Contact: +6085 414 300 or enquiry@planetborneotours.com

Pesta Nukenen Bario 2015

The unique Pesta Nukenen Bario 2015 is taking place from 30th July to the 1st August up in the highlands of Bario in Sarawak and this is one amazing and unique festival anyone should not miss when visiting Sarawak. Known as the Bario Food Festival, this three day festival promises visitors a time to remember as you will experience the unique Kelabit foods being served and sold here. Apart from the food, you will also witness the stunning Kelabit culture and heritage throughout the festival in this far-away town 1000 meters up in the cooling highlands.

Visitors to the Bario Highlands  can expect pure authentic Kelabit food prepared by the highly skillful local chef’s who have carried the recipes from generation to generation and one of the highlights here is seeing how they are prepared in the traditional Kelabit longhouses which are scattered around the highlands. However, the main Bario town will be the core of the Pesta Nukenen so you will witness everything around the main town area.

For anyone seeking a cultural experience, this event and festival is highly recommended as it is one of the rare festivals celebrated in this part of the world. Apart from the cultural and food experience, you will be spoiled by the beautiful natural landscape surrounding this highland village. Trekking, hiking, rafting and bird watching are some of the main activities here for the outdoor lover.

Bario Highlands

Bario Highlands

Bario Food Festival 2015

Bario Food Festival 2015

To get to Bario, there is only one option – a 16-seater turboprop plane which flies in from Miri city. There are no other options unless you desire to travel 14 hours overland via a 4WD through the old logging roads. Bario has probably one of the smallest airports in Malaysia and MASwings services this place with 3 daily flights. During the Nukenen festival, there will be 3 additional flights added making it 5 flights a day.

Accommodation in Bario is limited to only homestays but some of them are pretty cosy and unique. You can always book a Bario Tour Package with Planet Borneo as we specialize in these kind of unique tours. For further information on the Pesta Nuneken Bario 2015, please contact us anytime and we hope to see you at the Bario Food Festival 2015.

Events and Festivals in Sarawak

Events and Festivals in Sarawak for 2015 offers visitors many different experiences throughout Sarawak. Most of the events are held in Kuching, while many outdoor events are all over Sarawak. The list of events range from adventure, music festivals, food festivals, sports events, conventions and exhibitions, Kite festival and many other cultural related events. The list below follows by month and for anyone interested in visiting these events and festivals, please take note of the dates and the locations.

among some of the world recognized events, visitors can look out for the Borneo Jazz Festival, Rainforest Music Festival, Tidal Bore Festival, World Harvest Festival, Kite Festival and also the Borneo International Beads Conference 2015. One to also lookout for is the ASEAN International Film Festival and Awards 2015 held at Kuching.

Borneo Jazz 2015

Borneo Jazz Festival 2015

The list of Events and Festival in Sarawak for 2015

Earth Hour 2015
Date: March 31
Where: Kuching Waterfront

MV Logos Hope (Cruise Ship)
Date: April 2-29, Mon-Tue: 2pm-9.30pm, Wed-Sat: 10am-9.30pm, Sun: 1pm-9.30pm
Where: Berth 6, Sim Kheng Hong Port, Pending
Contact: +6010 9606178

ASEAN International Film Festival and Awards (AIFFA 2015)
Date: April 9-11
where: Unnamed Venue, Kuching

Baleh-Kapit Raft Safari 2015
Date: April 11-12
Where: Kapit town, Kapit

Tidal Bore Festival (Pesta Benak)
Date: April 17
Where: Batang Lupar Riverfront, Sri Aman

Mukah Kaul Festival 2015
Date: April 22-27
Where: Tapak Pesta Kaul, Kuala Dana, Mukah

The Bornean Frog Race 2015
Date: April 25
Where: Kubah National Park, Matang, Kuching

World Harvest Festival 2015
Date: May 1-3
Where: Sarawak Cultural Village, Kuching

