Lawas is a small town that is located in Sarawak, Malaysia. Lawas is also capital of its own district, the Lawas District. It is located about 1200 kilometers from the capital of Sarawak, Kuching and only 200 kilometers from the capital city of Sabah, Kota Kinabalu. The name Lawas believed to come from the Malay word of 'Luas' which means spacious, because of the vast land. There is another version of the name Lawas might come from a group of merchants that was attacked by a pirate. They managed to hide in the jungle and they shout 'Lawas' which means 'safe and secure'. Lawas leading economy is focusing on timber and agriculture.
Lawas Airport is a small airport located in a town called Limbang. It serves the people of Lawas and few other near cities. Malaysia Airlines is the only operating airlines in Lawas Airport. It makes routes to Ba'kekalan, Kota Kinabalu, Limbang and Miri. The airport is facilitated with basic facilities such as a ticket counter and information counter. Do not expect much since the airport is a bit small.
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Lawas is located under the equatorial climate, which makes it experience two monsoons seasons. The first monsoon happens in November and February while the other monsoon happens somewhere between March and October. Lawas do not experience the four seasons, instead of its only hot and rain throughout the year. The average temperature will be 24 degree Celsius in the morning and can reach to 30 degree Celsius in the afternoon. Best time to visit Lawas will be in January.
Two main festivals have been celebrated in Lawas. The first one is the Gawai Dayak Festival. During the festival, people will go fun and have a massive feast and decorating their house. There will also be dance and cultural performances. People will dress in the traditional costume that surely gives you a unique experience. The second festival is the Lun Bawang Festival or the Irau Aco Lun Bawang. Irau Aco Lun Bawang is usually celebrating the rice harvest. However, nowadays, it has become more of celebrations to the people of Lun Bawang and their culture. Be sure to make an early booking, a few months before to avoid the high rates from the local.
Although Lawas is a small city the town still has few places that worth your visit. Here are some attractions that you can visit while you are in Lawas.
Pasar Besar Lawas - Pasar Besar Lawas is the central market that offers various selections of local fruits such as bananas, pineapple, starfruit, guava, jackfruit and many more. Not only food, but you can also get the exotic jungle produce such as some roots and bamboo shoots and various selection f vegetables. This is where you can see the lifestyle of the Lawas people, especially if you come here early in the morning.
Pantai Punang - Pantai Punang is a large beach located at the area of Bangat River. The beach often becomes a spot for people to picnic and have fun. It is a lovely and scenic beach, especially if you come to watch the sunset. The refection of orange and red colors from the sun to the water plus some majestic purplish clouds in the sky will surely leave a memorable experience in your heart. Make sure you bring your camera!
Sungai Melasak - Sungai Melasak is the right place for an outdoor geek. It is located 15 kilometers from the Lawas town and can be found in Kampong Pengalih. People often come here to have a picnic and go for a shower at the waterfall. The greenery and scenic view of the crystal clear water with some large stones is the escape to the hectic world. All you can hear is the sounds of birds chirping sweetly.