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Bintulu
Nickname(s): Oil Town
Bintulu is located in Malaysia
Bintulu
Coordinates: 3°8′00″N 113°2′43″E / 3.1333333°N 113.04528°E / 3.1333333; 113.04528
Country
State
 Malaysia
Sarawak
Establishment Uncertain
Government
 - Bintulu Development Authority (BDA) General Manager Tuan Hj. Mohidin Ishak[1]
Area
 - Total 2,515 km2 (1,563 sq mi)
Population (2007)
 - Total 180,000 (the fourth largest urban areas in Sarawak)
 - Density uncalculated/km2 (uncalculate/sq mi)
Time zone MST (UTC+8)
 - Summer (DST) Not observed (UTC)
Website http://www.bda.gov.my

Bintulu is a coastal town, and the capital of Bintulu District (7,220.4 square kilometers) in the Bintulu Division of Sarawak, Malaysia. It is about 650 kilometers from Kuching and about 215 kilometers from either Sibu or Miri.

Some remnants of natural rainforest still exist near Bintulu despite the impact of the booming logging industry and the gradual encroachment of plantations, principally of oil palm and pulpwood, the latter mainly comprising various species of acacia and eucalyptus.

Bintulu is a major industrial centre. Its port area to the east of the main town hosts the Petronas Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) Complex, currently the world’s largest liquefied natural gas production facility on a single site, with an annual production of 23 million tonnes. [1]

The town is geographically situated half way between Kuching and Kota Kinabalu. Bintulu is a central gateway to tourist spots like Bakun Resort, Niah Caves (Gua Niah in Malay), Mulu National Park, Loagan Bunut National Park[2], Lambir National Park, Sibuti Wildlife Sanctuary, Rejang Pelagus, Belaga and the Bario Highlands.

An Iban longhouse near Setiam, Kuala Tatau-Bintulu road
Taman Tumbina (Tumbina Park) in Bintulu

Bintulu is accessible by air and road. The completion of the Pan Borneo Highway[3] has connected Bintulu by road to other major towns in Sarawak. Bintulu Airport is located 5.5 km south west of the town and is equipped to handle aircraft up to the size of a Boeing 737.[2]

As a booming industrial town, Bintulu has been undergone rapid transformations lately. The economic growth of Bintulu is reflected by the sprawling construction area and the openings of several international fast food chains in the town area. New houses are currently constructed in the suburban areas to cushion the increasing population of the town. The rapid growth of the town's population, coupled with the increasing affluence of its people has catapulted the recent retail boom that the town is witnessing. New mall and supermarkets are the testaments of this.

However, the rapid urbanisation that Bintulu is facing has also led to the growth of the squatter's settlements and slums that surround the town's industrial area. The most notable is the slum area around the Sungai Plan area. The squatters' settlements are generally inhabited by the migrant workers who came from either the rural areas or the neighbouring countries (notably Indonesia). However, the local authority has made significant efforts in tackling this problem by building units of low-cost homes, the most notable being the RPR Kidurong low-cost housing development.

The role of the primary sector to the economy of Bintulu has greatly diminished and has been replaced by the secondary and tertiary sector. Bintulu is also equipped with several hotels that are able to cater to the needs of the town's burgeoning business communities. Furthermore, a more robust growth is anticipated in the future due to the Bintulu's position as the main urban focus for the ambitious multi-billion dollar Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE).[4][5][6]

Contents

History

The history of Bintulu stretched back to 40,000 years ago with the discovery of artifacts found in the Great Niah Caves, some 120 km to the North of Bintulu where civilization started. There were also indications of early trade carried out with ancient China.

Bintulu was once under the rule of the Brunei Sultanate. However, in 1841, Sarawak was ceded to Sir James Brooke, an English adventurer who then became the First Rajah of Sarawak. In 1861, Bintulu, which was still part of Brunei, was also ceded to the Rajah and became part of Sarawak.

Situated close to Brunei, Bintulu played a very significant role in the history of democracy in Sarawak. On September 8, 1867, it became the first meeting place of the State Legislative Assembly, the Council Negeri.

The Brooke family had ruled Sarawak for about 100 years before it was occupied by the Japanese from 1941 to 1945. When Charles Vyner Brooke, the Rajah, returned to Sarawak in 1946, he took steps to hand Sarawak over to Britain. Thus in July, 1946, Sarawak became a British Crown Colony. Colonial rule lasted until July 22, 1963 and then on September 16, 1963 Sarawak joined the Federation of Malaysia.

Following the discovery of large reserves of natural gas offshore Bintulu in 1969, a feasibility study conducted in 1975 found in nearby Tanjung Kidurong a suitable site for Sarawak's first deep-water port.[7]

Realising the industrial potential in Bintulu, the Bintulu Development Authority (BDA) was established in 1978 by the State Government to undertake infrastructure development as well as to coordinate and promote industrial investment in the area.

From 1979 onwards, Bintulu has witnessed unprecedented industrial development that looks set to continue beyond the year 2000. Already, Bintulu is Sarawak's leading industrial growth centre.

http://bin2lu.ning.com/

Demographic

Bintulu is the fourth largest town in Sarawak, after Kuching city, Miri city and Sibu town. Its current population stands at 209,800 [8]. The ethnic composition is primarily Iban, Chinese, Melanau, Kayan, Kenyah, Punan and Segaan who was the local native, and a large number of foreign workers mainly from Norway, Britain, Australia, Italy and Indonesia with a population of over 180,000 covering an area of about 12,500 square kilometers.

However the number of voters in Bintulu is still low. During last March 8, 2008 Malaysia General Election, Bintulu has only about 50,243 registered voters against its total population of more than 180,000.[9] Ibans make up the largest number of voters of 46 percent, followed by the Chinese voters (29 percent), the oddly classified Malay/Melanaus voters (22 percent) and others (which include Punan, Penan and Kayan) make up 3 percent of the voters.

