The Sarawak Cultural Village | What You Need to Know

The Sarawak Cultural Village is a living museum about Sarawak culture located approximately 40 minutes by car from the heart of Kuching, Malaysia. It’s a popular attraction for those interested in learning more about the historical inhabitants of Sarawak, namely their customs, lifestyles and architecture.

The grounds offer a variety of houses you can visit, inside which representatives and performers inform guests on their respective cultures. If you’re interested in visiting the Sarawak Cultural Village, I have some tips that will make your trip more enjoyable.

Buy tickets online to save money

Purchasing tickets online can save you some money. Tickets online, according to the official website of the Sarawak Cultural Village, are currently RM85 for adults and RM55 for children (ages 2-12). A ticket including lunch runs at RM117 and RM80, respectively. Sarawakians get an additional discount. The walk-in ticket prices for tourists are RM95 (adults) and RM60 (kids), which is a little over $2 USD more than the online prices.

You may be wondering if the lunch is worth the additional cost. I think it is. They provide a good amount of food I didn’t really find elsewhere in Kuching. RM32 is under $7 USD, so it’s not a bad price for the amount that you get. The photos below show some of the items that come with lunch but not all. There was a lot of food!

Bring water, sunscreen and mosquito repellant

The cultural village is an outdoor museum, so be prepared for heat, sunshine and mosquitoes. It was very hot during the time of my visit especially since the walking areas were under direct sunlight. Only the theater and gift shop have air condition. And while the houses seem free of nasty mosquitoes, the lagoon area definitely has them. If mosquitoes love you as much as they love me, you’ll want to DEET up.

I don’t recall seeing a water refill station, but the gift shop and restaurant sell beverages. You could also fill your bottle in the restrooms if you’re not opposed to tap water.

Travel clockwise around the lagoon

This is a subjective tip as it really doesn’t matter how you visit the cultural village, but I think it’s better if you travel clockwise (head left after the entrance). The houses increase in grandeur as you travel this way.

On the other hand, traveling counterclockwise would leave a nicer initial impression, but you would end your tour in an underwhelming fashion (no offense to the Chinese house but it is sparse compared to the others).

A visit to the Sarawak Cultural Village can be as quick as a couple of hours to lasting well over half a day; it gives back the time you invest. Each house offers something to learn and some have performances, games and snacks. Take the time to ask questions to the ambassadors in each house. Sit a bit when possible to escape the heat and really soak in how people lived back in the day. It’s amazing how the elevated houses in particular offer reprieve from the heat without any fans or air condition.

You may also want to bring small currency bills or coins to pay for the foods available in some of the houses. They’re cheap, but they come with an additional charge. A visit to the musical instrument house also costs an additional low fee.

Schedule time for the cultural show

During my visit there were two showings of the cultural show in the main theater. I’ve seen a lot of cultural performances in my time (I grew up in Hawai’i) and the show at the Sarawak Cultural Village is definitely near the top. And although I really despise audience participation (both watching and even more so being the victim), I did not hate getting pulled on stage to embarrass myself. See the video at the start of this post and watch until the end.

Make use of the free bus from the city center (weekends only)

For those traveling from Kuching, there’s a free bus that operates on weekends called the Damai Loop. This bus runs from the waterfront of the Sarawak River in downtown Kuching to the Sarawak Cultural Village. There are a number of other stops which you can see in the image below.

If you’re staying at one of the nearby resorts, such as the Damai Beach Resort or the Damai Lagoon Resort, you can also use this shuttle to enter town without a visit to the cultural village. Luggage is allowed as well. Since taxis and Grab cars are rare out here, you could ride the bus into town where rides are more plentiful.

I hope this post helps make your visit to the Sarawak Cultural Village more pleasant. As one of Kuching’s top attractions, it’s definitely worth a visit. Still got questions? Let me know in the comments and follow me on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and X.