A seven day state of mourning has been announced throughout Sarawak, and out of respect of the late Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Datuk Amar Haji Adenan bin Satem, events such as the Monster Dash and the Kuching Heritage Race have been postponed to a later date.
February 25 fast approaches, as the Miri Country Music Festival (MCMF) returns for another epic installment.
Featuring international names like Shane Smith & The Saints and The Strange Pilgrim, as well as local country bands such as the Mountain Wind and Country Road, it’s a fiesta for the country music enthusiasts.
The MCMF has become part and parcel with Miri’s local communities, with entire families coming down and making a day of it for two days, enjoying the food, games and music.
This year’s MCMF will be taking place on February 25 and 26, at the ParkCity Everly Hotel, the same location of the 12th Borneo Jazz Festival on May 12 and 13.
This year rings in the new Visit Sibu Year initiative which was launched in March 2016.
Sibu has many hidden attractions, the most popular of which is the food trail that begins at the large fresh market in the centre of town and weaves through backroads to the next delicacy, with the Sibu Street Art marking the way.
The Sibu Street Art peppered throughout the town, display the significant moments in Sibu’s history as well as significant foods and art within the town, depicting its cultural heritage.
The Borneo Cultural Festival in July as well as the sixth Sibu International Dance Festival in August, display the cultural and ethnic diversity that can be found in Sibu, while also encouraging the preservation of those cultures.
Sibu is less than an hour from some of the oldest longhouse communities in Sarawak, with various competitive races throughout the year including remote control boat racing, as well as the Sibu Bike Week which has brought big bikers from around the world to careen the streets of Sibu.
A unique mix of people, lifestyles and attractions, Sibu is definitely a must-visit in 2017.
The annual reef and beach cleaning activities conducted by the Biodiversity, Environment and Conservation (BEACON) Project has now entered into its third year at the Similajau National Park.
It aims to turn the Park, located just outside of Bintulu, into the “Green Lung of Bintulu”.
The Project’s secondary component in Conservation, Education and Public Awareness (CEPA), where groups or programmes such as the Friends of Nature programme brings people into the national park to participate in the cleaning.
The Project is organized by the MLNG Group of Companies, a subsidiary company of Petronas and the Sarawak Forestry Corporation.
To date some 120 students from 21 secondary schools and 21 chaperon-teachers had participated in the Friends of Nature programme.
Entering the third year, the BEACON Project has proven to be effective in improving the marine wildlife and reefs in the area.
The Assistant Minister for Environment and Assistant Minister for Workforce Development and Training Sarawak, Datu Haji Len Talif Salleh, attended this year’s BEACON reef cleaning in September.
On November 4, 2016 the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Sarawak Tourism Board and Taipei based See Mark Travel Services at the Taipei International Travel Fair took place at the Taiwan World Trade Centre, enabling See mark Travel Services to run charter flights from Taipei to Kuching.
The flights begin on January 28th and subsequently on June to August 2017, totalling in 19 flights with one flight every five days.
The Chairman of the Board, Datuk Abdul Wahab Aziz signed the MOU and See Mark Travel Services was represented by See Mark’s General Manager, Mr. Mark Chen, while the ceremony was witnessed by the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Datu Ik Pahon Joyik and Mr. Chen Chiang Yang, See Marks’ Sales Manager.
Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism, Datuk Amar Abang Haji Johari Tun Openg, who witnessed the exchange of the MOU with his Assistant, Datuk Lee Kim Shin, led a six-member delegation to Taiwan and held discussions with Taiwan’s Far Eastern Airways and Malindo Air on the possibilities of mounting direct schedule flights to Kuching in the near future.
The Urang Sarawak “Pameran Tentang Kita”, or the Sarawak People “Gallery about Us” is officially open for viewing at the Sarawak Art Museum just opposite the State Museum, making it the third gallery to open along the city centre.
The Urang Sarawak gallery displays different historical traits of the Sarawak people spanning across different eras such as the Colonial era and the World War era, with the intent of educating the people on the political and cultural heritage of the different ethnicities within Sarawak.
With displays ranging from art to artifact, the gallery covers the different aspects of the sociocultural lifestyles of the Sarawak people, including religion, cosmology and cultural arts.
While the gallery was originally planned to be a temporary replacement for the main building gallery while the State Museum is under renovations, there are hopes that this gallery will remain as it is or relocate to a wing of the main museum, as it has garnered a lot of interest from locals and tourists for its informational and appreciative representation of the many races and tribes in Sarawak.
Now under the banner of Imperial Hotels, the Riverbank Hotel has been undergoing a makeover and will be open for business in late October.
This three-star boutique hotel will have 109 refurbished rooms and a fusion-styled Riverbank Café, and is located at the epicentre of Kuching’s cultural hub, overlooking the waterfront and the Rajang River.
The hotel is on the end of the waterfront’s boardwalk, and is a minute’s walk from the closeness to the sampans or riverboats, where tourists can simply take a sampan to the other side and experience a traditional Malay village and enjoy their traditional cuisine.
Traditional cultural food and crafts stores line the length of the waterfront, with historical buildings and museums thrown into the mix, making it a prime location for tourists.
The Sarawak Tourism Board’s strategy in tapping the China market has produced positive results with the Signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Hebei Province at a ceremony held here on September 25.
Signed by the Chairman of STB, Datuk Haji Abdul Wahab Aziz and Hebei Governor Zhang Qingwei, the MOU provides opportunity for joint tourism cooperation, aggressive promotions and establishment of business exchange specifically focusing on the tourism sector.
The document also focuses on research on tourism attractions and development as both destinations have similar tourism products such as mountains, geo-parks, lakes, rural and cultural tourism.
The Signing of MOU will see positive result in charter flights connecting Sarawak and Hebei Province to cater for movement of tourists and business travel, and will bring Sarawak to another level in their effort to attract more Chinese tourists to visit Sarawak.