Lawas is a small frontier town in the northeastern corner of Sarawak state in Malaysian Borneo. The town is located in a strip of Sarawak territory sandwiched between the Temburong district of Brunei and Malaysia's Sabah state. It is cut off from the rest of Sarawak and is more easily accessed from Sabah.
The town does not have many attractions to interest the traveller but you may find yourself here if you are travelling overland between Sabah and Sarawak. Quiet and peaceful, Lawas is quite pleasant if you have to stop for a day or two. Lawas is also the starting point for the logging road to Ba Kelalan in the Sarawak Highlands.
Travel to/from Sabah is straight forward as there is a direct road from Lawas to the Sabah-Sarawak border at Merapok 35km away, where the road continues to Kota Kinabalu via Sipitang, Beaufort and Papar.
Temburong, Brunei, is connected by road to Lawas town via Trusan, where there is a ferry crossing.
Minivans and local buses operated by the Lawas Bus Company Sdn Bhd link Lawas neighbouring towns like Trusan, Punang, Sundar and Merapok as well as Beaufort in Sabah. Most minivans leave in the morning. Air conditioned long-distance express buses connect Lawas with Kota Kinabalu and towns in between like Sipitang and Beaufort.
Boats connect Lawas with Brunei, Labuan and Limbang.
Boats (Seri Menanti) from Brunei departs from the Serasa Ferry Terminal in Muara daily at 9:30am. From Lawas, the boat departs from the Customs wharf at 12:00 noon. Daily boats depart Lawas for Labuan at 08:00am and return from Labuan at 12:30pm.
One daily boat goes between Limbang and Lawas in either direction. Boats leave Lawas early in the morning and return from Limbang in the afternoon.
Lawas town is small enough to get around on foot. There are local buses and minivans linking Lawas with neighbouring towns and villages like Trusan, Sundar, Awat Awat, Kuala Lawas, Long Tuma and Merapok on the Sabah-Sarawak border.
There are plenty of hotels in Lawas.
Internet cafés are available in cities and major towns. Wi-Fi hotspots can be found in shopping malls, restaurants, food courts and cafés. Many of these hotspots are provided free-of-charge. Internet cafés can also be found in cities and towns.
See also: International Telephone Calls
Malaysia is on the GSM 900/1800 and UMTS (3G) mobile network. If you have an "unlocked" GSM band mobile phone, you can buy a prepaid SIM card and use it with your phone here for cheaper rates instead of roaming here. Prepaid mobile SIM cards are available cheaply at mobile phone shops and 24-hour convenience stores.
The country code for Malaysia is 60. The emergency number is 999 and can be dialled from any phone, free of charge. The worldwide standard emergency number for GSM mobile phones, 112, can also be used on a mobile phone, even without a SIM card. Calls to 112 will be routed to 999 centres.
Pos Malaysia is the national postal service of Malaysia. Rates for sending a standard letter locally is 30 sen (20 gram) to 40 sen (up to 50 gram). International airmail has minimum rates ranging from RM1.00 to RM2.00, depending on destination. It costs 20 sen to send a postcard or aerogramme locally, or 50 sen to send a postcard or aerogramme to anywhere in the world.
Expedited Mail Service (EMS), branded locally as Poslaju, is available for both domestic and international destinations. Domestic EMS has a next day delivery guarantee. International EMS guarantees mails and parcels to be delivered out of the country by the following day. The time required to arrive at its destination will depend on clearance by authorities and the postal service of the destination country. For most countries, delivery of documents can be done in 3 to 5 days.
Generally, post offices are open from 8:30am to 5:00pm Monday to Saturday, except the first Saturday of the month. They are closed on Sundays and Public Holidays.
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