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. It is located on the banks of the Limbang River (Sungai Limbang in Malay), between the two halves of Brunei.

Chinese transcription(s)
Coordinates: 4°45′33″N 115°00′24″E


A settlement along the Limbang River was previously known as "Pangkalan Tarap" where trade activities thrived. The name was derived from a well-known fruit in the Malay community. However, the settlement was combined with Trusan district and Lawas district, "Pangkalan Tarap" changed its name to "Limbang", naming it after the river on which it is situated.[1]


In 1884, there was a rebellion by Limbang residents protesting against the high tax rate imposed by the Bruneian Empire, "necessary" because of British and Sarawakian expansion under Charles Venyer Brooke. Pengiran Temanggong Pengiran Anak Hashim, who was poised to become Sultan Hashim Jalilul Alam Aqamaddin in 1885, was unable to contain the revolt, which was instigated by the White Rajah. Pengiran Anak Hashim initially sought help from Rajah Charles Brooke, but failed to end the rebellion. Pengiran Anak Hashim then sought help from the acting British Royal Consul at Labuan and the rebellion was suppressed.

Sultan Hashim was then pressured by the North Borneo Chartered Company (NBCC) and Charles Brooke to cede the Trusan, Padas, and Limbang districts. Sultan Hashim submitted to the pressure and ceded Trusan district in 1885 and Padas district in 1887 but refused to relinquish Limbang. This is because Limbang was the rice bowl for Brunei, and the Limbang river has always been the part of the Brunei territory, now and forever. On 17 September 1888, Brunei signed an agreement with Great Britain which formally put Brunei under British protectorate, hoping to stem further losses of territories to the Brooke government or NBCC. However, on 17 March 1890, Rajah Charles Brooke announced that Limbang was to be part of the Kingdom of Sarawak. Brunei tried to seek help from Britain regarding the loss of the Limbang territory but to no avail. To this date, Brunei still claims Limbang as hers as it was forcibly and illegally taken.

Between 1899 to 1901, another rebellion occurred in Tutong District and Belait District. Sultan Hashim was again pressured to cede both the districts, but he firmly refused, as loss of both districts would make Brunei non-existent on the map of Borneo, resembling "a tree without branches".[2]

During the Brunei Revolt in 1962, Limbang was occupied by the North Borneo Liberation Army (Tentera Nasional Kalimantan Utara, TNKU). TNKU killed four members of the police and eleven European civilians including the Limbang district officer and his wife. Within five days, British and Australian forces from Singapore contained the rebellion.[3]


Limbang is part of the Limbang District, which is part of the Limbang Division, which is part of Sarawak, Malaysia

Geography and climate

Limbang features an equatorial climate that is a tropical rainforest climate more subject to the Intertropical Convergence Zone than the trade winds and with no or rare cyclones. The climate is hot and wet. The city sees heavy precipitation throughout the course of the year. The Northeast Monsoon blows from December to March, while the Southeast Monsoon dominates from around June to October.


Ethnicity of Limbang

Population of Limbang

Lun Bawang/Kelabit2,466
Non-Malaysian Citizen1,200


Limbang's economic importance was realised from the 15th century until now. While Limbang was ruled by Brunei, it 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 motivated Rajah Charles Brooke of Sarawak to seize Limbang.



Limbang is served by Limbang Airport, which also serves the whole of Limbang District.


Owing to its geographical location, Limbang is completely cut off from the rest of Sarawak's road network. However, it 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 within the district.

There are two road border crossing checkpoints in Limbang district, both into Brunei.

  • 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 was only possible by ferry until the completion of the Pandaruan or Brunei-Malaysia Friendship Bridge on 8 December 2013. The checkpoint on the Brunei side is called Ujung Jalan.

As the only road connection to outside the district is through Brunei, one must have a passport to travel into or out of Limbang.

Other utilities


  • SJK (C) Chung Hwa Limbang
  • SK Limbang
  • SK Melayu Pusat
  • SK Kampung Pahlawan
  • SK St. Edmund
  • SK Menuang
  • SK Batu Danau
  • SK Pengkalan Jawa
  • SK Tedungan
  • SK Bukit Luba
  • SK Tanjong
  • SK Meritam
  • SK Ukong
  • SK Nanga Medamit
  • SK Long Napir
  • SK Kuala Mendalam
  • SK Nanga Merit
  • SK Kubong
  • SK RC Kubong
  • SK Gadong
  • SMK Seri Patiambun Limbang
  • SMK Medamit
  • SMK Limbang
  • SMK Kubong
  • SMK(A) Limbang


The old Limbang Hospital is located in Limbang which is now used as a Laboratory of Drugs and Drug Stores. It was established on 18 August 1961 with 16 nurses and 10 attendants with 54 beds.

In line with the increase in population and the development of Limbang Town, the new Limbang Hospital was officially opened on June 29, 1980 by the then-President of the State of Sarawak Tun Datuk Patinggi Abang Hj MuhammadSalahuddin. The construction cost RM 4.912 million with an area of 7.8 hectares.

As of 2017, a staff strength of 279 people including 19 Medical Officers and 1 Gynecologist and 2 Radiologists.

Culture and leisure

Limbang Regional Museum

The Limbang Regional Museum is located in a fort built by Rajah Charles Brooke in 1897. It is located in the area annexed to Sarawak by the White Rajah in 1890.

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. Limbang residents do their recreational activities in the park in the evening. A children's playground, lake, barbecue site, suspension bridge and toilet are provided.

Limbang Plaza

Limbang Plaza is located in the town centre, and is often dubbed the definite centre of Limbang. This building mainly consists of three components: Purnama Hotel, a shopping mall and various government offices (located atop the mall). It's also used for other businesses and activities.

Currently the mall has about 50 shopping outlets, with a local supermarket chain, Queen, as the main tenant. Apart from these, the Limbang Plaza shopping mall boasts a KFC restaurant and had a Pizza Hut (closed in 2007).

Pasar Tamu

"Pasar Tamu" is a local gathering where villagers come to the town of Limbang to sell their goods. Usually it is held every Friday, but preparations begin on Thursday.

The market has attracted not only local residents, but also Bruneians.

Notable people


  1. "Info Daerah Limbang (Limbang district information)". Limbang Divisional Office. Archived from the original on 23 October 2018. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  2. Ismail, Haji Awang Nordin. "Perjanjian 1888: Suatu Harapan dan Kekecewaan (The 1888 agreement: a hope and also a disappointment)" (PDF). Jabatan Sejarah, Universiti Brunei Darussalam. Retrieved 23 October 2018. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. Francis, Richard (March 2003). "The Raid on Limbang – 1962". Naval Historical Society of Australia. Archived from the original on 31 March 2016. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
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