Bintulu, Sarawak is a place that you should visit if you’re looking for fresh air and beautiful surroundings. This town has even been ranked as the top tourist destination in Malaysia by Trip Advisor. From adventure sports to cultural exploration, Bintulu has it all! Come explore this hidden gem with us and experience what we call “The Spirit of Bintulu” today!
There are many national parks in Malaysia, but none as unique as Similajau National Park. Located about 30km away from Bintulu town, this park is home to beautiful beaches and lush rainforests. There is an abundance of nature trails to hike, gorgeous beaches to stroll at, rivers to take boat rides in, and it is home to more than 185 species of birds and 24 species of mammals. It is no wonder that this place is a haven for nature lovers and photographers, though be sure to book a permit in advance for professional photography or filming. A day isn’t enough to enjoy all these natural wonders, so you can opt to stay overnight in the chalet hotels, campsites, or one-stop interpretation centre. When you do this, you can join the night activities like dolphin watch and night walks. It is fairly easy to get here, a simple taxi ride will get you there. Best part? It’s not just open daily; it’s also open on public holidays!
Taman Tumbina Bintulu is an ecological park located in Sarawak, Malaysia. It’s a sprawling green landscape of nature and wildlife with an astonishing view of the surrounding mountains. The park was created to showcase the natural beauty of Borneo’s flora and fauna collection while also providing visitors with an opportunity for recreation and fun. There are many activities available at the park, such as hiking, camping, fishing, kayaking and much more. It is often described as a miniature zoo and botanical garden all in one. The park is open daily and is located 5km from Bintulu town centre in Tanjung Batu Recreational Area, at the end of Jalan Tun Razak. Don’t worry about getting there, as it is accessible via public transport (bus and taxi). Do note that it is completely different from Jungle Trekking Taman Tumbina Bintulu, which is only 5 minutes away from it, as most people tend to get these two mixed up. Be sure to bring water with you!
Kampung Jepak Bintulu is a small traditional fishermen village with residents from different racial and religious backgrounds, though a majority of the inhabitants are Melanaus (Bintulu Melanaus) and Malays. It has great mountain views and beautiful rivers that can be enjoyed by kayaking or rafting and is a mere 20-minute drive from Bintulu town, separated by Sungai Kemena. If you are interested in learning how fish and shrimp are processed into the umami or cincalok, popular delicacies amongst the locals, the locals of Kampung Jepak would be more than glad to help to shed some light! One can get to Kampung Jepak by tambang (from main town of Bintulu) or via road from Bintulu-Sibu road (exit to Kuala Tatau/Kampung Jepak).The worst time to visit Kampung Jepak Bintulu is during the wet season when it rains all day long.
The Tua Pek Kong Temple is a major landmark of Bintulu town, as is believed to be traced all the way back to the 1890s. This Taoist temple is located at Bintulu town centre, along main bazaar Road, opposite the Esplanade. This landmark is historically significant to the Chinese community, as it was originally built to symbolize stability and continuity to the early Chinese immigrants that were far away from home in an unfamiliar land. It is now a popular spot for prayers before new business projects or ventures, so if you’re planning to visit this place, be sure to go early in the morning, as it tends to get crowded during lunchtime. It is also open daily to both visitors and worshippers. Be sure to wear comfortable clothes and shoes, because there will be quite a lot of walking involved.
The Council Negeri Memorial is located in the city of Bintulu, Sarawak. It was built to commemorate prominent figures in the state’s history and important events that have taken place there since the 1800s, specifically 8th September 1867, where Sarawak’s first State Legislative Assembly meeting was first held. The memorial has a number of features, including an exhibition gallery, an information centre, and several sculptures made by artists from all over Malaysia. It is actually quite near Tua Pek Kong Temple and is within walking distance, so why not visit these two important Bintulu landmarks in one go?
Many might not know this, but Bintulu is quite prominent in the oil and gas industry. The Kidurong Tower is a small observation tower at Tanjung Kidurong that doesn’t just overlook Bintulu’s oil and gas facilities but also structures that are lit up for miles around. Kidurong Tower is a symbol of the spirit and culture of Sarawak. Due to it being situated on one of Bintulu’s hills in the outskirts of town, it also provides visitors with a panoramic view of the surrounding nature. If you are planning to stop by here, you don’t have to worry much about meals or accommodation, as there are a variety of restaurants and hotels nearby. Suffice to say, it is not difficult to find it. You can go there shortly after dark when flame-offs from refineries make an awe-inspiring sight!
Uma Belor Leo Dian is considered one of the best Kayan longhouses and potentially could be longer than any other structure in Sarawak. It is the longest suspended building consisting of seven connected blocks occupied by a total population estimated at 700 people. It is usually packed during school holidays or major festivals such as the Gawai (Harvest Festival). Uma Belor Leo Dian, listed in the ‘Homestay’ program by Malaysia’s Ministry of Tourism and a result of the Sungai Asap Resettlement Scheme, is an interesting stayover for visitors. You may find yourself learning about farming and orchard activities before eventually cooking some delicious food or even seeing how their wine Burak (local name) is made! This all sounds intriguing, right? There’s even more good news…you can actually opt to stay there overnight! As for transport, it can be arranged in advance with the contact person/s and a 4x4WD (5 pax) or Van. It takes about three hours to travel from Bintulu gateway town, Uma Belor longhouse — but there are many routes you could take!
The Bakun Dam is a fascinating example of how science can bring about change. When constructed, it resulted in an impressive natural attraction that has become another outstanding tourism destination within Sarawak. The vast expanse offers a picturesque landscape, with plenty of activities to keep you busy! You could stay afloat on your jelatong (a local floating house) or go for a joy ride through rapids nearby! This place provides adventure seekers everything they’re looking for, with great amenities and fresh water supplied to the rooms, besides being home to natural massage experiences for tourists. Infringed along the Indonesian border, this hidden gem, however, may be a little challenging to get to unless you are determined to enjoy the unique experience of staying here. It would take approximately six to eight hours by a four-wheel drive along dangerous and treacherous roads. Thus, it is still untainted, kept in pristine condition.
Pasar Tamu and Pasar Utama Bintulu are both markets in Bintulu that offer a variety of goods for sale. They are extremely distinctive, as they have cone-shaped roofs that symbolize the traditional Melanau headgear, the terendak. These markets, located side-by-side and divided into many parts by types such as fruits or vegetables. It has become an important stopover on the tourist trail because both rural folks and visitors can find what they’re looking for here! You’ll be hard-pressed not to purchase some delicious delicacies from this market if you visit at all – try out their belachan (shrimp paste) & cincalok (fermented shrimps). These traditional ways have been passed down through generations, so every bite will taste pure and natural, without any additives whatsoever. It is also easy to locate, as it is quite near to the Esplanade. It is also open daily.
This gem of a place is just located 15 minutes away from Bintulu town, accessible via car. It is the perfect place for activities like picnics, jogs, or swimming, besides providing fantastic sights. It’s also about a 10-minute walk from Taman Tumbina, and a great place to end your list of travel stops in your itinerary. There is a food centre there, so you can enjoy the local cuisine while taking in the scenery. Be sure to come on weekdays though, as weekends will bring in bigger crowds.
Bintulu is a must-visit spot, and you can definitely get your time and money’s worth here. It may be small, but it certainly will leave a huge impression on visitors!