Education

The UPM Bintulu Sarawak Campus main Library
SMK Kidurong, Bintulu (2006)

Bintulu is home to one of Malaysia's public universities - the Universiti Putra Malaysia[10], Bintulu Campus. The campus was reopened in November 2001 based on the third objective of UPM's 2001-2010 planning strategy, which is to upgrade UPM's ability as an internationally acclaimed Centre of Study, Agricultural and Biosource Services.

UPM Bintulu Sarawak Campus is situated 13 kilometers from Bintulu Town, and is surrounded by a lush environment rich in flora and fauna, and this natural abundance is fully utilized to affirm UPM's mission to further explore the fields in agriculture and biosource. This campus covers an area of 715.16 hectares and will be able to accommodate up to 5000 students by the year 2010.

For primary and secondary education, just as any other towns in Malaysia, Bintulu has 'Sekolah Kebangsaan' (National type schools), Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK (National Secondary School)), Chinese Schools and several International Schools.

One National Secondary School in Bintulu is Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Bintulu, or simply known as SMK Bintulu by the locals. SMK Bintulu is the largest secondary school in Sarawak, as well as the school with the largest amount of students in Malaysia. The school is dominated by the Chinese students, followed by the indigenous students, Malay students and foreign students. The school is well known in Sarawak for its academic achievements and co-curricular activities. One of the STPM top scorer is from SMK Bintulu. SMK Bintulu's robotics club is well known for its glorious achievements in the state and national level for the past few years. The robotics club also emerged as 2nd runner-up in a particular competition in Yokohama, Japan. The school is also known locally for its choir team. The school's choir team had emerged as champion in the Bintulu district competition since its establishment in 2003, but always lose to fierce rival, SMK Methodist Sibu at state level competition.

There are other National Secondary School, i.e SMK Bandar Bintulu, SMK Kidurong, SMK Baru Bintulu, SMK Assyakirin, SMK Sebauh (Sebauh Division) & SMK Tatau (Tatau Division). SM Kai Dee (Kai Dee School)[11] is a well-known private Chinese school in Bintulu & located at Nyabau Road. Kidurong International School[12][13][14][15] is located in Kidurong.

A Technical School of the Education Department[16] is found on a 20-hectare site, about 15 kilometres from the Bintulu Town and near to the industrial projects at Tanjung Kidurong. Built at a cost of RM15 million and completed in 1982, the school has at present 527 students pursuing various courses at the school. The school has a maximum capacity of 900 students and an annual intake of 280 students. The various courses offered are as follows:

  • Automotive
  • Building Construction
  • Commerce
  • Electrical Installation & Maintenance
  • Fashion & Design
  • Stenography
  • Welding & Electronic
  • Mechanical
  • Catering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Bintulu is also home of Sarawak first and only flying academy. Gulf Golden International Flying Academy(GGIFA) is the one of only two of seven flying academy in Malaysia which have college status. It currently has more than 100 cadet pilots in the college.

Transportation

Bintulu airport terminal building
Bintuluair02.jpg

Air links
Bintulu is accessible by air and road. The completion of the Pan-Borneo Highway has connected Bintulu by road to other major towns in Sarawak. Bintulu Airport is located 5.5 km south west of the town and is equipped to handle aircraft up to the size of a Boeing 747.[17]

The new, modern Bintulu Airport is much bigger than the old airport. Malaysia Airlines (including its subsidiary MASwings) and AirAsia are the only airlines that fly to Bintulu. Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia operates daily flights to various destinations in the country which include Kuching, Miri, Kota Kinabalu and Kuala Lumpur.

However only Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia has daily flights from Kuala Lumpur to Bintulu currently.

Land
Bintulu is well-connected to other major urban centres in Sarawak by the Pan-Borneo Highway. The express bus services provide comfortable and cheap means of transportation all of the major towns in Sarawak. The Medan Jaya Bus Station is the Bintulu's single centre for the intercity bus services.[18] Bintulu is also served by the comfortable intracity buses whose routes serve a significant portion of the town area. All buses are air-conditioned.

Industries

Bintulu has a number of industries. The major ones are:

Malaysia Liquefied Natural Gas (MLNG) plants

There are 3 liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants in Bintulu - MLNG, MLNG Dua and MLNG Tiga. Petronas, the national oil corporation, owns majority interests in these plants.[19][20]

Asean Bintulu Fertilizer (ABF) plant
The Asean Bintulu Fertilizer (ABF) plant is a joint venture by five Asean countries namely Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and Singapore. It produces anhydrous ammonia and granular urea, and is one of the largest urea plants in Asia.[21]

Shell Middle Distillate Synthesis plant
The world's first commercial gas to liquids (GTL) plant - the Shell Middle Distillate Synthesis (SMDS) plant - started operations in May 1993. The SMDS technology converts natural gas into high quality synthetic oil, waxes and specialty products that are paraffinic, colourless and odourless.[22][23][24] Shell MDS (Malaysia) supplied the GTL fuel in the jet fuel mix used in one of the engines of the Airbus A380 during its test flight on alternative fuel on 1 February 2008.[25][26]

National Parks

Similajau National Park
See Similajau National Park.

Financial Services

Almost all Malaysian major banks and finance companies have their branches in Bintulu

1. Maybank
2. CIMB Bank
3. Bank Muamalat
5. EON Bank
6. Bank Islam
7. Public Bank
8. RHB Bank
9. Affin Bank
10. Bank Rakyat
11. AmBank
12. Hong Leong Bank

Foreign banks include - HSBC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and Hwang DBS Investment Bank.

Accommodation

The New World Suites, Bintulu
Imperial Suites Bintulu at Tanjong Batu, which is beside the beach of Bintulu

There are several hotels and budget hotels in Bintulu. The new hotel is the New World Suites located at ParkCity Commercial area and Imperial Suites, Tanjung Batu. Below are the links to these hotels.

A 5-star hotel is currently under construction.

