Borneo Jazz Festival

July 19, 2019July 21, 2019

The 14th Borneo Jazz is an annual international jazz festival, one of the longest running in the region that takes place in the seaside city of Miri at Coco Cabana, features a vast repertoire of Jazz genres with some hip hop, neo-soul and rap.

This year’s Borneo Jazz also includes a Talent and DJ Search, bringing together promising Bornean musicians from all around to perform on the stage with their counterparts from abroad.

Tourists who come to Miri for this event can combine a long weekend of good Jazz in the evening with exploring Miri’s many natural wonders by day.

They can go on a day visit to the Lambir Hills or the historical Niah National Park located just an hour and two away respectively.  And if you are a scuba diver, the dive sites in the Miri-Sibuti Coral Reefs National Park beckons.  The nearest dive site is a mere 15-min away, just off the coast of the city.

For more information on the festival, visit the website here…


Borneo Cultural Festival

July 18, 2019 – July 27, 2019

The Borneo Cultural Festival (BCF) starts from July 18 to 27 this year, at the Sibu Town Square, within walking distance of major hotels in the town centre.

BCF features a week-long bonanza of food, music and dance performances, celebrating the diversity of Sibu’s communities and cultural background, particularly among the Chinese, Iban, Bidayuh, Orang Ulu, Malay and Melanau people.

The richness of Sibu’s heritage on display is complemented by trade shows, a fun fair and stage shows.

BCF, Sibu’s biggest annual tourism event, is free for the public.

Borneo Cultural Festival is organized by Sibu Municipal Council. For more information on the BCF, click here…

Photo credit: Phillip Hii
Photo credit: Phillip Hii


Singapore School Friendship Day

Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) celebrated International Friendship Day at Riverside Secondary and Wellington Primary Schools in Singapore recently with opportunity to highlight Sarawak product experiences to the school’s teachers, students and parents.

Showcasing Culture, Adventure, Nature, Food and Festivals, the focal themes in the Visit Sarawak Campaign, the guests had their first-hand experience in watching cultural stage performances and sampling of food such as Sarawak layer cakes, pepper sweets and tebaloi (sago crackers).

STB Chief Executive Officer, Sharzede Datu Haji Salleh Askor  said “We are currently focusing on different customer segments which include school children, as one of the most distinctive changes in markets over the time is the expansion in the choice of destinations available.”

“It is timely as we are now promoting aggressively our Visit Sarawak Campaign.” she went on.

Singaporean arrival into Sarawak in 2018 stood at 43,734, an increase of 3.69% compared to the previous year.

STB hopes that participation in this event will encourage more teachers and family groups from Singapore to choose Sarawak as one of their future holiday destinations and study trips, taking advantage of the 4 daily direct flights between the two destinations.

singapore principal

#Urbins at the Rainforest World Music Festival

This year, the Rainforest World Music Festival will feature #UrBins (Urban + Bins).

This series of attractive and practical recycling bins designed by a group of local artists.

Submissions will be open to those currently residing in Sarawak until the end of RWMF2019 in July 2019, including international students and expatriates.

Each submission will include 2 design concepts, each with a separate description on how the design ties in with the United Nation’s “Sustainable Development Goal” (SDG) 11; which is to “Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”.

Designs will be posted publicly through an applicant’s Facebook post, where they must tag @Spativate, @SarawakTravel and @rwmf.official, as well as hashtag #UrBins, #RWMF2019 #BinsPlease and #MoreSarawak.

The design’s ‘promotion and submission’ phase will aid in educating the public on the SDG while promoting sustainability through creative design, and on the days of the Festival, the attractive designs of the bins will also help in drawing attention to their purpose and importance.

The 15 UrBinists will be short listed by a professional jury before their designs will be presented to the public to vote through Facebook, and the selected designs will be supplied green bins and seed money of RM300 to make their designs a reality.

For more information on submission, please visit the Spativate Facebook page here…


Borneo Jazz Festival Talent Search Extended

During the Borneo Jazz Talent Search that took place at Coco Cabana, Miri on April 30th, founder of No Black Tie Evelyn Hii Yuh Lin, announced that there will be an extension to the date of the talent search audition till the end of May, finalists will be announced on first week of June.

The finalists from the Talent Search will go to the final round on July 19, while the official winners will receive a cash prize and the chance to perform on the Borneo Jazz stage.

