Sarawak Cultural Village in Kuching

Sarawak Cultural Village is situated at the foot of Mount Santubung just outside of Kuching town. Traveling to the village is pretty simple and easy as it only takes about an hour by car or van. Sprawled across 17 acres of land, this Living Museum is absolutely one-of-a-kind in the world. There are also about 150 people living in this beautiful village which is your perfect stop when visiting Kuching in Sarawak.

Sarawak Cultural Village sculptures at entrance

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 here at the SCV. Sarawak Cultural Village was officially opened in 1990 and has also been world famous for the annual Rainforest World Music Festival which is held yearly in July or August.

View of the lake from Orang Ulu house

As you enter the Sarawak Cultural Village, you will be given a 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. A hit with the children and makes a wonderful souvenir. You start by seeing the Sculpture Park and then the 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.

Sarawak Cultural Village - Wooden walkways with lots of green

The entire village is well manicured with flora and as you walk along the pathways, you will be guided to each of the tribe homes. Entering and exiting a home would put you back on the main path. There are signages in English for each of the homes describing them.

Sarawak Cultural Village - 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.

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 walk you will also come across a traditional Malay house and a Chinese house.

In each of the tribe homes, you will witness the lifestyle of the particular tribe and how they used to live, farm, craft and more. Actual people are in each of these homes showing their own skills so it is interesting to see them participating live instead of just reading something and seeing pictures on a wall.

Signs showing where each of the houses are located

Sarawak Cultural Village has a main event which is the Sarawak Cultural Show. Twice daily, you have to catch this show which lasts for about 45 minutes. Each of the tribes will perform on stage inside an air conditioned mini-theater and the seats are pretty comfortable. Trust me, I have seen the show 4 times and every time I go there, it is simply fascinating.

Melanau lady dancing

They are two cultural performances each day, one morning show which is at 11:30am and the afternoon show at 4:00pm. Don't forget to time your walks so you can catch the show. For our added information, the theater is located just next to the restaurant which is near the entrance. 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 half way across the pond.

Malay ladies joget

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. With an amazing place like this, I would also offer an award to them if I could.

Bidayuh girl dancing

Melanau 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. Get your cameras for this at the cultural show.

Cultural Show - Melanau 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 food and drinks and even ice cream for the kids.

Malay Joget Dance in Sarawak Malaysia

Just before you exit, you should visit the 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. Even ethnic music CDs are available at the cashier counter. 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:
Iban Tribe
Penan Tribe
Bidayuh Tribe
Melanau Tribe
Orang Ulu People

Getting 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 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.
Entrance Fee at Sarawak Cultural Village
  • RM 60.00 (US$20.00) - Adult
    RM 30.00 (US$10.00) - 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 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;
1130AM - 1215PM
1600PM - 1645PM

Sarawak Cultural Village Address;

Pantai Damai, Santubong,
P.O.Box 2632, 93752 Kuching,
Sarawak, Malaysia.
Tel: (6082) 846 411
Fax: (6082) 846 988


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.
Sarawak Cultural Village in Kuching Sarawak Cultural Village in Kuching Reviewed by David Jr on Saturday, September 12, 2009 Rating: 5


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

David Jr 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.

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