Sarawak - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Sarawak

Sarawak

Described as Asia's best kept secret, Sarawak is the largest state in Malaysia, and also its richest and most varied. It is situated on the island of Borneo, and along with Sabah, makes up East Malaysia, which is separated from Peninsula Malaysia by the South China Sea.

Like her neighbour, Sarawak is equally celebrated for its natural beauty and diversity. This diversity extends to its rich cultural heritage and its preservation of traditional lifestyles. Sarawak's numerous Dayak tribes still live in longhouses - these are whole village populations living in one structure, with separate rooms opening on to a communal veranda. This communal spirit is extended to visitors who are invited to stay overnight.

Sarawak's natural wonders can best be experienced in its national parks, ancient rainforest and wildlife centres, where intriguing species of fauna and flora, caves and untouched coral reefs can be found; the clear waters off the coast afford an exceptional diving experience.

Kuching is Sarawak's capital, an interesting city and good base from which to explore the national parks. Its rich historical past can be seen in a variety of museums, including the Sarawak Museum, or outside the city at Damai visitors can get to grips with the cultural heritage at the Sarawak Cultural Village. Gateway to the north east, the resort city of Miri is fast becoming state's most popular tourist destination, and is renowned as an adventure city. It boasts a wide range of accommodation options, good beaches, a lively nightlife and is within reach of several national parks and natural attractions, as well as some of the best diving in Borneo.


Information & Facts

Language
Bahasa Melayu is the national language, but English is widely spoken and is the language of business. Cantonese, Hokkien and Hakka are spoken by the Malaysias Chinese population and Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi among the Indian population.
Money

The Malaysian Ringit (MYR), also referred to as the Malaysian Dollar, is divided into 100 sen. Malaysian banks charge in the region of US$2-3 for foreign exchange transactions. Moneychangers are generally quicker to deal with and do not charge commission; their rates however are variable. Pounds or dollars are the easiest to exchange. Travellers cheques can be exchanged at banks and some hotels. All major credit cards are accepted at upmarket hotels, shops and restaurants. ATMs are widely available.

19 Miles (30km) of trails wind through this park of tropical rainforest, mangrove swamp and rocky headlands. Protected species of Hornbill and proboscis monkey are at home here and walkers can expect to see diverse plant and wildlife within its boundaries. Permits are required and can be obtained in advance from the Sarawak Tourist Association office.

The Great Cave of Niah is one of the largest limestone caves in the world, and an archaeological treasure house. It was here that archaeologists discovered the evidence of man's existence dating back 40,000 years. A display of tools, rock paintings and human skulls tell the story of ancient civilisations. The rest of the park is dominated by limestone vegetation and the magnificent Gunung Sabis peak at 1,294ft (388m).

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