References

  1. ^ BDA General Manager
  2. ^ Loagan Bunut National Park
  3. ^ Pan Borneo Highway
  4. ^ Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy
  5. ^ SCORE set to make Sarawak a powerhouse of growth TheStar Online
  6. ^ RM110 billion investments for SCORE TheStar Online
  7. ^ Gas Utilisation in Sabah and Sarawak Malaysian Gas Association
  8. ^ Department of Statistic, 2007. Malaysia)
  9. ^ It's a hatrick for Tiong in Bintulu. http://www.bintulu.org accessed on 25 March. 2008
  10. ^ Universiti Putra Malaysia
  11. ^ SM Kai Dee SM Kai Dee website
  12. ^ Kidurong International School Website
  13. ^ Kidurong International School Handbook
  14. ^ Kidurong International School in Malaysia School Finder
  15. ^ Kidurong International School in The Outpost Network
  16. ^ Technical School of the Education Department
  17. ^ Bintulu Airport at Malaysia Airports
  18. ^ Medan Jaya Bus Station at blogs.bintulu.org
  19. ^ Malaysia Liquefied Natural Gas plants, one of the gigantic projects in Bintulu
  20. ^ MLNG Shell's interest in MLNG
  21. ^ Asean Bintulu Fertilizer plant
  22. ^ Shell MDS Plant, one of the gigantic projects in Bintulu
  23. ^ Shell MDS (Malaysia) - Shell in Malaysia
  24. ^ Shell MDS (Malaysia) List of products
  25. ^ Airbus A380 test flight on GTL fuel
  26. ^ A380 makes test flight on alternative fuel on REUTERS

External links

Coordinates: 3°10′N 113°02′E / 3.167°N 113.033°E / 3.167; 113.033


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Bintulu is a part coastal, part riverine town, and the capital of Bintulu District (7,220.4 square kilometers) in the Bintulu Division of Sarawak, Malaysia. It is approximately 624 km away from Kuching and about 215 km from either Sibu or 205 km from Miri. It is a home to about 200,000 inhabitants. Bintulu is known as a place of 'making a living'. Although it is not a main tourist destination in Sarawak, the local authorities such as Sarawak Tourism Board and Bintulu Development Authority are now making a lot of efforts to make Bintulu a tourist heaven.

Bintulu is a major industrial centre, and soon to be a capital of energy-intensive industries in Malaysia. Its port area to the east of the main town hosts the Petronas Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) Complex, currently the world’s largest liquefied natural gas production facility on a single site, and also the very first Shell Middle Distillate Synthesis plant.

The town is geographically situated half way between Kuching and Kota Kinabalu. Bintulu is a central gateway to tourist spots like Bakun Resort, Niah Caves (Gua Niah in Malay), Mulu National Park, Longan Bunut National Park, Lambir National Park, Sibuti Wildlife Sanctuary, Rejang Pelagus, Belaga and the Bario Highlands.

History

Bintulu was once under the rule of the Brunei Sultanate. However, in 1841, Sarawak (now Kuching) was ceded to Sir James Brooke, an English adventurer who then became the First Rajah of Sarawak. In 1861, Bintulu, which was still part of Brunei, was also ceded to the Rajah and became part of Sarawak.

On September 8, 1867, it became the first meeting place of the State Legislative Assembly, the Council Negeri. Following other Sarawak divisional counterparts, Bintulu has also being under the rule of Rajah Brooke family, Japan, British and now Malaysia.

Starting from a scratch, Bintulu was formerly a fishermen village, with few old Chinese shophouses (now, all of these shophouses are no longer exist). Following the discovery of large reserves of natural gas offshore Bintulu in 1969, a feasibility study conducted in 1975 found in nearby Tanjung Kidurong a suitable site for Sarawak's first deep-water port. Realising the industrial potential in Bintulu, the Bintulu Development Authority (BDA) was established in 1978 by the State Government to undertake infrastructure development as well as to coordinate and promote industrial investment in the area. Currently, BDA is celebrating their 30th anniversary.

Bintulu has now thrived tremendously from a small fishermen village with the population of mere 70,000 in the early 1970s to more than 200,000 now. Bintulu has superceded Kapit and Sarikei for becoming the fourth largest urban town in Sarawak. The population of Bintulu is expected to grow 30,000 in the next 5 years. The development in Bintulu can be seen anywhere, while changes in its town landscape can be observed significantly in 2-3 years.

Bintulu is planning to be a fully-industrialized city by the year 2020.

Orientation

Bintulu, a capital town of Bintulu division and district, can be divided into few areas:

  • Tanjung Kidurong (10-20km from Bintulu town). Tanjung Kidurong is an industrial zone which consists of Petronas facilities of MLNG, Shell facilities of SMDS, BCOT (Bintulu Crude Oil Terminal), Bintulu Port, ABF (Asean Bintulu Fertilizer), Sarawak Fertilizer and various shipping and hardware factories. There are also housing estates, institutional quarters, settlers (at Sg. Plan), schools (including Technical School), stadiums (both open and closed stadium) and golf course.
  • Kemena (10km from Bintulu town). Kemena is also an industrial zone. However it is more focused on timber industries such as logging shipment docks, plywood factories and variety of wood products factories. It also housed Bintulu Port Sdn. Bhd. quarters.
  • Bintulu town centre. It is where the main trading activities were carried out. It is home to traditional shoppers of wild produce, seafood, fruits and various basic needs which can be obtained mostly at Pasar Tamu or Pasar Utama Bintulu. The Bintulu town centre has also expanded until Tanjung Batu, including Parkcity Commercial Centre (the latest and busiest commercial centre in Bintulu, and also where Parkcity Mall, New World Suites and Parkcity-Everly Hotel were situated).
  • Jepak. A fishermen village which now has become an extension to Bintulu town centre in the opposite area of Kemena river. It comprises of Kg. Jepak and other government offices such as Marine Police.
  • Medan Jaya & Medan Sentral. A new bustling township comes in pair, each located opposite each other at the side of busy junction of Jalan Sultan Iskandar-Jalan Tun Hussein Onn-Jalan Kidurong. It is a premier shopping centre in Bintulu where three supermarket giants; Farley Supermarket, Sing Kwong Supermarket and MDS Supermarket are located.

