Kuching riverfront at dusk
Kuching is the capital and largest city of the East Malaysian state of Sarawak and the district of Kuching.
Once the capital of the White Rajahs of Sarawak, now with a population of some 500,000, Kuching is small enough to walk around but interesting enough to keep you there for several days, and a good base for exploring Sarawak. It's safe and relatively clean. The name of the city, Kuching, is thought to derive from the Malay word kucing, meaning cat. Many of the locals refer to Kuching as the "Cat City" but it more likely comes from the Chinese word for port ("cochin") coupled with the Malay name mata kucing (cat's-eye) for the longan fruit, a popular trade item.
Sarawak was a part of the Sultanate of Brunei 200 years ago but as a reward for help in putting down a rebellion, it was ceded to the British adventurer James Brooke who ruled it as his personal kingdom. Kuching was made his capital and headquarters. The Brooke Administration was given the status of Protectorate under Rajah Charles Brooke's rule and was placed behind the Indian Rajs and Princes. The Brooke family ruled Sarawak until the Japanese occupation in December 1941.
Kuching was surrendered to the Japanese forces on 24 December 1941, and Sarawak was part of the Japanese Imperial Empire for three years and eight months, until the official Japanese surrender on 11 September 1945 on board HMAS Kapunda at Kuching. From March 1942 the Japanese operated a POW and civilian internee camp at Batu Lintang, three miles (5 km) outside Kuching.
After the end of World War II the third and last Rajah, Sir Charles Vyner Brooke ceded Sarawak to the British Crown in 1946. Sarawak and the British Commonwealth fought an "Undeclared War" with Indonesia to keep Sarawak from being absorbed into Sukarno's Indonesia. The British gave Sarawak independence in 1963 and together with North Borneo, Sabah and Singapore, helped form Malaysia on 16 September 1963. Singapore became an independent nation in 1965.
Kuching prides itself on being one of the most multi-racial city in Malaysia. The largest group are the Chinese, who form about 45% of the population. Among the Chinese, Hokkien speakers form the majority, while Hakka and Foochow speakers round out the top three. Other notable "dialect" groups among the Chinese include the Teochew, Hainanese and Cantonese. The Malays, who are comprised of Kuching's original inhabitants as well as migrants from neighboring Indonesia, form just short of mere 13,000 of Chinese population, while Ibans form about 5% of the population. There are also original Indian migrants who live in Kuching for many decades ago. The Indians are divided evenly to Tamils, Sikhs and Punjabis. The remainder are other indigenous races, most notably the Bidayuhs, Melanaus, Javanese and Orang Ulu settlers. What makes Kuching city unique from other towns in Sarawak is, Kuching city population does not reflect the true demography of the whole Sarawak.
Most of Kuching of Chinese decent live in South Kuching area, with some areas constitute more than 90% of the population as Chinese like Padungan and Pending. While Malay mostly live at North Kuching area, and spread evenly throughout South Kuching area. Other races like Iban, Bidayuh, Melanau and Orang Ulu spread themselves evenly throughout Padawan and some at South and North Kuching. Indian communities of Tamil descent mostly live at Batu Lintang and Gita area, while Javanese communities mostly live at Mile 20 Kuching-Serian Road, Rantau Panjang (Batu Kawa) and Kg. Kolong at Matang.
Kuching enjoys sunshine throughout the year as any other tropical cities. Rains and heavy showers occur occasionally which always due to precipitation and monsoon season. Hail might sometimes happen in Kuching. However, strong winds, tremors and heavy thunderstorms are very unlikely to occur. It is recommended to visit Kuching during hot season which is from March to October every year. Monsoon season normally occur between November to February. However, the monsoon does not hinder too much of the tourists' activities.
Kuching, and Sarawak as a whole celebrate all Federal holidays except Deepavali. Sarawak has also declared holiday for Good Friday (one day) and Gawai Day (two days). Unlike other states in Malaysia, most Islamic events are not being declared holiday, except Federal holidays of Hari Raya Aidilfitri (two days), Hari Raya Aidiladha (one day), Maulud Nabi (one day) and Awal Muharram (one day).
Avoid touring to Santubong area during first day of Hari Raya Aidilfitri due to heavy traffic at Petra Jaya. Tourists can expect a grand celebration for every major holidays with big open houses such as Chinese New Year, Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Gawai. Try to observe Gawai Day celebration since that Gawai Day is only being declared holiday in Sarawak.
Kuching city can be divided into few areas:
- Padawan - It's a small town at the outskirt of Kuching city. It's popular with its traditional Bidayuh kampungs and longhouses. This area is home for multiracial communities such as Bidayuhs, Javanese, Malay, Chinese and Iban & Orang Ulu settlers.
- Kota Sentosa - Before being named Kota Sentosa, Kota Sentosa is called (even now) 'Batu Tujuh' or 7th Mile. This area is a commercial hub for people from Batu Kitang, Kg. Haji Baki and surrounding areas. Sarawak Mental Hospital is also located here. Kota Sentosa has also grown its importance due to it's vicinity of Army Camps.
- BDC - BDC was long time ago a remote housing area. However, today it has grown importance as a commercial hub for Stutong and Tabuan Heights area and also a growing elite housing areas.
- Tabuan Jaya - Tabuan Jaya, like BDC, was long time ago a remote housing area. Today, it has emerged into Kuching satellite city. It is also well connected to other important areas in Kuching such as Pending, BDC, Muara Tabuan Industrial Estate and Demak Jaya Industrial Estate.
- Pending - Pending is an industrial area. Major industrial players here, among them are Komag, CMS Concrete, Gold Coin Fertilizer and Sarawak Clinker Plant. Pending is connected to Kuching city centre via Padungan.
- Batu Kawa - Batu Kawa got its name from volcano crater found at Gunung Serapi. It has now emerged into important satellite city of Kuching, which consist of MJC Commercial Area (with condominium housing, elite housing areas and shoplots), Sg. Maong and Pekan Rantau Panjang.
- Matang - Matang is another emerging town under Kuching. Among its prominent attraction is Matang Jaya and Gita.
- 3rd Mile - 3rd Mile is also one emerging commercial area. It was home to first private school in Sarawak, Sunny Hill School and also old-fashioned cinema, Capitol Cinema. 3rd Mile was once an important train route in Kuching.
- Padungan - Padungan is the oldest commercial hub in Kuching. Chinatown is located here. It's also an important area for nightlife (clubbing and night outting), 4 to 5-star hotels (such as Crowne Plaza, Hilton, Holiday Inn & soon-to-be-opened Novotel), popular tourist spots (Kuching Waterfront, cat replica etc) and also shopping hub.
- Simpang Tiga - Simpang Tiga is famous with its federal government complexes, Swinburne college and newly opened "The Spring" shopping mall.
- Satok - Satok is the most widely spoken place among tourists for its market. It is also the smallest DUN (State Legislative) area in Sarawak.
- Petra Jaya - Petra Jaya is home for majority of Malay population in Kuching, and most probably in Sarawak. It has a lot of Malay kampungs, low-cost housing schemes, housing estates and it is also a headquarters for Sarawak state government, which is an idea later copied by Federal Government for their Putrajaya. Petra Jaya consist of area from Kg. Tupong to Semariang to Demak Jaya Industrial Estate.
- Santubong - Santubong is located 30km away from Kuching. It is a tourist spot for beach and annual international events such as World Rainforest Music Festival.
 Get in
As Kuching is in Sarawak, which retains control of its own immigration procedures, some additional complications apply and an ordinary Malaysian visa may not suffice. Most visitors, though, can get visas on arrival at Kuching Airport. See Sarawak for details.
 By Plane
Kuching International Airport (Template:IATA) is Sarawak's main gateway. There are near-hourly connections to Kuala Lumpur on Malaysia Airlines , AirAsia , as well as frequent flights to Johor Bahru, Labuan, Kota Kinabalu and other cities in Sarawak like Sibu, Bintulu and Miri. MASWings , which took over the rural air service from FlyAsian Express (FAX) on October 1, 2007, links Kuching with Mukah. International connections are rather limited, although there are a few weekly services to Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Pontianak, Macau, Bali and Singapore.
The airport underwent a major facelift in 2005-2006 and is now modern and pleasant. When checking in, note that all flights outside Sarawak are considered "international", even if you're only going elsewhere in Malaysia. A restaurant is located on ground floor at the far end, before security. There is also a KFC and newly opened Starbucks on the 2nd floor (departure level), left of the departure gates.
Getting there/away: Kuching city is about 20 minutes away by taxi, a fixed RM17.50 from the taxi coupon stand just outside arrivals. Ignore the touts, even if they show you price lists.
There are also rather intermittent (once every hour or so) buses (Sarawak Transport Company No. 12A and Chin Lian Long bus No. 8A) to the city center for RM1. The most convenient place to catch the buses is at the General Post Office in Jalan Tun Haji Openg in the city centre.
 By Boat
Express Bahagia and Express Sejahtera express boats run once daily each from Sibu to Kuching and back. RM36 one way and the journey takes 4 hours. Boats depart from the Pending wharf to the east of the city. Getting there/away: Chin Lian Long buses No. 1A, 17 and 19 go to the express boat jetty. 60 sen one way. Taxis usually charge RM10.
 By Bus
Kuching's regional express bus terminal is located along Jalan Penrissen, also dubbed as "4 and a half miles", located south of the city. All long-distance express buses arrive from and leave for major Sarawak cities like Sibu, Bintulu and Miri, as well as Pontianak in Indonesia. Regional buses for some towns near Kuching such as Lundu (for the Gunung Gading National Park and Tanjung Datu National Park) and Sri Aman also arrive/depart from here. However, buses for some towns and destinations nearer Kuching, such as the Bako National Park, Bau and the Semenggoh Orang Utan Centre, leave from various locations in the city centre, depending on the bus company being used. See the individual destinations below for details.
