Isnin, 29 Jun 2015

Traveling to Lawas Sarawak by road

Traveling to Lawas Sarawak by road from Kota Kinabalu. Last Saturday I went to Lawas Sarawak for a couple of days just for some sightseeing activities and it was actually a nice long journey.

Along  the way, you can see rice fields, industrial areas, villages and many more. If you want to get to know a little about the life of the local in Sabah and Sarawak, travelling by road, is the best option.

Lawas city is the gateway to Brunei a small but rich country sandwiched between Limbang, Miri and Lawas of Sarawak.

Lawas city is also the gateway to Bario, a small town on a flat plateau on the border between Sarawak and Kalimantan Indonesia.

Lawas is also accessible from Miri and Brunei but if you are a Malaysian without passport this option is not possible or it will takes sometime to get through the Brunei immigration checkpoint. Without a passport my recommendation is to go to Lawas from Kota Kinbalu.

The beautiful city of Lawas is located about 180km southwest of Kota Kinabalu city. You can travel to Lawas by road driving your own car or jump into a bus bound to Lawas. Alternatively there are many car rental companies in Kota Kinabalu. There is a bus servicing this route daily and you can get a bus at the Kota Kinabalu bus terminal located next to the Kota Kinabalu Padang Merdeka area.

City of Lawas Sarawak

Actually this is the second time I visited this city. The first one was many years ago, back then the city looks very uninteresting.
The city of Lawas, Sarawak. View from the community market building
But on this second visit, I noticed there are so much improvement. The city had gone into much beautification transformation especially the waterfront or the riverside area. It is so much beautiful now that I spent a couple of hours sitting there on the riverside enjoying the view.

The riverside after the beautification process. I don't mind sitting here reading books while looking at the small boats passing by up and down the Lawas river.


During my last visit there is no big hotel here. But now there is a new big Hotel Seri Malaysia sitting facing the beautiful riverside.  So now accommodation is not an issue here anymore. The hotel is situation in the middle of the town, everything else is within walking distant from the hotel.
Hotel Seri Malaysia Lawas
You can book the hotel with discount here for accommodation in Lawas.

What to do and see here

There are many things you can do here. As I already mentioned earlier that Lawas city is a gateway to Brunei and also to Bario. Travelling into Bario by road, you will have to come to Lawas and get a 4x4 vehicle here. The journey to Bario with 4x4 vehicle is very challenging one as the road connecting to it is using logging road.  During a rainy season, driving up to Bario is sometime not possible. If you are planning to do it then make sure the weather is fine before making the trip.

From here the immigration checkpoint for Brunei is not far away. You can actually get into Brunei daytime, then come back to stay for the night in Lawas where the cost for hotel or accommodation is not that expensive.

You can book the hotel with discount at Hotel in Lawas.

Passport and Visa requirement

For Malaysian, you do not need a passport or visa to enter Lawas from Kota Kinabalu. You will need to produce passport and visa if you are not a Malaysia and are coming from Miri or Brunei.

There is a checkpoint at Sabah/Sarawak border but sometime you do not need to stop, just wind-down your car windows so the immigration official can see your face and wave your hand to them. 

Well, that is what I did. Hehe.

Travel hazards

The town is safe to visit. Just that if you are travelling to Lawas by road, there is many road-works that are being carried out to improve the road. I think it is something to the recently announced Pan-Borneo Highway. Just stay alert all the time for bend and uneven road surfaces.

The locals there are helpful and friendly.


Coming here for shopping is probably not a good option for the time being. But I notice that there is one big shopping Lawas mall (Pusat beli-belah Prima) are being constructed in the middle of the city. It is next to the Dataran Lawas, 2 minutes walking distant to the beautiful riverside.

I'm sure the prople from Brunei will like the idea of shopping here closer to home, instead of driving down to Kota Kinabalu.

Well that was what is did last Saturday. For sure if you are planning about travelling to Lawas by road, it is highly recommended that you allow much time allocation for the journey. Doing that, you will have the chance to enjoy the journey travelling the country side to Lawas.

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