Sarawak, the gateway to Borneo

Sarawak, Malaysia’s largest state, is positioning itself as the premier entry point to Borneo with its “Gateway to Borneo” campaign at ITB China 2024

Located on the island of Borneo, Sarawak boasts a variety of unique attractions ranging from UNESCO World Heritage sites to world renowned music festivals.

Sarawak is positioning itself as the Gateway to Borneo not only as a geographic distinction but also as an embodiment of a contemporary and timeless aesthetic that will resonate with international travellers’ evolving tastes. This strategic campaign reinforces the state’s commitment to digitalisation and highlights Sarawak’s pivotal role as the entry point to the wonders of Borneo.

Nicknamed the land of hornbills thanks to the large number of these giant birds that live there, Sarawak is perhaps most well-known as Malaysia’s treasure trove of natural wonders. World-famous national parks are scattered across the island where visitors can hike along nature trails and encounter some of Borneo’s rarest species in the wild, like the Rhinoceros Hornbill, or the world’s largest flower, the Rafflesia.

The Sarawak Delta Geopark spans an area of 3,112 square kilometres and is rich in unique landscapes, including 28 rock geosites, 12 diverse biological geosites, and 14 cultural geosites. It features a variety of earth formations and is home to Bornean endemic species like the orangutan, the proboscis monkey, and the fairy rock gecko. The geopark also celebrates the region’s rich cultural heritage with its unique buildings, musical instruments, and its diverse variety of ethnic food​​.

For adventure travellers, Sarawak has plenty to offer, for example kayaking in Kampung Bengoh or trekking up the mountain slopes at the Gunung Mulu National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Further out to the coast of the island await Sarawak’s pristine sandy beaches. Among them is the Talang Satang National Park, the first dedicated marine turtle conservation area in Sarawak.

Visitors can also take a step back into history by visiting the Niah Caves located in the Niah National Park. The caves are a historical treasure trove that contain some of the oldest human vestiges in Asia, which date back some 40,000 years. The National Park is currently awaiting a final decision in July of this year as to whether it will be granted UNESCO World Heritage Site status.

In addition to its natural and cultural wonders, Sarawak is a street food haven bustling with both locals and tourists. The best and most authentic local treats can be found at street stalls and night markets. In Kuching, the capital city hailed by UNESCO as a “Creative City of Gastronomy” in 2021 and found to be the 11th cleanest city in the world by IQAir, the Siniawan Night Market is a great place to sample local delicacies as well as shop for souvenirs.


Sarawak is also a hub for performing arts as the host of the annual Rainforest World Music Festival, a global celebration of musical diversity that brings together musicians from around the world to showcase the music and instruments unique to their cultures and heritage.
The 2024 edition of the festival will be held in Sarawak from 28-30 June and feature Grammy and Golden Globe award winner Kitaro from Japan. Joining the headliners from West Malaysia is Dato’ Zainal Abidin, along with Sarawak’s own Belle Sisoski, a performer who stands out for her advocacy of indigenous peoples’ rights, the environment, and musical conservation.
This year’s festival also features a wide variety of international artists such as Alright Mela Meets Santoo from Pakistan and France, Bourbon Lassi from Australia and Malaysia, Imarhan from Algeria and France, Krakatau Ethno from Indonesia, Nini from Taiwan, and a band specialising in Cuban music and Latin American rhythms, Havana Social Club, among others.

Sarawak, the gateway to Borneo
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