- To/from Bau:
- To/from Bako National Park: Petrajaya (white and yellow) bus No. 6 departs from the open air market near Electra House in the city centre. RM1.50 one way,journey time 45 mins. There are also public mini buses for RM5 a little bit faster and more regular. The buses bring you to Bako Bazaar where you have to transfer to a boat to reach the national park. See Bako National Park page for details.
- To/from Lundu: Sarawak Transport Company (cream and green) express buses depart from the regional bus terminal at 08:15, 11:00, 14:00 and 16:00. Buses depart Lundu at 08:00, 11:00, 14:00 and 16:00. Travel time approximately two hours. At Lundu, take a taxi or van to the Gunung Gading National Park. For Tanjung Datu National Park, catch a connecting Sarawak Transport Company bus to Sematan where you will have to charter a boat to the park.
- To/from Pontianak: Biaramas Express  (Tel: +60-82-456999 at the regional bus terminal, 60-82-610111 headquarters) buses depart Kuching regional bus terminal for Pontianak via the Tebedu-Entikong border crossing daily at 07:45. RM45 adult one way. From Pontianak, buses depart daily at 21:00. Fare is Rp140,000. SJS Super Executive (Tel: +60-82-456999) buses departs the regional bus terminal at 11:00 and cost RM70. Click Pontianak_to_Kuching for travel Itenerary on this route.
- To/from Semenggoh: Sarawak Transport Company buses No. 5А depart from their bus terminal near the open air market in the city centre but are not so frequent (at 1 and a half hour or even rarely). Also there are plenty of mini buses at the open air market that can drive you there (public - RM5-10 per passеnger) and also more expensive mini bus taxies (bargaining starts from RM100 for the whole bus for return journey).
- To/from Sibu: Various express buses depart from the regional bus terminal. Most of them go via Sarikei.
 By Car
 From Indonesia
To travel by car from Indonesia is pretty straight forward. As a member of Asean, Indonesian driving license is legal and accepted in Malaysia.
Click Pontianak_to_Kuching for travel Itenerary on this route.
 Within Malaysia and From Brunei Darussalam
Sarawak is a huge state. The road networks connecting towns and places in Sarawak including Kuching are somehow quite satisfactorily maintained. However, long and winding road with sometimes no rest stops in between might bore you or scare you. Here are the distance chart from Kuching to other towns:
Distance Table from Kuching to other towns in Sarawak
| From || To || Distance/Accumulative Distance From Kuching (in Kilometre) || Rest Stops
| Kuching || Sri Aman || 193/193 || Siburan, Tapah, Beratok, Tarat, SERIAN, Balai Ringin, Lachau
| Sri Aman || Sarikei || 179/372 || Engkilili, BETONG, SARATOK
| Sarikei || Sibu || 90/462 || Meradong, Julau, Pakan
| Sibu || Bintulu || 202/644 || Sekuau, SELANGAU, TATAU
| Bintulu || Miri || 198/842 || Suai, BATU NIAH, Sibuti, Bekenu, Bakam
| Miri || Limbang || 230/1072 || Sg. Tujuh, Kuala Belait (Brunei), Seria (Brunei), Tutong (Brunei), BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (Brunei)
| Limbang || Lawas || 1072/1200 || TEMBURONG (Brunei), Sundar, Trusan
Sabahan people as well as from Brunei can also commute freely to Kuching using Pan Borneo Highway network. However, it is subject to a lot of stopover at immigration checkpoints. Therefore, travelling to Kuching from Sabah is not advisable. Bruneian commuters should produce driving permit which is simply by filling a form at the Malaysian border checkpoint. Bruneian driving license is a valid, legal and accepted form of document in Sarawak/Malaysia.
 By Helicopter
In case you are in hurry or in the event to experience luxuriousness, helicopter and other method of air transports are available by using Hornbill Skyways.
 By Cruises
There are some cruises operating daily to and fro Kuching-Singapore by StarCruise.
 Get around
Tambangs provide easy and cheap transport across the river in Kuching.
 By Bus
Kuching's hotels have banded together to offer a free City Tram (really just a bus) service that shuttles around major sights once every hour. Ask for a City Tram sticker and route map from your hotel lobby.
Other local buses are run by a colorful assortment of companies, but there's a reasonably logical line numbering system and bus stops usually have some signage.
-Green - Sarawak Transport Company (STC)
-Blue - Chin Liang Long Bus Company (CLL)
-Orange - Matang Transport Company (MTC)
-Brown/Red - Bau Bus Company
-White with Red, Yellow and Black stripes - Petra Jaya Bus Company
-Brown/Purple - Regas Transport Company (existence in doubt)
Buses can sometime delay, messy and noisy. It is cheap, but the inconvinience using it is something to be sacrificed to. Some bus conductors and drivers are rude to the passengers. Should the bus conductor exist, kindly demand for a receipt of the ticket because some bus operators might walk inside and check the passengers' ticket. Some buses equipped with big coin box beside the driver's seat. Ask for the fare first before inserting coins to the box. This kind of system is always one-door-open-only bus. Cheating, pickpocketing and sexual harrassment might sometimes occur in public bus. If you are 'lucky', you may sit just beside of a hooker or escort offering their services.
 By Car
Driving in Kuching is easy and traffic jam is unlikely to occur except for certain busy roads and during peak hours. Car rental services are available in Kuching. Look out for Hertz Car Rental services and others. They open counters at airports and specific tourist spots daily. Rental of a mere Proton Waja (a sedan car) might cost you around RM200. Cash deposits and credit card are a must for car renting.
 By Motorcycle
Some car rental services also provide motorcycle for renting. Check the details from the respective car rental services.
 By 'Tambang' Boat
Tambang boats shuttle across the river at various points, all charging a fixed RM0.50 per passenger. Place the money on the designated plate instead of giving it to the operator.
 By Boats
Boats are sometimes available for visitors who wish to travel from one place to another along the Sarawak River.
 By Speedboats
Speedboats are available for people who wish to go to Taman Negara Bako, Satang Island and Layang-layang Island from Santubong. Rate differs according to hotels, and in regards to public holidays, peak hours and etc. Check schedule and rates at the respective hotels, such as Damai Lagoon.
 By Taxi
Taxi is somewhat expensive in Kuching. Although taxi is compulsary to use fare meter, they seldom used it and normally they will charge fare to whatever price they like. Reasonable taxi fare from Kuching city centre to Santubong is RM42 (after considering June 2008 petrol price hike). Some hotels provide their own shuttle vans or buses to designated tourism spots and city centre. Kindly check with your hotel should they provide this kind of service.
 By Shuttle Van
'Kereta Sewa' or shuttle van is widely available throughout Kuching to as far as Tebedu and Bau. Each shuttle van has their own commuting routes so watch out the routes by reading the destination on the body of the van. Minimum fare for each trip is RM1. The longer the distance, the higher the fare.
 By Helicopter
In case you are in hurry or in the event to experience luxuriousness, helicopter and other method of air transports are available by using Hornbill Skyways.
 By Cruises
Cruised might not be available at the posting date. Previously, it was available for tourists who wish to go for sightseeing along the Sarawak River.
 On Foot
Kuching is unusually pedestrian-friendly for a Malaysian city, with tree-lined sidewalks and pedestrian crossings, and the city core is compact enough to cover on foot. Good walks include the Waterfront and the pedestrian shopping street of Jalan India (Kuching's Little India).
Kuchingites of different ethnicities tend to speak different first languages. Typically, most Kuchingites are capable of speaking the Malay language and their ethnic tongue. On top of that, most Kuchingites are also capable of conversing in English or knows someone who does. The ability to speak either Malay, English or Mandarin is usually enough for someone in Kuching to get by.
Since that Kuchingites may come from different ethnics and cultural background, expect to hear various languages and dialects used by them.
 Bahasa Melayu
Talking in Malay is not as straight forward as the one spoken in Peninsular Malaysia or Sabah. Malays in Sarawak are tend to speak their own dialect of Malay which is known as "Bahasa Melayu Sarawak". The language is somewhat different from the official "Bahasa Melayu". In Public Service Committee of Sarawak, Bahasa Melayu Sarawak is recognized as a language, not a dialect. Some terms might be a little bit strange and not understandable. However, people from other parts of Malaysia can speak in standard Malay language. However again, speaking standard Malay language, especially in Peninsular slang might not give you a favour of bargaining with Malay traders.
If Bahasa Melayu Sarawak looks strange for you, expect more dialects and slangs of Malays from all over Sarawak. Malays from coastal part of Sarawak, especially the one from Sebuyau, Kabong, Saratok, Betong, Sri Aman and the surrounding areas speak different dialect called "Bahasa Orang Laut". Malays from Sibu and Miri speak similar language with Kuchingites Malay, but they have some terms unique to their dialect, for example "Pia" in Sibu (in Kuching, they called it "Sia", which means "there"), "Cali" in Miri (in Kuching, they called it "Jenaka", which means "funny").
If you had a chance to explore more different places in Sarawak outside of Kuching, you can expect more and more dialects, slangs and versions of Bahasa Melayu Sarawak which sometimes give a listener a headache to understand to.
 Bahasa Iban
You might notice some sellers do speak in Iban. However, Ibanese in Kuching are normally able to speak Malay and Sarawakian Malay dialect. Speaking in Iban might give you a little bit of advantage in bargaining with Iban traders.
 Chinese Languages
Chinese in Kuching are mostly from Hokkien decent. Therefore, they normally speak Hokkien instead of Mandarin. There are also various Chinese dialects, such as Hakka, Hainan, Teochew, Foochow and Cantonese. These dialects reflect their origin in Chinese. However, some dialects might not be the same as the one spoken in other parts of Malaysia. For example Sarawakian Hokkien does not speak the same Hokkien as the one in Peninsular.
