Sarawak – Land of the Hornbills
In the heart of Southeast Asia, Sarawak is the largest of the Malaysian states, covering an area of 125,000 sq. km. of Borneo – the exotic and beautiful island we share with our neighbours Sabah, Brunei and Kalimantan (Indonesia). In its rich and varied history, it has drawn travellers from across the world since as early as the 7th Century seeking its unique cultures and one of the oldest and most bio-diverse rainforests in the world. Sarawak is famously home to the orang-utan but is better known as ‘Bumi Kenyalang’ (in English, Land of the Hornbills). The Rhinoceros Hornbill is the official state bird of Sarawak and is featured on the State’s coat of arms. Full of wildlife and extreme landscapes, Sarawak can offer an exciting experience for everyone, from the urban centre of Kuching, the capital city, to jungles, diving, kayaking, golfing and caving.
Kuching – The Capital City of Sarawak
Kuching is the capital of Sarawak. Described by the Lonely Planet Guide as:“Borneo’s most stylish and sophisticated city brings together a kaleidoscope of cultures, crafts and cuisines. The bustling streets – some very modern, others with a colonial vibe – amply reward visitors with a penchant for aimless ambling,” we think Kuching is the most welcoming place on earth! Home to over 26 ethnic groups, the residents take great pride in their city, from our history and heritage to our wonderful and varied cuisine. Kuching’s residents are renowned for their hospitality and their good-naturalness. In its diversity there is unity and this is why on 1st August 2015 Kuching was declared the world’s first ‘City of Unity’.
For more information on Kuching, including things to do and places to see, visit: www.sarawaktourism.com
No visa is required for a stay of less than one month for nationals of all ASEAN countries, except Myanmar. For a stay exceeding one month, a visa will be required, except for Brunei and Singapore nationals. Commonwealth countries that require visas include Bangladesh, Cameroon, Ghana, Mozambique, Nigeria, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
For more visa information, please visit www.imi.gov.my
Your passport must have at least six months validity from your date of entry. The “Visa upon Arrival” service is no longer offered at the point of entry in Malaysia.
Types of Visa
The Malaysian Government issues Three (3) types of visas to foreign nationals:
1. Single Entry Visa
This is issued to foreign nationals who require a visa to enter Malaysia mainly for a social visit. It is normally valid for a single entry and for a period of three (3) months from the date of issue.
2. Multiple Entry Visa
This is issued to foreign nationals who require a visa to enter Malaysia mainly for business or government-to-government matters. It is normally valid for a period within three (3) months to twelve (12) months from the date of issue. Citizens of India and the People’s Republic of China who wish to enter Malaysia for the purpose of a Social Visit are eligible to apply for the Multiple Entry Visa. The validity of the Multiple Entry Visa is one (1) year. Each entry is for 30 days only and the extension of stay is not allowed.
Conditions for the Multiple Entry Visa are:
i. The applicant must show proof of sufficient funds for staying in Malaysia
ii. The applicant must possess a valid and confirmed return ticket
iii. Tour groups are not eligible to apply for Multiple Entry Visa.
iv. The Multiple Entry Visa costs RM100.00 for Indian Citizens and RM30.00 for citizens of
the People’s Republic of China.
3. Transit Visa
This is issued to foreign nationals who require a visa to enter Malaysia in transit to other countries. Foreign nationals on transit without leaving the airport premises and who continue their journey to the next destination with the same flight does not require a transit visa.
Apply for Visa
How to apply for a Visa
Visa applications must be made at any nearest Malaysian Representative Office Abroad. Applications can also be made online through I-Visa System (Applicable for tourist from India and China only).
1. Application for a Visa Without Reference
Documents required for the application of a visa without reference (approval of visa is given by High Commission of Malaysia) are:
i. Original passport
ii. Two (2) photocopies of the applicant’s passport
iii. Two (2) photocopies of the visa application form (Form IMM.47)
iv. Two (2) passport size photographs of the applicant
v. Original and two (2) photocopies of the ticket (confirmed and returned ticket)
vi. Bank statement/traveller’s cheque
vii. Invitation letter (if any)
viii. Payment of visa fee
Note: Visa Without Reference is required for the purpose of a social visit.
