The entrance to one of the beautiful coastlines in Malaysia, Bintulu is the place to be for tourists looking to avoid the crowded areas in South East Asia. The airport travellers will see today isn't what it was in 1937, however. The British used Bintulu Airport then for air patrols and other related air base activities. The airport only began handling commercial flights in 1955. From there, renovations were done through the years to accommodate incoming and departing passengers.
Today, many travellers are discovering the beauty of Bintulu's surroundings and other attractions in the area. The number of passengers since 2003 has increased at least 20% on 2014, which demonstrates how popular Bintulu is becoming in the backwater getaway scene.
Where to go
Malaysia is one of the best destinations in Asia when it comes to simple getaways. There are many beaches where travellers can go back to the basics. Other than that, the peaceful surroundings can be especially soothing for tourists who want to escape from the busy city life.
Once travellers finish their Bintulu trip, there's the rest of Sarawak to explore. Get a flight going to Kuching International Airport to see the southwestern part of the region. There's the Cat Museum featuring a plethora of cat artefacts and memorabilia. Feline lovers will love exploring the galleries that includes collections on Garfield and Hello Kitty, books, stamps, and artworks.
A trip to Miri is also advisable where tourists can go around the national parks. Gunung Mulu National Park, for instance, features some of the largest caves in the world. The cliffs can make one gape at the incredibly steep slopes that drop down to deep gorges. Tourists can go on a guided tour around the surroundings to explore the almost primeval surroundings that retain a rough charm.
Tourists looking to see more of South East Asia will be delighted with a visit to Vietnam, specifically Ho Chi Minh City. Once called Saigon, the city offers a multitude of sights and activities for tourists on the lookout for the unique and interesting. There's the Cu Chi Tunnels, which the Viet Cong used as an extensive underground hideout during the war with United States.
A trip to the fantastic Jade Emperor Pagoda is also a must for travellers. The temple features a mix of Taoist and Buddhist beliefs, from the divinities to the heroes. Many people pray here, but tourists are welcome to go around and take in the tranquil atmosphere.
Once done with a day full of sightseeing tours, visitors can sit down to a meal of pho, the traditional noodle soup. There are also pork rolls, salads, and various other dishes with delicate and relaxing flavours. Tourists are advised to look for famous family restaurants in the area to taste authentic yet low-priced dishes.
Faraway destinations such as Rome, Italy can be delightful to experience. Apart from the historical sites such as the Coliseum and the Roman Pantheon, tourists can visit the various churches and marvel at the frescoes and the grand artistic designs. Can't get enough of art? Rome is one of the places to be, as galleries abound with various paintings and sculpture that are fascinating to behold.
Famous for its pizza and pasta, tourists craving for Italian food will have their fill. The Pizza Bianca, for example, is satisfying in itself due to the fluffy yet crispy feel. Carbonara is also a must, so tourists can find out how the Italians prepare this white-sauce dish.
How to get out
Tourists leaving Bintulu can go on various domestic flights with airlines such as AirAsia, Malaysia Airlines, and MASwings. Those going on international flights, however, will have to connect with major airports in Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu, and Penang for long-distance trips.
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Airports near Bintulu
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