Overview of Sarawak Tourism :
The wildlife preserves in this area include the Bako National Park, the Batang Ai National Park, an orangutan sanctuary at Semmongok, a turtle sanctuary at Pulau Satang.
Culture Symbol: Longhouse
The longhouse is the very center of communal life of Sarawak tourism. To visit a longhouse is to look deep into the State's soul. As most traditional longhouses are riverside dwellings, the real longhouse experience begins with the journey upriver. River travel in a perahu - a shallow draught canoe - affords you the pleasure of seeing Sarawak at its best.
As you arrive at the longhouse, it is customary to be greeted by the longhouse maidens and young men performing traditional dances and playing ceremonial songs. From the moment you step inside the longhouse you will be treated as an honored guest. Visitors will be offered a glass of tuak - the very palatable local rice wine. As the sun is eclipsed by the moon, weary from your day's travel, and a night of dancing and feasting, retire to the ruai- a covered verandah - for a good night's sleep. Visits to these longhouses are one of the highlights of a trip to Sarawak.
Bako National Park
For eco-minded adventurers, Bako National Park, some 37 km east of Kuching, is a fascinating bio-sphere to explore. Comprised of sandstone cliffs, sweeping beaches and idyllic bays, this 26 square kilometre park offers an abundance of flora and fauna. At least seven major types of vegetation common to Sarawak tourism are to be found here. The most significant animal in the park is the long nosed proboscis monkey, unique only to Borneo.
Gunung Gading National Park
Sarawak is the home of the world's largest flower, the Raffesia measuring up to a metre across. For more than 10 years Gunung Gading has been a conservation zone to protect these unusual blooms.
While the huge flowers are the main attraction, this park, covering a series of rugged mountains near Lundu in southwest Sarawak, has plenty of other attractions. Waterfalls and clear jungle streams provide excellent bathing spots. There is also a series of jungle trails at Gunung Gading. Just half an hour from the park is the coast with its sandy beaches and picturesque villages.
Cave Systems : World's most extensive
Sarawak tourism's massive limestone outcroppings are honeycombed with caves, carved over millions of years by the run off from tropical downpours. The world's most extensive cave system so far discovered is in the Mulu National Park. So far, 310 kilometres of passages have been surveyed and this is thought to be only one third of the passages that exist. Exploration is continuing.
Mulu is not the only extensive cave system. The huge cave at Niah was home to prehistoric humans 40,000 years ago. While most of the caves are for serious and well-equipped cavers only, sections of the more accessible passages have been equipped with lights and marked paths for tourists.
Trail of Adventure
Adventure is Sarawak tourism's other name. With the world's oldest rainforest covering 70% of the State - an area the size of Austria - and some of the most spectacular geography anywhere, the State offers challenges at all levels.
Sarawak tourism offers some of the world's best jungle treks, you don't need to mount an expedition to see the jungle, the national parks have well-marked trails that offer half-day and full day walks to trips lasting a week or more. While the national park trails are well marked, for longer treks you will need a guide and porters to carry camping equipment.
Scuba Diving :
Largely unknown to the diving world, Sarawak has dive sites that have been compared favorably with Sipadan and Australia's Great Barrier Reef. The best sites are found on a live-aboard trip that allows you to explore the Luconia Shoals, first explored in the 1980s by divers from Brunei Shell Petroleum. The visibility is astounding as is the variety of marine and coral life. You can dive among World War wrecks and share them with giant manta rays.