Sarawak eyes several location in Kuching as UNESCO heritage sites

The Sarawak Government has taken steps towards getting several locations within Kuching city to be assessed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) to be recognised as world heritage sites.

According to the Chief Minister, Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg, the state government and the Kuching North City Hall will be taking measures to identify these historically significant sites within the city.

Kuching was recently recognised as a “World Craft City” by the World Craft Council City of Crafts, bringing recognition to the art heritage in the city, and the added recognition of historical sites and locations in Kuching will be another feather in the cap of Sarawak’s capital city.

Image shows the entrance to Carpenter Street in Kuching
Image shows the entrance to Carpenter Street in Kuching

Taxi Drivers as Ambassadors in Tourism

The Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) distributed corporate shirts with the Visit Sarawak Campaign logo on the front to some Taxi Associations in Kuching on May 29.

Sharzede Datu Hj Salleh Askor, CEO of STB said that with these shirts, she hopes that the taxi drivers will portray themselves as the ambassadors of Sarawak that they are, especially to first-time travellers to Sarawak, sharing their knowledge of Sarawak to facilitate those visitors’ experiences.

The five taxi associations involved in the distribution of corporate shirt – Persatuan Teksi Bumiputera Bahagian Kuching, Gabungan Pemilik Teksi Kuching Bhd, Kuching Division Taxi Association, Persatuan Teksi Bumi Kenyalang and the Sarawak Taxi Owner’s Association.

Mr Zainal Ossin from Persatuan Teksi Bumiputera Bahagian Kuching represented his association in receiving the shirts, and he said he is very delighted and proud to wear corporate shirt that STB has given, and that he will ensure his colleague to wear it proudly as part of their job to promote Sarawak and also interesting places around Kuching.

The Board plans on distributing around 900 of these corporate shirts to taxi associations in Kuching, Miri and Sibu.

Bring Your Own Bottle to the Rainforest World Music Festival

This Rainforest World Music Festival, festival goers are encouraged to bring their own bottles, as the festival has prepared 20 water stations and have stopped selling single-use bottles in the venue.

This decision came after over 60,000 single-use water bottles were collected at last year’s festival, inspiring the Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) to take steps to reduce this waste generated.

“This will possibly make the biggest impact at RWMF this year as it will greatly reduce the amount of single-use plastics at the festival,” said the CEO of STB, Sharzede Datu HJ Salleh Askor at the press conference announcing the RWMF’s many green initiatives this year, which include recycling, upcycling, composting and shuttle buses to reduce carbon emissions.

This year heralds the 22nd edition of the festival, taking place from July 12-14 at the Sarawak Cultural Village in Kuching.

For more information, visit the website at rwmf.net.

Image shows Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sport Datuk Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah (centre) next to one of the decorated recycle bins that will be at the RWMF. Second on his right, Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture YB Lee Kim Shin is holding the limited RWMF collapsible cup. Also in the photo (from left) Board of Director for STB Tuan Haji Mohammad Ibrahim Nordin, CEO of STB Sharzede Datu Hj Salleh Askor, Principle Assistant Secretary Yusfida Binti Khalid
Image shows Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sport Datuk Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah (centre) next to one of the decorated recycle bins that will be at the RWMF. Second on his right, Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture YB Lee Kim Shin is holding the limited RWMF collapsible cup. Also in the photo (from left) Board of Director for STB Tuan Haji Mohammad Ibrahim Nordin, CEO of STB Sharzede Datu Hj Salleh Askor, Principle Assistant Secretary Yusfida Binti Khalid

 

Sibu Street Art Festival

July 5, 2019 – July 12, 2019

The Sibu Street Art Festival showcases the trail of mural paintings that wind their way through Sibu’s streets and walkways, featuring various concepts ranging from graffiti to more realistic designs.

The festival offers an opportunity for local artists to share their creativity in whatever arts they practice, with street galleries, creative bazaar, and live street performances taking place over the course of the festival. 

The Sibu Street Art Festival showcases the town’s mural paintings whose subjects vary from famous foods of Sibu to the day-to-day life of people of Sibu.

