Kuching Destination Guide
Kuching, the capital of Sarawak, is a riverside town in
the west of the state, located on the banks of the Sarawak
It is approximately 32 km inland from the South China Sea.
The town has landscaped parks and gardens, some elegant
colonial buildings, colorful markets and a bustling waterfront.
There is also a state mosque, Christian churches and Chinese
It has one of Asia's finest museums with an excellent collection
of Borneo's ethnological and archaeological artifacts.
World's first museum devoted to cats. Here you can find
a large range of exhibitions of cats including pictures,
books, souvenirs and etc.
Chinese History Museum
Originally a Chinese Court House and then the Chinese Chamber
of Commerce, it now houses artefacts donated by leading
Kuching families on the history and culture of the Chinese
community in Sarawak.
Originally built in 1891 to house and display arts and crafts
of the indigenous people of Borneo, the Sarawak Museum has
gained a reputation for having the single most comprehensive
collection of Borneo artifacts to be found anywhere. After
massive extension, the Sarawak Museum now straddles both
sides of Jalan overhead pedestrian bridge. The original
1891 building was designed in style of a Normandy townhouse
and was extended to its present structure in 1911. The new
wing, just across the road, was built in the 1970s and has
a reconstruction of life in the prehistoric Niah Caves.
There is a bookstore and souvenir shop here as well.
Batang Ai National Park
Batang Ai National Park is the situated on one of the main
heartlands of the Iban people whose longhouses are set around
a picturesque lake.
Located facing the Kuching Waterfront – shops selling
handicraft and local products.
FUN & ENTERTAINMENT
As the capital city, Kuching offers a number of pubs and
bars. You can find them in and around Taman Sri Sarawak,
across from Hilton; Jalan Bukit Mata and the Riverbank Suites,
that face the river opposite Crowne Plaza.
Karaoke lounges are also popular. Most major hotels have
lounges with karaoke facilities. They can also be found
around Taman Sri Sarawak.
There are several modern shopping centres in Sarawak. In
Kuching, there is Wisma Saberkas at Jalan Green, Sarawak
Plaza and Tun Jugak Complex at Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman,
Wisma Hopoh at Jalan P.Ramlee, Wisma Phoenix at Jalan Song
Thian Cheok, and Kuching Plaza at Jalan McDougall. All these
offer practically anything a shopper may need.
Handicraft and Antiques
Sarawak has a vast array of traditional handicrafts. The
native-made woodcarvings, beadwork, weaving, pottery, bamboo
and rattan baskets boast an intricate design and fine craftsmanship,
and come in vibrant colors.
Kuching is an excellent place for buying tribal artifacts
and the best selection can be found in the antique shops
along Main Bazaar, Wayang Street and Temple Street. Prices
are high, but bargaining is normal.
It is recommended that visitors should spend a few hours
at the Sunday Market at Jalan Satok which, besides market
produce, may have antiques on sale.
Jalan Satok Sunday Market
A place for unusual herbs, fruits, plants and animals, the
Sunday market at Kuching's Jalan Satok is a colorful place
to which the villagers bring their fresh jungle herbs and
fruits not available elsewhere. Traders bring their goods
in on Saturday afternoon and the Sunday market begins at
Once visitors get a taste of Sarawakian food, they will
realise that the state is not only famous for its caves
and national parks. In terms of food, Sarawak has many of
its own specialties that are unique and delicious.
Coffee shops, food centres, Chinese, Western, Indian, Indonesian
and Japanese restaurants, as well as restaurants that serve
seafood, steamboat and vegetarian food are found in Sarawak,
particularly in Kuching.
One Sarawak specialty is Umai, a traditional dish of the
Melanau people, which is a spicy salad of raw marinated
fish, limes and shallots. Visitors can taste it at Penrissen
Inn, Tapanga Tree and also at hotel buffets and Malay food
stalls in Top Spot (Taman Kareta). For vegetables, try two
types of crispy jungle fern called midin and paku. Some
Chinese restaurants serve good venison (deer meat).
The Iban also have their own fine delicacies such as Pansoh
Manok, which is chicken with rice wine cooked in bamboo.
This technique is also used to cook fish. Visitors can savour
this dish at Penrissen Inn and the Cottage. Some Hotel buffets
also serve this dish.
For seafood, try steamed pomfret or manchong fish. Other
local favourites include asam prawns, sambal prawns and
Another unique dish in Sarawak is ambal or bamboo clam.
It is usually cooked in a mild curry or steamed in Chinese
wine. Though it looks like worms in a bamboo shell, it is
Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flights are available from Singapore,
Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru and Kota Kinabalu to Kuching and
Royal Brunei Airlines flies to Kuching three times a week.
Merpati Airlines flies through Pontianak. There are two
international airports in Kuching and Miri. There are also
airports and airstrips at Sibu, Bintulu, Kapit, Belaga,
Marudi and Limbang.
Taxis don't seem to drive around but rather
congregate in a few key positions and there are also some
unfortunate locations where not all taxis can go as regular
taxis only service on some roads or parts of the town. This
makes it hard to just flag a taxi and expect to be taken
where you want. Most taxis do not have meter, you must agree
on the price before getting in!
Buses are by far the best option. Although
most places are walking distance, it is too hot to do so.
Taking buses is economical, comfortable and reliable but
since most buses are not air-conditioned, sitting beside
an open window is what you ought to.
Car rental is relatively expensive but
is certainly convenient to get around especially if you
plan to get out of the city.