However, almost every Kuchingites from Chinese decent can speak Mandarin. This is due to the fact that they acquire studying in Mandarin for at least 6 years during their primary school. Some non-Chinese Sarawakian can also speak Mandarin, thanks to the Chinese-language primary school that they attended to. Due to strong racial integration among Sarawakian, some Mandarin-speaking non-Chinese can also speak various Chinese dialects.
 Bahasa Bidayuh
Bidayuh people are found mostly in Kuching and Samarahan division. In Kuching, you can found them at most places, especially in the area of Padawan. Bidayuh in Kuching speaks different dialects. Their dialects reflect where their origin is. Bidayuh from one dialect or origin mostly cannot converse in other dialects or origins although they speak the same Bahasa Bidayuh. Main dialects of Bidayuh are Bidayuh Sadong (from Serian district) and Bidayuh Bau (from Bau district).
 Bahasa Melanau
Melanau people in Kuching are mostly migrates from central region of Sarawak. They normally cross marriage with Kuchingites Malay forming the generation of Kuchingites Melanau today. Bahasa Melanau is just like Bahasa Bidayuh. Melanau from one dialect or origin mostly cannot converse in other dialects or origins although they speak the same Bahasa Melanau. Main dialects of Melanau are Melanau Mukah (from Mukah district), Melanau Dalat (from Dalat district) and Melanau Bintulu (from Bintulu district).
 Other Indigenous Languages
There are some indigenous languages that you might experience to listen to when you are in Kuching. For example Sebako and various Orang Ulu languages and dialects like Kenyah, Kayan and Kelabit. Speaking in these native languages is not necessary since that most of them can speak fluent Malay or other languages. However, if you are able to speak in their languages, it will be much better for your advantage in trading with these folks.
 Languages On The Signboard
The lack of a homogeneous language used by the peoples is also clearly reflected around the city. Signs such as road names are written in Malay and Chinese. Street signs are in Malay. Shop names and other private signs are usually written in Malay, English or/and Chinese.
Kuching is a heaven for tourists. It is a main tourist destination in Sarawak.
In Kuching, you can enjoy various sightseeing activities. Among them are visiting museums, sightseeing of Kuching city and sightseeing for nature lovers.
Kuching's major sights are its museums. Clustered just south of the center, a program of refurbishment started in 2002 is shuffling up the exhibits.
- Chinese History Museum, Waterfront (east end of Main Bazaar). A small colonial-era museum that used to be the Chinese Court of Kuching, now houses a small permanent exhibition of Kuching's many Chinese groups and regional worthies.
- Dewan Tun Abdul Razak, Jln. Tun Abang Haji Openg (opposite Sarawak Museum). Formerly the New Wing of the Sarawak Museum, now houses changing exhibitions and has a rather good gift shop.
- Fort Margherita, Completed in 1879, Fort Margherita resides at a breathtaking and strategic position at the riverside of Sarawak River. It is located a the strategic place due to the historical reason; it was once a defensive structure to protect Kuching from possible attack. At present, Fort Margherita has been converted into a Police Museum and many of its old cannons, cannon balls, guns, pistols, swords and other vestiges of its artillery can still be seen. It can be accessed by road from the other side of the river, which is Petra Jaya, or by 'tambang' boat from Kuching Waterfront.
- Sarawak Museum, The Sarawak State Museum is the oldest museum in Borneo. It was established in 1888 and opened in 1891 in a purpose-built building in Kuching, Sarawak. Sponsored by Charles Brooke, the second White Rajah of Sarawak, the establishment of the museum was strongly encouraged by Alfred Russel Wallace. It was now called 'Ethnology Museum' which houses various ethnic displays and historical items of Sarawak.
- The Cat Museum. This is a large collection of cat memorabilia. Many souvenirs declare the fact that Kuching means "Cat". It is located at DBKU building at Petra Jaya, on top of a hill. Cat lovers will find all range of exhibits, photos, feline art and cat souvenirs. Some interesting cat characters like Felix The Cat, Garfield and Sonic The Cat also housed here. Free entry. Open daily 9am to 5pm (closed public holidays).
- The Islamic Museum. It is located just behind Tun Abdul Razak Museum and can be accessed via Jalan P. Ramlee. The museum consists of 7 galleries set around a central courtyard garden, each with a different theme. One of the interesting artifact showed here is a replica of sword used by Prophet Muhammad pbuh. Open daily from 9am to 6pm (closed on Fridays).
- Timber Museum. The museum resides in the building of Sarawak Timber Industry Development Council (STIDC) Building or Wisma Sumber Alam in Petra Jaya. It houses forestry, traditional wood displays, forest-based products and the exhibition of timber industry development in Sarawak. Open Mondays to Fridays 8.30am to 4pm, Saturdays 8.30 to 12.30pm (closed Sundays and public holidays). Tel: 082-443477
- Textile Museum. The museum is situated opposite of General Post Office. Open Mondays to Fridays 8.30am to 4pm, Saturdays 8.30 to 12.30pm (closed Sundays and public holidays).
- Pua Kumbu Museum. The museum is located at Tun Jugah Complex. However, this museum requires early booking/appointment. Refer to Sarawak Tourism Board for contact.
- Tua Pek Kong Temple, Jln. Padungan (east end of Main Bazaar). This temple is the oldest Chinese temple in Kuching and located strategically at the heart of Kuching. It was just at the opposite of Chinese Museum. It was built in 1843. Various festivals are held here for example The Wang Kang Festival (to commomerate the dead) and Ghost Festival.
- Sarawak Planetarium. This first planetrium ever built in Malaysia is located in Civic Centre building. This planetarium shows videos of astronomic adventures of every planets in the solar system.
 Sightseeing Of Kuching City
One can enjoy sightseeing of Kuching City at various locations. What is unique of Kuching city in sightseers' eyes is how the skycrapers built in the vicinity of lush green jungles.
- Civic Centre, located at Jalan Budaya. This is a complex where library, planetarium, rotating restaurants and viewing platform are combined under one roof. The viewing platform at the top of Civic Centre tower (where rotating restaurant is located) offers the best all-round views of Kuching city. Take a beautiful snapshot of Kuching concrete building in the assembly of lush green trees.
- Kuching Mosque, located near open air market. It was used to be the main mosque for Kuchingites and known as the State Mosque (then it was re-labeled as Divisional Mosque). It was built back in 1968 (originally a site of a wooden mosque way back in 1852) with striking design, featuring a combination of Mid-western and Italian architecture. It is still now a perfect place for the Muslims visiting Kuching to stop by for prayers.
- Masjid Jamek, or "Jamek Mosque" is located at Petra Jaya. It was adjacent to the State Library and housed Dewan Hikmah, a hall for the Muslim wedding ceremony. It has also some quarters for the hafizs and the ustazs. It was the most crowded mosque in the whole Sarawak thanks to the strategic area where majority of Kuching Muslims reside. However, it is still the most favourite place for Friday prayers due to the mosque being comfortable and air-conditioned.
- Masja, located at Petra Jaya. This area is perfect for jogging, walking and sightseeing of romantic (sometimes erotic, or even pornostars) couples. The elements of Masja is Masja complex, Masja garden and the pond with bridge linking to both side of the road.
- Kuching Waterfront. Visit to Kuching is incomplete without taking a brisk walk at RM1 milion per 10 m strip of Kuching Waterfront. It is the most popular meeting (and mating) place in Kuching. It was once a line of old warehouses. However, some building have been preserved for its historical values such as Chinese History Museum, the Sarawak Steamship Building (now converted into Waterfront Souvenir Shop), an open-air theatre and the Square tower. Some additions to the waterfront are also made such as Chinese pavilion, an observation deck, a tea terrace and the breathtaking musical fountains, as well as creative metallic and wooden sculptures. During the daytime, Waterfront is the best place to view the Astana, Fort Margherita, adjacent Malay kampungs of Kampung Sinjan and Kampung Lintang. At night, it is the best place to see nightlife of lovers, youngsters and love-makers. Some food kiosks are also present here (but mind the expensive charges on food!). Some word of advice, don't eat Laksa Sarawak at Waterfront kiosks, it tastes so bad that some people might puke once eating it!
- Main Bazaar. Just opposite the Waterfront housed a barrack of old shophouses with Chinese architecture, which many have been occupied by the same family for generations. Vast number of these shophouses now sell handicrafts, antique items and convenience shops. It is also the most popular place for bargaining for your favourite souvenirs. Whilst most of the shops are tourism-oriented, there are some shops still doing the good old business of tin-smithing, carpentry, goldsmiths and petty trading. Behind these handful of shops are China Street, which houses more old Chinese shophouses with variety of businesses.
- Kuching Reservoir, located at Jalan Budaya. Once a reservoir for water storage, Kuching Reservoir is a perfect place for jogging, walking and sightseeing of hilly nature decoration and big pond. Afternoon is the right time to be here to watch hunks with nice physique and sexy chicks with sport attire jogging around the pond. However, beware of hidden spots, some couples used this dark areas for love-making and child-breeding purposes.
- Sunday Market, located at Satok. Fancy a traditional way of trading? Then head to Jalan Satok where the Sunday market come alive beginning Saturday afternoon till the afternoon of the next day. The market is so huge that it might broke your legs to walk to every corner of this market. It is divided into many sections such as food, fruits, vegetables, fishes (some salted terubok are sold here too), potted plants, forest produce (including wild honey), pets, bundle clothing, magazines and even toys. The market is like a huge hypermarket, but without air-conditioner. Some word of advice, wear shoes when you are entering fish and chicken areas. Those areas are wet in nature and the traders might not be ashamed to splash some water to your feet! It is open almost every weekend. However, during big celebrations like Gawai, Chinese New Year or Hari Raya, some stalls at Pasar Minggu are closed. Pasar Tamu, which is part of the market.
- The Astana. Or the Palace in English, resides the current TYT (or head) of Sarawak State. The palace is situated on the north bank of the river, just across the river from Waterfront. It was built in 1870 by Charles Brook as a bridal gift to his wife Margaret. Next to it is Orchid Garden and beautifully decorated garden with observation tower. A sampan deck, which is named Pengkalan Sapi is also situated within the Astana vicinity.
- Friendship Garden, located at Tabuan Heights. The garden is developed to mark the symbol of friendship between China and Malaysia. The garden is beautifully crafted with small ponds and gardens. Perfect place for sightseeing.
- Sarawak State Library, located at Petra Jaya, near to Masjid Jamek. It housed in an elegant yet modern neo-classical building in Petra Jaya. It is surely the most technologically advanced public library in the region; extensive databases contain almost everything you could want to know about Sarawak. Library use is by membership only, available to visitors for RM5 per week, although non-residents may not borrow books or other materials. For sightseeing purpose, visitors can opt for aerobic sessions host every afternoon at the library compound. The lake in front of the library is the most suitable place for aquatic lovers. A lot of fishes from different species are breeded here. They normally get foods from the visitors, so bring your fish food or breads here!
Kuching is a great home-base for jungle trekking and exploring Borneo.
- Kuching Kayaking. You can choose to kayak in the Sarawak river (in the city) for a leisurely and unique perspective of Kuching; or you can choose to kayak in the sea where you may bump into dolphins; or you may choose to kayak through the rainforest and experience the sights and sounds of the jungles of Borneo. Whichever you choose, its an experience you won't soon forget!
- Borneo Headhunter Tattoos. Get a tattoo! Tattoo designs of Sarawak's indigenous tribes are not only beautiful and unique, but are also world-famous. Its certainly a special souvenir that's not for the weak-hearted! There are a handful of parlours in Kuching that specialize in indigenous designs and are very clean and hygenic. Just ask around.
- Bumbu Cooking Class, No. 57 Carpenter Street, tel no. 016 8684537 or 019 8791050. Love Sarawak food? Than why not learn how to cook it at home? The setting is in a old traditional shophouse and almost resembles a typical indigenous kitchen (but more modern and hygenic). The class includes a walk to a nearby wet market where you will learn to choose and buy the best natural ingredients. Bookings are essential.
- Scuba Diving, . If you love Scuba Diving, you will be anxious to find out what marine life we have in Kuching. You can choose to dive at beautiful Talang-Talang Island to see Turtles, or visit the World War II Japaneses ship wreck for more adventures!
- Fish Feeding. If you love feeding fish, try bring those fish food at the lake of Sarawak State Library and also at the Friendship Garden.
- Traditional Dance Lesson, . If you have spare time for traditional Sarawakian dance, try the dancing class at Pusat Kemahiran Seni, Sarawak Cultural Village.
- Traditional Music Lesson, . Apart from dance, you can also try playing traditional musical instruments like Sape at Pusat Kemahiran Seni, Sarawak Cultural Village.
- Traditional Craft Lesson, . Craft lesson for beginners at Sarawak Cultural Village.
- Traditional Batik-Making, . Located at Jalan Stadium. You can try hands-on experience with making traditional batik-making. The special thing about the Handicrafts Centre is you can make batik motives based on Sarawak culture. The entrepeneurs of Perbadanan Kraftangan (Handicrafts Body) are also expert in Pua Kumbu making. So you can try to contact them to arrange for a lesson.
- Bidayuh Spa and Massage. If you love traditional spa and massage of Bidayuh, you can head on to Borneo Highlands resort to arrange for the retreat.
- Jogging and Brisk Walking. If you love jogging and brisk walking. There are plenty of places to do so. Among the popular places are Kuching Reservoir, Masja and Kampung Haji Baki Garden.
- Sarawak Layer Cake Making. Fancy making famous Sarawak layer cakes? Head on to Kampung Lintang and go to any Malay houses there to savour the making of famous Sarawak layer cakes. Among the layer cakes you can choose from are Sabok (or Sampin in standard Malay) Tun Razak cake, Dangdut cake, Retak Seribu cake and Hati Pari cake. Local guides required to look for the housewives who make the layer cakes for sale and provide teaching lesson. Other places include Rabiah Amit's house in Petra Jaya RPR Fasa II (not far from Kampung Lintang) and Dayang Salhah's in Kampung Gersik.
There's some interesting shopping in Kuching. For a wide selection of tribal handicrafts and touristy gewgaws, head down to the aptly named Main Bazaar street on the Kuching waterfront. It's worth going inside for a look, as many shops have larger and more authentic collections hidden away upstairs or in a back room.
Note that, in this mostly Christian city, some shops close on Sundays.
Fancy a banana at the Sunday Market?
- Sunday Market (Pasar Minggu), off Jln. Satok (between Esso gas station and Wisma Satok). A Kuching institution, starting every Saturday afternoon and winding down by noontime Sunday. Very much a workaday market, with tourists few and far between, the emphasis is on fresh food of every description. Be sure to try some apam balik (pancake with nuts and margerine, very filling, absolutely delicious and only RM1 a piece). Bring along suitable footwear plus a tolerance for heat, crowds and powerful odors.
- Two other local markets, more conveniently located and open daily, can be found at the west end of Jln. India.
 Shopping Centres
- Boulevard Mall, located at Mile 4 Kuching-Serian Road (not far from Regional Bus Terminal). Opened in late December 2007. It offers a Boulevard Hypermarket and Department Store plus a variety of shopping outlets like Sony Centre, Popular Book store and fast foods outlets such as Sushi King, Kenny Rogers Roasters and Pizza Hut.
- The Spring , located at Jalan Simpang Tiga (between the city centre and airport). Opened to the public in January 2008, The Spring is Kuching's largest and 1st true lifestyle shopping mall. Shiny and new, it offers many international brands like Esprit, Charles & Keith, Starbucks, Quiksilver etc. spread over two stories and a basement. It also has a Parkson Department Store and a supermarket offering many imported goods.
- Sarawak Plaza, Jln. Tunku Abdul Rahman (next to Holiday Inn). One of Kuching's older malls. Lea Center as the anchor tenant in it, selling variety of shoes.
- Tun Jugah, Jln. Tunku Abdul Rahman (opposite Sarawak Plaza). Stands majestically twelve storeys tall at the commercial and financial hub of Kuching City. It comprises of three levels of retail stores, nine levels of office space, and two levels of basement car park.
- Wisma Saberkas, located at the junction of Jln. Tun Abang Haji Openg and Jln. Rock, is a round tower on the outskirts (approximately 15 minutes from the Waterfront) that offers a feast of hi-tech products based around mobile telephones and computers.
- Crowne Plaza - Parkson Grand, Jln. Tunku Abdul Rahman (opposite Sarawak Plaza). Standard Parkson fare, with shoeshops, jewellery and the likes. Also Giant Supermarket under the same roof.
- Kenyalang Park, Kenyalang Suburb. A very old place that consists of a cluster of shophouses and one enclosed area. Its the place to go if you want to find cheap items like clothes, accessories and DVDs/VCDs. Around Jan-Feb, Chinese families come here to get supplies for the Chinese New Year celebrations - which are available only once a year.
- Crown Square, Towards Pending, opposite Hock Lee Centre. A small but newly refurbished shopping mall. Its tenanted by Mr. Ho's Fine Foods & Restaurant as well as a Japanese, Indonesian and Chinese restaurant - on top of several standard fashion outlets. Also, the biggest baby and kids outlet in Kuching, Mummycare and Kiddycare are located on the 2nd and 3rd floor with a total area of 6000sq ft and 5000 sq ft.
- Hock Lee Centre, Jln. Abang Abdul Rahim. The place to find and buy cheap clothes and fashion accessories for the young females. There are electronics and a supermarket in the basement and Home & Living on the ground and 1st floor.
- Wisma Satok, off Jln Satok, just a pedestrian bridge away from the location of the Sunday Market. One of the older malls in Kuching. Cheap items can be found here. There's a departmental store and supermarket. A high concentration of mediocre cyber cafe is at the fourth floor.
- Wisma Hopoh, Jalan P. Ramlee, near Syaria Court. Just a walk away from Sarawak Museum. A small and old shopping centre yet still frequented by shoppers.
- Green Heights Mall, Green Heights, near BDC roundabout. Its anchored tenant is Cold Storage, a supermarket selling imported fresh food such as Finnish Salmon, Champagne Grapes, Bratswurst Sausages, etc.
- One TJ, the latest ICT shopping mall, locating at Stutong area. The tenants are mainly computer and mobile-phone shops, with a handful having main shops in Wisma Sarbekas.
- Choice Supermall, a shopping mall at Petra Jaya, en route to popular beaches/resorts such as Damai Beach, Santubong and Buntal. It is opposite the Kuching North City Council. The anchored tenant is Choice Daily, a supermarket selling a huge variety of groceries.
- Novotel Interhill
- Plaza Merdeka
- Boulevard Mall Phase2
Eating out is the major pastime, with a huge variety of eateries and food available. Most places are pretty cheap with excellent service but the more "local", the less English spoken. Be sure to sample some Sarawak laksa, but beware - it's considered a breakfast dish here and the popular places sell out fast. For the local Chinese, kolo mee, a noodle dish served with slices of roasted pork, is also a daily staple. Although most places are quite clean, there are some which are not. A rule of thumb is if you're not comfortable with it, then walk somewhere else. There are plenty to choose from!
