Kuching city, capital of Sarawak, home to the Serpentine Sarawak River running through the city and one of the unique national parks that blooms world's largest flower throughout year. It is a city known for its rich cultural heritage, with indigenous communities such as Dayaks and Iban, along with Christian, Chinese and Tamil Indian communities.
You may have been to Malaysia before but if you haven’t been to Kuching in Sarawak, You are missing an opportunity to truly get to know and experience Malaysia and its amazing traditional aspects, long houses, Beautiful National Parks, bustling market streets and perhaps most uniquely a Cat museum.
Here are some things you might enjoy doing when in Kuching;
Encounter animal wildlife at Bako National Park!
Situated just 29km away from Kuching airport is a travel destination that you need to go, to experience for yourself the quiet divinity in the quiet trail of Telok Pandan Besar or the meditative calm of hours long boat rides. Bako national park is unbeatable in Kuching for its wildlife encounter rate as compared to other parks in the region.
Enjoy the waterfalls along the way or why not take a dip in a pool for a bit? These trails in the park are not lacking for things to do. You could even call for a boat service to pick you up after you’ve hiked to your heart’s content.
‘Pulau Lake Island' is the main attraction of this national park, if you haven’t seen the sunset from here, you truly are letting an unforgettable moment pass through.
Best way to enjoy Bako National Park is the evening hike in the park, the quiet cacophony of natural ambience will embrace you till you eventually relax and feel at peace. Although, do try avoiding visiting the park in rainy season, long walk on trail and drenching downpour does not go hand in hand.
Experience the cultural heritage in Sarawak museum
When you plan your trips, it usually revolves around beaches and parks and shopping right? But if you are one of the curious types, those that try to get to truly know a place they travel to, then Sarawak museum is a must visit.
Some fun facts about Sarawak museum; Founded in 1891 by Charles Brooke, it is known to be oldest museum in Borneo. Although it is exhibited on a conventional Normandy house, it’s style is that of Victorian era structures. Sarawak museum is a recollection of memories of ancient tribal times of Borneo filled with antique tribal weapons, stuffed animals and everyday things ranging from fishhooks to household tools. Capturing the Life and Times of ancient tribal peoples. It’s located in Jalan, Tun Haji, kicking and other than public holidays,, there are no entry fees.
Experience an actual ‘Cat Museum'!
Yes you read that right, it’s a cat museum, wholly dedicated to the Cute and ferocious little things, filled of all things feline fluff. Ranging from cat arts to gallery full of cat souvenirs. It is a one of a kind museum in the whole world revolving around different aspects of cats and the history related to them, If you are a cat lover or want a souvenir for a cat lover you know, just visit this place, you will not regret it. Opening hours are usually between 9am to 5pm from Monday to Sunday.
Learn to weave at Sarawak Cultural Village
If you find yourself interested in cultural heritages of old times and fascinated with seeing ancient techniques used in daily lives, in places where technology knocked a bit later than anywhere, Sarawak Cultural Village is the place to be.
Things you can do here; You can watch and learn ancient techniques such as bamboo carving or weaving used by indigenous tribal groups, these live demonstrations can captivate your curious heart. In Sarawak cultural village you get to know about various indigenous groups that reside in that local area of Malaysia. You can check out the model structures built in this site, Including a penan hut, a conventional Chinese farmhouse, Iban longhouses etc.
Experience the scenic Rainforest at Kubah National Park
National parks are usually associated with wildlife encounters, but if you want something like that then Bako National Park might be better. Although, if you wish to experience the beautiful trails, the various waterfalls, hot pools and the scenic beauty of the rainforest then Kubah National Park is definitely a must visit for you.
The Park is comparatively smaller than Bako NP but both have their own specialities. One is known for its wildlife encounters and boat rides, the other for its forest trails and the abundant waterfalls. I recommend that you bring a towel, some strong insect repellent, spare clothes and drinking water supplies with you, just in case. There are a few guided tours that you can join to get here or alternatively you can just take a taxi ride lasting about 40minutes to get to Kubah NP.
Watch the world's largest flower!
Are you a botany enthusiast? Or are you interested in Flowers and plants instead of animal wildlife perhaps? Most National parks in Kuching are either filled with beautiful scenic forest trails or with waterfalls and hot pools having one thing in common that they are focused in animal wildlife. Well, Gunung Gading National Park is a unique exception.
Gunung gading national park is famous for its focus in flora. The worlds largest flower ‘Rafflesia' blossom around the whole year in the National Park. Are these Flowers can be found flowering the whole year, anytime you go, you will most definitely get a chance to look at the worlds largest Flowers. This National Park is situated around 2 hours away from the city so plan the trip well ahead of the time.
