Set just 14 miles (22 km) outside of the capital city of Kuching, the sandstone mountains of Kubah National Park offer some of the best day trekking and plant-spotting opportunities in the immediate region. Although myriad species of birds and mammals, such as arguas, pheasants, and bearded pigs, roam the tropical rain forest, Kubah is ultimately known for its stunning array of plant diversity, particularly palms. And if swimming beneath a waterfall sounds like the perfect afternoon, there are plenty of opportunities to do just that.
A walk down the hour-long Palmetum trail offers views of over 100 different types of palm trees, while other short walks such as the Belian Trail amble past exotic flora, like giant mushrooms, figs, durian, and rambutan. Those wanting to catch a glimpse of native Sarawak wildlife should head to the Matang Wildlife Centre located within the park boundaries. At this conservation center, where wild animals are rehabilitated for release back into the wild, visitors can observe orangutans, sun bears, and civets, a cat-like mammal with similarities to a mongoose or otter.
Kubah National Park and the Matang Wildlife Centre are open daily from 8am to 5pm. The park is accessible by the No. 11 bus from Saujana Car Park in Kuching, just 14 miles (22 km) away. Entrance costs 10 RM for adults and 5 RM for children and students.
While it’s possible to spot native wildlife within the park, keep in mind that these animals are wild and should be viewed from a safe distance. Animals being rehabilitated at the park’s Matang Wildlife Centre live in large enclosures in a rain forest-like setting, which affords visitors better opportunities to view the animals and to learn about the center’s preservation efforts.