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Sarawak Cultural Village in Kuching

Where Is Sarawak Cultural Village
The Sarawak Cultural Village is situated at the foot of Mount Santubong just outside of Kuching town, and is probably the best place to visit for any first time visitor to Sarawak.

This special themed attraction is the best way to learn about the many ethnic people of Sarawak in one place. Sprawled across 17 acres of land, this 'Living Museum' is absolutely one-of-a-kind in the world.

At the cultural village, you will also find about 150 people living inside, which makes this adventure truly one of a kind, and here in Sarawak Borneo.

Sarawak Cultural Village sculptures at entrance

Sarawak Cultural Village

The beauty of the Sarawak Cultural Village is that you can experience and understand all the major native tribes of Sarawak in just one day, versus traveling all over Sarawak to see these cultures.

This cultural village was officially opened in 1990, and is also world famous for the annual Rainforest World Music Festival, which is held annually in July or August.

One way of killing two birds with one stone is to attend the Rainforest Music Festival (RWMF), and also seeing the cultural village. This way, you can experience both in one go.

View of Sarawak Cultural Village
View of the lake from Orang Ulu house
As you enter the Sarawak Cultural Village, you will be given a special SCV Passport which looks like a replica of a real passport.

This would ensure that you get all the chops from each of the ethnic tribe homes you visit. This is also a hit with the children, and it also makes a wonderful souvenir.

Your adventure starts by seeing the Sculpture Park, and then the main path would lead you to the wooden walkways.

The entire village is built around a man-made lake, so you will make one full circle of the park, and end back at the main entrance area.

Cultural Village SarawakWooden walkways with lots of green

The entire village is well manicured with abundance of beautiful flora, and as you walk along the pathways, you will be guided to each of the individual tribe homes.

Entering and exiting a home would put you back on the main path, while you will find signages in English for each of the homes, and also describing them.

Rock Carvings from Sarawak
Sarawakian Rock Carvings 
Strange carved rocks will be seen at some point of the walk and they are about 2-3 feet tall in size. These sculptures are carved by various artists from around the world and displayed throughout the village.

Another interesting fact here is that you can also participate in some of the workshops held daily. There are blowpipe demonstrations, weapon making and also musical instrument demonstrations.

Area for the Rainforest World Music Festival
Rainforest World Music Festival main area
As you take your time to walk around, you will pass various Sarawakian ethnic tribe homes like the Iban Tribe, Penan Tribe, Bidayuh Tribe, Melanau Tribe and also the Orang Ulu People.

Towards the end of your walking tour, you will also come across a traditional Malay house and a Chinese house, which are equally interesting and a must visit.

In each of the tribe homes, visitors will witness the lifestyle of the particular tribe, and how they used to live, farm, craft, cook and more.

Actual people are in each of these homes showing their own skills, therefore it is interesting to see them participating live, instead of just reading something and seeing pictures on a wall.

Taman Budaya Sarawak Signs showing where each of the houses are located

Sarawak Cultural Village has a main event which is known as the Sarawak Cultural Show. It is held twice daily, and the show lasts for about 45 minutes.

Each of the main Sarawakian tribes will perform on stage inside an air conditioned mini-theater, and the seats are pretty comfortable, especially after walking around the village.

Trust me, I have seen the show many times, and every time I go there, it is simply fascinating, and not to be missed.

Tarian Melanau
Melanau lady dancing
Sarawak Cultural Village Show

They are two cultural performances each day, one morning show which is at 11:30 am and the afternoon show at 4:00 pm. Don't forget to time your walks so you can catch the show.

For your added information, the theater is located just next to the restaurant which is near the main entrance to the village.

You would not want to be at the Orang Ulu house and then have to rush back to catch the show. The Orang Ulu house is halfway across the pond, and takes about 10 minutes walk back.

Joget Melayu Sarawak
Malay ladies joget
Tarian Ngajat Lesong
Ngajat Lesong dance
Iban Ngajat Lesong Dance Video

This multi-cultural show would also showcase the beautiful costumes by all the tribes in Sarawak. Some of them like the Orang Ulu or Iban warriors would come in their war gear.

Dancing the traditional Ngajat dance with sword and shield. The entire show will be a myriad of colours from all the different tribes attire.

