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SORIC 2013

Travel Advice


The Equator cuts through Borneo less than 100 km south of Sarawak. Bintulu has a tropical rainforest climate, moderately hot but very humid at times and receives substantial rainfall. The temperature in Bintulu ranges from about 24 - 31 °C

The voltage used in Malaysia is 230/240 volts -50hz. If your electrical appliance uses 110/120 volts, you need to use a transformer/converter to step down the 230/240 volts Malaysian voltage to your 110/120 volt appliances. Failing to do so will damage your electrical appliances.

Malaysia uses the British Standard BS1363 domestic AC power plugs and sockets. This design is not only in use in the United Kingdom and Ireland, but also in Sri Langka, Cyprus, Malta, Gilbraltar, Botswana, Ghana, Hong Kong, Macau, Brunei, Oman, Singapore, Kenya, Nigeria, Iraq, and Qatar. BS1363 is also standard in several of the former British Caribbean colonies such as St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Grenada.

Ringgit Malaysia or MYR is the official currency of Malaysia with notes available in RM100, RM50, RM20, RM10, RM5 and RM1 while 50sen, 20sen, 10sen, and 5sen are available in coins.

Banks, 24-hour ATMs and money changers are found in main airports and urban centres. Major credit card (VISA and MasterCard) are widely accepted, but cash is preferred for small amounts. International Banks like HSBC, Citi Bank, Standard Chartered and OCBC can be found in larger cities.

Even though Bahasa Malaysia is the national language, English is also widely spoken throughout the country. In the local market in Sarawak, local Malay and other ethnic language are being use daily. A variety of native tongues such as Iban, Bidayuh, Melanau, Kayan, Kenyah, Lun Bawang, Kelabit, Penan and Bisayah are spoken. While Mandarin is the medium of instruction in Chinese medium schools, the Chinese also speak several dialects such as Hokkein, Hakka, Foochow, Teochew and Cantonese.

Immigration Requirements
Visitors to Sarawak are required to fill in an immigration form upon arrival. Malaysia has strict anti-drug trafficking laws and those caught smuggling illegal drugs will be sentenced to a mandatory death penalty. Every person entering the country must possess a valid Passport or internationally recognized Travel Document. Visitors may also use a Document in lieu of Passport from the Immigration Representative for entry purposes. Application for the Document in lieu of Passport can be made at any Malaysian Representative Office abroad.

Arrival/Departure Card (IMM.26)
Visitors are required to complete the Arrival/Departure Card (IMM.26) upon arrival at the gazette entry points. This card is available at any entry point, Malaysian Representative offices abroad or at travel agencies.

They must present his/her passport together with the duly completed arrival/departure card to the Immigration officer on duty and he/she must ensure that the passport or travel document is endorsed with the appropriate pass before leaving the immigration counter.

Mobile Communications
Mobile telecommunications cover many parts of Sarawak except for very remote areas. Public phones are available in most shopping malls, street corridors and villages in the outskirts of town. In Malaysia, mobile phones use the following frequency bands: GSM-900/1800, 3G 2100, and 4G 2300. An overview of the available mobile networks are listed in the table below:




GSM-900/1800 (GPRS, EDGE)
2600 MHz FD-LTE


GSM-900/1800 (GPRS, EDGE)
900/2100 MHz UMTS, HSPA
2600 MHz FD-LTE


GSM-900/1800 (GPRS, EDGE)

U Mobile

GSM-900/1800 (GPRS, EDGE)


2300 MHz WiMAX

Yes 4G

2300 MHz WiMAX

Sarawak's government hospitals, clinics and dispensaries are located in all towns and larger villages. There are numerous private medical clinics, as well as pharmacies and Chinese medicine shops.

Business Hours
Most business premises are open Mondays to Fridays from 9am to 5pm. Shopping centres and arcades are usually open from 10am to10pm on a daily basis.

Souvenirs for home
Sarawak is a famous pepper producer so be sure to bring some back for your friends. Visitors also purchase frozen seafood and caviar of a local fish. Local food such as "Belacan" shrimp paste, birds' nests, fruit preserves and pickles allow you to share a taste of Sarawak's local delicacies. "Kain Songket", "Batik", beaded jewelry, woven mats and rattan baskets are reminders of the native's ingenious use of natural products. The musically inclined may wish to bring a variety of traditional instruments, such as the "Sape", "Jatung Utang" wooden xylophone and native gongs and drums. One of the most popular items sought by tourists is locally manufactured Sarawak pottery.



  Jointly organised by: Supported by:

Laboratory of Computational Statistics and
Operations Research, INSPEM, UPM.

Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences,
UPM Bintulu Sarawak Campus.