Borneo Jazz 2018

The iconic Borneo Jazz festival in Miri is back and better than ever, with extended dates, a new venue and Zainal Abidin Mohamad as one of the performers.

The festival will now be held on 11 to 13 May, extending to three days instead of the usual two.

The new location has been announced, at Coco Cabana at the Marina Bay in Miri, a seaside location with an iconic seahorse lighthouse.

Having performed at the Borneo Jazz launch at Coco Cabana on March 21, internationally renowned artiste Zainal Abidin will be returning to Miri to perform during the festival.

Festival tickets are now available at https://jazzborneo.com/programme/tickets-info/

The Borneo Jazz is wholly owned by Sarawak Tourism Board and organised by No Black Tie Presents.00

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Bung Bratak Day

May 1

For the first time in 5 years, the Bung Bratak Day has returned.

A day full of carnival-like festivities, the local Bidayuh communities showcase their culture and traditions in the form of games, dances, food and other performances and displays.

The festivities will take place at the newly launched Bung Bratak Heritage Centre, located off the 6th mile Bau-Lundu Road, via Kampung Tembawang Sauh in Bau, approximately an hour from the city centre.

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Sarawak Performance at MATTA Fair

Kuching and Mulu have topped the list as the most sought after destinations in the state for domestic travellers at the recent MATTA Fair at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) which was on March 16-18.

These were followed by Batang Ai, Bario and Ba’Kelalan, Sibu, the Sarawak Cultural Village, Serikin border market, Niah National Park as well as Bidayuh longhouses.

There were also number of honeymoon couples looking for nature attractions, particularly enquiring for the the Batang Ai Honeymoon packages, with Bako National Park and Mulu National Park as close seconds.

Amogha Tours and Travel, with support from Sarawak Tourism Board, showcased its Virtual Reality Teaser Tour of Sarawak in an attempt to increase visibility and interest of potential customers, resulting in an increase in sales as compared to last year.

Ashweein Narayanan, its executive director their sales at a 68.9% increase as compared to the previous MATTA fair.

“This goes without saying that having digital marketing initiatives such as Virtual Reality tours, as marketing tools is very effective and brings the scalability of the tourism sector to new levels of profitability and visibility,” Ashweein said.

The Sarawak Pavilion demonstrated various cultural related activities such as dance performance, blowpipe games, live Sape music as well as traditional cookies tasting, with many visitors taking pictures with performers.

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Photo of Malaysia Airlines air stewardesses posing with the traditional performers at the Sarawak Pavilion

Miri City International Deep Sea Fishing Tournament 2018

May 10 – 13

The 11th Miri City International Deep Sea fishing Tournament 2018 is taking place off the shores of Miri at the Luconia Shoals.

The event has attracted international fishermen from China, Hong Kong and Singapore over its 11 years.

The tournament is jointly organized by the Miri Anglers Club and Ministry of Tourism, Art & Culture, Youth and Sport, Maritim Malaysia, Jabatan Perikanan Laut Sarawak and Miri City Council, in conjunction with Miri May Fest.

Deadline for registration is on April 30th, after which registrations will be charged with a late fee.

For more information, call Vincent Lo at 017-8029002 or email [email protected].

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Borneo Samariang Water Park Launch

The 30-acre Borneo Samariang Water Park half an hour from the city centre is expected to open its doors by the end of March.

Some of the promoted attractions for children are slides, a leisure pool, the ‘Aqua Play’ and a man-made ‘Mount Mulu Clearwater River.’

There will rafts, canopy slides, a wave pool, skydrop ride, galaxy slide, garden terrace and also a mangrove island at the Salak Beach section.

The highest slide measures at 80 metres from the ground, roughly six storeys high.

The park is estimated to accommodate between 2,000 to 3,000 visitors and is expected to draw crowds, both local and international, once their gates officially open to the public.

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Images of park/of the layout plan

Miri May Fest

For the entire month of May, the Miri May Fest takes over the city with activities and events leading up to the 13th Miri City Day Anniversary celebration on May 20.

