Sarawak Borneo will amaze you with its culture and natural beauty. The Island of Borneo has probably one of the richest and diverse ecosystems I ever saw, but unfortunately, many of its forests have been lost for oil palm, putting wildlife and people in danger.
I started my trip in the capital Kuching and I used bus, boat, motorbike, bicycle, and minivans to travel, these are the places I visited :
? Kuching / Santubong peninsula / Bako National Park / Semenggoh Nature Reserve/ Bau / Kubah National Park
Explore Kuching and it’s an old colonial charm by foot, losing yourself in its magnificent streets from china town, Indian neighbourhood and the riverfront. I highly recommend you to visit the museums they are really good, look up for street art and don’t miss the sunset on the riverfront.
To visit the other side of the river, get one of the local boats (1RM each side), go for a walk, enjoy the view and try a traditional Kek Lapis (layer cake).
In Kuching, you can rent a motorbike in the city for 40RM a day to explore the small villages around including Santubong Peninsula, a nice quiet town with great views and beaches.
I went to the Matang wildlife centre but I don’t recommend it at all, they may do a good job at rescuing and helping the animals but they are all in small cages, I found it quite depressing.
Bako National Park
We got the red bus nº1 stopped in front of the open market in Kuching to Bako National Park (3.50RM) the park entry is 20 RM, and the boat 40RM both ways (runs from 8 to 15h). You definitely need to spend at least a day there and do a couple of trails. The park as beautiful mangrove swamp, luxurious rainforest, streams, waterfalls, and if you’re lucky (like me ) you may see proboscis monkeys in their native habitats. This park has incredible biodiversity, which includes almost every vegetation type in Borneo.
Semenggoh Nature Reserve
We went to Semenggoh Nature Reserve to see semi-wild orangutans in their natural habitat for that we got a bus from Kuching (4RM) at 7:20 from the open market stop. Once in the reserve, you need to walk to the feeding point, the entry is 10RM. Be aware that you may not be lucky enough to see them. They have 2 hour-long feedings, 9am to 10am and from 3pm to 4pm.
Next stop was Bau, the bus from Kuching takes an hour, the bus is an old one so expect a sweaty journey (4.5RM). Bau is a small clean and organised town, has a good market, a food court and a Chinese temple that deserves a visit.
Once in Bau we realised that was difficult to find public transports to take us to the different caves so we started walking and hitch-hiked. Hitchhiking was safe and we meet really nice and interesting people. We visited the fairy cave (5RM), a really nice and impressive open mountain cave, no light needed. then we took another lift to the wind cave Nature reserve (5RM) for this one you need a torch, there is plenty to see and lots and lots of bats.
If you plan to come back to Kuching by bus, the last one departs at 3:20, but never trust the bus schedules 🙂 they often leave early.
Kubah National Park
To go from Kuching to Kubah National Park, get the bus K21 (4RM) and its an hour ride. The entry is 20RM. The park is gorgeous with lots of hills, ups and downs.
I personally found it quite tiring, so get your legs ready. The park offers several trails from one hour to several hours, you can’t buy food or water in the park, so bring something.
I did a couple of trails including the trail to the waterfall where you can get refreshed and visited the frog pond.
The last bus the Kuching is at 1:30 but if it doesn’t appear you will have minibus passing and you can ask them to stop (5RM)
Sarawak is not known for its beaches, I went to Damai beach but I don’t recommend it at all.
photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha
Information and testimony about being a vegan in Sarawak – A vegan in Sarawak
Sarawak‘s food is just amazing, and the only problem you will have being a vegan is not to gain 10kg 🙂
?Sin Wei Tong cafe – has a vegetarian stall, great food around 5RM per dish. some dishes have an egg but can request without.
?Shun son yen – vegetarian restaurant by the kilo, with delicious food and fresh juices I paid around 15RM for my meal. Make sure you go early to have all the options still available because the food goes quickly. You can try a bit of everything.
? water front – there are food stalls and restaurants that have great vegan options.
?Zhen Xiang Zhai, delicious food and a good place to try the Sarawak laksa, they close at 3pm. A meal with drinks will cost around 15RM you can choose from the buffet or order off their menu.
?open marker – a lovely local place to explore.
?Food fair, at the time you are visiting Kuching check if they have a food fair, they have all kinds of food, but be prepared for a crowded place.
?Bau food court– One of the food stalls serves exclusively great vegan food but other stalls still have a few options, have a look and ask around.
Other food in the region
? Seri Muka – Malaysian sweet with rice with pandas leaves
? Steamed Buns – easily find any food markets and street stalls. They have vegetarian fillings like – sweet been past, Kaya, Pandan or black sesame paste.
? Kendal, a dessert made with coconut milk, green jelly noodles (rice flour)
?ABC, made out of shaved ice and a variety of ingredients such as red beans, fruit, sweet corn, grass jelly, etc..
? Ondeh-Ondeh, glutinous rice flour dumplings filled with ‘gula Melaka’
? Sticky coconut rice with palm sugar and mango
? Fruit and Vegetables, don’t miss it …
? Other treats
photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha