Sarawak, The Giant Playground

by Audrey Lim, Nov 16, 2001 | Destinations: Malaysia / Sarawak

Malaysia has many parks, especially in the state of Sarawak. In my humble opinion, each of these parks is a national treasure in their own rights. The myriad flora and fauna that are safely preserved by strict laws and the many ethnic groups that call these places their homes - truly these parks are not mere conservation areas.

Here is a summary of Sarawak's National parks - we will cover each one separately in more detail in subsequent articles. These parks are accessible to all visitors who are eager for some adventure. The national parks are either located near a city or deep in a jungle, but the quiet charms and refreshing air from the world's oldest rainforest awaits the curious visitor

National parks/reserve centers found in Sarawak:

Bako National Park
I would recommend the Bako National Park as the first stop as this place is located just a short ride from Kuching. This is also Sarawak's oldest national park and is home to the rare proboscis monkey.

Lambir Hills National Park
Welcome to the world's most bio-diverse forest. Lambir Hills National Park contains some yet-to-be-discovered plans and insects and is also home to more than 1000 species of trees. Bring a change of clothes as well as you might love to take a dip in the waterfalls or bathing pool!

Gunung Gading National Park
Want to see the world's largest flower? If you are lucky enough, you might just spot the Rafflesia at Gunung Gading National Park. The large bloom can go to about one meter across the petal. Aside from the beautiful flower, you will also get to see majestic waterfalls and other rare flora. A great place to visit!

Kubah National Park
Looking for a refreshing day trip that will cool the mind and cleanse the soul? How do crystal clear rivers, grand waterfalls, and serene surroundings sound to you? Located just 20 kilometers from Kuching, the Kubah National Park is a good spot for that quick getaway!

Niah National Park
Gua Niah or the Niah Caves are very famous in Malaysia. For the longest time, humans, dating back some 40,000 years ago, have inhabited the caves. In 1958, there has been discovery of Paleolithic and Neolithic paintings and artifacts. It is also here that the oldest burial site in Southeast Asia is found. The expensive birds' nests are also found here. Collected by the local Penans, these people will climb up using flimsy bamboo scaffolds to collect the nests.

Similajau National Park
Located in the Bintulu Division, the Similajau National Park was gazetted in the year 1978. A national park of exceptional beauty, Similajau is rich in flora, fauna and unique geological characteristics. There are many lovely beaches to attract visitors as well as other offshore activities. Truly this is a natural paradise.

Loagan Bunut National Park
At Loagan Bunut, you will be able to find Sarawak's largest scenic lake. Famously known as the disappearing lake, you won't be able to find it during the dry spells. Why? Well, it simply dries up, shrink and disappear. This is also the perfect spot for bird watching. Want to know more about the Berawan people who stays around the lake? Here is your chance to learn more of their culture and their interesting fishing practices.

Batang Ai National Park
The Batang Ai National Park surrounds a huge lake and is home to wild orang utans, gibbons and hornbills. At this park, you can also view some of the traditional Iban longhouses. For those who can't bear to be away from their creature comforts, then you will like this park, as there is a nearby Batang Ai Hilton Longhouse Resort that is absolutely classy.

Gunung Mulu National Park
Each national park has its own unique selling point. Gunung Mulu National Park is not lacking in this aspect. This national park has, without a doubt, the world's most extensive cave system. It also has the world's largest cave chamber with limestone pinnacles and is the perfect spot for adventurous people who enjoys jungle trekking, rock climbing, and kayaking. Want to meet the locals? Here you might bump into the nomadic Penans.

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Visitor Information:*

Booking Office:
National Parks and Wildlife Center Office,
Visitors Information Center,
Lot 31, Jalan Masjid,
93400 Kuching,
Sarawak, Malaysia.

Contact Information:
Tel: 6082-248088
Fax: 6082-248088/256301

Reservation Fee:
10% of the total accommodation charges

Entrance Fee:
RM3.00 (adult)/RM1.00 (child/student)

Photography Fee:
RM5.00 (camera)/RM10.00 (video camera)

* Source: Sarawak Tourism Board