 Sarawakian Dishes
Unlike fellow Malaysians in Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah, the range of food and drinks in Sarawak, particularly Kuching is somewhat different. Here are the food you might never heard of when you browse through the food menu:
- Sarawak Laksa. Sarawak Laksa is the most noticably Sarawakian food in Kuching. It was a favourite among Sarawakian from Chinese and Malay decent. It has a base of Sambal belacan, sour tamarind, garlic, galangal, lemon grass and coconut milk, topped with omelette strips, chicken strips, prawns, fresh coriander and optionally lime. Ingredients such as bean sprouts, (sliced) fried tofu or other seafood are not traditional but are sometimes added. Non-Halal Sarawak Laksa can be found at most Chinese coffee shops while Halal Sarawak Laksa can be found at most Malay coffee shops (and some Mamak too). Halal and non-Halal Sarawak Laksa don't have so much difference, except with the usage of halal chicken meat, and the cooking utensils used by the cook. Chinese-version of Sarawak Laksa has less thicker gravy but rich with condiments and toppings, while Malay-version of Sarawak Laksa has thicker gravy but more 'taugeh' (or beansprouts).
- Kolok Mee. Kolok Mee is a type of noodle dish commonly found in Sarawak. It is served throughout the day - for breakfast, lunch or even supper. It is made of egg noodle, blanched in water that looks like instant noodle and served in a light sauce with some condiments like shredded beef. The difference with Kolok Mee and the Wantan Mee, that is popular in Peninsular, is that Kolok Mee is not drenched in dark soy sauce and water is not added to the noodles when served. But the taste is still pretty amazing.
- Mi Sapi. Mi Sapi is a gravish-version of Kolok Mee. It is garnished and prepared just like Kolok Mee with a slight difference in cooking method. The noodle can be somewhat egg noodle been used in Kolok Mee, or Mee Pok (or mi sanggul - a curly type of noodle similar to Angelhair Spaghetti).
- Manok Pansoh. Manok Pansoh is the most common dish among Iban. It is a chicken dish which normally be eaten with white rice. Chicken pieces are cut and stuffed into the bambo together with other ingredients like mushrooms, lemongrass, tapioca leaves etc and cooked over an open fire - similar to the way lemang is cooked. This natural way of cooking seals in the flavours and produces astonishingly tender chicken with a gravy perfumed with lemongrass and bamboo. Manok Pansoh cannot be found easily in all restaurants and coffee shops. Some restaurants require advanced booking of Manok Pansoh dish prior to your arrival.
- Manok Kacangma. Manok Kacangma is a Chinese type of dish which has grown popularity among all races in Sarawak. It is a chicken dish which normally be eaten with white rice. Kacangma is a type of herb which normally being used for medical and healing purposes. It is believed that woman who eat Manok Kacangma can enjoy ease menses. As for Malay, they normally cook Manok Kacangma without wine, while as for Iban and Chinese, they squinch in wine for more delicate taste. You can try Manok Kacangma when you eat 'Nasi Campur' during lunch hours in Kuching. However, it is extremely hard to find a coffee shop or restaurant who serve one.
- Umai. Umai is a raw fish salad popular among various ethnic groups of Sarawak, especially the Melanaus. In fact, umai is a traditional working lunch for the Melanau fishermen. Umai is prepared raw from freshly caught fish, iced but not frozen. Main species used include Mackerel, Bawal Hitam and Umpirang. It is made mainly of thin slivers of raw fish, thinly sliced onions, chilli, salt and the juice of sour fruits like lime or assam. It is usually accompanied by a bowl of toasted sago pearls instead of rice. Its simplicity makes it a cinch for fishermen to prepare it aboard their boats. Umai Jeb, a raw fish salad without other additional spices, is famous among Bintulu Melanaus. However, it is rarely prepared in Kuching. You can try umai when you eat 'Nasi Campur' during lunch hours in Kuching. Most coffee shops, especially Malay/Bumiputera-owned one, served umai daily for 'Nasi Campur'.
- Midin. The locals greatly indulge in jungle fern such as the midin (quite similar to pucuk paku that is popular in the Peninsular). Midin is much sought after for its crisp texture and great taste. Midin is usually served in two equally delicious ways - fried with either garlic or belacan. You can try Midin when you eat 'Nasi Campur' during lunch hours in Kuching. Most coffee shops, served Midin daily for 'Nasi Campur'.
- Bubur Pedas. Unlike many other porridge that we know, Bubur Pedas is cooked with a specially prepared paste. It is quite spicy thanks to its ingredients, which include spices, turmeric, lemon grass, galangal, chillies, ginger, coconut and shallots. Like the famous Bubur Lambuk of Kuala Lumpur, Bubur Pedas is exclusive dish prepared during the month of Ramadan and served during the breaking of fast. So don't expect to eat Bubur Pedas at anytime you want!
- Mi Jawa. Mi Jawa in Kuching or Sarawak in general is somewhat different from the one served in Peninsular Malaysia, or even at its birthplace Java island. It is a thick egg yellow noodle served with tiny slice of chicken and a sprinkle of 'daun sup' (or bay leaves). Some coffee shops serve a 'special' type of Mi Jawa (which you need to add from 50 cents to RM1.50) with an additional few sticks of Satay (Chicken and/or Beef). Mi Jawa is normally served at Malay/Mamak coffee shops.
- Roti Corned Beef. Roti Canai is a widely-known Peninsular-origin of Indian decent food of Malaysia. However, Sarawakian has modified one type of Roti Canai which you might not find it at Peninsular Malaysia, be it at Mamak stall or Malay coffee shops. It is Roti Corned Beef. It is a 'roti canai', with corned beef filling. Long before announcement of Gateway-brand corned beef as not Halal by local religious department, Roti Corned Beef is widely available at Malay and Mamak coffee shops. It can be bought for as low as RM2 per piece due to cheap canned corned beef. However, since the Gateway-brand corned beef was officially considered not Halal, Roti Corned Beef has lost its popularity and if it does exist, the price can shoot up, ranging from RM4 to RM5 per piece.
- Nasik Aruk. Nasik Aruk is a traditional Sarawakian Malay fried rice. Unlike Nasi Goreng, Nasik Aruk does not use any oil to fry the rice. The ingredients are garlic, onion and anchovies, fried to perfection with very little oil and then the cook will put the rice in. The rice must be fried for longer time (compared to frying rice for Nasi Goreng) for the smokey/slightly-burnt taste to absorb into the rice. It is a common to see Nasik Aruk in the food menu list at Malay and Mamak coffee shops and stalls.
Sarawak, particularly Kuching, has revolutionized its food culture since it's forming with Malaysia on 1963. Wide variety of Peninsular Malaysian food has been part of Sarawakian food for example, Roti Canai, Nasi Lemak, Murtabak and so on. Kuching has also slowly anticipate broader food selection to feed the challenging tastebuds such as Tom Yam, Nasi Paprik and Pattaya (originally from Thailand), Bakso and Soto (originally from Indonesia) and Nasi Ayam Singapura (originally from Singapore). Chinese restaurants have also been daring to try more exquisite cuisine from North China, Korea and Vietnam. Western food has also been widely accepted in Sarawak, especially Kuching. Fastfood chains are also growing, such as KFC, McDonalds, Kenny Roger's Roasters, Secret Recipe and Marrybrown. America's buffet has also taken place in Sarawakian's heart such as Hartz Chicken Buffet. However, traditional Nasi Campur and traditional type of breakfast, high tea and dinner are always part of Sarawakian. It's getting common to see more modernized and educated generation of Kuchingites slowly adapting Western food culture such as eating pasta or pizza for dinner.
 Dietary Restriction Guides
As a guide to Muslim visitors, some of the restaurants serving Chinese food are non-halal, unless stated halal or appear to handover the food preparation to Muslim cooks or sellers. Restaurants who clearly stated pork or/and non-halal substances in their food menu (like using wine for cooking, frog and snakes) are the one you should avoid to. The easiest way to look for halal restaurants are by looking at their halal certificate. Ensure that they display halal certificate produced by JAIS Sarawak, JAKIM or HDC Malaysia. Sometimes the restaurant owners choose not to display it, so please demand the certificate if they claimed that they serve halal food.
For vegeterian visitors, always look for the one who clearly stating vegeterian food only. Some vegeterian meals served can still contain non-vegeterian substances like anchovies, chicken stock and lard. Please check with the restaurant owners for confirmation on their cooking substances.
- Finest Cafe, at 新时代广场 Travilion (located between the landmark of Kuching "Big White Cat" and HSBC building). Finest Cafe is at the same row as the Great Eastern Insurance Building. Kolo Mee and 色香味小档 stalls cook assorted hawker food, especially their 'Curry Mee' (very spicy) and Cantonese style 'home-cook fast food 杂菜饭', are all heavenly! Hazati stall offers halal 'Malay-style chicken rice' of juicy tender chicken meat that comes with 3 different sauces; black pepper, butter and salad. 'Boneless steam chicken' with home-made sesame sauce has just been added into the menu. Malay Corner stall offers great range of finger-licking halal good food and their 'Special Laksa' is a real treat for your adventurous taste buds!
- Chong Choon, Jln. Abell (opposite Maybank). One of Kuching's two famous laksa joints. Usually sold out by noon.
- Choon Hui, Jln. Ban Hock (near Grand Continental Hotel). The other famous laksa joint. Spicy and popular, get here before 10 AM.
- Bishopsgate Coffeeshop, Carpenter Street. Famous for what may be decades already, the Vinegar 'Kolo Mee' and Pork 'Spare-part' soup is what people line up for everyday. Also famous is the man who runs the stall - he is a colorful character who takes your order like a drill sergeant. It opens for breakfast and lunch, but to avoid the crowds, its best to go around 'Brunch' time. When you get a seat, expect to wait awhile for your food. And while you wait, try their excellent 'Teh-C Peng Special' (Strong iced milk-tea with a dark sweet syrup)
- Suan Chicken Rice, Jln. Tunku Abdul Rahman (next to Pizza Hut). A popular lunch-time joint where the office-crowd go for Hainanese Chicken Rice.