Visit the ancient Fort Margherita
If you like a display of ancient weaponries and taking beautiful boat rides then you should try visiting Fort Margherita. Sometimes journey is as awesome as the destination, as one needs to take a boat ride to get to this Fort and that is a lot of fun in itself. Built to protect the city from attacks this Fort is now home to a display collection of cool ancient weapons ranging from pistols to sword to even canons. It is a police museum of a kind.
Watch the Orang-utans at Semenggoh Nature Reserve
Are you a wildlife enthusiast? Are you curious about wildlife rehabilitation programs? If so then you might find this place very interesting, just like all the other visitors that swarm to this place as if spellbound.
This place is popular amongst travellers for one very unique speciality; Orang-utans. You can’t just see them everywhere, but during the feeding times in the day, Orang-utans may gather around the platforms made up on the trees to facilitate convenient feeding for the animals. You may find other animals in the area, but Orang-utans are the undisputed top tourist attraction of the place.
Fancy an evening stroll around the waterfront?
If you fancy an evening stroll, after having travelled around a lot of places, this is the place to relax and walk around leisurely. Enjoy the views of the fort Margherita and Astana, walking around you’ll find a beautiful waterfront and there are some of the best cafes in the area too, if you want to have a look. This is the perfect spot to take your partner for a romantic walk. Just let go of the troubles of the day, let your thoughts fade behind the beautiful moment of scenic beauty.
Find religious solace at St. Thomas Cathedral
For those of Christian religion that seek to find solace in the prayer of God in punching, I would suggest they visit the St. Thomas Cathedral at least once.
There is a rich history behind this cathedral, which started as just a small church made up of woods surrounding the forest on the hill it was then first built at. The church has seen much history, including he Chinese resurrection, which destroyed it at that time.
It was later rebuilt expanded and upgraded to a cathedral. There is a big enough Christian population in Kuching that visits this cathedral on regular basis. Regardless of your faith and religious views, you can still visit the site.
Buy antique souvenirs at the Main Bazaar
If you wish to buy antique souvenirs for your folks back home, Or just want to purchase something to remember the place by. The bazaar at the Main Street is where you go. Do not be mislead by the name, this came around because of its venue at the Main Street facing the water. In actuality it is a row of shops filled with traditional tools and antique souvenirs, indigenous crafts and various things that you might like to take home with you.
Have fun with family at Kuching waterpark
Kuching waterpark is one of the major attractions of Kuching, mainly for kids and families and a group of friends to enjoy the various fun-filled activities at the site.
This place is filled with tourists and local families in Summer season, but that is also the best time to be in a waterpark.
Hornbill Island; This area is wholly fun-place focused around kids activities, some major features are the leisure pool, pizza time(eatery), water slides etc.
Santubong tower; As you might have guessed from the name, this tower is dedicated to rides, Tube related and Non-tube too. Salak beach wave pool; If you want to experience the beach and the ocean waves while in the waterpark, go check out the salak beach wave pool area, enjoy the ocean waves, from the safety of a pool.
Enjoy Boating in the Sarawak river!
Whether or not you are a boating enthusiast, once you get to this place you wouldn't want miss boating in this beautiful River that runs through the city.
Take some time to sit back in the traditional boat and just gaze around the vicinity of the Sarawak river. Boat ride durations depend on your arrangements with the drivers, so make appropriate negotiations before the ride.
Kayaking in the Sarawak river is also an alternative that many tourists prefer instead of the boat rides. You can enjoy watching various views that you would otherwise miss travelling around the city.
Experience the rich cultural marvel of Tua Pek Kong Chinese Temple
If you have ever been in a Chinese temple before, then you should be familiar with the colourful walls and beautiful carvings the antique structures are made of.
This ancient temple has a rich history of its own and is claimed to be from around 1770. Kuching has a good amount of Chinese population in itself, who visit this temple from time to time, along with a host of tourist, who find this place uniquely curious and interesting. Particularly those who have not been to a Chinese temple before.
Grab a bite at Siniawan Night Market!
You must be quite famished from all that sight-seeing throughout the day right? Why not take a look at the eateries of the famous night market of Siniawan?
Lemang periuk kera; one of the local speciality in the area, also known as the pitcher plant rice, can be enjoyed here alongside other traditional malay and Chinese speciality foods.
This well-renown night market happens at the weekends(Friday, Sat, Sunday).
This night market is not only filled with mouth-watering delicious aroma from eateries but also rows of hawkers selling traditional things that you can buy as a souvenir.
Although there are myriad things one can do as a tourist in a place as crammed with unique features as Kuching in Malaysia, these are the 15 best features that you need to check off your to-do list, once you have time to visit the heritage-rich city.