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How To Go To The Rainforest World Music Festival

For anyone wanting to know how to go to the Rainforest World Music Festival in Santubong, I have come up with this guide for your convenience. This includes various ways including self-driving to the Sarawak Cultural Village. 

The Rainforest World Music Festival takes place on a yearly basis and is one of the most unique music festivals in the world which is held in Sarawak, on the island of Borneo.

Often called RWMF in short, this unique music festival in Sarawak tends to attract people from all over the world. 

How To Go To The Rainforest World Music Festival

Taman Budaya Sarawak
The Sarawak Cultural Village, where the music festival will take place

This article applies to those who are staying in the Kuching or other areas out of Santubong, and it takes about 60-90 minutes to travel one way to the Sarawak Cultural Village where the Rainforest World Music Festival is held. 

In most cases, festival-goers will be taking public transport as it will be the most economical way to travel to the festival from Kuching. Options include a shuttle bus, public taxi or even GRAB, a private car service. 

For the foreigners attending the festival, please note there is no more UBER in Malaysia, ad it was bought over by GRAB, so you need to download the GRAB App on your phone for this. Below are the ways to get to the Rainforest World Music Festival. 

Free Shuttle Bus RWMF
The Free Shuttle Bus to the Rainforest World Music Festival. Source KuchingBorneo.

1. Free Shuttle Bus to Rainforest World Music Festival

This is a bonus for Rainforest World Music Festival ticket holders, as there is a free shuttle bus service from Kuching to the Sarawak Cultural Village. The free shuttle bus will depart from four main stops around Kuching city and they are;
  • Hills Shopping Mall - From 9.30 AM till 8.00 PM
  • Riverside Majestic Astana Wing - From 9.40 AM till 8.10 PM
  • Harbour View Hotel - From 9.50 AM till 8.20 PM
  • Merdeka Palace - From 10.00 AM till 8.30 PM

The free shuttle bus service is an hourly service, hence if you miss the bus, then you need to wait for the next timing. 

RWMF 2018 Free Shuttle Bus Time Table
The Free Shuttle Bus Time Table for RWMF 2018

All you need to do is show your valid Rainforest World Music Festival ticket to the bus driver or conductor. All shuttle buses will drop off in front of the Sarawak Cultural Village entrance.

Good news is that if there is a huge demand for passengers, the organizers have extra buses on standby if the need arises. This is for during peak hours and pending on the volume of festival-goers.

Shuttle buses back to Kuching will also start from 12.30 PM on an hourly basis, and the last bus back to Kuching is at 1.30 AM

2. GRAB 

GRAB Kuching is the official transport partner for the Rainforest World Music Festival and is offering a special promotion code where you can get RM10.00 off for one trip when you use the promo code of "RWMF2018". 

A normal GRAB ride from Kuching to the Sarawak Cultural Village will cost you RM35.00 one way, and using the code, you can get it for RM25.00. You can book a GRAB from anywhere around Kuching or other areas around the city. 

What the common taxi's look like in Kuching. Source Wikipedia CC By-SA 3.0

3. Regular Taxi

There are many local taxis available, but please note that in Kuching, the local taxi's do not usually run around looking for passengers. IT is the other way around where you need to find a taxi stand where all they are waiting. 

Taxi's in Kuching also do not operate on meters, hence you need to ask them how much it will cost for your journey there. I am told that during the music festival, prices may be a little higher than usual. 

In 2017, I took a local taxi from Kuching to the Cultural Village, and it cost me RM40.00 one way. Also, the local taxi's only seat four persons by law. So if you are in a group, you may need two taxi's and best to book them together. 

RWMF How to get there
One of the performers during the festival

4. Car Rental or Self Driving

In rare cases, there are some visitors who actually rent a car to travel up and down for the festival. This is entirely up to you, but you need to know that all regular cars are not allowed to drive directly into the festival. 

When you reach the Rainforest World Music Festival checkpoint at the Damai Gold Club junction, you will be required to park your car or bike there. Parking is free, and first-come, first-serve. 

From the checkpoint, you need to take a van shuttle to the festival grounds. The price is RM7.00 for adults and RM4.00 for children one way.

Not to worry as there are constant security places at the checkpoint, hence your vehicle will be safe. Take note that to drive from Kuching, it will take you around one hour, one way. 

Malaysia Hitchhiking
Malaysia is not very open toward Hitchhiking. Source Wikimedia

5. Hitchhiking 

While this does happen, you should know that in Malaysia, hitchhiking is not accepted due to crime and so on. Throughout Malaysia, hitchhiking is rarely seen on the roads. 

However, a couple of years back when I attended the Rainforest World Music Festival, I saw a couple hitchhiking along the main road to the festival. 

If you actually plan to do this, be prepared not to be picked up, or if you are lucky, someone may even stop for you. 

2018 RWMF
What the traditional Sarawakian ethnic people look like in full costume

Additional Information

For those staying around the Santubong or Damai area here, it is possible for you to walk to the festival. It also depends on how far your hotel or guest house is located, but those in the immediate vicinity can easily walk there. 

If you are planning to stay longer for the festival, here is a list of what to do around the Rainforest World Music Festival. The list provides places to visit around the cultural village and around the Damai Santubong area. 

There are many who will stay for a week here, and in the day, you may be wondering if there are any places you can visit in Santubong. You can also explore out of Santubong and head to Kuching, where there are a ton of places to visit in the city.

2018 RWMF
The crowd at the Rainforest World Music Festival

Last Minute Hotels in Kuching

There are many who will make their way here last minute, or friends may suddenly decide to follow you to the Rainforest World Music Festival on the eleventh hour. Just to let you know, most hotels will be fully booked by then, and it will be a nightmare to look for one. 

I have created a list of accommodations in Kuching, and you can go through them to see if there are any available rooms left. The list provides hotels ranging from five stars right till guest houses to suit your budget. 

Sarawak Rainforest World Music Festival
Outside the Sarawak Cultural Village, a sign stating the home of the Rainforest World Music Festival


The Rainforest World Music Festival takes place annually here in Santubong, Sarawak, and usually held mid-year in June, July or sometimes August. This is Malaysia's most successful music festival and has been running for 20 years, and organized by the Sarawak Tourism Board

For any additional information, you should visit the official RWMF website as it provides you with the ticket prices, dates, performers list and all other information. 

For those heading to the festival, I hope to bump into you and most importantly, have an amazing time there. So, if you have been wondering how to get to the Rainforest World Music Festival, I hope this information has helped you greatly.

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