Get in

By Plane

Bintulu Airport (IATA: BTU) is main gateway for Bintulu division (which can further bring travellers to Sebauh, Tatau, Selangau, Belaga and Niah). There is daily connection to Kuala Lumpur on Malaysia Airlines [1], AirAsia [2], as well as daily flight to Kuching. MASWings [3], which took over the rural air service from FlyAsian Express (FAX) on October 1, 2007, links Bintulu with Mukah, Miri, Kota Kinabalu and Belaga. International connections are not available since that Bintulu is not declared as an international airport.

The airport was previously located at Bintulu oldtown (which is now being used for other purposes such as International Borneo Kite Festival and other ceremonies). It was re-located to a new location which is 25km away from Bintulu town. When checking in, note that all flights outside Sarawak are considered "international", even if you're only going elsewhere in Malaysia. A restaurant is located on ground floor at the lower ground and in the boarding hall (named Niah Cafe).

Getting there/away: Bintulu town is about 20 minutes away by taxi, a fixed RM35.00 from the taxi coupon stand just outside arrivals. There are no buses serving the airport. One can be a little bit adventurous by walking for about 1.5km out of the airport to the airport crossing and catch Jepak bus to Bintulu town. Warning, this is an extremely rare thing to be done, so just spare some cash for a taxi to Bintulu town instead.

By boat

Express boats can only link to Bintulu town from other smaller Bintulu suburban and rural areas such as Sebauh, Tubau and Labang. No express boats serving Bintulu town to other major cities/towns in Sarawak.

By bus

Bintulu regional express bus terminal is located at Medan Jaya, located not so far from Farley Supermarket. All Sarawak major towns and cities like Kuching, Sibu, Miri, Mukah, Betong, Sri Aman, Sarikei, Batu Niah and Sungai Tujuh are well connected with Bintulu. Wide array of choices pamper travellers such as MTC Transport, Biaramas, Eva Transport etc. One can also expect towns which can only be served by Bintulu bus terminal such as Sg. Asap (a small town in Belaga area) and Bakun (a hydro-electric project). An international link bus such as to Brunei (via Sg. Tujuh) and Pontianak, Indonesia can be bought at the terminal. Estimated travelling time from Kuching to Bintulu is 9 hours, which sometimes transit to other main towns.

By Car

There is an extensive network of sealed roads linking Bintulu to major cities and towns. One can expect the furthest is from Pontianak (around 1050km) or even to as far as Tawau in Sabah (more than 1000km). Bintulu is always a transit town from Kuching to Kota Kinabalu.

Get around

By bus

Bintulu has one of the most efficient bus transportation system in Sarawak, which is served by Jepak Transportation Sdn. Bhd. The bus serves transport to other minor parts of the town to as far as Sg. Asap and Tatau/Kuala Tatau. Municipal bus can be found one stop at the Pasar Tamu Bus Terminal.

Normally, only rural people and low-income group urban and suburban people use bus. So, if you are first-time traveler to Bintulu, be prepared to use simple Bahasa Melayu, Bahasa Iban or Bahasa Melayu-Sarawak language. English is not a common language to be used for bus travellers here.

By boat

Various express boats serve Bintulu which connect Bintulu to other minor towns and rural areas such as Sebauh, Tatau, Kuala Tatau, Tubau and Labang. The fare ranges from RM2 to RM80 (depend on the destination). Travelers can also opt to rent a 'perahu' or speed boat to other minor towns for greater adventure. However, spare a lot of cash for this purpose because the rent can shoot up to RM500 per day (excluding engine oil).

On foot

Bintulu old town is quite a pedestrian-friendly with lots of traffic lights served for pedestrians. However, walk to other parts of town might be a tiring one, especially to Parkcity Commercial area and Medan Jaya. So opt for bus which cost you less than RM2 than to break your expensive legs.

See

Kampung Jepak

Kampung Jepak is a traditional fishermen village where majority of the inhabitants are Melanaus (Bintulu Melanaus) and Malays. It is separated from the main town of Bintulu by Sungai Kemena. You may be mesmerized by the traditional feature and lifestyle of Bintulu Melanau such as sago processing, fish drying, manufacturing of belacan (shrimps paste), cencaluk (salted shrimps), making of Terendak (Melanau Headgear) and Tutop (food cover or "tudung sarang / tudung saji"). One can get to Kampung Jepak by tambang (from main town of Bintulu) or via road from Bintulu-Sibu road (exit to Kuala Tatau/Kampung Jepak).

Council Negri Monument

Bintulu is home to the first legislative assembly meeting of Sarawak. It was held way back in 1867. With Charles Brooke, the second white Rajah of Sarawak in the chair, there sat 5 of his British Officers and 16 Malay and Melanau Members (Chiefs) to mark a new era in the conduct of the affairs of the state. A centenary stone commemorating the centennial of the historical meeting was erected on this site in 1967 and was further improved to include a clock tower and fountain in 1987, the fountain was attractively fenced up in November 1998 for safety and aesthetical purpose. The monument can be found by visitors on their way to the heart of Bintulu town.

Pasar Utama & Pasar Tamu Bintulu

These markets, located side by side, are the most frequently visited location in Bintulu, both by rural folks and tourists. The market is divided into many parts, each for different type of traded items such as fruits, belachan (shrimp paste) & cincaluk (a solution of fermented shrimps), wet areas (for fish and seafood traders), vegetables, basic commodities, as well as smuggled cigarettes & liquors! The upper floor of Pasar Tamu is a place where local delicacies can be savoured. If you visit Bintulu, it is a must to buy Bintulu belachan and cincaluk. Its pure, natural and traditional way of processing makes these tourists favourite keep coming back for more!

