Going on a Bintulu trip and want to know all the best things to do in Bintulu, Sarawak? We have you covered! Below you will find our guide to exactly what to do in Bintulu, Sarawak to plan your ultimate trip.
Bintulu is the fourth most populated city in Borneo and is best known for its natural gas reserves. Whilst this plays an important part in the town’s significance, Bintulu offers some nice attractions in its own right which makes it worth visiting as you travel along the coast of Sarawak. It’s a natural stopping point when travelling between Kuching and Miri/Brunei.
Among Bintulu’s top attractions are its national park and beaches. There are some other low key attractions too, and it’s an easy place to visit which is why it’s perfect for a short trip. I wouldn’t say Bintulu is a must visit though. But if you are here, you can find something to do.
Below, you will find our Bintulu travel blog with everything you need to know about the interesting places in Bintulu as well as the best place to visit in Bintulu for your best vacation! We also include the best places to stay in Bintulu, how to get there and everything else you need to know to plan your perfect trip.
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Top 12 Things To Do In Bintulu 
Here are the best Bintulu things to do. Read through and select the ones that best fit your interests and timeframe.
Trek The Jungle Of Similajau National Park
At the time of publishing, most trekking in the Similajau National Park was closed thanks to a bridge being repaired to the trails. You can still visit the park, but you won’t be able to explore much. If you visit and find the bridge open again, please let us know here so we can update this article for future visitors. The information below is to help you when it’s open again.
The beauty of Bintulu is best showcased at Similajau National Park. While this may just seem like a narrow protected strip of forest by the beach, it offers plenty of diversity. There are the beaches, jungle, over 180 species of birds, crocodiles, wild boar, gibbons, mouse deer and long tailed-macaques… The list goes on.
If jungle trekking is on your Bintulu things to do list then this is the right place. There is the Main Trail along the coast ending at Golden Beach. Golden Beach is named due to the beautiful colour of the sand and is lined by coconut palms. This is a ten kilometre trail and takes about three hours one way.
Along the way, you pass rocky headlands, Turtle Beach I and Turtle Beach II so you can stop at one of these earlier points if you are short on time.
It’s also possible to arrange a boat to take you one way.
There is also a shorter walk to the View Point which is only 1.3 kilometres from Park Headquarters and offers great views back towards Bintulu.
Around Park Headquarters, you can find picnic facilities, a great beach and an Interpretation Centre where you can learn more about the park’s flora, fauna and history. There’s also basic accommodation and a cafeteria.
There are crocodiles here so it’s not recommended to swim at rivers or near their mouths. There is also no swimming at the Turtle Beaches or Golden Beach because of a dangerous undertow.
The park is located about 30 minutes from Bintulu city center. There are three ways of getting there – by taxi, by joining a tour through a local agency or driving yourself. If you take a taxi, arrange a pick-up time as you’ll struggle to get a Grab taxi to pick you up out here.
Entry fee at time of writing is RM10 per person for Malaysians and RM20 per person for non-Malaysians.
Address: Similajau, 97000 Bintulu, Sarawak
Appreciate The Biodiversity At Taman Tumbina Bintulu
Taman Tumbina Bintulu is among the unique places to visit in Bintulu Sarawak. It is essentially a zoo and a botanical garden in one.
Taman Tumbina showcases Borneo’s unique collection of various flora and fauna, and covers 57 hectares. There is plenty to see, and you’ll need a map to guide yourself. Some of the best attractions are the animal enclosures with native tigers, flamingos, ostriches and more.
There is also a great collection of flora. The Orchid Garden is a popular display as well as the desert display with a great succulent collection.
There’s a canteen, rest area and gift shop on-site.
Entry fee at time of writing is RM2 for adults and RM0.50 for children.
Address: Jalan Tun Razak, Taman Tumbina, 97000 Bintulu, Sarawak
Visit Tua Pek Kong Temple
Tua Pek Kong Temple is a well kept temple near Bintulu old city. Sitting along the river to protect travellers, this Taoist temple is connected to the local Chinese community and was built around 1870.
The temple was built for the god of wealth, Tua Pek Kong or the “great uncle”. It is colourful with a nice rock garden in the back. Quite a few other deities are honored there. There are some interesting statues and craftsmanship to appreciate.
It’s worth seeing as a Bintulu tourist attraction as it’s directly in the center of town.