- Open Air Market, Jln. Market (opposite Electra House Shopping Centre and near 'Padang Merdeka' Police Station). Despite the name, the place is actually covered. It has a wide variety of stalls serving Malay and Chinese cuisine. Their most popular stall is the one serving Beef Noodles and 'Sio Bi' (pork dumplings). Also popular is the fresh porridge and seafood stalls. But beware, this area is not the cleanest of places so order your food from only the most popular stalls.
- Lau Ya Keng Food Court, Carpenter Street (just after the Harmony Arch, opposite a Chinese temple). A simple food court that has been around for decades and is very popular with locals - breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can buy very decent Kolo mee and Sarawak Laksa here. But a lot of people come here for the fish-ball soup and famous pork satay that opens in the early afternoon.
- Hock King Cafeteria * Jalan Ban Hock. Mr Hock and the staff serve up very basic, but quite generous meals though out the day. Mr Hock is one of the better hosts in Kuching and is fluent in multiple lanuages and will do almost anything to make your stay as comfortable as possible. Many local celebraties, such as Australian volleyballer and underwear model Ryan Jon Dunn stop by for lunch reqularly as Hock King is well connected in the local sporting & entartainment scenes.
- KY Cafe, Sekama Road (A corner shop opposite Hollywood KTV Lounge, about 10 minutes walk from the Kuching City South Council building). Run by a band of three brothers, they serve what is arguably the best 'Kolo Mee' in town. Characterized by being served in an orange plastic bowl, this 'Kolo Mee' tastes a little bit on the sweet side and has the distinction of tasting much better towards the end. They also have excellent wanton soup.
- Ceria Cafe, Satok. This shop served best halal Sarawak Laksa in the city. If you demand for omelette strips in your laksa, ask for special which is a mere RM1 addition to the regular price. You can try their Mee Jawa and 'kopi keras' too.
- Bismillah Cafe, Satok & 7th Mile. If you love Indian and Mamak food, try this one. They serve good Nasi Beriyani, roti canai and teh tarik.
- Minangkabau Cafe, Padungan. If you love Minangkabau and Padang food, try this one. They serve good Nasi Padang.
- Singapore Chicken Rice, branch at Padungan, Satok and Kota Samarahan. They serve excellent chicken rice comparable to other established chicken rice shop (including food chain of The Chicken Rice Shop). Other side dishes are baby kailan in oyster sauce and beansprouts.
- Benteng Satok, Satok. There are more than 30 stalls here and it's open until 4am. A wide variety of food are served here, mostly Malay food. Choose the stall wisely because many stalls tend to serve same type of food.
- Jambatan Satok, Satok. This is the best place to try halal grilled chicken wings and grilled ikan sebelah. A total of 8 stalls make up the area with variety of Malay and Chinese food. Muslim visitors might not need to be afraid of their halal status because all of the stalls serve halal food.
- Kubah Ria, Gita. This area comprises of more than 20 stalls. They serve best halal kolo mee and mi sapi of the town. Don't forget to try the grilled chicken wings and local pizza chain of "Pizza Ria". The pizzas served at "Pizza Ria" are so cheap that it costs only RM3.50 per quarter slice! It's cheesy and delicious too!
- Rojak Kuchei Batu Lintang, Batu Lintang. This place served the best rojak India and chicken rojak in the town. Don't be surprised to see a lot of visitors during morning time because this place is constantly crowded with people from the nearby offices during breakfast time.
- Khatulistiwa, Jln. Tunku Abdul Rahman (next to Holiday Inn). This distinctive circular hut modeled on a Bidayuh skull house is popular with tourists, and with reason. There's a nice, breezy open-air restaurant downstairs, serving up local and Western favorites including a decent Sarawak laksa and open 24 hours to boot. At night, the hut's upper floors open up as a bar and club, with DJs spinning the night away, though you can also take your meal up there in the evenings.
- Benson Seafood, No. 112 Jln Tunku Abdul Rahman, tel. 082-255262. A riverside restaurant that specializes in fresh seafood Chinese style. It is well-established and don't be surprised to see them catering to groups of tourists.
- Pinoy Grill Cafe, No. 143 Jln Pandungan (next to Pandungan Police Station), tel. 012-8965651. A nice and cosy place that serves delicious Filipino food. The fried whole pork leg is popular.
- Hong Kong Noodle House, Jln Pandungan, (opposite Bing! Cafe). Standard HK fare like roast duck on rice or noodles. They also serve local Chinese dishes and is open for lunch and dinner.
- SideWalk Cafe, Green Heights (Towards airport, on the right-hand side of the BDC flyover/roundabout). Alfresco style western food away from the city near the airport. Its only open in the evenings till late and is popular with locals.
- Mango Tree. You can be sure of a truly authentic Thai experience from the moment you arrive here. Relax in their elegant air conditioned dining room, or dine alfresco in our traditional Thai garden, and choose from a menu that is simply bursting with the vibrant colours, flavours and aromas of the finest Thai cuisine.
- Selera Asam Payak, Satok. If you like to try traditional Malay food, head on to this restaurant. They serve good traditional Malay food at reasonable price.
- Oriental Kitchen, Satok. This restaurant serve variety of Malay and Chinese food. It's halal so Muslim visitors can enjoy this one.
- Hartz Chicken Buffet, Satok & Sarawak Plaza. This buffet restaurant is a franchise to All-American Chicken Buffet of Texas, USA. You can eat as much as you want for as low as RM16.90 per person! Savour the crispy & spicy fried chicken, wide range of salads, mashed potatoes, cakes, breads, ice-creams and fruits. Don't exit the restaurant until you have fulled your stomach!
The interior of Bla Bla Bla restaurant
- Dayang Cafe, Satok. It looks like a budget cafe place, but don't be fooled by its looks. The food is a variety of Nasi Campur and roti canai. It might drain out your wallet, but if you love to splurge and being spendthrift, try this one. The old women who guard the cash machine might look furious and loves to overcharge you, but sometimes can be helpful if you ask for something.
- The Junk, Wayang Street (opposite Fata Hotel), tel. 082-259450. A great restaurant within walking distance from the waterfront that serves Western/Italian fare. It is very popular with both locals and expats alike for its imaginative deco that resembles a mix of Colonial Chinese with lots of antiques adorning the place. The portions are huge and the Lamb Shanks and Fisherman's Basket seem to be the most popular. Bookings are advisable if you have a large group.
- Bla Bla Bla, Wayang Street (a few shops down from The Junk), tel. 082-233944. A Chinese restaurant which is opened by the same restaurateurs as The Junk. It quickly became an institution for fine Chinese cuisine in Kuching shortly after it opened in 2005. The interior is designed with a Balinese theme and some of the dishes they are famous for are the Ostrich-rolls, Soft-shell Crabs, and Drunken Duck. Bookings are advisable.
- The Living Room, Wayang Street (just beside Bla Bla Bla).tel. 012-8880827. 6pm - 12:00am. A third chain by the same restaurateurs as The Junk. It has a nice backyard with fountains suitable for people who is just looking for some relaxation in a busy city. It is a must for people who are looking for pure relaxation. Food from The Junk and Bla bla bla can be ordered over here too. There are some good selection of wines as well. Remember not to miss the famous living room cocktail.
- See Good Food Centre, Off Ban Hock Road (opposite Hua Kuok Inn), tel. 082-251397. A very casual and laid-back restaurant that serves excellent and very fresh seafood. It is very popular with the locals and doesn't take reservations. Therefore it is best to get there early in the evenings to secure a table and minimize the waiting time.
- Top Spot Food Court, Jln. Bukit Mata (Top floor of 'Taman Kereta' Carpark, opposite Tun Jugah Shopping Mall). Has a wide range of food stalls ranging from the budget to the pricey. Most locals and tourists come here for the fresh seafood stalls which are on the pricey side. Most of the stalls serve good food, but beware; always ask to see a menu with prices - some stalls have been known to 'accidentally over-charge' tourists.
- Ristorante Beccari, Jln. Tun Abang Haji (inside Merdeka Palace Hotel), tel. 082-270808. This is Kuching's best and most authentic Italian restaurant. The wood-fired pizzas are excellent.
- Li Garden Chinese Restaurant, Jln. Abang Abdul Rahim (inside Hock Lee Centre, 1st Floor), tel. 082-340785. A popular Chinese restaurant that serves the best Peking Duck in Kuching.
- Waterfront Kiosk, Jln. Tunku Abdul Rahman. If you love to have a drink or two while sightseeing the Sarawak River, this is the place to look up to. They have wide range of food and drinks, but be extra careful, the food are pricey due to influx of tourists who stay at the nearby luxurious hotels like Hilton, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn. Don't try their Sarawak Laksa because it doesn't taste good. However, other food tastes OK.
- Restoran Barok, Kampung Sinjan. This is a place for the one who loves to eat in beautiful surrounding but doesn't bother with the food taste and price. The place virtually don't have any regular visitors due to their aweful service. The food are pricey and tasteless.
- Serapi Corner, 7th Mile. Fancy a 'sauna' of a restaurant? This is a place you can head to. They serve Peninsular Malaysia's Malay style of food. Their specialty is Ikan Keli Bakar Bersambal (Grilled Catfish with Sambal). They tend to overcharge you, so check for the price list. If you don't mind waiting for hours, try this one too. They have a view of hilly road to kill your time.
Be sure to try Sarawak coffee - it is delicious and can be found in any local 'Kopi-tiam' (coffee shop). Also, try a drink called "White Lady". It usually consists of evaporated milk and a syrup base with fruit and a slice of lemon within. The colors vary from yellow to pink.
The local favourite of "White Lady" is made by Ah Meng's stall at Hui Sing Hawker Centre at Hui Sing Garden. Another of the stall's signature drink is "Metahorn", made with jellies, syrup and local fruits. There are various knock-offs in Kuching but the taste is different.
