Mukah is one of Sarawak’s 12 divisions and is bordered by Sarikei and Sibu to the south, Bintulu to the East and the South China Sea to the north. It’s residents are culturally mixed with majority of the population being Melanau (61%), followed by Iban (19%) and lastly the Malays and Chinese representing 10% of the demographic.
Nicknamed “The Melanau Heartland”, Mukah is the go-to place to experience and learn about Melanau heritage and culture.
As Mukah is situated by the coast, it is no surprise that the division’s biggest industry is fishery, which is evidently represented by the iconic statues of a blue prawn and a red snapper located in Mukah town.
Now that we have become acquainted with Mukah, let’s explore what it has to offer. Here are 10 destinations to check out in Mukah.
Lamin Dana Cultural Boutique Lodge
Situated beside a river amongst the wooden houses in Kampung Tellian is the Lamin Dana Cultural Boutique Lodge, a traditional Melanau longhouse that acts as a cultural centre for Melanau heritage while offering accommodation to visitors. Lamin Dana offers various tours and packages that let you participate in culture immersion activities. You can also enjoy the peace and natural beauty of Kampung Tellian by touring the mangrove or go on boat trips.
Address: Lamin Dana Cultural Boutique Lodge, Tellian Daya, 96400 Mukah, Sarawak.
Tel: +60 19 849 5962
Sapan Puloh Melanau Museum
Learn more about Melanau history by visiting Sapan Puloh Melanau Museum – a mini private museum that showcases the tradition and customs of the Melanau people. Although “mini”, this museum is packed with rare and original artefacts reflecting Melanau history and culture. Its friendly owner and curator Tommy has deep knowledge on Melanau culture. So, if you have any questions regarding Melanau culture, just ask away!
Situated inside the kampung (village), one can locate the museum by following the signage that leads to this wonderful museum.
Address: No. 44, Kampong Telian Tengah, 96400 Mukah, Sarawak.
Tel: +60 19 878 1545
Sago Factory Chimney
Located outside the Tua Pek Kong Temple in Mukah is a magnificent 20-metre tall brick chimney that symbolises the town’s history in producing sago starch in the 19th century. Chimneys like this were part of Mukah’s skyline at a time when sago palms grew plentiful on the Rajang Delta. They were harvested and processed into sago starch in factories. As the prices of sago flour declined in the 20th century, these factories were closed down. Fun fact, this chimney is from the first sago factory in Mukah!
Address: 96400 Mukah, Sarawak
Mukah Fish Market
Attention seafood lovers! Fill up your cooler boxes with ice and head to Mukah Fish Market for their fresh seafood at cheap prices. Here, you will find an abundance of fresh seafood such as, fish, prawns, shrimps and crabs daily, no matter the season. Also, don’t forget to buy freshly made umai, a traditional Melanau dish of thinly sliced raw fish mixed with onions, chilli and lime juice.
It is advisable to come early in the morning when the fishermen are just arriving with their catch of the day. Besides that, March until August seems to be a good time to visit the market as the seafood caught during those months are of better quality.
Address: Pasar Ikan Mukah, 96400 Mukah, Sarawak
To have a taste of authentic Melanau cuisine, you can try dining at Nibong House situated on Jalan Orang Kaya Setiaraja, opposite the Civic Centre in town. Here, you will be able to enjoy traditional Melanau food such as umai and for the adventurous souls out there, maybe give the sago worms a chance? With delicious food and calm atmosphere during the night, this is definitely a must-visit restaurant while you’re in Mukah.
Address: 1074, Jln Orang Kaya Setiaraja, Taman Boulevard Setiaraja, 96400 Mukah, Sarawak.
Tel: +60 14 681 8601
Riverside Seafood Restaurant
Being a coastal town, Mukah boasts quite a number of seafood restaurants. But a must-try is Riverside Seafood Restaurant. Located by the riverbank, this restaurant offers a view of the river, beautiful decorations and a very relaxing ambience. As for the food, their seafood dishes are fresh and delicious and of course, you have to try their umai.
Address: No. 8, Jalan Boyan, 96400 Mukah, Sarawak.
Tel: +60 16 870 9950
Spend a relaxing weekend with your family at Belawai Beach. Feel the sun on your skin, the sand between your toes and the sea breeze on your face as you wait for your BBQ to be ready. If you decide that a day at the beach isn’t enough, you can always book a room at any one of the nearby resorts such as Iftitah Restaurant & Resort, Pak Amat Homestay, A&N Desa Beach Resort or Reki Raldin Resort.
Mukah Kaul Festival Site at Kala Dana Beach
Enjoy an evening stroll at the Tapak Pesta Kaul Mukah (Mukah Kaul Festival Site), where the week-long Kaul Festival is held annually in the month of April. Located by the Kala Dana Beach, this place is a favourite destination for locals where families and friends can relax, enjoy the beauty of Kala Dana Beach, watch the sunset and even grab some snacks from the stalls nearby.
Address: Tapak Pesta Kaul Mukah, 96400 Mukah, Sarawak.
Taman Tanjung Pedada
Opposite Mukah jetty lies a mangrove that looks like something out of a fairy tale. To get there, one has to pay a small fee to get a boat ride across the river to this enchanted place. What’s interesting about this mangrove is that it actually houses a small fishing village, and it has a stretch of wooden walkway that encompasses the entire area. Here, you can either walk or cycle on the wooden platform, breathe in clean air, gaze at the tall, gnarly trees with monkeys swinging on them, listen to the sound of birds chirping and try to spot fish and toads below the walkway. If you happen to be in Mukah and you need a place to clear your mind or just to get away from the city, Taman Tanjung Pedada is definitely the place to go.
Melanau burial poles
Every culture has its own dark past, the Melanau included. Today, all that’s left from a long gone Melanau tradition that involves human sacrifice is the jerunai or kelidieng (sacrificial burial pole), whose remnants can still be found around Mukah. These burial poles are made from huge hollowed Borneo ironwood (belian) decorated with beautiful carvings and are said to be the burial place of Melanau nobles in the past. There are four of these ancient poles in Kampung Sri Tellian and the one in Dalat is said to be the best preserved jerunai, situated just outside the district office.
Address: Kampung Seri Tellian, 96400 Mukah, Sarawak.
Dalat District Office, 96300 Dalat, Sarawak