Sarawak , which is affectionately known as the "land of the Hornbills", stretches about 700 km along the northwestern coast of Borneo covering a total area of 125,000 sq. km. This largest Malaysian state is home about 2 million people comprising more than 24 different races / indigenous groups who live harmoniously, celebrating their colorful cultural and religious festivals throughout the whole year. At present, about 68 percent of Sarawak's land area is still covered by virgin jungles and forest.
Viewed from the air, this states is a great expanse of undulating greens crisis-crossed by mountainous terrains and rivers, so many that they look like the veins of a leaf. Hidden among these towering greens are an abundance of flora and fauna. The world's largest cave chamber and South East Asia's longest cave passage are found at the Mulu National Park. Today, 9 national parks, 3-wildlife sanctuaries and 1-wildlife rehabilitation center have been gazette to protect and preserve these natural heritages.
One of the most striking features of Sarawak is its natives' longhouse. These elongated and stilted structures often built of axe-hewn timber, tied with creeper fibred and roofed with atap ( thatched leaves ) can house between 20 to 100 families under one roof.
Kuching is the capital and administrative center of Sarawak. It is a riverine town sitting on the southern bank of the famous Sarawak River and about 32 km from the South China Sea. Its strategic location makes it a bustling riverine port, which plays an important part in its overall development.
Kuching, with a population of about 490,000 people, is well served by air from major destinations including Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru, Kota Kinabalu, Singapore and Brunei. Inaugurated as a city on August 1, 1988, it boasts beautifully landscaped parks and colorful markets, mingling among an interesting mixture of modern and historical buildings inherited from its exciting past.
The banks of the Sarawak River still maintain their old magic, highlighted by many traditional Malay houses built on stilts, historical landmarks and traditional boatmen paddling in their small wooden boats known as "tambang".
A tour of Kuching itself is a journey of history and culture. Among the interesting attractions are the Sarawak Museum, Fort Margherita, Court House, Tua Pek Kong Temple, and the Astana, formerly Palace of the White Rajahs. At the 890 m – long Kuching Waterfront Esplanade, one can further savour remnants of the old days such as the Chinese Chamber of Commerce building, the Square Tower, old shop houses selling antiques and souvenirs.
The Damai Tourism Belt , located 34 km north of Kuching, is a "must-see" tourist attraction. It comprises the Santubong Kuching Resort, Holiday Inn Resort Damai Beach, Damai Lagoon Resort, an international class 18-hole Damai golf course designed by golfing legend Arnold Palmer, and Camp Permai – an outward-bound school-cum-recreation centre.
Wedged in between the Damai Beach Resort and Camp Permai is the award - winning $10 million Sarawak Cultural Village, an ideal spot for those who want to see how the natives live in the rural areas but are deterred because of time constraints. Within the Village's sprawling 6.8-hectare site are seven representative ethnic houses built according to authentic styles and replete with real traditional artifacts. The village is known as a "living museum" because natives live in the various houses and make handicrafts.
About 2 km before reaching Damai sits Santubong , a picturesque Malay Fishing Village cum beach "resort". It was an important trading post in the 9th to 13th century and has provided some interesting archaeological finds. Mangrove Forest and Island tours can be arranged from here.
At the 25 km junction along the Kuching-Damai route is a road leading to the Buntal Fishing village . This scenic area is famous for its relatively cheap and succulent seafood.
Satang Island, is situated offshore from Santubong and Damai, in Sarawak. The Island consists of two small islands, Pulau Satang Besar and Pulau Satang Kecil.. Traditionally, the island is a haven for turtles on their migratory journey around the world. Between May and October, the island is the perfect time for green turtles to come ashore and lay their eggs at the island. Pulau Satang Besar and its surrounding waters are protected as a sanctuary for these endangered turtles. The turtle sanctuary, is supervised by the Sarawak Turtles Board of Management in close cooperation with the Sarawak Museum and the Sarawak Forestry Department. To ensure that the turtles survive, park rangers collect the eggs, count them and replace them in a beach hatchery. When the hatchlings emerge from their eggs after 40 to 60 days, rangers record their numbers and release them into the sea.