Sarawak, one of Malaysian states on the island of Borneo neighbouring Sabah is located on the north west of the island. Famously known as Bumi Kenyalang (it means Land of the Hornbills), it is the largest state in the country. Sarawak’s capital, Kuching has a population of over 600,000 that comes from plenty of ethnic groups namely Dayak Iban, Chinese, Malay, Melanau, Bidayuh, Penan, Kelabit and Kenyah.
Major cities in Sarawak
Other major cities of Sarawak including Sibu, Bintulu and Miri. Similar to Sabah, this state has no ethnic majority and thus, making it a rich multicultural state. The state is divided into several administrative divisions including Sibu, Miri, Limbang, Kapit, Kuching, Sri Aman, Mukah, Betong, Bintulu and Sarikei.
Sarawak’s history can be traced back when James Brooke arrived in the state. Prior to the arrival of Brooke, the state was under Brunei Sultanate administration. In 19th century, under control of Pangeran Indera Mahkota, the state was in chaos. The then Burnei Sultan, Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin II gave out his orders to Pangeran Muda Hashim to settle the chaos.
History Of Sarawak
When Brooke arrived in Sarawak, he refused assistance when Hashim requested for it. Several years later, when Brooke went to Sarawak for a second visit, he agreed to help out to restore the state, which was then already in poor condition.
As a result, Hashim signed a treaty in 1841 to hand-over Sarawak and Sinian to Brooke. In addition to that, Hashim also promoted James Brooke as the Governor. Brooke took the advantage to establish White Rajah Dynasty of Sarawak and extended his administration with Brunei Sultanate when he finally became Rajah of Sarawak.
White Rajah Dynasty under Brooke’s administration ruled the state for more than a hundred years. Over the years, the administration provided assistance to protect the rights of indigenous population against exploitation. Besides that, they have also enlisted Ibans and a majority of other ethnic groups as a contingent militia. When Chinese immigrants decided to settle down in the state, the administration discouraged them from migrating to outside of town in order to minimize impact on Dayak traditional lifestyle.
Top Tourist Destinations in East malaysia
Since Sarawak is a rich multicultural state, it has been branded as one of the top tourism destinations in the country. There are plenty of festivals celebrated annually in the state. Perhaps, one of the most popular event is The Rainforest World Music Festival.
This is an annual 3-day music festival with a diversity of world music held in Sarawak Cultural Village, Kuching, the capital city of Sarawak. Among some of the activities featured are evening concerts, crafts and cultural displays and also daytime music workshops. Visitors get to watch world class performance by Joey Ayala (Phillipines), Te Vaka (Samoa), Namgar (Mongolia), Tarika Be (Madagascar) and plenty more. The festival was founded by a Canadian music instrumentalist, Randy Raine-Reusch.
Sarawak major events
Other events of the year including the spectacular water sports event – Sarawak Regatta. It has always been a premier event that displays historical and cultural elements. First held in 1872, the event features a series of interesting activities namely dragon boats, traditional longboats, climbing greasing poles and also pillow fights. This grand affair is one of the major event to encourage foreign tourist to visit Sarawak.
Another fascinating event of the year – Miri International Jazz Festival aims to be the leading tourism driven music festival in the region. Featuring Miri as a city of cosmopolitanism and relaxing lifestyle with the organization of such grand event, the festival has featured performance from Alamode (Australia), Bombay Baja Brass Band (UK), Dites 34 (France), Double Take (Malaysia) and plenty more.
Other colourful events including Kuching Festival and Gawai Festival. The festival is organized annually every August featuring a series of stage shows, concerts, nightly exhibitions and competitions. First organized in April 1986, the festival aims to promote Sarawak’s culture and arts.
Sarawak Geographical Information
Kuching is the state capital of east Malaysian state Sarawak. It is located within the eastern part of the state. Kuching is located south of Petra Jaya while Asajaya is over at the east. Meanwhile, the southern part of Kuching is where Samarahan is located while Serian is further down south. All other major towns of Sarawak like Bintulu, Miri and Kapit are all situated on the eastern parts of Kuching.
The city centre of Kuching is made up several main roads while the likes of Jalan Matang come in from the north. This will then head towards the west where it then joins with Jalan Batu Kawa-Matang which leads down south before coming to the Jalan Batu Kawa-Bau and Jalan Semantan intersection. Jalan Semantan will then head east where it will then go into the city centre.
Inside the Kuching city centre, the main road that cuts across the entire city is Jalan Datuk Tawi Sli where the Boulevard Shopping Mall is located. This main road will then open up to other major roads like Jalan Rock, Jalan Green before heading up to Jalan Satok which will then head on toward other roads like Jalan Tan Sri Ong Kee Hui and Jalan Batu Lintang.