There are plenty of good bars and are usually grouped together in areas around Kuching.
Mojo@Denise in the Pandungan area
Kuching has a large number of clubbing districts.
Padungan Road is in the city centre, in the Chinatown area. There are a handful of bars along this stretch that mainly cater to the working-class Yuppie crowd.
- Ipanema. A nice place for a relaxing drink. The kitchen serves good meals and tapas and they have Kilkenny Irish beer on tap.
- Soho. Loud, packed to the rafters dance club. Be sure to try the special Soho cocktail, the Maui Mudslide.
- The Office.
- MOJO@Denise. Famous for what is now known as "The De Leon Inccident", in which famous fillipino Rugby player Tom De Leon claimed to be 'a man' yet was unable to finish Mojo's favourite cocktail, the lamborgini. Locals still have a laugh about the incident to this day.
- Grappa. A young and fun club bar located at 58 Padugan Road Kuching. It has a riveting sound system that literally shakes the dance floor playing all drum and bass, hip hop, R&B etc.
Travillion in Petanak, just after Padungan Road, is home to many newer bars and mainly caters to the Young College crowd. It has bright signage, cheap alcohol, and Techno music. This area used to be infamous for gang-related brawls and other trouble - however the number of incidences have decreased significantly and while its generally considered safe now, it still pays to be a bit careful.
- amoeba'r. Ambient/chillout music, self-proclaimed "retro-modern" decor.
- MC3. Club that plays techno and house music.
- BarZing!. Probably nicest place at the Travillion mall. Friendlier than the other establishments.
- Fire. One of the newest joints to open here. A good crowd that dances to Chinese Pop-Techno. Opens from 2.30PM for happy hour everyday.
Taman Sri Sarawak is opposite the Hilton Hotel. This area is the closest to the Kuching Waterfront and mainly caters to the Tourist Crowd.
- Cats City.
Bukit Mata, a short stroll from Taman Sri Sarawak, . It is still popular with Tourists and the local regulars. Bars include:
- GOAL CAFE.
- The Cottage.
- Piccadilly's Music Cafe.
And a few more scattered elsewhere:
- Link. Kuching Civic Centre 22F, Jalan Budaya . Located 22 stories up the Civic Centre (press Level 2 in the lift). Its very posh, classy, and expensive - but has stunning 360-degree views of Kuching City. You will need to grab a taxi to get here as it is located outside of the City centre.
- The Living Room. Wayang Street (opposite Fata Hotel, a few shops from Blablabla Restaurant). A nice and very loungey Tapas bar that's decorated with a Iban/Balinese theme. Be sure to sit outside in the 'longhouse' area where you can lie on comfortable cushions and gaze at the night sky while sipping Mojitos. The food is also excellent.
- Senso. Inside Hilton Hotel. Very modern and chic design with chill-out music and the occasional live band. It is one of the nicest bars in Kuching and they have an extensive cocktail list. Unless you're somebody important, expect a dress-code policy to be enforced.
- Victoria's Arms. Inside Merdeka Palace Hotel. The only true 'English Tavern' in Kuching. Its a big place with live bands, English pub food, and expensive wooden interior. They have a cover-charge and dress-code for non-hotel guests. Fridays are 'Ladies's Nights' and are very popular.
- B3Two . Jalan Central Timor. Originally a spot which catered for large house parties, B3Two turned itself into on of the crazier night spots. Expats, who own the business, organise drinking games where locals and foreigners come together for wild after dark adventures. For 18-30 yr olds seeking a fun night out, be sure to head there. Has been recently announced that B3Two won the bidding to host Ryan Jon Dunn's 21st where people from all around the globe are expected to attend.
- Rentap. 3rd Mile Area. One of Kuchings more refined venues, chilled out Rentap is a great place to enjoy a cocktail. The only thing classier than the clientel is the slick decor. However, be sure to dress up - if you're not wearing a collar, don't even bother. Every Saturday is Latin Jazz night, so bring your dancing shoes! Free entry, closes at 1am sharp.
- Ruai Apai, 3rd Mile Area. If you love dangdut and Iban musics, this is the place to look up to.
 Espresso / Juice Cafes
- Bing!, Padungan Road. A laid-back cafe with a Balinese theme that serves excellent Lattes and fresh fruit juices. They are also popular for their cakes, deli-style gourmet sandwiches and light meals.
- Tao, Padungan Road. A cafe with a funky Buddha theme, and relaxing water-feature inside. They serve espresso coffees, fruit juices, cakes and sandwiches. They also have a private art gallery upstairs.
- The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, inside Sarawak Plaza Shopping Centre and departure lounge of Kuching International Airport. That popular franchise.
- Starbucks, inside Kuching International Airport, next to KFC; and inside The Spring. Another popular franchise.
- Frappe, Travillion area. A small cafe with contemporary furnishings. They have excellent coffee and cakes.
- Caffe` Cino, Inside Hilton Hotel. They serve good coffee, desserts and meals. But the prices are a bit on the high side.
- Scoops, Taman Sri Sarawak (opposite Hilton Hotel). A cool joint that opened in 2006. They specialise in a range of Gelatos and change the flavors daily. They also serve coffee and cakes. Very good ambience and nice atmosphere.
- Kluang Station, Inside The Spring. A franchise offering old-school 'kopitiam' coffee with toast and half-boiled eggs in a relaxing and clean setting reminiscent of indo-china colonial coffee shops.
- Kaya & Toast, Satok. If you love classic but classy 'kopitiam' to enjoy toasted breads with wide range of filling, try this one.
- Pinnacles Kuching, Level 1, Lot 21, Block G, Taman Sri Sarawak Mall, Jalan Borneo, 93100, Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia, Tel.: +60-82-419100, . Located right smack in the middle of Kuching’s golden triangle which comprises Hilton, Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza Hotels, so rest assured that you will be strategically and conveniently located in close proximity to the best amenities and services the city can offer. Reasonable price and CLEAN. 
- The Fairview, No.6 Jalan Taman Budaya, Tel.: +60-82-240017, +60-13-8011561, . Colonial House with tropical garden, a nice place that feels like home.
- Singgahsana Lodge, No.1 Temple Street, 93000 Kuching (opposite Harbour View Hotel). Tel.: +60-82-429 277, . A hip Back-packers lodge that is centrally located at the Kuching waterfront. It is clean and very reasonably priced.
- Berambih Lodge, No.104 Ewe Hai Street, 93100 Kuching (behind Main Bazaar). Tel.: +60-82-238589  New guesthouse, clean and friendly. Longhouse style. Highly recommended. Breakfast included.
- Harbour View Hotel. Lorong Temple, 93100 Kuching. Tel: +60-82-274 666, . A two-three star business-class hotel that is centrally located in front of the Kuching Waterfront. The standard rooms are actually quite basic and is nothing to shout about. Despite that, its still usually occupied by Tour Groups.
- Hotel Grand Continental. Jln. Ban Hock, 93100 Kuching. Tel: +60-82-230 399, . A comfortable 3-star hotel located about 15 minutes walk from the Kuching Waterfront.
- Kuching Park Hotel. Lot 606 Pandungan Road, Kuching. Tel: +60-82-239 888, . A standard 2-3 star hotel located a short drive away from the city centre.
- Kingwood Inn. Lot 618 Pandungan Road, Kuching. Tel: +60-82-330 888, . Another standard hotel that's probably abit better than Kuching Park Hotel.
- Crowne Plaza Riverside Kuching, Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, tel. +60-82-247777, . Despite the name, this is the one riverside hotel that isn't actually riverside (although it's just across the street).
- Hilton Kuching, Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, tel. +60-82-248200, . Probably the top digs in town, with great riverside location.
- Holiday Inn Kuching, Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, tel. +60-82-423111, . Getting a bit old, with a dumpy pool area - although guests can also use the facilities at the Crowne Plaza across the road.
- Merdeka Palace Hotel, Jalan Tun Abang Haji Openg, tel. +60-82-258000, . Kuching's oldest luxury hotel, its rooms aren't quite as spectacular as the lobby, but the hotel has infinitely more colonial character than the riverside set. Located right next to the Sarawak Museum, yet still within striking distance of the riverfront. The rooftop pool has a great view over Kuching. Rack rates steep at around RM300, but steep discounts in the off season can chop that in half.
- Somerset Gateway Kuching, Jalan Bukit Mata, tel: +60-82-250958 . Part of the Ascott group of hotels, they offer comfortable serviced-apartments in the city centre.
 Stay safe
Kuching is practically safe from natural disasters: no earthquakes, typhoons, hurricanes or volcanoes. Aside from the (very) occasional flood, the biggest hazard is haze during the dry season, caused by fires in Sarawak and neighboring Indonesia.
 Stay healthy
Kuching was once been declared as one of the cleanest city in Asia. Til this time, Kuching still can hold the record for the cleanest city in Malaysia. The air pollution is minimum, while the Sarawak River is constantly being cleared from rubbish. Some part of the city might be a little bit dirty and messy. However, tourists spots are always being maintained clean.
Public toilets are easily available throughout Kuching with entrance fee of 20 cents. The public toilets are generally sanitized and clean. However, some public toilets might be lightly vandalized with gay ads and cigarette burns.
Public smoking is still allowed, except for areas like hospitals, government offices, public bus stops and supermarkets. Although the streets are clean and well-maintained, some Kuchingites are prone to litter their cigarette butts and candy wrapping once in a while. However, litter bins are available at most of the places.
 Get out
If you're looking for a change of scenery - but don't want to stray too far from the city, then Kuching is the ideal place to be in. Most of the National Parks and other outdoor activities are not located far away. In less than an hour, you can be transported into a world of lush rainforests and fresh air, and than be back in Kuching before dinner time!