Address: Shahida Commercial Centre, 97000 Bintulu, Sarawak
Admire The Clock Tower At Council Negeri Memorial
The Council Negeri Memorial is a low key attraction which sits outside the city’s council chambers. This is a beautifully sculptured monument which stands to commemorate the meeting of Bintulu’s first legislative assembly in 1867.
The monument is complete with a clock tower.
Address: BDA Shahida Commercial Centre, Shahida Commercial Centre, 97000 Bintulu, Sarawak
Go For A Walk At Pantai Temasya Tanjung Batu
Bintulu has some nice beaches, but the best Bintulu place to go near the city is Pantai Temasya Tanjung Batu.
The beach is located about 5 kilometres from the city center of Bintulu. This is a popular spot for relaxing and recreation. Plenty of food stalls line the beach, and this can be a lovely spot to grab a bite to eat and some fresh coconut juice.
I recommend a walk here in the evening. It’s a nice spot to watch the sunset. There’s also a kids’ playground nearby. Note swimming is not recommended here.
Appreciate Taman Milenium
This is another nice spot in Bintulu to appreciate nature.
Taman Milenium is most popular with people looking for a workout thanks to the jogging track here. However, it is also a nice spot for a walk with some beautiful trees, places to sit and a kids’ playground.
Address: Tanjung Kidurong, Bintulu 97000 Sarawak
Enjoy The Sunset At Pulau Batu Mandi
Pulau Batu Mandi sits somewhat in the shadow of Pantai Temasya Tanjung Batu beach.
Whilst it is less popular with locals, it is an equally beautiful spot for a walk. The area is especially nice at night when you can watch the sunset over the water.
Eat At Pasar Malam Bintulu (Bintulu Night Market)
My absolutely favourite thing to do in Bintulu is to eat at the night market. Parar Malam Bintulu is nowhere near the biggest market I have been to in Malaysia, but it is the most atmospheric.
It’s a reasonable size and sells many things from fresh fruit and vegetables to phone covers. The best part, however, is the food.
There are many food options to choose from. I would buy something that caught my eye and then wander around eating it until I found something else. I barely spent any money here and ate many different things. All delicious!
I also loved that it was super local. I did not see another non-Asian person.
Buy Fresh Produce From Pasar Tamu & Pasar Utama
Every Malaysian city has its market, and the best markets in Bintulu are Pasar Tamu & Pasar Utama. These markets mostly serve the locals and sit side by side with dome shaped roofs.
There is an array of produce for sale including the usual fair like fish, fruit, vegetables, meat etc. There are two floors to explore. The upper floor has a food court with hawkers selling local street food. This can be a good option for lunch.
Address: Jalan Main Bazaar, 97000 Bintulu, Sarawak, Malaysia
Have The Ultimate Sunset Views At The Rooftop Dining And Lounge
There are a few places in this list with great sunset views and this is another one. I think it wins though so try to make it here!
This rooftop bar is found on the top of the Goldenbay Hotel. It’s the perfect place to have a drink, meal or snack with glorious 360 degree views over Bintulu and the sea. It’s unbeatable! There are a few views of Miri from this bar which are sprinkled throughout this article.
It opens from 4pm to late, so even if you can’t make it for sunset because you’re enjoying it somewhere else, pop by after for the night views. You don’t need to be staying at the hotel to enjoy it here.
Address: Lot 3493, Lot 3493, Jalan Tun Razak, 97000 Bintulu, Sarawak
Walk Along The River
For a nice stroll to enjoy more of Bintulu, walk along the riverfront walk where the Kamena River joins the sea.
This section is by The Spings shopping centre. It’s especially nice to walk first thing in the morning or in the evening as the sun sets and things cool down.
Explore Archaeological Wanders At Niah National Park
It’s no exaggeration to say that Niah National Park houses one of the most important archaeological sites in the world!
The Great Cave, as the name suggests, is one of the largest natural cave entrances in the world – measuring 60 metres high, 250 metres wide and 2 kilometres long. This is where some of the world’s oldest human remains were found in southeast Asia tracing back over 40,000 years ago!
Visitors can explore the cave via a well arranged plank walkway. You’ll eventually reach a large chamber with rock formations beautifully displayed by the natural light coming from the cave roof. And as you exit the chamber – turn on your torch – you will enter the most adventurous and eerie part of the journey, the completely unlit ‘Moon Cave’.
Another important site at Niah is The Painted Cave. This is connected by plank walkways from the Great Cave. Here, archaeologists found wall paintings of human figures and ‘death ships’ – boat-shaped coffins. The contents of the coffins have now been moved to the Sarawak Museum, but you can still view some empty death ships at the site.
