fun things to do with kids in sarawak malaysia   Travel for Kids


Sarawak is called "Land of the Hornbill," and this area of Malaysian Borneo is a tropical rainforest, teeming with unusual flora and fauna, from the carnivorous pitcher plant to tiny mouse deer, saltwater crocodiles, cute orangutans, noisy macaques and bearded pigs. Traveling with kids in Sarawak is a nature adventure.
      Head down to the Kuching Waterfront on the Sarawak River. Walk along the promenade along the river where you can watch the tambang (sampan) boats. Kids can run around the playground with modern play structures or the hornbill fountain. Climb up the viewing tower for a view of the city. The waterfront has plenty of cafes and outdoor seating for snacks.
      Take a tambang boat across the river to Fort Margherita, once a fort to defend against pirates along the river, but now the Sarawak Police Museum (exhibits of weapons). Or, take a longer cruise up the river.
      Kuching means "cat" in Malay, and all around town you'll see statues of cats, including the big red and white plaster cat on Jalan Padungan. If anyone in your family loves cats, take a trip to the suburb of Petra Jaya to see the Cat Museum (housed in Kuching North City Hall). There are cats in all kinds of shapes and sizes, Chinese paintings of cats, Japanese porcelain cats, wooden cats from Africa, stone cats from Egypt, cute kitten photos, and a giant cat statue kids can climb all over.

Stop in the Sarawak Museum to see the natural history collection of local animals, ethnic arts and crafts, and archeological reconstruction of the Niah caves. The Aquarium has a collection of brilliant tropical fish. So the kids can stretch their legs, take a run around the artificial lake or rent a boat in Reservoir Park.

  Bako National Park – This park has beautiful beaches and jungle hikes on 16 walking trails. The trails pass through varied vegetation, from mangrove swamps to dense forest to sandy beaches (look for pitcher plants). The beach at Pandan Kecil has singular rock formations jutting out the water.
    Bako has a lot of unusual animals, including monitor lizards, long tailed macaques, snakes, proboscis monkeys (only found in Borneo), squirrels, mouse deer, silver-leaf monkeys. In the mangrove swamps, look for otters, crabs, kingfishers and the hornbill bird.
    There are long, flat, white sand beaches in the park. Be sure to bring your swimsuits, and spend some time at the beach. A friend writes, "You just can't beat swimming in the warm South China Sea and looking back to the beach where monkeys are crashing through the trees."
  Matang Wildlife Centre (Kubah National Park) – The Matang Wildlife Centre is the spot to see orangutans, up close in a natural setting. Kids will enjoy the feeling of holding a baby orangutan (like a slightly orange little sister or brother …). The Wildlife Centre also has rock pools and waterfalls, nature trails, picnic area and swimming spot.
      Hike on the trails in Kubah National Park –You'll pass by clear streams and waterfalls in the jungle. (Bring your swim suits to take a dip in the pools on the Waterfall Trail.) Keep an eye out for hornbills, butterflies, mouse deer and bearded pigs. The four trails vary from easy strolls to all day hikes.
      Note: When it rains, the leeches come out, so check your shoes.
    Sarawak Cultural Village (Damai) – This outdoor museum is a faithful recreation of houses and lifestyles of different ethnic groups in Malaysia – Bidayuh, Iban, Melanau, Penan, Orang Ulu, Malay, Chinese. Each house has different demonstrations – wood and bamboo carving, reed weaving and beadwork, pounding rice or crushing sugar cane. Kids can learn how to spin a top or shoot a blow gun. Don't miss the traditional music and dance performances.
Simalajau National Park – This small national park has pretty beaches, some where green turtles lay eggs. Take a boat from the park headquarters to Golden or Turtle Beach.
Visit an Iban longhouse – Hire a guide (or arrange for a tour) to visit traditional Iban longhouses built on stilts. You can see the Iban making dugouts, weaving reeds, watch cockfighting and blow gun demonstrations, music and dancing in traditional costumes. Your kids might have fun playing badminton with the local Iban kids. There are Iban villages along the Skang and Lemanak Rivers, or in the area from Miri to Bintulu.
Kids on the Niah River, Malaysia
Niah Caves National Park – Visit the largest limestone caverns in the world, even more remarkable, because 40,000 years ago, people lived in these caves. A thousand years ago, one cave was painted with red figures that cover the walls. And, today, people use the caves to collect bat guano to sell as fertilizer, or gather bird's nests for bird's nest soup! To get to the park, take a boat down the Niah River from Batu Niah. Enjoy the boardwalk through the forest (lots of birds and butterflies) to arrive at the caves.
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