Sarawak – island of Borneo

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).

Santubong Peninsula

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 

19 thoughts on “Sarawak – island of Borneo

  1. Janice Wald

    I almost became a travel blogger because I travel often. Now I blog about blogging. I love all your photos. I often take photos of the places I’ve traveled. Last summer I was in French Polynesia.
    I met you at Suzie’s blog party. Maybe you can check out my blog if you need any blogging tips. That’s when I write about. I also have blog parties like Suzie. I am actually having one this weekend and would love for you to come.

    • cook the beans

      Hi Janice, thanks so much for your message, I checked you email and looks very useful I will need to spend more time exploring it 😉 Ana xx

  2. carolineschroniclesblog

    That’s fascinating, thank you for your post. We’re hoping to visit next year so your guide will be really useful x

  3. Sonder Out Yonder

    I will be living and studying in Sarawak fir almost 6 months. I am so excited and reading your blog has made me even more excited 🙂

    • cook the beans

      Hi Jenna, you are really lucky, Sarawak is such a beautiful nice place, and during your 6 months you will have plenty of time to explore all the wonders of that land… I really hope you have a great time there, and I will be following all your adventures 🙂 all the best Ana xx

  4. coloradotravelingducks

    Great photos. I visited Borneo 14 years ago on a tour, so love your blog. Good memories and so much that I did not see. Love the good part and, of course, some things are quite sad. Look forward to your next adventure.

    • cook the beans

      wow I can’t imagine how different Borneo was 14 years ago… thanks for passing by 😉

  5. heystefanie15

    Great photos! Borneo looks like such a incredible place! I hope I’ll get the chance to visit sometime soon

    • cook the beans

      thanks so much for visiting and leaving a comment 🙂 Borneo is definitely a must go 😉

  6. Marc and Ann

    Thank you for your honest response to your trip! I love reading a blog that tells the good and bad. I can’t believe how much of Borneo you explore and your photos are ?! I visited Sepilok to see the orangutans but preferred seeing them in the semi natural habitat at the national park. I felt sad on Borneo seeing so much of the jungle destroyed for palm trees. Thank you for sharing!

    • cook the beans

      I felt the same when I saw the deforestation… its incredible how many miles you can do surrounded only by palm trees :/

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