- Sarawak Cultural Village, at Santubong. This living museum depicts the heritage of the major racial groups in Sarawak and conveniently portrays the respective lifestyle amidst 14 acres of equatorial vegetation. Here, it is possible to see Sarawak's ethnic diversity at a glance. The handicraft is both bewildering and tempting, including the Kain Songket (Malay cloth with gold inlay), Pua Kumbu (Iban housewives textiles), Melanau Terendak (sunhat), Bidayuh tambok (basket), Iban parang (swords), Orang Ulu wood carving and Chinese ceramic. The 45-minute cultural performance of songs, dances and entertainment is something you will not want to miss out during your visit to Sarawak. It is also the site of the annual Rainforest World Music Festival .
- Jong's Crocodile Farm Tel no.: 6082-24 2790. Located 30 kilometers from Kuching on the Kuching-Serian road. The best time to visit is during feeding time. It is open daily from 9am – 5pm, and Sundays from 10am. Admission Charges are RM8.00 for adults and RM4.00 for children under 12.
- Gunung Gading National Park, at Bau. Gunung Gading is home to the world’s largest flower, the Rafflesia, which can grow up to one metre in diameter. When in bloom the flower gives off a nasty smell which attracts flies and other insects. The Rafflesia has no specific season, taking nine months to mature and flowering for only 4-5 days before dying. Gunung Gading was only opened to the public in mid-1994, after extensive environmental impact studies. Previously it was used solely as a conservation zone for the Rafflesia. The emphasis is still on conservation, and the National Parks Department have taken measures to allow visitors to view flowering Rafflesia without damaging young Rafflesia buds and other plants. There is a plankwalk close to where Rafflesia are commonly found, and if a plant is flowering deeper in the forest, the park rangers may be able to take you on a guided walk to the site. Please take care, the small brown buds that you see on the forest floor may be Rafflesia, so tread carefully and follow the park ranger’s instructions. Owing to Rafflesia’s rarity and brief flowering period, timing (and luck) are important. The park staff usually knows when a plant is about to bloom. Visitors can check with the park HQ (Tel: 082-735714) or the National Parks and Wildlife Booking Office in Kuching (Tel: 082-248088) to find out if any plants are about to bloom or already in bloom. Although flowers generally bloom throughout the year, November, December and January can be regarded as the peak flowering season as the frequency of blooms is high. Seeing a blooming Rafflesia is certainly the highlight of a trip to Gunung Gading, but the Park and the whole Lundu area are well worth visiting anyway. The rugged mountain peaks that make up the Park provide a scenic backdrop to the nearby town of Lundu, and the nearby beaches at Pandan and Siar. Gunung Gading also has some enjoyable walks and challenging jungle treks.
- Kubah National Park, at Matang. Situated on a small sandstone plateau, this small park (2,230ha.) boasts crystal clear streams and a host of small waterfalls and bathing pools. Kubah is mostly covered by mixed dipterocarp forest, but it also has one of the widest selections of palms and orchids in Borneo. The varied wildlife includes bearded pig, mouse deer, black hornbill and many species of amphibians and reptiles. Kubah appeal lies in its rainforest scenery, its waterfalls, streams, bathing pools, and the 93 species of palm found within its boundaries. The park has four jungle trails and a path that leads to the summit of Gunung Serapi (5-6 hours return trip). Wooden shelters are located along the various trails. The Main Trail passes through dipterocarp forest and links the various trails of the park. The first section of this trail is called the Palmarium as it passes through an area rich in palms. The Selang trail leads to a view point about 45 minutes walk from the HQ. After about 30 minutes you come to a very steep section where ropes are provided to help with the climb. At the end of the trail you’ll find a raised wooden platform complete with a bench chair and some superb views of Matang and the Santubong peninsula. The Waterfall Trail is the most popular trail in the park. It passes through mixed dipterocarp forest and incorporates a number of plankwalk sections that cross streams and swampy land. From the HQ, it takes about 2 hours to reach the waterfall. The Ulu Rayu trail leads from the park HQ to the Matang Wildlife Centre and takes about 3-4 hours (one way). First follow the main trail before turning right to begin a relatively easy descent through the rainforest. Mid-way along the trail you’ll find some rainforest giants, and pass numerous Bintangor trees which are currently the subject of Aids research. At the end of the trail you enter a swampy section (watch out for leeches) before coming to a crystal clear stream and the riverside picnic areas at the Wildlife Centre. You can also start both the Waterfall and Ulu Rayu treks just past the 900 feet point on the Mount Serapi path. The trek from the road to the waterfall takes about 45 minutes and begins with a steep descent on a wooden staircase that winds its way down the forested slopes.
- Matang Wildlife Centre, at Matang. Matang Wildlife Centre, part of Kubah National Park, houses endangered wildlife in large enclosed areas of rainforest or spacious cages. The main attraction is the Orang Utan training programme, where young Orang Utans, who were either orphaned or rescued from captivity, are taught how to survive in the wild. The best time to see the Orang Utan is at feeding time. As well as Orang Utans, the Centre includes spacious enclosures housing Sambar Deer, Crocodiles, Sun Bears, Civets and Bear Cats, and three large aviaries featuring Hornbills, Sea Eagles and a host of other birds native to Sarawak. There are some pleasant riverside picnic spots a short walk from the centre and four jungle trails. The Pitcher trail, which follows a circular path through the forest, takes approximately 2 hours and trekkers should not have too much difficulty in spotting the various specious of pitcher plants that litter the forest floor at the sides of the trail. The Sungai Rayu trail leads to the Kubah Park HQ and takes 3-4 hours. The Sungai Senduk and Sungai Buluh trails both lead to waterfalls and takes one and two hours respectively. There is an information centre, accommodation facilities and a small canteen just a short walk from the car park.
- Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, at Semenggoh. The Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre is a perfect place to mingle with the orang utans and hornbills of Sarawak. This centre is part of the Semenggoh nature reserve which consists of Semenggoh Bio Centre, a Botanical Garden, Forest Nursery, a Seed Bank, Herb Ethnobotany Centre, Fern and Orchid Garden. It is a well-run rehabilitation centre where it is possible (if you're lucky) to spot or if you are luckier even to walk together with one of the 28 resident orang-utans. Feeding times at the centre are at 9am and 3pm, but be aware that these beautiful primates might NOT make their appearance if there is enough fruit to forrage in the jungle (especially in during the wet season). Other animals include a few very dreary looking honey-bears in very confined cages, crocodiles or other animals temporarily hosted there.
- Bako National Park, at Bako. Bako is probably the best place in Sarawak for wildlife experience. The park has been a protected area since 1957, so the animals are less wary of humans. Visitors, especially those who stay overnight wull have countless opportunities to observe and photograph various types of wildlife. Telok Assam, the area around the Park Office is a great place for seeing wildlife. It is also a home of more than 150 rare species of Probiscis Monkey (monkey with human-like nose), found only in Borneo. Telok Delima and Telok Paku are the best trails for viewing the Proboscis.
- Pulau Lakei, at Bako. This small island has a superb white sand beach. The National Parks Department has a small guard house located on the island. Trips to the island can be arranged with your boatman. There are some mysterious rock paintings just a short walk from the beach. You need to go to Bako National Park first before going to Pulau Lakei.
- Gua Feri (Fairy Cave), at Bau. There is a concrete enclosed stairway allowing visitors to climb to the cave. There is, however, no lighting in the cave and bringing a strong light source is recommended. The cave has designated walkways and a few benches for people to sit on. There are lots of weird paintings on the cave wall and lots of bats flying in the cave. For nature lovers who just love brisk walking, try Wind Cave instead.
- Wind Cave, not so far from Fairy Cave. A small entrance fee (RM 3) is charged for this show cave. It has a designated plankwalk for visitors to walk in. Not far from Wind Cave is a beautiful stream where visitors can swim in.
- Tasik Biru, at Bau. This lake is famous for its jetskiing activities. It was once a gold mine where Brooke dynasty brought a lot of Chinese immigrants to work.
- Talang-Satang National Park. This is the first National Park in Sarawak to consist primarily of a marine area. It has been created for the primary purpose of marine turtle conservation. It consists of two sections: the Satang Section (approximately 9,894 ha), and the Talang-Talang section (approximately 9,520 ha). This park includes all four islands of Pulau Satang Besar, Pulau Satang Kecil, Pulau Talang-Talang Besar, and Pulau Talang-Talang Kecil, and the area of sea and sea bed for 4.8 km (3-statute miles) from the highest point of each island. This will exclude all titled leasehold land on the island, except in cases for which settlement or agreements are negotiated with the titleholders. A permit from the Forest Department is necessary for entry to the Park. It can be reached by taking speedboats from Damai Lagoon or from Sematan.
- Serikin, at Bau. This town borders with neighboring Indonesia province of West Kalimantan. It houses a market with wide range of products from handicrafts to laces. It is popular among visitors from Peninsular Malaysia for its exquisite and cheap Indonesian products. Open throughout the weekend and can be reached by using shuttle van or taxi. Custom and police might be on patrol to check your purchases, so just pick the right and legal stuff to buy there.
- Mount Santubong. This is a good 810m climb to the summit. It is about 40min from Kuching City. Trail are well laid out and easy to follow. Bring plenty of water.
- Annah Rais Longhouse. If you want to experience life in a authentic tribal longhouse, this is the place to go. The accommodation is clean, the hosts are very friendly, and there is a fantastic hot spring nearby. You can even join the hunters on a short hunting trip or relax under a cold cascading waterfall at the rock pool.
- Borneo Highlands. It is a highland area at 1,000-metre above sea level, perfect for chilling yourself on the mountainous region of Kuching. There is a chalet to stay in (Borneo Highlands Resort) and if you love golfing, you can try one as the package of staying at the resort. There is also a cursed stone of 'Batu Panggah' where you can see when you walk through the jungle trail. For a refreshing dip of waterfall, try 'Simangas Pool' when you explore the jungle.