Pasar Malam

Unlike Pasar Malam in Kuching or Miri, Bintulu Pasar Malam is held every single day, be it weekdays or weekends, and also local holidays. Here you can enjoy local version of 'fast food', from apam balik, roti canai, burger, or even nasi campur. As for non-Muslim, they can also savour pork delicacies such as siew pau. Other traded items are like bundled jeans pants, handbags and also, smuggled cigarettes & liquors (again!).

Masjid Assyakirin

It was named Masjid Assyakirin, which defines "Gratefulness". It is a centre of religious activities by Muslims in Bintulu. It has once organized state-level event of "Majlis Nuzul Quran" (an event to commemorate 'birth' of Quran). As a matter of fact, it is the largest mosque in Bintulu division, and also the only mosque in Malaysia which is maintained by BDA, a local municipal authority (not religious departments).

Kuan Ying Tong Temple

Situated on Jalan Iskandar and surrounded by three churches; St. Thomas Anglican church, Methodist Church and St. Anthony Catholic church, this is the only Chinese temple in the area. It is located just a mere 2 kilometres from Bintulu town centre. Amongst the peculiar features of this unique spiritual landmark are the rock garden courtyard, man-made waterfall and dragon fencing - all of quality craftmanship. It can be easily seen on your way to the heart of Bintulu town.

Tanjung Batu Beach

Fancy a rocky and sandy beach side-by-side? This unique feature happens to be the attraction to Tanjung Batu Beach (which is also how the name is given, "Rocky Isthmus"). It is a place where people in Bintulu jog and stroll their way along the beach, or the road with their families, apart from taking a sun-tanning session. However, beware the coastline during monsoon season, as there has been cases of drowning annually.

Taman Tumbina

Being the only zoo in the northern region of Sarawak, Taman Tumbina is a house to various animals such as crocodiles and pythons. Most of the visitors enter the park for jungle-trekking or hill climbing. The beautiful scenery of South China Sea awaits people who dare to climb to the top of the hill!

Bintulu Prominade
Bintulu Prominade

Similajau National Park

Similajau National Park is a park of golden beach (it's really gold in colour!) and also a very harsh mangrove woods. You can take a hike deep into the jungle so you will be able to find the true "Golden Beach". For more information, contact: Forest Department (National Park/Wildlife) Tel: (60) 86-336101.

Bintulu Promenade

The latest attraction to Bintulu is the 120-acre Bintulu Promenade, the state's longest waterfront attraction similar to the one in Kuching. It is a commercial and recreational park rolled into one and strategically located near the delta of Kemena River and the Parkcity Everly Hotel. Perfect place for a relaxing stroll and to watch sunset and enjoy the evening breeze.

Festival and Celebrations

Bintulu has hosted several festivals and celebrations throughout the year. Among the most popular celebrations in Bintulu are:

  • International Borneo Kite Festival. Held annually between July to August, the festival is a one-week event which showcased the public display of kites from around the world, ranging from traditional kites of Wau to more modern flying sculpture such as Pokemon.
  • Bintulu Regatta. Held annually and back-to-back with Sebauh, the event is held to encourage people from people around Bintulu to compete for the fastest boat rowing. It is similar to Dragon Boat Festival in China and the competition offers prizes for various categories such as speed boat, motor boat and traditional boat.
  • An Evening In Bintulu. Held annually to celebrate New Year right from 1st December to the end. It includes various activities such as singing competition, trade fair, new year celebration and Christmas carolling. The brainchild of this event is the Resident of Bintulu himself, Dr. Razali Abon, with help from various government agencies such as JKR Bintulu and also participants from private agencies, corporate bodies and individuals.

Do

Golfing at Bintulu Golf Course

It's annual event of Piala TYT makes this golf course a must for visitors who love to play golf. It has the splendid sceneries of pine trees along the rocky beach of Tanjung Batu. Don't miss the hole while doing that putter!

Fishing

Fishing is one of the popular hobbies in Bintulu. People can opt for fishing at the rivermouth of Kemena river, or at the sea for seafood, or if you are looking for freshwater food, you can go fishing at Tubau river, Tatau river (upriver area) or Jelalong river. However, beware of crocodiles and shallow water, your boat might hit those big trunks or rocks at the riverbed and it might spoil your mood for fishing.

Working

Bintulu is not a main tourist attraction. People say, you can spend money in Singapore, but you got to earn it in Bintulu! Bintulu is the place where the biggest integrated gas processing plant in the world and the first Shell Middle Distillate Synthesis (SMDS) in the world located, and also thriving industries taking place, from fertilizers (ASEAN fertilizers plant is situated here) to shipping, petrochemicals, palm oil processing & plantations as well as timber industries. World-renowned companies like Shell, Petronas and Harbour Link made their home in Bintulu.

Don't forget, Bintulu is a core development area of Sarawak corridor (SCORE). It will house bigger and more energy-intensive industries like aluminium smelting plant. It is also linked to the biggest hydroelectic dam in Malaysia, Bakun. More and more investors are interested in taking part of SCORE. An estimated 30,000 boost of jobs will flood Bintulu soon.

Studying

Bintulu is a place where several academic institution located. It has a branch campus Malaysian-renowned universiti, Universiti Putra Malaysia. It has also Sedamai College (private institution). GGIFA (Gulf Golden International Flying Academy), an academy for aspiring pilots, is based next to Bintulu Airport. Soon to be opened in Bintulu is ADTEC (Advanced Technology College), a college offering diploma by Ministry of Human Resource Malaysia, and also IKM (Institut Kemahiran Mara), a college specifically for disadvantaged Bumiputeras who wish to undergo hard skills.

Nightlife Entertainment

Due to the sizeable expat population here thanks to its oil & gas industry, Bintulu is not lacking in night life entertainment. There are numerous bars, pubs, clubs & karaokes here for the working class to relax and enjoy themselves after a hectic day.

Unfortunately, the oil & gas boom era also brought in the vice of prostitution into the city. Although illegal, this vice, allegedly controlled by triad gangs, can still be found at some nightlife spots in Bintulu.