2. Application for a Visa With Reference
Documents which are required for the application of a visa with reference (visa will be issued after the application is being referred and approved by the Department of Immigration Malaysia / Other Agencies of Authority):
i. Original approval letter from the Immigration Department of Malaysia/other authority agencies
ii. Original passport
iii. Two (2) photocopies of the applicant’s passport
iv. Two (2) photocopies of visa application form (Form IMM.47)
v. Two (2) passport size photograph of applicant
vi. Original and two (2) photocopies of an air ticket
vii. Payment of visa fee
Note: Visa With Reference is required for students, those seeking employment, dependants and professionals on a visit pass.
|1||Visa required for any purpose of visit||Afghanistan (Visa with reference), Angola, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, China, Colombia Comoros, Congo Democratic Republic, Congo Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea- Bissau, Hong Kong, India, Liberia, Mali, Myanmar, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Rwanda, Republic of Serbia, Republic of Montenegro, Sri Lanka, Taiwan (if stay is beyond 15 days), United Nations (Laissez Passer), Western Sahara.|
|2||Visa required for visit exceeding 14 days||Iran, Iraq, Libya, Macao, Portugal, Palestine, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Yemen, Syria.|
|3||Visa required for visit exceeding 1 month||Armenia, Azerbaijan, Barbados, Belarus, Benin, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Gabon, Georgia, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea Republic, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong SAR, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macao SAR, Macedonia, Madagascar, Moldova, Mauritania, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Nicaragua, North Korea, North Yemen, Panama, Paraguay, Portugal, Russia, Sao Tome & Principe, Senegal, Slovenia, Sudan, Surinam, Tajikistan, Togo, Ukraine, Upper Volta, Uzbekistan, Vatican City, Venezuela, Zaire, Zimbabwe.|
|4||Visa required for any purpose of visit||Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Australia Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyz Republic, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Peru, Poland, Qatar, Romania, St Marino, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, S. Korea, Spain, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Yemen.|
|5||No Visa required for any purpose of visiting||All Commonwealth nationals Except Bangladesh, Cameroon, Ghana, India, Mozambique, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka|
– No visa is required for visit duration of within one month for nationals of all ASEAN countries except Myanmar. For a stay exceeding one month, a visa will be required, except for nationals of Brunei and Singapore.
– No visa is required for citizens of the United States of America visiting Malaysia for social, business or academic purposes (except for employment).
– For nationals of Israel, visas are required and permission must be granted from Ministry Of Home Affairs, Malaysia.– Nationals of countries other than those stated above (with the exception of Israel) are allowed to enter Malaysia without a visa for visit duration of within one month.
For more visa information: http://www.imi.gov.my/index.php/en/
* It is highly recommended that China and India nationals apply for the visa directly through the Malaysian Embassy in their respective country instead of applying online (eVisa) to avoid any complications. eVisa might take a while to be processed with a possibility of denied application. eNTRI is also not advisable.
* Visa requirements may vary from one country to another please contact the nearest Malaysian embassy to check the requirements.
Kuching International Airport (KIA)
Kuching has frequent and convenient air links from Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru and Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia, as well as Singapore and Brunei. KIA is served by Malaysia Airlines, MASwings, Air Asia, Malindo Air, Scoot, Wings Air and XpressAir. Arrival at KIA from anywhere outside Sarawak (including from within Malaysia) is subject to an immigration check.
– Money Changer at the airport: CIMB Bank has one foreign exchange outlet at Kuching International Airport, outside the arrival hall (Level 1). Open daily from 08.30 am to 05.30pm.
– Foreign Exchange & ATM: Various machines accept major credit cards including VISA, MasterCard, Cirrus, Plus and Bankcard. ATM machines from Maybank, CIMB Bank, Hong Leong Bank, AmBank and MEPS.
– KIA is an easy transit of around 20mins to the centre of town by taxi or by hotel shuttle.
For more KIA information, please visit www.kuchingairportonline.com.
The unit of currency is Malaysian Ringgit, indicated as ‘MYR’. Visit www.xe.com for the latest exchange rates. Foreign Exchange Booths are widely available and each clearly lists the exchange rate for all major currencies. ATMs are located at major bank branches, most shopping malls, the airport, and bus terminals. ATMs in Malaysia require a 6-digit PIN.
Climate – Tropical all year round
The Equator cuts through Borneo less than 100km south of Sarawak. The climate is always warm with frequent tropical showers throughout the year. There are two distinct seasons: November to March is\ rainy whilst April to October is drier. However, afternoon showers can occur throughout the year. The relative humidity in Malaysia is high, ranging from 70 to 90%.
The voltage used in Malaysia is 230/240volts, 50 Hz. If your electrical appliance uses 110/120 volts, you need to use a transformer/converter to step-up to 230/240. Malaysia uses the British Standard BS1363 three-pin (rectangular) plugs and sockets.