Borneo Jazz Festival 2015
Date: May 8, 6pm – May 9, 12pm
Where: Parkcity Everly Hotel, Miri

Runners Wild Bario 2015
Date: May 16
Where: Bario, Miri

Pesta Babulang 2015
Date: Jun 1
Where: Kampung Batu Danau, Limbang

Live Active Run 2015
Date: June 14, 5.30am
Where: The Spring mall, Kuching

Interbike Hash 2015
Date: July 10-12
Where: Bau, Kuching

Pesta Nukenen – Bario Food Festival 2015
Date: July 30 – Aug 1
Where: Bario, Miri

Borneo Cultural Festival 2015
Date: July 30 – August 8
Where: Sibu Town Square, Sibu

Rainforest World Music Festival 2015 (RWMF’15)
Date: Aug 7-9
Where: Sarawak Cultural Village, Kuching

Padawan Raft Safari 2015
Date: Aug 16
Where: Kampung Annah Rais, Kampung Temurang, Kampung Danu, Kampong Git, Padawan, Kuching

World Technical Vocational Education & Training (TVET) Conference 2015
Date : 25 – 27 August 2015
Where: Borneo Convention Centre, Kuching

Borneo International Kite Festival 2015
Date: Sept 1
Where: Old Airport Runway, Bintulu

Sarawak Regatta 2015
Date: Sept 25 – Sept 27
Where: Kuching Waterfront

Sibu Base Jump
Date: Sept 21
Where: Wisma Sanyan & Sibu Town Square (Phase I), Sibu

Sibu International Dance Festival 2015
Date: Sept 22-26
Where: Sibu town

Borneo International Beads Conference 2015
Date: Oct 9-11
Where: The Waterfront Hotel, Kuching

Borneo Talent Awards
Date: Nov 27-28
Where: Sibu Town Square, Sibu

Sibu Big Bike Week
Date: Dec 4
Where: Sibu town’

Anyone visiting Sarawak during any of these events should pre-book their travel and hotel arrangements in advance. You can also contact us for arrangements as our company is also linked to some of the events due to Planet Borneo Tours being the official ground transfer. If you have any questions about the Events and Festivals in Sarawak, please contact us anytime as we are always ready to assist you.

Sarawak Kolo Mee

Sarawak Kolo Mee is hands down one of the must-try foods when you are visiting Sarawak Borneo. Kolo Mee or Mee Kolok is actually noodles served dry with chicken of pork meat and a bowl of soup and this dish is found just about anywhere in Sarawak. For any foodie or food enthusiast, the difference between one seller and another can be hugely vast and based on our experience as locals, we have tried many different types where each one has its own little distinctive taste. Well, the next time you are in Sarawak, just pop in to any local coffee shop, restaurant or cafe and order the Kolo Mee.

Due to Malaysia being a Muslim country, Kolo Mee comes in two genres, the halal one which serves chicken meat and the non-halal one which serves pork meat. Both are different based on the types of sauces used to prepare them and this of course, gives all walks of life an opportunity to savor this Sarawakian local favourite. In the smaller towns of Sarawak, yo can find some really awesome Kolo noodles, it’s all a matter of asking around which in turn, may lead you to one of the best in the town too. Try it the next time you are here.

Red Kolo Mee

Red and Normel Kolo Mee

And, there are also a variety of Kolo Mee found around Sarawak, which includes the standard Kolo Mee, Soup Kolo Mee, Red Kolo Mee and even Fried Kolo Mee. Each having their own taste and flavor, this is definitely something any foodie should try on their travels. If you have tried some, do let us know your feedback as we are quite curious to know what you think of this dish.

Planet Borneo organises all kinds of tours from general tours to photography tours and even customised tours which can include food tours around Kuching or even Miri in Sarawak. Do inquire with us if you have any questions and on your next visit, please make sure you try some of the varieties of Kolo Mee here in Sarawak.

