Kuching, the capital city of Sarawak, located in the Malaysian part of Borneo is a city in Asia that you probably don’t know much about. Kuching in Malay means cat and the locals sure do have an affection for these creatures with many statues of cats in various places of the city There is even a cat museum exhibiting anything you would want to know about them. There are even cat cafes, where you can sit down, have a cup of coffee and play with them until your hearts are content.
The cats though, are not the city’s main draw without doubt that is the people, the food and the river. Kuching even has a surprisingly big art scene with many of the buildings covered with murals painted on the wall.
The city, now thriving with a population of 400,000 wasn’t always moving in a progressive state that started to change when James Brooke helped defeat a rebellion and restored the Sultan of Brunei to his throne. James Brooke became the first ‘White Rajah’ of Sarawak and ruled from 1868 until his death in 1917
The Kuching River is the main sightseeing area of the city. The riverside is also popular with locals to hangout as well as tourists, especially in the evening time when the atmosphere turns very lively with street stalls selling food and the sound and light show at night.
The locals often with their families are very friendly. They often stop you ask where are you from? How long will you stay and why did you choose Kuching. As well as chat about everyday things, like most of Malaysia they seem very interested in the international soccer scene.
Along the river there are many historical buildings. On the left hand side are the hotels and boardwalk while on the right hand side of the river is The Astana, the official residence of the Governor of Sarawak. Next to the Astana is the new State LegislativeBuilding which was built in 2009. This building’s architectural design is amazing. It is shaped liike an umbrella and if it was built in a much larger city then it would be a world famous landmark. Unfortunately , you can not enter this building.
Fort Margherita located next to the State Legislative building was built by James Brooke in 1879. The fort was designed to protect Kuching from being attacked by pirates. The fort now houses the Brooke Gallery, a small museum showcasing the history of Sarawak under the Brooke Dynasty and is worth going to if you like history.
Darul Hana Bridge
To cross the river, you can either board the water taxis or to take a stroll along the Darul Hana Bridge built in 2017. The bridges spectacular design is to resemble an S for Sarawak. It connects the city’s north side with the city’s south.
Water fountain light show
At night be sure to get a good seat on the banks of the river to watch the water, light and sound show where for 15 minutes colorful sprays of water shoot out from a fountain to the rhythm of music.
The show is at 20:30 and 22:00pm daily.
Where to Stay
A great place to stay while you are in Kuching is the Marian Boutique Lodging house which used to be an old school which was converted to a hotel. A night with a small breakfast is only 108 Malaysian Ringhitt. The hotel has a nice restaurant and a great pool.
Kuching may not have a lot of attractions but is a great starting point for your time in Sarawak or you could use it for a base while you visit the surrounding area for a few days.