the beginning of our working relationship which we hope to continue to work in promoting the domestic tourism,” says STB Chairman, Datuk Haji Abdul Wahab Aziz when welcoming the delegation.

According to Norena, they will plan another visit to Kuching during the Rainforest World Music Festival this coming July.

Melaka tourism

Second from left Norena Jaafar gives delegation t-shirt to STB Chairman, Datuk Haji Abdul Wahab Aziz.

Issued by:  

Communications Unit
SARAWAK TOURISM
T: +6 082-423600  F: +6 082-416700
E: [email protected]

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Taking a River Cruise At A Traditional Melanau Village in Sibu

Taking a River Cruise At A Traditional Melanau Village in Sibu

sibu-telian

Sibu is one of the main gateways for the central region of Sarawak, attracting locals from the surrounding areas. While he city serves as a massive trading ground for the surrounding interiors of Sarawak, I was actually quite amazed on how much culture Is found around here.

The city of Sibu is connected by flights and also using the traditional waterways using boats. In an experience I never thought I would do, I managed to catch a ferry from Kuching to Sibu, seeing how the coastal and river life still operates as if modernization ceased to exist.

sibu-telianCruising down the Telian River towards Mukah

From Kuching city, I boarded the ferry which takes almost five hours, stopping at various villages and towns along the way. This is also a common mode of transport for locals, and just to share with you that it also takes about the same time if you take a bus, only here you can relax and absorb the beautiful views.

Once in Sibu, I was introduced to a very laid back way of life in Sarawak, and visiting iconic places like the Sibu Heritage Center, Sibu Night Market and of course, the largest wet market in Malaysia, the Sibu Market. Soon after, I was on route to Lamin Dana, a traditional Melanau boutique guest house in the heartland of the Melanau people.

sibu-telian

A lone Melanau boatman going to work on his boat

Melanau People of the Telian River

It was here that I was exposed to the centuries old ways of the Melanau people. Lamin Dana is located by the Telian River or Tellian as some spell it, which is on the outskirts of Mukah, a coastal town in Sarawak.

The main Telian river runs from inland towards Mukah, and along the way, Melanau villages are built by the river here. Nearer to the coast, you will see more Melanau fishing villages and as you go upriver, you see a different type of Melanau village.

sibu-telian

Raw Sago trees cut into chunks floating in the Telian River

As I cruise down the river in a traditional Melanau wooden boat, complete with a small engine, I am captivated with how rich the river life is. Meaning that local Melanau people still use the river as a main source for everything. From cooking to washing and even Sago processing.

Sago is one of the main homegrown processes here, and along the Telian River, I saw two main Sago producers, and made a stop to see how the process was done. From the Sago tree, it is cut into chunks and processed by one family using old ways.

sibu-telianProcessing the raw Sago into little balls and baking them on a traditional fire stove

From there, the raw sago is sent to another home where it is then processed into little Sago balls and then baked with firewood. This process was done by skilled Melanau women who painstakingly do this on a daily basis. The younger generation is not seen anywhere, and asking, I was told that the parents have made sure that education was the priority and hence at school.

For me, this was truly an eye opener as I had always assumed that the the Melanau people were seafaring farmers. And little did I know that the Melanau were also found inland and by the main rivers. Asking my guide, I was told that the Telian Village is one of the few remaining traditional Melanau villages in Sarawak.

sibu-telian

The Melanau village by the Telian River known as Kampung Telian

Having experienced this, I would strongly recommend those wanting to see a different side of Sarawak to visit Sibu. Also, I would recommend taking the boat or ferry there from Kuching as it will show you a very unique and different side of Sarawak.

When you are here, do ask them about the walking tours around Kampung Telian as you will see how close the homes are, and how life is at here. My journey here was truly a fascinating and enchanting experience, and I believe it should be explored by other travelers.

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Photos by David Hogan Jr

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China Agents Responded On Sarawak Tourism Opportunities

China Agents Responded On Sarawak Tourism Opportunities

Kuching, Monday – 20 selected travel agents from Guangzhou and Shenzhen, China will be in the City to do tourism product inspection from December 28 to January 1 as part of the promotion initiative for Air Asia’s Direct Kuching-Shenzhen flight.

These top China agents are selected from the list of more than 70 agents that turned up at the Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) and Air Asia’s business sessions that were held in Guangzhou and Shenzhen on December 13 and 14 respectively.

The five-day familiarisation trip will enable the China agents to see and check for themselves the various Sarawak tourism product experiences and also the various hotel properties while at the same time they will be given opportunities to do networking sessions with local travel partners.

The Business sessions were being conducted by STB with five Sarawak hoteliers and eight travel agents attending to propose their tour packages to their China travel operators.

Meanwhile, Sarawak trade partners who participated at the two business sessions in Guangzhou and Shenzhen have expressed satisfaction on the outcome of the Roadshow trip.

The opportunity to meet up with quality big time China travel agents was intended to share business opportunities available in packaging the Sarawak tourism products and also a networking platform to discuss business potentials.

Meanwhile, the Assistant Minister for Tourism, Datuk Lee Kim Shin, who also led the roadshow delegation together with the Chairman of STB, Datuk Abdul Wahab Aziz, expressed satisfaction on the outcome of the trip.

“The Business sessions allow us to meet more than 70 China’s agents and they are very enthusiastic about Sarawak as it is seen as a new destination”, he said.

The proposed direct flight has given new window of opportunities for the industry and with the strong business support from these China based agents, we hope that it will turn a new chapter on China potential tourism market for Sarawak, he added.

He was optimistic that China’s huge tourism market will open up the travel and hospitality business in the State and bringing in tourism related investment opportunities to spur up development in the State.

“STB will continue to collaborate with Air Asia to tap the travel potential in South China especially now that we will have the direct flight and the need to sustain it,” he reiterated.

The Assistant Minister called on industry partners to prepare for the influx of China tourists with the availability of the direct flight and he equally hoped that more direct flight will be planned in the future connecting Miri to China as well.

Meanwhile, tourism promotion for the proposed direct flight was extended to Kalimantan Barat where Indonesians are expected to transit in Kuching to catch the flight to South China.

STB had earlier organised the Sarawak Travel Fair in Pontianak on November 17 to 18 and the proposed direct flight to Shenzhen which had received favourable acceptance to the Indonesians, said the Acting Chief Executive Officer, Mary Wan Mering.

Adding that it will be a double bonus to the state, the arrivals of Indonesian on transit to South China augurs well for the tourism arrival into the State, she said.

While admitting that air connectivity is crucial in getting the tourists into the state, she said   without it, a double hurdle challenge is in for us to promote the destination in the market place.

We are truly thankful to Air Asia for being able to look into our needs, she enthused.

China Agents

Picture show, the Sarawak delegation with Datuk Lee (front row fourth from left) with Datuk Wahab on his right with their China guests posing a thumb up photo opportunity   after finishing the Shenzhen business session.

 

Issued by:

Communications Unit
SARAWAK TOURISM BOARD
T: +6 082-423600  F: +6 082-416700
E: [email protected]

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