Penan Longhouse in Mulu

For anyone heading to Mulu and if you use the traditional way, you will notice a number of traditional Penan Longhouses along the river to Mulu. This is currently how the Penan people live in the remote areas and nowadays in more modern longhouses provided by the government. The Penans are one of the indigenous ethnic people of Sarawak too. One of our unique Mulu overland tours includes taking the long route there via a long boat through the interiors of the Mulu National Park. Along the way, you will encounter a number of Penan Longhouses like in the photo above.

Usually, the Penan people will stay in longhouses where each one will easily hold about 5 to 10 families. In each longhouse, it is divided into rooms where each room will house one family. Similar to the Iban longhouses, these are very simple and basic. The Penan people are generally a nomadic tribe but in modern days,they have resorted to farming and agriculture and have since stopped moving around.

Penan Baskets

Penan Baskets sold at the market

Penan Tours Sarawak

Penan lady weaving a basket at the market

At one of the main Penan Villages, you will be treated to a local Penan Market that sells all kinds of ethnic accessories, craft and wood carvings. Here, the local Penans will greet and welcome you to their market to shop and most likely, you will end up buying some Penan souvenir as they are simple beautiful. Some of the traders are seen making the handicraft at the market too.

On the Mulu tours with long boat, you will make a couple of stops at local Penan villages where you can utilise the toilets and do a walk about here before continuing your journey to the Mulu National Park. This is one very unique tour which takes you about 5-7 hours cruising through the rivers of Sarawak. Planet Borneo offers a Mulu Overland Tour where visitors can experience the original way of going to Mulu. We have done this many times and trust us, this is something you will never forget in your travels. Do let us know if you have any questions on the tours or about the Penan Longhouse in Mulu.

Chinese Temples in Kuching

While you explore the beautiful city of Kuching, you would most likely chance upon a couple of Chinese Temples here and both of them are open to visitors. Carpenter Street has two main entrances which is the East Entrance and the West Entrance. The East Entrance is located along Jalan Wayang and here stands a beautiful Hokkien Temple called Hong San Si Temple which is pretty hard to miss. The bright red colors at the side of the wall and the intricate temple designs are sure to catch your attention. This temple is one of the most beautiful temples in Kuching and is highly recommended to visit.

On the West Entrance which is located opposite where the Harmony Arch and General Post Office is located. Nearer to Little India as well. Here, you need to walk in about 100 meters and the temple is located on your right side. This Teochew Temple is called the Shang Ti Temple and has some very nice painted doors and brickwork. During Chinese festivals, loads of red lanterns are strung up for the ceremonies here and the best time to visit this place is around Chinese New Year in Kuching.

Temples in Kuching

Inside the Chinese Temple

If you are visiting Kuching in February, namely around the 15th till the end of the month, there would be a lot of lively activity at both temples so don’t miss out on this opportunity to catch the Sarawak Chinese New Year festival here. If you are afraid of fire crackers, please stand at a distance as they can be really loud too. Another thing to watch for in the two weeks after Chinese New Year are the Lion Dances along the streets here. A colourful spectacle not to be missed.

Do check with Planet Borneo for any speciality tours needed while you are in Kuching as we cater to all kinds of tours and services for Sarawak and Borneo. Hope to bump into you at any of the Chinese Temples in Kuching.

What to do in Kuching

While Kuching is the capitol of Sarawak, there are quite a number of things that can be done around the Cat City. Many may also ask the popular question – What to do in Kuching? Fear not as we take some time to fill you in with what can be done while you stay here. Forst of all, Kuching means Cat in the Malay language and one of the first things you will notice are the multiple cat sculptures and structures around the main city area. For anyone coming to Sarawak, Kuching will most likely be the first place you will disembark at before moving on to other places in Sarawak as the main international airport is located about 15 minutes from the city. Kuching boasts of some exciting culture, food and heritage where one can explore the many pre-war shophouses in old Kuching town.