Markets and Shopping Centres

There are various shopping places in Bintulu. You can choose any of them based on your needs and lifestyle.

  • Parkcity Mall, Parkcity Commercial Area. Buy branded products, splurge with beautiful hair makeover or eat nice honey waffle here!  edit
  • Pasar Utama & Pasar Tamu Bintulu, Lebuhraya Abang Galau. If you love Belachan and Cincaluk, or traditional shoppers at wet markets, head yourself straight to the heart of Bintulu town for a tour at Pasar Utama & Pasar Tamu Bintulu.  edit
  • City Point, Keppel Road. Cheap shoes and DVDs are one of the big attractions here. The one and only cineplex in Bintulu (and also the oldest cineplex in Malaysia!) is also situated here. You can catch a glimpse of old machine where movies were played during the old days of Bintulu cineplex.  edit
  • Farley Bintulu, Medan Jaya. Retail supermarket with wide array of basic necessities . Located near to the outstation bus terminal  edit
  • Sing Kwong Supermarket, Medan Central & Jalan Tanjung Batu. Buy everyday necessities here.They have 2 huge locations in Bintulu which is by far, alot cheaper than Farley. They do also retail alot of Australian products and impose on freshness of thier quality goods. If your looking for something special or a better deal, just head right away to Singkwong.  edit
  • Ngiu Kee Deparmental Store, Lebuhraya Abang Galau. Buy your daily needs here. Nothing much can be found here.  edit
  • Everwin, Lebuhraya Abang Galau. Three-storey shopping centre for your favourite clothes, or buy school uniforms, shoes, pants, curtains, cushion covers, undergarments and almost everything in the name of 'fabric' can be found here.  edit
  • MDS Supermarket (Jalan Abang Galau & Medan Jaya), Jalan Abang Galau & Medan Jaya. Buy normal basic needs here. Nothing special here.   edit
  • Monegain, Berjaya Commercial Square. A neighborhood supermarket to cater people from the surrounding area of Mile 1 to Mile 2 1/2 for basic needs.(Behind Li Hua Hotel)  edit

There are some items you must buy when you are Bintulu. Here are those most essential items that you must buy when you visit Bintulu:

Belachan (Shrimp Paste)

Belachan in Bintulu is the most popular food ingredients in Sarawak. Most Sarawakians, especially Malay, cook their traditional cuisines using Bintulu Belachan. It is made from sun-dried shrimp, mixed with salt solution. It is a main ingredient for Midin Belachan, Mee Hoon Belachan, Laksa Sarawak and Nasi Goreng Belachan.

Cincaluk (Fermented Shrimp Paste)

This salty shrimpy 'juice' is not to be consumed by a people who hate stinky food. It was made from fermented shrimp (dipped in vinegar and salt) with some other additives. Cincaluk in Bintulu is considered to be 'pure' and original due to the fact that there was no added colouring or preservatives in the making of this cincaluk.

Terendak (Melanauh Headgear)

If you notice in Bintulu, there are a lot of recreational parks (or even the Pasar Tamu and Wisma Bintulu roof) are in the shape of terendak, or Melanau headgear. It is normally used to protect oneself under the sun. Head on to local handicrafts store in Bintulu to get your very own Terendak.

Tutop (food cover)

Tutop, or "tudung saji" in Malay, is also in a shape of Terendak. The difference is just its purpose and the size of it. You can get your own Tutop at local market or handicrafts/souvenir shop.

Sagu products

Sagu is an extract of a trunk of Sagu tree. Traditionally, it was made by hard-pressing the trunk to extract its juice and the juice will be sun-dried to make a sagu flour. The sagu flour then can be made into different type of local delicacies like Tebaloi, Biji Sagu, Linut and Sagu biscuits. Most of sagu products are a 'dry product', so don't be afraid to take one if you are in the long journey to go home.

Eat

Be it budget or splurge, Bintulu is somehow a fine place for casual dining.

