Penang National Park

Nature lovers will love the Penang National Park, the latest addition to the country’s family of national parks.

You will be impressed by its list of attractions – 417 flora and 143 fauna species, 1,000 plant species and a lighthouse that was built in 1883.

Habitats found here include the rare meromictic lake, mangroves, mudflats and a hill dipterocarp forest. Diverse trails will take you through the lush rainforest, leading to romantic bays with lovely sunsets and secluded beaches favoured by the Green and Olive Ridley turtles. You can also get to these beachside attractions by sea.

Must do:

  • Go jungle trekking, bird watching, fishing and camping in the park
  • Visit the turtle conservation centre
  • Try the Canopy Walk and experience

Royal Belum

The pristine Royal Belum is nestled within the protected Belum Valley in Gerik. New species of trees and insects have been discovered in this 117,500-hectare virgin rainforest, which is also one of the few places in Malaysia where you can see the rare Rafflesia. Comprising a complex ecosystem, this state park is situated in the northern part of Lake Temengor and is a haven for mammals like the seladang, Asian Elephant, Malaysian Tiger and the endangered Sumatran Rhinoceros as well as birds such as the hornbills.

Must do: Go for jungle trekking, bird watching and wildlife sightings

Iban Longhouse

The iban longhouse tour at Batang Ai is a unique experience to be cherished. Lemanak River is about four hours’ drive from Kuching. Visitors will get an opportunity to journey upstream along the river on a wooden longboat, before arriving at the longhouse where many interesting activities await. Be awed by a blowpipe demonstration, see how rice is cooked in bamboo tubes and watch a traditional native dance.

Batang Ai is the site of the 24,040ha Batang Ai National Park. it is home to the endangered gibbons, orang utans and hornbills. Just outside the park is the fivestar Batang Ai Longhouse Resort, offering longhouse-style accommodation with all the trappings of modernity.

Bako National Park

Bako National Park offers visitors an excellent introduction to the rainforest and coastline of Borneo with its rainforest, abundant wildlife, jungle streams, waterfalls, interesting plant life, secluded beaches, panoramic rocky shoreline, bizarre rock formations and extensive network of trekking trails. Bako may not have an instantly recognisable star attraction, but there can be very few places in the world that pack so much natural beauty into such a limited area. Its accessibility – and its sheer range of attractions and activities – have made Bako one of the most popular parks in Sarawak.

Gazetted in 1957, Bako is Sarawak’s oldest national park, covering an area of 2,727 hectares at the tip of the Muara Tebas peninsula. The well-maintained network of nature trails – from easy forest strolls to full-day jungle treks – allows visitors to get the most out of this unique environment.

Bako contains an incredible variety of plant species and vegetation types, and this is one of the park’s great attractions. At Bako it is possible to see almost every type of vegetation found in Borneo.

Bako is probably the best place in Sarawak for wildlife experiences. The park has been a protected area since 1957, so the animals are less wary of humans. Visitors who stay overnight will have countless opportunities to observe and photograph various types of wildlife.

The best times for seeing wildlife at Bako are just after dawn and just before dusk, when the animals are at their most active. You are more likely to see animals on the trails if you go in small groups, walk slowly, keep as quiet as possible, and listen out for sounds and movements in the forest. For example, you are likely to hear a strange grunting sound or the crash of leaves long before you actually see a proboscis monkey.

Niah National Park

Millions of bats and swiftlets, numerous historical sites, ancient tombs and a primary rainforest come together to enchant visitors at this national park. Sprawling over 3,238ha, Niah National Park enjoys great popularity among history lovers and researchers for its archaeological significance. The Great Cave here was inhabited by prehistoric men nearly 40,000 years ago. Among the relics unearthed include Neolithic paintings and Paleolithic artefacts. Another attraction is the Painted Caves, where depictions of human-like figures were found near an ancient burial site. Niah National Park is accessible from Miri and Bintulu. it is situated about 109km from Miri or 131km from Bintulu.

Must do:

  • Explore the forest trails
  • Visit the iban longhouse nearby
  • Enjoy a boat ride
  • Explore the Great Cave to see the excavation sites
  • Visit Niah’s famous Painted Cave

Mulu National Park (A UNESCO World Heritage Site)

One of the most outstanding attractions in Sarawak, Gunung Mulu National Park is a treasure trove of vertical cliffs, jagged limestone pinnacles and intricate cave networks. The area is a paradise for researchers with some 20,000 animals and 3,500 plant species.

Tours and caving expeditions are available from the park office. Visitors can choose from introductory, intermediate or advanced tours depending on their experience and fitness levels. Tours are accompanied by World Heritage Guides. To truly appreciate the beauty of Mulu, visitors are advised to allocate at least several days for their trip here. Accommodation ranges from camp sites, forest huts to the exclusive Mulu Marriott Resort nestled amidst the rainforest. Mulu is accessible by air from Miri.

Must do:

  • Visit the four show caves – Deer, Lang, Clearwater and Wind Caves
  • Watch millions of bats from the Bat Observatory
  • Make your way to The Pinnacles
  • Trek along the Headhunters Trail to Limbang
  • Go up the 480m Mulu Canopy Skywalk
  • Explore the Medicine Plants Trail

Lake Kenyir

Sprawling 209,199ha, Lake Kenyir is the site of Malaysia’s largest hydroelectric dam. Lake Kenyir is also an alternative gateway to Taman Negara, a magnificent national park. this entryway to Taman Negara is commonly referred to as the Tanjung Mentong entryway.

Lake Kenyir’s location on the fringes of Taman Negara makes it a thriving playground for small animals, snakes and birds. the rugged terrain, streams, waterfalls, caves and submerged forests make it an excitingdestination for eco-adventures and water sports.

At the southern end of the lake lie Gua Bewah and Gua Taat, two intriguing caves. the former was the site of archaeological discoveries with artefacts such as axes, tools and utensils dating back to the neolithic age. Gua taat on the opposite is smaller in size but contains interesting stalactite formations.

Visitors are advised to take note that fishing is only allowed at certain areas. Lake Kenyir is located about 55kmfrom Kuala Terengganu and the nearest town is Kuala Berang. Accommodation ranges from houseboats, lakeside resorts and floating chalets. visitors can reach Tanjung Mentong through the two jetties in Gawi and Jenangor. the motorboat trip cuts across Lake Kenyir in about 45 minutes.

Must do:

  • Explore the Taat and Bewah caves
  • Conquer the peak of Gunung Gagau (1,376m) for a view of the entire region
  • Go kayaking, canoeing or boating
  • Take a nocturnal tour to see wild animals and their footprints
  • Go mountain biking or rock climbing
  • Go angling to land a variety of freshwater fish
  • Visit the Herb Farm
  • Make a trip to the Lasir and Saok Waterfalls
  • Birdwatching