(divided among 3 countries: Brunei; Indonesia; & Malaysia)
Sights & Sites
●Tanjung Puting National Park – orangutang spotting.
●Sipadan-Kapalai Dive Resort – 484, 1st Floor, Blok P, Bandar Sabindo (Ligitan Reef, off Pulau Sipadan); 011-60-89-765-200; sipadan-kapalai.com; enough brightly-colored fish to make universities, not schools; no mosquitoes, no beach, no palm trees, no bars; just spacious chalet web on wooden stilts above ocean that stretches all way to horizon; 40 minutes by speed boat from east coast; 20 minutes more to Sipadan; rudimentary food and spartan bar.
●Annah Rais Longhouse Homestays – 71 Kampung Annah Rais (Jalan Borneo Height, Padawan); 011-60-16-722-2590; longhouseadventure.com; traditional longhouses in which you can stay as guest; entire village maintains traditional lifestyle; human skulls kept in stack in “head-house” date to 1700s.
Sights & Sites
●Kuching Wetlands National Park – Damai Beach; sarawakforestry.com; pristine mangrove forests accessible only by boat; breeding home for proboscis monkey and man-eating crocodile.
●Fairview Guesthouse – 6 Jalan Taman Budaya; 011-60-82-240-017; thefairview.com; nice location in secluded garden; walking distance to museum and reservoir.
●Hilton Kuching Hotel – Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman; 011-60-82-428-984; www1.hilton.com; clean and modern.
●Singgahsana Lodge – 1 Temple Street; 011-60-82-429-277; singgahsana.com; backpacker youth hostel.
●Jambu – 32 Crookshank Street; 011-60-82-235-292; jambuestaurant.com; French-accented cuisine, including luscious desserts; in colonial, elegant mansion.
●Popular Vegetarian – Abell Road, Lot 105, Section 50; 011-60-82-238-752; strictly vegetarian, tasty food; Bornean, Chinese, and Malay dishes.
●Teochew Chinese Hawkers’ Center – 23 Carpenter Street; Chinese and Sarawakian dishes.
●Top Spot Food Court – Padungan Street; garishly lighted with colorful neon; improbably perched atop multistory parking garage; fresh fish and seafood.
●Borneo Adventure – 55 Main Bazaar; 011-60-82-245-175; borneoadventure.com; travel agency that organizes highly regarded, ecologically sustainable excursions and tours.
●Weekend Market – Satok Street (half mile from town center); runs from midday Saturday until Sunday afternoon; culinary highlight.
Sights & Sites
●Fort Margherita – Kampun Boyan; snow-white fortress in English Renaissance style, garnished with crenellations, octagonal keep, and pepper pot turrets; overlooks river from atop cliffs; built in 1879 by Charles Brooke (Sarawak’s 2nd “White Rajah”).
●Gunung Gading National Park – 5 minutes from Lundu (2 hours from Kuching); 16 square mile, “old growth” rain forest overlooking South China Sea; Sarawak’s best locale for spotting Rafflesia flowers (when in bloom, blossoms up to 3' across; blooms are rare).
●Semenggoh Nature Reserve – Semenggoh; 35-year-old nature center that rehabilitates formerly captive orangutans; 2.5 square mile area among world’s best places to see these apes.
●Waterfront Promenade – half-mile long ribbon of flower beds, food stalls, and tropical trees; strings of fairy lights in evening give magical atmosphere; make sure to visit “Main Bazaar,” where colonial-era Chinese shop-houses still do business.
●Lamin Dana – Restoran Sapan (Kampung Seri Tellian); no phone - contact by email at email@example.com (Diana Rose); lamindana.blogspot.com.