  • Seribu Bintang Restaurant, Jalan Kg. Baru (end of Kpg Baru) (located just at the splitted road of Kg. Baru), 013-8369792. This is a place where you can savour variety of , Thai, Chinese, Malay, Indian and Indonesian cuisine under one roof. The local favourites here are Brocoli with Sea Asparagus, Sea Cucumber Soup, Stim or Deep Fried fish with various type of sauce (eg: Asam Nyonya, Cantonese Style, Thai Paste, etc),Tandoori, Nan, Nasi Bryani (Real Bryani style), Sizzling Food, Claypot, Kerabu, Umai (sarawak Local Food), Mussel, Ambal, Burung Puyuh and lots more. There are several 'pondok' for customer who want to sit on the floor. Restoran Seribu Bintang is the pioneer of the kind in Bintulu. Romantic music is play throughout the night.  edit
  • Chiems Restoran Nelayan, Jalan Kg. Baru (just at the side of roundabout linking Sebiew, Kg. Baru and Bintulu town). Visitors' favourites are Kangkung in Belacan Sauce, Fried Chicken, Ikan Sebelah Masak Kari and so on. You can also pick your own fish to be cooked.  edit
  • Famous Mama, (opposite Ambank). They cooked the best Nasi Kandar and Nasi Beriani in Bintulu. However, during peak hours, the restaurant will be jammed with people from nearby mosque and suraus after their prayers.  edit
  • Nasi Lemak Kidurong, (opposite Petronas Dagang, another one is at Kemena). They serve one of the best Nasi Lemak in Sarawak. Their nasi ayam also a local favourite and their nasi campur is one of the cheapest in town. Their delicious food made some people craving for it from upriver come here just to savour it. Imagine!  edit
  • Refah Corner, Medan Jaya (in the same row of shophouses with Courts Mammoth). You will surely love their roti canai and roti sardin. It's one of the best in town! The bread is crispy and thick, and the filling is also thick and tasty! Make you coming back for more!  edit
  • Azah Pon Cafe, Medan Jaya (behind Shell Medan Jaya). They serve the best Mee Jawa in town. Although some people regard this place as dirty, they are some of their regular visitors who can't forget the deliciousness of their Mee Jawa and Mee Jawa Special (with satay).  edit
  • Selera Utara, Parkcity Commercial Centre (same row of shophouses with Bank Rakyat). Serving fine northern Malaysian cuisine. They also serve Nasi Bukhari, Nasi Beriani, Pasembur and some other famous Peninsular Malaysia cuisine. A bit expensive, but you can try them once in a while!  edit
  • Restoran Sri Bayu, Parkcity Commercial Centre (next to Metrology Station). They serve the crispiest roti canai and roti sardin in Bintulu. You might need to wait a little bit longer than usual, but it's worth the wait! The food are also cheap.  edit
  • Peace Garden, Parkcity Commercial Centre. They serve best Halal Chinese food in town. You can choose from lemon chicken, Japanese tofu, stir fry Pak Choy or butter prawn! There are also not so expensive, but you can try them once a week with your family.  edit
  • Apple Restaurant, Parkcity Commercial Centre. They serve variety of traditional yet delicious Chinese seafood. It is also a perfect place for family weekend dining.  edit
  • Abida Cafe, Lebuhraya Abang Galau (behind Regency Plaza Hotel). The service is quick, and you will get your roti canai fresh and hot from their kitchen. A bit crowded at night, but don't be surprised with their hospitality and the price of their food. It's kinda cheap too!  edit
  • Restoran Marco Polo, Lebuhraya Abang Galau (next to Maybank). If you fancy Western cuisine or very traditional book-only Chinese food, head on to Restoran Marco Polo. They serve very nice and tasty fried cod fish, beef steak and lamb chop. However, this place is normally for splurge dining.  edit
  • Makan United (M.U. Cafe), Lebuhraya Abang Galau (opposite City Point). This small cafe has very nice surrounding of the busiest streets of Bintulu. They display soccer match every night and serve yummy satay. Recommended for middle budget.  edit
  • Restoran Chic Wan, Parkcity Commercial Centre (behind Parkcity Mall). This restaurant serves wide variety of delicious Chinese-Malay fusion food such as Curry Mee, Chicken Rice and Fried Mee.  edit
  • Ban Kee Cafe, No. 100, Taman Sri Dagang (Bintulu town Centre (behind Regency Plaza Hotel)), 086-317228. This is a Chinese restaurant served variety of Chinese and Malay foods. Besides that, if you like seafood (i.e, crabs, prawns, clams, mussels, lobster) then you can just go there and have a try.  edit
  • Bao Bao Restoran at Medan Jaya, Bintulu, located opposite the Supersave Medan Jaya (Bintulu Medan Jaya). This is a Chinese restaurant served variety of Chinese foods. The place you can enjoy "mee goreng kering" very delicious you can just go there and have a try.  edit

Drink

Bintulu is regarded as a place for the people who look for 'sin entertainment'. There are lots of pubs offering strip teaser girls and hookers although illegal. You might need to try any of these good place for a drink or two:

  • Wave, inside Parkcity Everly Hotel (just go inside Parkcity Everly Hotel, go straight behind the hotel and you will find your way there). The most happening live band bar in Bintulu. Perfect for people who loves to hangout in easy and cosy surrounding.  edit
  • Casablanca (fun pub), Lebuhraya Abang Galau (opposite PJ Corner Restaurant). Narrow, crowded, noisy, three words to describe Casablanca.the place is reputatble for it good sound system and the "Best Live Band" in town. It's a fun place for all age group. If you're into mad dancing and pure fun, head on here, baby! START on 1st Jun 2009 till August 2009 "Live Band performed is X RED 7. Famous Live Band in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Penang and Malacca.  edit
  • Pub Kitai, Lebuhraya Abang Galau (opposite City Point). This pub offers a selection of Iban songs for you to bang your head with. It's very nice to 'joget' or 'poco-poco' in here. There are also some shows made by the strip teasers and lion dancing moves too.  edit
  • Paddy's Coffee House, New World Suites (Parkcity Commercial Centre), 086-331122. 6am-11pm. Located in New World Suites Hotel, the only restaurant where you can dine in a romantic mood with magnificent view of Bintulu sunset. Very cosy! Try it out! Medium range.  edit
  • Regent Hotel, Kemena Commercial Centre, Jln. Tg. Batu, (60) 86-335511.  edit
  • Hoover Hotel, No. 92, Jalan Keppel, (60) 86-337166.  edit
  • Royal Inn, Jalan Pedada, (60) 86-332166.  edit
  • Sunlight Inn, Jalan Pedada, (60) 86-332577.  edit
  • Sea View Inn, Taman Sri Dagang, (60) 86-339118.  edit
  • New Capital Inn, Jalan Pedada, (60) 86-335152.  edit
  • National Inn, No. 47, 1st Floor, Medan Sepadu, (60) 86-337222.  edit
  • Garden Inn, No. 118, Taman Sri Dagang, (60) 86-339399.  edit
  • Kingtown Inn Sdn Bhd, No. 93, Jalan Keppel, Medan Sepadu, (60) 86-333666.  edit
  • Centre Inn, No. 5 & 6, Jalan Pedada, (60) 86-316963.  edit
  • King's Hotel, No. 162, Taman Sri Dagang, (60) 86-337337.  edit
  • Siong Hing Inn, No. 143,Taman Sri Dagang, (60) 86-316663.  edit
  • Welcome Inn Sdn. Bhd, No. 186, 1st Floor, Taman Sri Dagang, (60) 86-315266.  edit
  • Summer Inn, No. 19, 1st Floor, New Commercial Centre, (60) 86-311223.  edit
  • Faber Inn, No. 163, Taman Sri Dagang, (60) 86-313667.  edit
  • Medan Inn, Medan Jaya Commercial Centre, (60) 86-317119.  edit
  • Delight Inn, No. 12, 1st Floor, Jalan Law Gek Soon, ((60) 86-317777.  edit
  • Bakun Inn, No. 7, 1st Floor, Jalan Law Gek Soon, (60) 86-311111.  edit
  • Utama Inn, No. 40, Jalan Sommerville, (60) 86-334539.  edit
  • Riverfront Inn, No. 256, Taman Sri Dagang, (60) 86-333111.  edit
  • My House Inn, No. 161,Taman Sri Dagang, (60) 86-336399.  edit
  • Kemena Inn, No. 78,Jalan Keppel, (60) 86-333378.  edit
  • Sri Dagang Inn, No. 192,Taman Sri Dagang, (60) 86-335977.  edit
  • Lian Hing Inn, No. 50,Taman Sri Dagang, (60) 86-315663.  edit
  • Mastama Inn, No. 43-44,New Commercial Centre, Jalan Abang Galau, (60) 86-317204.  edit
  • New Lead Inn, No. 73,Jalan Keppel, (60) 86-333366.  edit
  • Fata Inn, No. 113,Taman Sri Dagang, (60) 86-332998.  edit
  • Diamond Inn, No. 151,Taman Sri Dagang, (60) 86-338911.  edit
  • Regency Plaza Hotel, Taman Sri Dagang, (60) 86-335111. Located near to Pasar Tamu and old town of Bintulu, it's a perfect place if you are in a hurry to Bintulu.  edit
  • New World Suites, Parkcity Commercial Centre, (60)86-331122.  edit
  • Parkcity Everly Hotel, Plot No. 1, Lot 3062, Jln. Tg. Batu, (60) 86-318888. It's the first luxurious hotel in Bintulu. It provides the great scenery of Kemena river's rivermouth.  edit
  • Li Hua Hotel, Berjaya Commercial Centre Jalan Sultan Iskandar (opposite Perbinda, close to JKR Bintulu), (60) 86-335000. If you love it to be a bit far from the town centre, go ahead to Li Hua Hotel.(Distance from town, 1 km, 1 km from Medan sentral, Medan Jaya (Out station bus terminal & main shopping centres i.e. Farley, Sing Kwong & MDS store  edit