Orang Ulu Warrior

The Sarawak Cultural Village has won numerous awards and to be exact, 16 awards in total, and as of 2009. With such an amazing place like this, I would also offer an award to them, only if I could.

My honest opinion is that they really go all out to provide an accurate experience of the many different ethnic groups of Sarawak in one place.

To date, there has been no other attraction like this found anywhere in Malaysia, and the cultural village has made it one of the must visit attractions in the entire Malaysia.

Bidayuh Dancer Bidayuh girl dancing

Bamboo Dance Melanau PeopleMelanau Bamboo dance stunt

One of the amazing stunts performed by the Melanau tribe would be the traditional Melanau Bamboo Dance.

From a basic bamboo dance, the highlight would be seeing one of the Melanau boys climb up a single bamboo pole, resting his stomach on the tip and then gets spun around.

If you have a camera or smartphone ready, this would be a perfect photo moment, just waiting to be shared with your friends.

Traditional Dance Melanau PeopleMelanau girls doing the bamboo dance

When you are done visiting all the ethnic homes and watched the award winning cultural show, you can relax and have some food at the only restaurant there called Restaurant Budaya.

This wood interior restaurant offers you a variety of local food and drinks, and even ice cream for the kids. I would highly recommend trying some of the local Sarawakian dishes here.

Malay Joget Dance Video in Sarawak Malaysia

Just before you exit, you should also pay a visit the cultural village souvenir shop. I always make it a point to go there as some of the items seen in the ethnic homes are available for sale here.

Even ethnic music CDs are available at the cashier counter, so do look out for them. Souvenirs like musical instruments, jewellery, wood carvings and books fill the shop.

Finally, I was also told by my guide that the SCV can arrange for you to be married in any of the traditional styles there. You can inquire within if you are interested.

Remember, when you visit Kuching, you MUST visit the SCV, if not, your Sarawak holiday will not be complete.

The main tribes of Sarawak found at the Cultural Village:

How to Go to the Sarawak Cultural Village?
  • There is no public transport to the Sarawak Cultural Village. A shuttle bus leaves the Holiday Inn Kuching at 9.00 am and 12.30 pm, returning at 1.45 pm and 5.30 pm.
  • Alternatively, you could charter a taxi for the day or hire a car. If you choose to hire a taxi, make sure he waits until you are done. 
  • Another way would be to book this package from any of the travel agents from your hotel or in town as you can have a local guide for your trip. I would recommend the guide as he/she would explain everything to you when you are there.
Entrance Fee at Sarawak Cultural Village
  • RM 60.00 (US$15.00) - Adult
    RM 30.00 (US$7.50) - Child : 6-12 years old
  • Free for Children aged under 6 years old
  • Tickets can be purchased at the entrance of Sarawak Cultural Village.
  • You can also buy tickets online.
  • You can also get it from the authorised local travel agents around Sarawak.
  • Cultural Village opening hours are: 0900 - 1715 daily
They are two Cultural Shows per day;

  • 11.30 AM to 12.15 PM
  • 4.00 PM to 4.45 PM
Sarawak Cultural Village Address;
Pantai Damai, Santubong,
P.O.Box 2632, 93752 Kuching,
Sarawak, Malaysia.
Tel: (6082) 846 411
Fax: (6082) 846 988
Website: Sarawak Cultural Village.


For those who are planning to visit Sarawak or Kuching, you should not miss this opportunity to visit this stunning living museum which is the only kind in the world.

Half a day here is more than enough as to actually visit some of these tribes and homes across Sarawak will probably take you a couple of days.

Therefore by having this beautiful place, you can see the entire Sarawak in just one place at the Sarawak Cultural Village in Kuching.


Nicholas Leong said...

I went to Kuching for two weekends in a row but its been a while since I visited the Cultural Village.

Will have to give it a visit again. :)

Borneo Falcon said...

Holiday Inn no longer operate a resort there

Malaysia Asia said...

Hi Nicholas, nice, 2 weekends in a row, work or business?

Ben, really? Wow, I must edit my post now and thank you for the tip.


ColinJong said...

SiewPeng and I missed out many things there (Melanau, Malay house and the Souvenir Shop) because we went there in the afternoon and stopped at Orang Ulu tall house for hours for the beautiful music and dance. We will visit the scv again.