Community programmes and events are held daily, with more public events such as the 11th Miri International Deep Sea Fishing Tournament, the Borneo Jazz Festival, the Miri Gawai Dayak celebrations and the Ramadhan Bazaars.

 The objectives of these events are to promote Miri as a popular tourist destination, in conjunction with Visit Miri Year, as well as to create an opportunity for the people of Miri to come and have fun together like a big family.

More information at http://www.miriresortcity.com

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Bung Bratak Heritage Centre Soft Launch

The Bung Bratak Heritage Centre will be having a soft launch today, on April 1 and will be open to the public in May.

The launch is cause for celebration, especially from the surrounding 36 Bidayuh villages in the Bau and Lundu districts.

The traditional roundhouse or ‘baruk’ shaped centre is surrounded by virgin jungles with two waterfalls nearby.

Once the heritage centre is open to the public, it will be a worthwhile tourist attraction, with historical and cultural exhibits on the movements and traditions of ancient Bidayuh communities.

Located off the 6th mile Bau-Lundu Road, via Kampung Tembawang Sauh in Bau, approximately an hour from the city centre.

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Photo credit : bombasticborneo.com
00 Photo credit : bombasticborneo.com

World Harvest Festival

27-29 April

The World Harvest Festival will be held at the Sarawak Cultural Village, a 45 minute drivefrom Kuching city centre, in celebration of Gawai.

For the three days of the festival, the Sarawak Ethnic Kitchen Culinary Challenge with chefs cooking traditional Dayak and other ethnic food, the Tribal Ironman Challenge and Craft World Bazaar selling local crafts will take place.

On the first night on April 27 is the finals for the Miss Cultural harvest Beauty Festival.

The musical drama, a major attraction of the Festival, takes place on the second night and is titled “Rentap – The Untold Story” Legendary Iban warrior accompanied by the Gawai Concert with the “War of the Rhythm”.

The Sape World Concert takes place on the third night, featuring Sape artists from around Sarawak in a celebration of the iconic traditional instrument that put Sarawak on the map.

For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/Sarawak-Harvest-and-Folklore-Festival-185353224907021/

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Pesta Kaul Mukah

21 -28 April

Pesta Kaul is a traditional cultural celebration of the coastal Melanau community in Mukah, in the central region of Sarawak.

Originally celebrated as a religious ceremony to appease the spirits of the sea, land, forest and farms, the Pesta Kaul is rooted in the old animistic beliefs of the Melanau and their traditions in giving thanks and praying for bountiful years in the wake of monsoon seasons.

While most Melanau no longer practice the old religion, the old rituals of purification and offering are still performed as a cultural spectacle to keep the colourful traditions alive.

The Pesta Kaul offers attractions like the “Tibow” or giant swing, a display of traditional games, clothes, dance, music and most importantly, an abundance of traditional food to be shared together.

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Answering the Demand for Digital at MATTA 2018

Sarawak Tourism Board will highlight its first Tourism Virtual Reality (VR) experience this weekend at the MATTA Fair to be held at the Putra World Trade Center in Kuala Lumpur.

This is part of its new marketing initiative to embrace digital technology in the promotion of tourism in the State. 

Interactively, the VR technology to be shared with MATTA visitors will feature a new dimension in the travel experience between the consumers and the destination.

Ashweein Narayanan, the Executive Director of Kuching based Amogha Tours and Travel (in collaboration with Trifold Enterprise), will provide a technical  demonstration to try out the new Sarawak virtual experience using Samsung Gear VR experience available at Sarawak Tourism booth during MATTA Fair period.

Ashweein has  expressed his wish bring the State’s  tourism industry  to a whole new level in line with the Sarawak Chief Minister’s vision to ‘digitize’ all industries, saying that conventional methods of sales and marketing may no longer be so viable and innovative methods were needed to garner the attention of the public.

For more information on Sarawak at MATTA Fair 2018, visit http://bit.ly/matta2018

Image of exhibitors sampling the VR tour during a briefing at the Sarawak Tourism Board office.
Image of exhibitors sampling the VR tour during a briefing at the Sarawak Tourism Board office.