For more information, visit the Festival official facebook page here…

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Rainforest Fringe Festival

July 5, 2019 – July 12, 2019

The third edition of the Rainforest Fringe Festival (RFF) is a prelude to the Rainforest World Music Festival and Borneo Jazz Festival, featuring music, art, craft, film, photography, food, and culture of Sarawak and beyond.  This 10-day Rainforest Fringe Festival (RFF) will be held from July 5 to 11.

The RFF promises to mesmerise Kuching city visitors with a wide range of arts and craft exhibitions, fashion and food galore, films, photography and fashion shows.

One of the highlights of the event will be the “Primates: At the Origin”, a dance performed to live music on a bamboo or wooden stage to be constructed within the Old Court House.

For more information, visit the Rainforest Fringe Festival website here…

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Sarawak Divisional Brochures

The Sarawak Tourism Board has prepared nine divisional brochures which feature the lesser known divisions of Betong, Bintulu, Kapit, Limbang, Mukah, Samarahan, Sarikei, Serian and Sri Aman, which are often overlooked in favour of Kuching, Miri and Sibu.

These brochures aim to encourage visitors to consider these divisions when planning their holiday, as these areas are full of local community-driven events and experiences that take you off the beaten track.

Though some of the divisions border on rural, the areas have their own charm and every location is rich with culture and an authentic way of life unique to any other part of Sarawak.

The brochures will be available at visitor information counters in Kuching, Miri and Sibu.

They will also be used for international promotion during roadshows and trade events abroad.

The nine brochures will also be available for download on the Sarawak Tourism website once they have been launched.
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Rainforest World Music Festival Performers’ List

The Rainforest World Music Festival has released the performer’s list for this year’s concert performances and workshops, featuring 30 bands of 30 diverse nationalities.

There will be five groups from Sarawak itself, namely At Adau, Kemada, Suku Menoa, Staak Bisomu and Suk Binie’, performing everything from contemporary-meets-ancient music to authentic Iban rituals and chants.

This Festival will feature bands from Spain, Rapa Nui, Chile, Bhutan, Nagaland, Vietnam, Ireland, Japan, Colombia, Jamaica, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Madagaskar, Iran, Mongolia, Estonia, Scotland, Mongolia, Morocco, Mauritius and Canary Islands and many more.  

For more information on the performers, visit the RWMF website here…

Suku Menoa from Sarawak
Suku Menoa from Sarawak

Rainforest Fringe Festival launches 2019 programme

The Rainforest Fringe Festival wrapped up its first press conference on May 14th at the Old Courthouse, launching its new programme in July 5 to 11.

The programme includes events like the ‘Asas Melayu’, which will feature the intricate beauty of Sarawak Keringkam and Songket, which is the Malay tradition of textiles stitched or woven with gold thread, in a fashion show with designs by acclaimed designers like Datuk Seri Bernard Chandran and Sarawak’s own Datuk Tom Abang Saufi, as well as Tanoti House of Kuching.

Also featured will be the Indigenous Film Festival Kuching, showcasing the indigenous culture of Sarawak, along with events like the tattoo exhibition ‘INK Kuching’, and the Song to the Earth which displays the dying art of Kayan song-poetry known as Parap.

The CEO of Sarawak Tourism Board, Sharzede Datu Hj Salleh Askor said that “We are proud to showcase that Sarawak can be a hub of music tourism, unique cultural and arts experiences, and world-class festivals that are the best in the region. Rainforest Fringe Festival will showcase music, arts, crafts, photography, food and culture, both local and foreign, throughout Kuching City.

Sharzede added that the RFF is aiming to become a major cultural event in the region for expanding Sarawak’s repertoire as a music tourism destination, bringing attention to the state’s potential not only as festival location but as a destination that sees cultural preservation as one of its priorities.

The RFF is a prelude to the Rainforest World Music Festival on July 12-14 and Borneo Jazz Festival on July 19-21

For more information on the Rainforest Fringe Festival, log on to their website here.

Image shows the Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah (second from left). Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Datuk Lee Kim Shin (left), Sharzede Datu Hj Salleh Askor (second from right) and Jo Sidek (right)
Image shows the Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah (second from left). Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Datuk Lee Kim Shin (left), Sharzede Datu Hj Salleh Askor (second from right) and Jo Sidek (right)

 

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…

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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