Kuching city Tours

Chinese temple near the Main Bazaar in Kuching

Main Bazaar Antique Shop

Antique shop at the Main Bazaar

Sightseeing in Kuching

In the newer part of the city, there is the Kuching Museum which is known as one of the best museums in the world to visit. Nearby, the most popular part of town is called the Kuching Main Street Bazaar. It is here where you will find all kind of shops selling souvenirs, antiques, nick-knacks and the prized Sarawakian handicraft. Across the Main Bazaar is the Kuching Waterfront where one can catch the Sarawak River Cruise to further explore the mighty Sarawak River.

Overall, exploring on foot will let you see a number of historical buildings, temples and museums in the vicinity. If cities are not your thing, a number of travelers would also opt for day trip tours to Bako National Park or even the traditional longhouse tours. One highly recommended place to visit is the Kuching Cat Museum, only if you are a feline lover.

Main Bazaar Kuching

Main Bazaar in Kuching

Nightlife in Kuching

Every city has its nightlife and entertainment spots and in Kuching, Jalan Padungan and Jalan Wayang is where you will find these places. Well known for bars, cafes and clubs, many of the locals flock here especially on weekends to enjoy. Notable spots include The Junk, Living Room and Bla Bla Bla. The places can get busy especially at Backstage, The Junk as this is one of the most popular spots here. Other notable spots include The Drunk Monkey Old Street Bar at Carpenter Street while there are a couple of other smaller bars here.

Sarawak Laksa Kuching  Chong Choon Cafe, Kuching Kolo Mee in Kuching

Eating in Kuching

Many will say that Top Spot, a popular seafood restaurant area located on the top floor of a car park in town is the best place and yes, we do agree with that as it is recommended to go only in the evening. However, if you are a true foodie, there are many notable local coffee shops and restaurants that serve some good authentic Sarawakian food. Notable ones to try are the Sarawak Laksa and Kolo Mee which can be found at Chong Choon Cafe which is located at Lot 121, Jalan Abell in town. Another notable Sarawak Laksa can be found at Woon Lam 1999 Cafe which is at Jalan Song Thian Cheok in town too. For the extreme foodie, we recommend you try the Sarawak Belachan Bee Hoon which is found at the local Padungan Food Center off Jalan Padungan. This is a highly acquired taste so be warned.

Kuching Photo

Kuching River

Finally, if you are in Kuching for a couple of days, you can easily explore town on foot. Everything is just a walk away. Finding a taxi in town can be tricky too as taxis usually gather at taxi stands rather than drive around. Plus all the taxis here operate on spoken price instead of meters. Anyhow, you need not take a taxi when you are in Kuching town. Our Planet Borneo Tours and Travel office is also just 5 minutes walk to Kuching town center, so if you are in the neighborhood, do look us up as we also have the Planet Borneo Lodge here.

For anyone visiting Kuching in Sarawak, we hope you have a great time and experience here and enjoyed this article about what to do in Kuching.

Miri Country Music Festival 2015

Next February, the 2nd Miri Country Music Festival 2015 will take place at the Everly Parkcity Hotel here. Based on the success of the first year, the 2nd Country Music Festival promises more music, fun and celebrations. As many may not know, Miri is located in the northern section of Sarawak on the island of Borneo. The resort city also borders Brunei and Sabah Borneo making this place a popular destination for travelers, tourist and just about anyone.

The Miri Country Music Festival or MCMF is organized by Unicoms and supported by various organizations here which include the Sarawak Tourism Board in assisting to promote Miri as a musical destinations. As it is, Miri is home to the Borneo Jazz Festival and also the Asia Music Festival where the MCMF is the third music festival that will keep the visitors busy in the early part of the year.

