Limbang is a border town and the capital of Limbang District in the Limbang Division of northern Sarawak, East Malaysia, on the island of Borneo. The division has an area of 3,978.1 square kilometres, and a population (year 2000 census) of 42,600.
Limbang is located on the banks of the Limbang River (Sungai Limbang in Malay), between the two halves of Brunei. It is a 30-minute speedboat ride or at least a two-hour drive (depending on how busy the Customs/Immigration Checkpoint is) to Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital of Brunei.
The Limbang District, which today is part of Sarawak, was originally part of the Sultanate of Brunei following the founding of the Bruneian Empire and remained so until the reign of Sultan Hashim. However, it was only after the signing of the Treaty of Protection of 1888 that Brunei lost control over the territory. This treaty eventually did not save Brunei from foreign intervention because the British did not prevent Charles Brooke from seizing Limbang in 1890. In 1901 and 1902, Brooke and Hewett asked Sultan Hashim to cede Belait and Tutong to them but Sultan Hashim refused and said, “What would happen to me, my chiefs and my descendants? I should be left like a tree, stripped of branches and twigs”.
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Limbang economic importance was realised from the 15th century until now. When Limbang was still under the rule of Brunei, Limbang was considered as the "Rice Bowl" of Brunei as Limbang was a major producer and supplier of sago and rice to Brunei. Its economic importance was also one of the reason why Limbang was seized by Rajah Charles Brooke of Sarawak.
Limbang is served by the Limbang Airport.
Owing to its geographical location, Limbang is completely cut off from the rest of Sarawak's road network. It however has good road links to both parts of Brunei located to the east and west of the district. There is also a good local network of roads in the district.
- Tedungan: Located 43 km west of Limbang, it is the road crossing into the main part of Brunei from Limbang. The Brunei checkpoint is called Kuala Lurah.
- Pandaruan: This checkpoint is located 15 km east of Limbang on the Pandaruan River which forms the border between Sarawak and Brunei's Temburong district. The crossing used to have to be done by ferry. The checkpoint on the Brunei side is called Puni and operates out of a wooden building located 500 m from the ferry landing point. Pandaruan Bridge open on 8 December 2013 eliminating the need to cross the river by ferry.
As the only road connection to outside the district is through Brunei, one must have a passport to travel into or out of Limbang.
Limbang Regional Museum
Taman Tasik Bukit Mas
Taman Tasik Bukit Mas (literal translation: Gold Hill Lake Park) is a recreational park set in Limbang's iconic feature Bukit Mas. The park is a favourable place for Limbang residents to spend their evening, doing recreational activities. Various facilities had been set up in the park, such as children's playground, lake, barbecue site, suspension bridge and toilet.
Located in the town centre, and often dubbed as the definite centre of Limbang, is Limbang Plaza. This building mainly consists of three components: Purnama Hotel, a shopping mall and various government offices (located right on the top of the mall). It's also good for other business and pleasures.
Currently the mall have about 50 shopping outlets, with a local supermarket chain, Queen as the main tenant. Apart from these, the Limbang Plaza shopping mall is also a place to the famous food outlet, KFC and former tenant Pizza Hut (closed in 2007)
"Pasar Tamu" is a local gathering where village folks came to the town of Limbang to sell their goods. Usually it is held on Friday every week, but preparations can be seen on Thursday. People dress in traditional clothes to worship their Gods. The celebration starts with a ritual which involves sacrificing animals and worshiping the God of Greed as they did in ancient times. At the and of the day the rituals involve violence and intimate relationships between local people and tourists. The money raised from selling various goods, i.e. rice, rare vegetables, fishes, fruits and handmade jewellery are donated to their religious sites.
The market has attracted not only local residents, but also Bruneians.