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. This district area is 3,978.10 square kilometres,[2] and population (year 2020 census) was 56,900. It is located on the banks of the Limbang River (Sungai Limbang in Malay), between the two halves of Brunei.

Chinese transcription(s)
Limbang town centre
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, when 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.[3]


Location of Limbang district in Sarawak

In 1884, there was a rebellion by Limbang residents protesting against the high tax rate imposed by the Bruneian Empire. W.H. Treacher, the governor of North Borneo, saw an opportunity to acquire more territories from the Bruneian empire. Treacher offered himself to mediate the taxation dispute between the local chiefs and the Bruneian empire. He sailed to Brunei on H.M.S Pegasus, backed by British navy. He successfully leased Padas River, Klias Peninsula, Bongawan, and Tawaran (now Tuaran) from the sultan of Brunei for $ 3000 payment per year.[4]

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 had historically been Bruneian. 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 and 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".[5]

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.[6]


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


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 warm 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.

Climate data for Limbang
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 29.9
Daily mean °C (°F) 26.9
Average low °C (°F) 23.9
Average rainfall mm (inches) 389



Before the late 19th century, Limbang was the "rice bowl" for Brunei, producing cheap agricultural produce for Bruneian Empire.[8] Northern Region Development Agency (NRDA) was established on 15 March 2018. [9] NRDA has been tasked to develop aquaculture, livestock, oil and gas as well as logistics industries in Limbang and Lawas districts to reap economic benefits from Brunei Darussalam–Indonesia–Malaysia–Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA).[10]



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

There are two Immigration, Customs and Quarantine Complexes in Limbang district, both into Brunei.[11]

  • Tedungan: This checkpoint corresponds to Brunei checkpoint is called Kuala Lurah.[12] It is located 43 km west of Limbang. It is the road crossing into the main part of Brunei from Limbang.
  • Pandaruan: This checkpoint enters Kampung Ujong Jalan, Temburong district, Brunei over the Pandaruan River,[13] located at 15 km east of Limbang. Previously, the crossing was only possible by using ferry services. Pandaruan Bridge was built on 8 December 2013 to facilitate river crossings.[13]

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

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.

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. "The Official Portal of the Sarawak Government". Retrieved 6 December 2022.
  2. "Portal Rasmi Pentadbiran Bahagian Limbang". Retrieved 6 December 2022.
  3. "Info Daerah Limbang (Limbang district information)". Limbang Divisional Office. Archived from the original on 23 October 2018. Retrieved 23 October 2018. Alt URL
  4. Crisswell, CN (September 1971). "The Origins of the Limbang Claim". Journal of Southeast Asian Studies. 2 (2): 218–229. doi:10.1017/S0022463400018622. JSTOR 20069920. S2CID 159643270. Retrieved 17 December 2022.
  5. 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. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 March 2017. Retrieved 23 October 2018. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  6. 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.
  7. "Climate: Limbang". Retrieved 29 October 2020.
  8. Clearly, Mark; Shaw, Brian (April 1992). "Limbang: a lost province of oil-rich Brunei Darussalam". Geography. Taylor & Francis. 77 (2): 178–181.
  9. Veno, Jeremy. "Three agencies under Recoda established, Score expected to generate RM334 bln". The Borneo Post. Archived from the original on 2 June 2021. Retrieved 12 December 2021.
  10. "Limbang-Lawas Growth Area". RECODA. Archived from the original on 20 January 2023. Retrieved 20 January 2023.
  11. "Immigration extends operation hours along Sarawak-Sabah border". The Borneo Post. 29 January 2016. Archived from the original on 6 August 2019. Retrieved 16 October 2020.
  12. "JPJ to station officers at Bakelalan-Indonesian border checkpoint". Dayak Daily. 25 April 2019. Archived from the original on 18 December 2022. Retrieved 18 December 2022.
  13. "Friendship Bridge a symbol of close M'sia-Brunei ties". The Borneo Post. 9 December 2013. Archived from the original on 18 December 2022. Retrieved 18 December 2022.
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