The region of Miri is also dominated by the love of country and western music influence and this goes back a long way therefore, country music is no stranger to the locals here. The MCMF is also for both the young and the old especially country music lovers and the activities include a craft and food bazaar offering various stalls selling wide varieties of food, games and souvenir items. Around the festival, there are also  music and dance workshops while the main event is the concert in the evening.

Below are also photos from the 1st Miri Country Music Festival 2014.

Miri Country Music Festival 2015

The start of the country music festival at about 6.00pm

Miri Country Music Festival

Even the hotel staff were dressed to the Country theme

Mel and Jo

Mel and Joe from Singapore were very popular here

Miri Country Music Festival 2015

The crowd at the festival

Sarawak Tourism Minister

Sarawak Tourism Minister made a special appearance to the Miri Country Music Festival

Johnny Rogers

Johnny Rogers during the finale of the festival

UNICOMS Sarawak

Unicoms staff dressed to the occasion

The concert features country music bands from around the region of Asia while the highlight band is usually from the USA. In the last festival, popular country band Johnny Rogers Band from the USA was the main star here and for the MCMF 2015, the line up of performers should be out before the end of this year. If you love country music, this is your opportunity to catch the first of its kind here in Borneo as the Miri Country Music Festival 2015 is all set to entertain Sarawak.

Early Bird Rate Tickets Available

  • RM60 for Adult – inclusive 1st drink
  • RM30 for Child – inclusive 1st soft drink/ice cream
  • Get your tickets today by going here.
  • you can also buy tickets at the door on the day at Parkcity Everly Hotel Miri

Planet Borneo will also be selling Miri Country Music Festival Packages which include stay and tickets.

For more information, you can visit the official Miri Country Music Festival website.

See you at the 2nd Miri Country Music Festival 2015!

Photography in Kuching

For photographers visiting Kuching, it is recommended you explore Carpenter Street in old town Kuching to get some of the beautiful street photography offered here. Carpenter Street is located just behind the Main Bazaar by the Kuching Waterfront and is on of the most visited streets in Kuching for any traveler.

Carpenter Street is dotted with old shops in the form of coffee shops, traders, grocery shops, hotels, restaurants, furniture shops, goldsmiths and temples. A one way street which is narrow and shops on both sides, the fun here is walking along and spotting some of the unique features. There are two main temples on this street which are open to anyone. A notable place to make a stop is at the Black Bean Cafe, well known for one of the best coffee places in Kuching too.

Check out some of the photos below taken on a walk around Carpenter Street here in Kuching. On a good day, it is possible to get some really beautiful photos.

Kuching Photography Spots

Dragons in Kuching

Old Kuching Photography

view of the State Parliament House from Carpenter Street

Kuching Photography

3D effect of a tiger at one of the temples here

Kuching Rent bicycles

Double bicycles for rent

Street Kuching Photography

Not for rent

Temple in Kuching

One of the temple lanterns

Kuching Art Photography

Temple characters

Kuching Street Photography

Beautiful decorations on a temple roof

As for food, there are numerous choices which include the open aired food court called  Lao Ya Keng Food Court which serves some great Chinese Sarawakian food, but avoid the Sarawak Laksa here. The Temple opposite the food court is called Siang Ti Temple which is quite nice to photograph. Walking further down, you will pass various shops before coming to the end of the road which is where the Hong San Si Temple is located. Hard to miss, this Hokkian temple has a bright red wall at the side. The ornaments and decorations are pretty interesting to photograph.

For the photographer, we recommend you explore Carpenter Street via foot to fully experience the old Kuching. Alternatively, there is a shop there which rents some unique group bicycles where you can cycle around Kuching to take photos. The best time of course is also in the mornings when the place is busy. By about 3.oopm, things start to slow down over here and by 4-5 pm, shops are closing. If you want to book a photography tour in Kuching or Sarawak, you can always contact Planet Borneo tours as we have a special department for this. Hope you enjoyed our Carpenter Street Photos in Kuching and hope to see your photos one day.