Niah National Park is one of the most spectacular attractions in this part of Malaysia. When visiting, don’t forget a pair of good hiking shoes that deal well with slippery paths and perhaps a broad-brimmed hat as clouds of swiftlets and bats nest inside the caves, and they can be pretty unforgiving! You also need a torch.
All up, this is a great day trip from Bintulu with plenty to see and explore for at least four hours once you get there. It’s about an hour and 45 minutes to drive between Bintulu and Niah Caves. I recommend taking your own car or trying to arrange a taxi driver to stay with you for the day. You can also try local travel agencies or your hotel.
Address: Sungai Niah, Miri, Sarawak
Top Bintulu Attraction Map
The following Bintulu map shows you where all the attractions and accommodation options in this article are located.
Best Place To Stay In Bintulu
Now that you know what to do in Bintulu, you’ll need to know where to stay. Luckily, this small city offers a range of accommodation options to suit every budget. It’s also possible to get good deals on hotels that are close to the top attractions. In fact, hotel prices in Bintulu are very cheap.
Below are a few of our top picks for each price point including a budget, mid-range and more expensive option.
If you’re looking for 5 star luxury… you won’t find it in Bintulu! However, ParkCity Everly Hotel is still a lovely 4 star hotel with lots of facilities it’s right next door to a local shopping centre and many eating options. Although I personally would rate it a very solid three star hotel.
The hotel offers guests two different restaurants, an outdoor pool, a gym and free parking among its facilities.
The range of rooms includes standard/deluxe/executive double rooms as well as suites with a sea view. Rooms include WiFi, a mini-fridge, tea and coffee making facilities, air-conditioning and flatscreen TV. Larger suites have a living and dining area as well as the possibility of a kitchenette and a terrace.
Rooms are a little scruffy, but well maintained, clean and comfortable.
This is a great hotel to be based in and is close to all the major central Bintulu attractions. The riverfront walk is just outside.
MID-RANGE – Promenade Hotel Bintulu Review
Promenade Hotel is right next door to the Terminal Bas Bintulu Central (main bus station) and surrounded by eating and shopping options which make this a very handy location. However, it is about 4.5 kilometres from the centre of Bintulu.
The Promenade Hotel offers a range of rooms including superior/deluxe rooms and executive suites. You can pick between double and twin configuration. All rooms are modern and comfortable and include WiFi, air-conditioning, a mini-fridge, flatscreen TV, safe, tea and coffee making facilities, sofa and more.
There’s a lack of facilities here, but there is an on-site restaurant as well as the usual 24 hour front desk.
This is an affordable place to call home in Bintulu without sacrificing comfort.
BUDGET – Inn86 Review
If you’re after bang for your buck, Inn86 offers budget accommodation and is within walking distance to the Terminal Bas Bintulu Central (main bus station). It’s also located close to a local mall, Medan Mall and plenty of eating options. The centre of the city is about four kilometres away.
Standard rooms here come in single, twin, king and triple configuration and all include private bathrooms, free WiFi, a flatscreen TV, air-conditioning, mini-fridge and tea and coffee making facilities. Everything you need!
They are clean, comfortable and recently renovated. If you want to save money, you can book a room without a window.
The hotel has a 24-hour reception desk but not much else in the way of facilities. This is the perfect hotel for the price.
How To Get To Bintulu
It’s easy to get to Bintulu by bus, plane or car. Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia fly into Bintulu from Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu, Kuching, Miri and Sibu.
The cheapest way to reach Bintulu is by taking a bus. This is easy from nearby cities such as Miri or Sibu.
If you are travelling between Miri and Bintulu, click here to read our full guide to making this trip.
If you are travelling between Sibu and Bintulu, click here to read our full guide to making this trip.
Bintulu With Kids
Bintulu is a nice place to visit for families. There isn’t a lot to do here for families specifically, but there isn’t anything offensive about this city.
Locals are warm and friendly towards families. You’ll see many families walking around the beaches at night. Most parks also have kid friendly facilities like a playground.
We hope this guide has been helpful for you and makes planning your visit to Bintulu easier. There isn’t a lot to do in this small city, but really that is part of its appeal – it’s the perfect place to switch off, connect with others and enjoy the lovely surroundings.
Definitely make sure you make it to the night market. It was a huge highlight for me.
Enjoy your visit!
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