Get out

Bintulu is a gateway for various places of ecotourism and cultural attraction.

Niah National Park

The Niah National Park is located some 120 km by road to the north of Bintulu. The faeces of bats at the caves are an important source of natural fertilizer which is known as Guano. The west mouth of the Niah Caves is one of the most important archaeological sites in Southeast Asia. It is significant because of the wide range of stone tools used from the old stone age, discovery of skulls (of earliest human in Southeast Asia). Prehistoric wall paintings also exist in one of the caves. To get here, visitor can drive for about 2 hours via Bintulu-Miri road, or Bintulu-Miri coastal road (both roads are accessible to Niah) to Batu Niah old town. From there, you will be guided with wooden signages to the Niah cave trail. The journey to the Niah Caves involves a 40-metre walk along a 3-kilometre plankwalk. Niah Caves are famous for its luxurious birds' nests.

Pesta Sg. Asap, held once in 5 years
Pesta Sg. Asap, held once in 5 years

Sungai Asap & Bakun

Bintulu is also a gateway to the hinterland of Kapit Division. As a matter of fact, although Bakun and Sungai Asap are both in Kapit Division (or Belaga District), they are the only place in Kapit where it was accessible from the main trunk road of Pan Borneo Highway. Sungai Asap is a settlement where tourists can opt for a homestay with local Orang Ulu longhouses and learn their culture and lifestyles. Once in 5 years, Sungai Asap will be the place where all villagers from the surrounding area to gather and celebrate Pesta Sungai Asap. Bakun, in other hand, is a bit far from Sungai Asap. It is the site of the largest hydroelectric dam in Malaysia. The electrical supply from this dam was planned to accommodate supply demands in Peninsular Malaysia, Sarawak and neighbouring countries, Indonesia and Brunei. To get to Bakun and Sungai Asap, you may need to drive from Bintulu with travelling time up to 2 hours.

Travel Warning

WARNING: Beware of logging trucks while using Bintulu-Bakun road to Sungai Asap and Bakun. There are lots of them using this road everyday.

Kuala Nyalau beach
Kuala Nyalau beach

Kuala Nyalau

Kuala Nyalau is a place where beach with many coral reefs leftovers scattered on its coastline. There is also beautiful waterfall not far from the beach. To get here, you need to drive using Bintulu-Miri coastal road. The travelling time is estimated around 1-2 hours. Once you arrive at the Nyalau junction (bear in mind, Nyalau, not Nyabau!), drive another 10km to the sea using parly sealed, partly crusher run (stone) road. The road is a bit bullish at certain areas due to its hilly terrain.

Travel Warning

WARNING: The road leading to Kuala Nyalau is narrow, hilly, winding and partly bare soil road. Don't dare to drive during heavy rain. Even during sunny day, watch out for opposite vehicles especially lorries. The condition of the road might be sometimes too rough for any visitors to go in.

Tatau is rich with seafood and freshwater produce. Mi Hong Kong served in Tatau prove this fact.
Tatau is rich with seafood and freshwater produce. Mi Hong Kong served in Tatau prove this fact.

Tatau is a small town, which is also a capital district of Tatau. It comprises of different areas such as Kuala Tatau (using its own Bintulu-Kuala Tatau road, or using water transport from Tatau using Tatau river), Sangan (accessible by road), Ng Sangan, Nanga Tau and Kuala Muput. If you love fishing, you will love Tatau especially when you go cruising along the Tatau river for your freshwater catch or down to the rivermouth for seafood.

Sebauh

Sebauh is a small district under Bintulu division. However, it is a centre of trading for people from around Sebauh like Pandan and Ulu Sebauh, and around its area, up to the deepest upriver area of Kuala Kebulu, Tubau and Labang. Like Tatau, Sebauh is popular among fishing freak.

This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

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