Alone among Malaysia's states, Sarawak maintains separate immigration
control, mostly so mainlanders cannot freely immigrate and swamp the thinly
populated state. Even if coming in from elsewhere in Malaysia, Malaysians
need to bring along their ID and other foreigners need to fill out a second
immigration from. Still, for most travellers this is just a formality
and an interesting extra stamp in their passport, as anybody who does
not need a visa for Malaysia can get a free 90-day visit permit on arrival.
If you do need an advance visa for Malaysia, you'll need one specifically
for Sarawak, so be sure to state this when applying at the Malaysian embassy.
There are frequent flights between Kuching, Sibu, Bintulu and Miri, as
well as turboprop jungle hoppers run by Fly Asian Xpress (FAX) (formerly
MAS Rural Air Service) into remote longhouses and other settlements in
Most cities in Sarawak are now linked by express buses although travelling
times can be long because of the distance. Companies include Vital Focus
Transportations Sdn. Bhd., which operates Suria Bas, PB and Borneo Highway
express buses, and Biaramas.
Express boats run from the coast inland along Borneo's larger rivers.
They are generally faster than buses and cheaper than planes, but more
dangerous than both (especially in the dry season when the water is low)
as captains are suicidal maniacs and the boats hit sunken or floating
debris with depressing regularity. Popular routes include Kuching-Sibu
(4 hours) and Sibu-Kapit (3 hours).
Most cities have local buses and taxis serving not only the city centres
and their surrounding suburbs but also adjacent rural districts.