The largest state of Malaysia Sarawak, or "country of hornbills”, is located on the third largest island in the world - Borneo. Sarawak is full of surprises. Not only it has rich history, but also, nature has generously endowed Sarawak with most beautiful flora and fauna.

Once, Borneo was part of a large continent that combined Borneo and neighboring Indonesian Sumatra. Sumatra, in turn, according to scientists, has been linked with the current mainland Malaysia, a small isthmus. However, millions of years ago, a grand cataclysm has divided the area of land in several parts, thus defining the unique flora and fauna of Borneo. Some plants and animals - are endemic - found only here, and most of them, whether it is the world's largest carnivorous flower Rafflesia or friendly orangutan, live here in Sarawak.

Kuching - the capital of Sarawak, was built along the shores of Sarawak River. Colonial buildings, charming promenade, running along the streets of Jalan Gambier, churches, parks, markets, supermarkets and shops with antiques dealers are the main attractions in the city. 

One of the main attractions of the city - the palace of White Rajah, Charles Brooke, built in 1870. The building was erected in honor of his beloved wife, as a gift, by a British citizen who ruled Sarawak during those years. Now called an Astana Palace building is situated on the opposite bank of the river from the city of Sarawak. It looks charming by day and totally mesmerizing at night when it is lit in colorful illuminations, reflecting in the river and living vibrant memories of the city. Today the palace is the official residence of the governor of the state, and the place for many official events.

Another building that Brooke presented to his loved one is Fort Margherita. It was built in 1879 to protect the city from pirates and to this day bears the name of the white ruler’s wife. In 1945, after Japan's surrender, the son of Charles Brooke, came to the board, convinced that the authorities in Sarawak to be handed over to the British crown, for which he received a rich reward. Today the fort houses the Museum of the police.

The courthouse in downtown is yet another architectural landmark that tells the story of Brooke’s deeds. Since the mid-nineteenth century the building was occupied by the government of the state and today it houses the Supreme Court of East Malaysia.

Of the many temples worth visiting in Kuching, the most vibrant is probably Sarawak State Mosque, for the construction of which millions of dollars have been allocated form the Treasury. It certainly adorns the city with its golden domes. And, of course, the temple Kuek Seng Ong, built in honor of the great deities, giving a blessing to anyone who accesses it. Fishermen often visit this temple to pray for a better catch till these days.

a98625d74a03c83bf409c336d94b7f32 Ethnographic village of Sarawak 
This is not a museum, but real life in its most original performance. The village tells about all the ethnic groups inhabiting the territory of Sarawak. Here you can get inside the traditional Long House standing on high wooden stilts, in which Aboriginal tribes of Borneo live in huge families for several generations.

In one of these homes you will see artists, decorating the bamboo sticks with intricate patterns, in another a tribe of warriors dance to the drums and gongs, in the third shamans will reveal the secrets of their communion with the spirits of the local jungle.

Sarawak Museum
Visit this old museum which sits in the historical building which was built in 1891. It will definitely be interesting to all who care about the unique culture of Borneo. But even here, not without Brooke: most of the museum's collection assembled by his close friend Alfred Wallace. Naturalist, a follower of Darwin's theory, he managed to capture the history of Sarawak, gathering many of its artifacts.

The museum not only houses artisan crafts of local tribes, but also their musical instruments, smaller models of traditional houses, life-size boats, and more ancient archaeological finds. It also has a fairly good collection of stuffed animals from the jungle of Borneo.

Santubong Village 
This fishing village lies on the shores of the Santubong river, thirty-two kilometers from Kuching. During excavations in the village first evidence of Buddhist presence in the state was found. Buddhism has been brought here by Chinese, in the ninth century BC, that have made this place strategically important trade point.

Rehabilitation center for orangutans 
Rehabilitation center for orangutans caters for the small ones found abandoned by mothers in the jungle. Center helps young orangutans get acquainted with wild life and returns them back to wild after they reach a certain age and develop skills to take care for themselves and their tribe. Reserve is located thirty kilometers from Kuching in Semenggoh.

Best time to visit the center is during feeding time when orangutans come to a designated area from their jungle enclave. Yet, it’s not a zoo, so there is no guarantee and you might not see any. Embassy Alliance Travel suggests that you plan to visit real living long house tribe nearby, so that your trip will not be wasted in case you don’t see the orangutans.

Crowning the list of attractions of Sarawak are its wonderful caves, a unique monument of nature Niah Caves are located in just 3 kilometers from Niah town. The traces of the oldest Southeast Asian human settlements have been found on the walls of these caves. Another park, Mulu National Park, houses world’s largest cave, called Dear Cave. Its size is so large the few Boeing planes can fit inside.


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