The much awaited Borneo Bird Race 2014 is going to happen in three countries around Borneo, namely Sabah, Sarawak and Brunei. The race is to be held from 24 Sept to 3 Oct 2014 in collaboration with Brunei Tourism, Sarawak Tourism Board and Sabah Tourism Board and  this event is specially organized for Birders and Photographers primarily to promote Borneo Island as one of the premier birding and nature tourism destination in Asia.

In this year’s race, Sarawak is included under Race Location 3 which is at the Borneo Highlands Resort just outside of Kuching, Sarawak which is sited on an 850m to 1,300m elevation in the Gunung Penrissen Important Bird Area, provides access to the mid-mountain forest in Kuching district. The overlooking road provides good birding and vantage viewpoint across the Kalimantan border too. With a total of 200 bird species, it is one of the few places where hornbills of Sarawak can still be seen and highland specialties like Bornean Barbet and Pygmy White-eye and a chance to spot the Blue-banded Pitta and Rail-Babbler.

Borneo Bird Race Sarawaka 2014

Borneo Highlands in Kuching, Sarawak – Photo by Cede Prudente

For anyone interested in participating or visiting this leg of the Borneo Bird Race, please feel free to contact us at Planet Borneo Tours. The Borneo highlands is about one and a half hours from Kuching city and we can arrange for transport or lodging for this.

The Objectives of the Borneo Bird Race

1.To promote Borneo as one of the premier bird watching destination of the world;
2.To Network with birdwatching fraternities around Asian region and to the world
3.To encourage travel within Asia.
4.Create awareness and conservation of the bird species unique to Borneo to the local community and to the global birding fraternities.
5.Foster closer integration and harmony through nature festival of the neighbouring States of Borneo, Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei and Kalimantan, Indonesia;
6.Develop and improvement of infrastructure to wildlife watching tourism;
7.To enhance and complement the “Heart of Borneo” initiative – Tourism Program.
8.To increase arrival of eco-tourists and birdwatchers to Borneo.
9.Further development of naturalist guide and birdwatching guide.
10.Support good policies to improve nature tourism.

Borneo Bird Race 2014 Map

The map of the Borneo Bird Race 2014

Borneo Bird Race 2014
Venues: Sarawak, Sabah and Brunei Seri Begawan
Date: 23rd Sept to 3rd Oct2014
Website: Borneo Bird Race 2014

Santubong Nature Festival

Santubong Nature Festival 2014

The Malaysian Nature Society Kuching Branch (MNSKB) will be organising the inaugural Santubong Nature Festival this November which is scheduled to be held at Permai Rainforest Resort in Santubong on 8th and 9th November. The Santubong Nature Festival event is also opened to MNS members and the public. Schools in Kuching and Santubong as well as local community living in Santubong have also been invited to take part in the festival.

Santubong Nature Festival Program

Santubong Nature Festival Program

The objectives of Santubong Nature Festival are:

  • To raise public awareness of the priceless natural and historical – local and global – heritage value of the Santubong Peninsula;
  • To advocate for a holistic and integrated approach to development and management of the area safeguarding its unique landscape, biodiversity and historical assets;
  • To showcase the tourism and recreational potential of the natural and cultural values of the Santubong Peninsula; and
  • To stimulate reflection on responsible and sustainable further management of the peninsula and its surroundings.
  • Interesting activities such as treasure hunt, heritage and heritage walks, boat trips and secret rooms tour have been lined up for the festival.

Santubong Nature Festival 2014

Santubong Nature Festival 2014 Information
Venue: Santubong, Sarawak
Date: 8 Nov – 9 Nov 2014
Website: Santubong Nature Festival

For nature lovers, this is something worth exploring when you are in Kuching during November. You can contact Planet Borneo Tours is you need transportation or even lodging services if you plan to visit the Santubong Nature Festival this November.

 

Sarawak Frog Race Photography