The Borneo Jazz Talent Search was first held in 2018, while the DJ Talent Search is a new category, as part of the Festival’s musical outreach programme aimed at unearthing young and emerging artists from the Bornean region.

Fringe activities curated around Borneo Jazz Festival include an art exhibition, arts & crafts showcase, stalls with Bornean cuisine, wellness and sape’ sessions as well as workshops on indigenous culture.

This year, the festival is organised by No Black Tie, who have made it their objective to emphasise on the social responsibility towards recycling within the local community via the Borneo Jazz Beat Plastic Campaign.

The Borneo Jazz Festival is one of the longest running festivals in the region, this year being the 14th edition taking place from July 19 to 21 at Coco Cabana and is owned by Sarawak Tourism Board.


Sarawak Music Festivals: Early Bird Tickets Extended

Early Bird Ticket sales have been extended for both the Rainforest World Music Festival in Kuching and Borneo Jazz Festival in Miri.

The RWMF early bird prices have been extended to May 7 while the Borneo Jazz Festival prices will stay up until June 21.

The RWMF takes place on July 12-14 at the Sarawak Cultural Village and the Borneo Jazz Festival takes place on the following weekend from July 19-21 at Coco Cabana.

For more information, you can find the RWMF ticket prices here and the Borneo Jazz Festival ticket prices here.

Pesta Babulang

7-9 June

The Pesta Babulang, or Babulang Festival, is a festival celebrated by the Bisaya people in Limbang, with one major highlight: The Buffalo Races.

With participants from Limbang, Sabah and the neighbouring country of Brunei, contestants try to outrace and outride each other on the muddy fields.

Also featured at the festival are decorated buffalo ‘floats’, cultural performances, cooking contests, beauty pageants, handicrafts exhibitions and more.

Limbang can be reached by direct daily flights from Miri, with the site of the festival located just 15 minutes from Brunei’s Tedungan border checkpoint. And if you are travelling by land from Miri, a passport is required for the road journey passes through Brunei Darussalam.

For more information, visit here…


Irau Aco

31 May – 2 June

The Irau Aco Festival held in Lawas is a traditional rice harvest festival celebrated by the Lun Bawang people of Sarawak, located predominantly in the northern region of the state.

The festival features traditional food, games, crafts performances and festivities of the Lun Bawang communities, including unique attractions like the “Nguip suling” or bamboo flute band.

This year’s festival will mark the 32nd edition of the festival, which is always held at the end of May.

Lawas is just over an hour’s drive from Limbang, with connecting flights from Kuching, Miri and Sibu. An overland drive will include crossing the international borders of Brunei Darussalam. Hence passport is required. And if you are travelling by land from Sabah, Kota Kinabalu is your gateway city. The road distance is 185-km. Passport (non-Malaysian) or I/C is required for this inter-state crossing.

Chengdu Music Cities Convention

The Chief Executive Officer of the Sarawak Tourism Board, Sharzede Datu HJ Salleh Askor, attended the Chengdu Music Cities Convention as a speaker, as part of Sarawak’s music tourism initiatives, which uses Sarawak’s unique sounds to promote Sarawak as a tourism destination.

She presented the future of music in the city of Kuching and throughout Sarawak’s other cities, from the preservation of the cultural music and more modern types of music, to the prominent musical festivals in the state such as the Rainforest World Music Festival which has had a successful 22-year run.

Also presenting was Giacherie Tipik, President and Founder of, an independent non-profit agency based in Kuching. Tipik spoke on his company’s role in bringing Sarawak musical talents to the world stage as well as the work they do on the grounds to nurture talents.

The Music Cities Convention is the largest and most extensive global gathering on the topic of Music Cities, bringing together leaders from governments, academics, music organisations and the music scene to discuss the situation and future of music in cities and their role in the city’s development and identity.

CEO of Sarawak Tourism Board
CEO of Sarawak Tourism Board

Awards for Boutique Accommodation

The Village House, situated in the Santubong Peninsular, Kuching, has recently won the 2019 Experts’ Choice Award from TripExpert, an award deliberated upon by a group of journalists and professional travel writers who sift through more than 1.5 million reviews to determine a winner for the year.

The Village House features prominently on the TripExpert website as one of the best hotels in Sarawak, with positive reviews and endorsements from visitors and even travel publishers such as Lonely Planet.

In addition to the Experts’ Choice Award, the hotel is also among the recipients for TripExpert’s Best of Sarawak Award.