Set under the spectacularly steep 810 peak of Gunung Santubong, the Santubong Peninsula is home to Sarawak's finest beach resorts and its famous Cultural Village.
Development of the resorts has been largely slow-paced and sensitive, and further curbs on development can be expected since part of the peninsula was declared a national park in 2007, 50 years after it was first suggested.
By shuttle van
Minivans head to Santubong regularly from the market in Kuching, leaving when full.You can also have the place you are staying on the peninsula send one to Kuching for you by arrangement.
Extremely cheap but unreliable public bus service operated by Petra Jaya transport departs from the market in Kuching and heads to Buntal, on the eastern side of the peninsula, and continues on to Santubong if there is sufficient demand.
Regular tour buses leave from most of the major hotels in Kuching. Fees are around RM10 per person.
The peninsula is very rural and undeveloped outside of the resorts. Which is a challenge on several fronts: the main attractions out of walking distance and none of them are next to one another. The best way to get around is to take shuttles from your accommodation. Most are Rm 5 per person.
- Sarawak Cultural Village. This living museum depicts the heritage of the major racial groups in Sarawak. Here, it is possible to see Sarawak's ethnic diversity at a glance. The handicraft is both bewildering and tempting. You can also try hands-on with making of these handicrafts. The 45-minute cultural performance of songs, dances and entertainment is something you will not want to miss out during your visit to Sarawak. It is also the site of the annual Rainforest World Music Festival. Besides all this, you can also join their traditional dance and music classes.
- Rainforest World Music Festival. Internationally famous festival bringing together musicians from a variety the many tribes of Borneo RM45-250.
- Damai Beach. Kuching's nearest public beach. There is a small section of beach which is free to use by the public and has nice sand with hermit crabs who rush about and burrow under the sand when you approach them! The water is very warm but not particularly clear but gently sloping for safe swimming. Beware of rocks at high tide, though. Parasols and kayaks can be hired. Busy at weekends.
- Damai Golf & Country Club. 18 hole golf course designed by Arnold Palmer RM100-160.
- Climb Gurung Santubong. An extremely demanding ascent of the 810m summit
- Sarawak Jungle Trek. Short marked circular trail through relatively level jungle terrain
The Santubong Peninsula is home to many fine resorts, mostly clustered around Damai Beach
- Santubong Resort.
- Damai Beach Resort. Large development including chalets and "ethnically designed rooms"
- Damai Puri Resort. This resort fronting Damai Beach has 207 beautiful rooms and a Spa Village, which has secluded massage villas, a yoga pavilion, hair spa, and a tea house that serves organic tea. Damai Puri Resort & Spa also has 2 outdoor pools, tennis courts, a 600-cap ballroom, and meeting rooms, and organizes jungle treks and water sports. Wi-Fi Internet is available.
- The Village House, ☎ +60 82 846 166, e-mail: email@example.com. Small luxury hostel located in Santubong Village. There is a pool and shuttle service to all major attractions. Breakfast is included in the room fee and the menu (and the chef) for the other meals is exquisite. Rooms - Rm240, dorms - Rm88.
The best way to get out is the same way you got in, that being by shuttle or by bus. The resorts mostly provide shuttles for Rm5-10 per person. Kuching is a hub for all further travel from there.