Top Attractions in Limbang, Sarawak

For many Bruneians, pleasurable vices that are otherwise prohibited at home such as drinking, karaoke and smoking are literally just a few steps away. Welcome to Limbang - a small and quiet riverside Malaysian town hidden within the independent Islamic sultanate of Brunei.

Read also: 10 Best Things to Do in Limbang, Sarawak

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Limbang, Sarawak
Top Attractions in Limbang, Sarawak

Top Attractions in Limbang, Sarawak

Where is Limbang

Limbang is a small border town sandwiched between the two halves of Brunei to its west and east. In the olden days, Limbang was known as Pangkalan Tarap due to its location on the banks of a river with busy trading activities. 'Pangkalan' or 'pengkalan' is a Malay term for a small port while 'Tarap' is the name of a local fruit that resembles a durian - but with blunt thorny skin.

Once Pangkalan Tarap became more developed, it was merged with the Trusan and Lawas districts to form Limbang. The name ‘Limbang’ is taken from the name of the river, where Pangkalan Tarap is located.

History of Limbang, Sarawak

Apart from being a trading town, Limbang is economically supported by the timber and agricultural sectors. Their main products include oil palm, rattan and pepper. In the past, Brunei considered Limbang as their rice bowl when it became the country's major producer of rice and sago. Due to this important reason, concerns over the ownership of Limbang were raised multiple times.

Limbang, Sarawak
The small and cultural town of Limbang, Sarawak

Origins of the Limbang Claim

Debates over the status of Limbang have existed since the rebellion of the Limbang residents in 1884. They protested against the high tax rates imposed by the former Bruneian Empire due to the British and Sarawakian expansion under the administration of Charles Venyer Brooke. In 1885, Pengiran Temenggung Pengiran Anak Hashim, who was the 25th Sultan of Brunei, was unable to contain the rebellion movement. Eventually, he involuntarily sought help from the acting British Royal Consul that was located in Labuan.

However, Charles Brooke and the North Borneo Chartered Company (NBCC) continued to put pressure on Brunei to cede Trusan, Padas and Limbang. Trusan was subsequently surrendered in 1885, followed by Padas in 1887. Despite that, Brunei stubbornly refused to relinquish Limbang as the Limbang River historically belonged to Brunei.

Limbang River
Limbang River historically belonged to Brunei.

In hopes of preventing further losses of Limbang territories to Brooke’s government and NBCC, Brunei signed an agreement with Great Britain on the 17th of September 1888 for Limbang to be placed under British protectorate. In March 1890, Charles Brooke publicly announced that Limbang was to be part of the Kingdom of Sarawak.

In 1957, there was an attempt by Brunei to claim Limbang as part of its integral territory. However, higher officials stated that the issue was never fully discussed between both Malaysia and Brunei during meetings of both countries.

With unclear interferences between Malaysia and Brunei regarding Limbang, it is common to see people getting into or out of Limbang without a passport. Limbang is completely cut off from Sarawak’s road network but it has good road links to both parts of Brunei on its west and east. This characteristic defines the way Limbang is ‘being hidden’ in Brunei. As a result, many Bruneians can freely enjoy the amazing bargains of goods in Limbang.

mosque in Limbang, Sarawak
A mosque in Limbang, Sarawak
Limbang, Sarawak
The simple yet beautiful wooden shophouses of Limbang
kelab persatuan cina limbang
There are many active community clubs in Limbang

Limbang Population

The population of Limbang consists mainly of Brunei Malays, Kedayan and Iban. They live harmoniously with other smaller groups such as the Chinese, Lun Bawang, Kelabit, Bijaya, Penan and Tabun communities.

What to See in Limbang, Sarawak

Today, the residents of Limbang lead a simple life in the quiet and humble river town. Once you step into Limbang, you’ll quickly notice rows after rows of beautiful wooden shophouses. On a daily basis, people are doing their odd jobs, socialising through community club activities, performing prayers at the mosques or temples, as well as shopping at the local markets. In the evening, Limbang has the best scenic spots for sunset viewing by the river banks.

sunset in Limbang, Sarawak
Limbang is one the best places to catch the spectacular sunset in Borneo
markets in Limbang, Sarawak
Hungry? Head over to a local market to get fueled
markets in Limbang, Sarawak
In Limbang, local durians are delicious and plenty!
markets in Limbang, Sarawak
Malay vendors at a local market in Limbang

Limbang, Sarawak Postcode

There are four postcodes in Limbang, which are 98700, 98707, 98708, and 98709.

How to Get to Limbang, Sarawak

There are several ways to arrive in Limbang. If you are visiting from Brunei, catch the bus from Bandar Seri Begawan to Kota Kinabalu which passes through Limbang. Tickets can easily be bought from the coffee shops on the main road or in the bus. Note that travelling to anywhere beyond Brunei such as Miri, Kuching or Kota Kinabalu by land will require you to go through Brunei.

You can travel to Limbang by plane to the LMN airport which is located approximately 5 kilometers away from the town.

Happy traveling!


  1. Always go to Sarawak but just ever hear about this Limbang place by the name only. Never been there yet , maybe once MCO is over maybe can explore Malaysia itself first because I believe in our country itself we do have many more to explore also learn one another etnic and culture. and especially , trying the local signature food and drinks.

  2. Pernah ke Sarawak tapi cuma cover Kuching sebab attend wedding kat Simunjan. Maybe lepas ni boleh cover Limbang pula.

  3. I have families there in Limbang. I have yet to visit them but we always meet in Miri as they always want to come visit us in Miri. Thanks for sharing more Sarawak histories.

  4. i always heard about Limbang but never been there. as for Sarawak, i've been to kuching haha wish to visit more places there

  5. Tak pernah pegi ke sarawak. Tapi tahu limbang ni sebab orang brunei kalau nak ambil barang courier suh hantar ke limbang

  6. I never been to Limbang ler although it just neighbor to Miri City.. Next time going back to Miri, i need to plan a trip to explore Limbang la..

  7. Tunggu dah boleh merentas, boleh masuk list juga ni.. tak tau pulak boleh masuk dari Bruenei...

  8. wahh banyak tempat menarik di sini... i tak pernah sampai limbang..lps pkp kena plan visit limbang

  9. I dah pernah pg Sarawak tp hanya pegi Kucing saja, Limbang blm sampai lg

  10. Tak pernah lagi sampai sini kita pernah sampai adalah Kuching dan juga Miri jer hehehe Limbang nampak tengan dan selamat jer kat sanakan...

  11. selalu dengar an baca je pasal Limbang tapi tak pernah sampai lagi.. hee~ in shaa Allah.. ada rezeki lepas PKP nanti boleh jelajah Limbang..

  12. Nina tak pernah sampai lagi Sarawak. If ada kesempatan boleh lah datang melawat sana. Kita teroka sampai habis


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