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Kuching

Country
Malaysia
State
Sarawak
City
Kuching
Type of Location
Multiple
About Location

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Places to Visit
How to Reach

By plane

Kuching International Airport (IATA: KCH) is Sarawak's main gateway. There are near-hourly connections to Kuala Lumpur as well as frequent flights to Singapore, Johor Bahru, Labuan, Kota Kinabalu and other cities in Sarawak like Sibu, Bintulu and Miri. MASwings links Kuching with Mukah. International connections are rather limited, although there are a few weekly services to Guangzhou, Hong Kong, and Pontianak. Flights to Kuching are also operated by AirAsia and Firefly . International airlines operating in Kuching includes SilkAir, Royal Brunei, Tiger Airways, and Batavia Air.


By cruises

There are some cruise liners operating daily between Kuching and Singapore. One of them is StarCruise.


By boat

The Express Bahagia and Express Sejahtera express boats run an alternating once daily service from Kuching to Sibu, each boat returning the next day. RM38 (RM45 1st class) one way and the journey takes 5.5 hr, with stops at Sarikei and Tanjung Manis. The boats depart from the Pending wharf to the east of the city at 8.30AM. You can usually buy tickets at the wharf. 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 RM15.

By bus

Kuching's regional express bus terminal is located along Jl. Datuk Tawi Sli, also dubbed as "3 and a half miles", located south of the city, just before the Boulevard shopping mall. 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,

By river taxi
Tambangs or river taxis provide easy and cheap transport across the Sarawak River in the heart of Kuching.
Tambangs or river taxis provide easy and cheap transport across the Sarawak River in the heart of Kuching.

For a leisurely commute across the Sarawak River, river taxis locally known as tambang or penambang offers daily services at various points along the Kuching Waterfront, with a one-way fare at RM0.40. The fare hikes up to RM1 from 10PM-6AM the next day. Kindly place the exact change on the designated plate instead of giving it to the operator, as you disembark the river taxi at your destination.

Key places to visit
Tua Pek Kong Temple, Sultan Iskandar Planetarium, Kuching Civic Centre, Kuching Waterfront, Museums


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Places to Visit

Tua Pek Kong Temple,
Jl. 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.


 Sultan Iskandar Planetarium.
 This first planetarium ever built in Malaysia is in the Kuching Civic Centre complex. This planetarium shows videos of astronomic adventures of every planets in the solar system.

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.

Kuching Civic Centre,
           
located at Jl. Taman Budaya. This is a 3-building complex, landmarked by its tower with an umbrella-shaped roof. This is the best place to get a 360° aerial view of Kuching City. Take a beautiful snapshot of Kuching concrete buildings in the assembly of lush green trees. The viewing platform is available for public access only during daytime, served mainly by two bubble lifts. Also at the top you can find a souvenir shop and the highest public toilet in Kuching. Just one level below, there's a restaurant called Link. Oe, on the ground, there's the Sultan Iskandar Planetarium, some hawker stalls, a sports gym (which used to be a public library) and a multi-function hall.

Kuching Waterfront.

Any visit to Kuching is incomplete without taking a brisk walk at the 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. During the daytime, the Waterfront is the best place to view the Astana, Fort Margherita, adjacent Malay kampungs of Kampung Sinjan and Kampung Lintang or even the newly constructed DUN complex. 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 high charges on food. My Kampong have a small kiosk that serve mee mamak. If you do order traditional Malay food such as grilled fish, be sure to ask them to warm it up.

Museums

Kuching's major sights are its museums. Clustered just south of the centre, a program of refurbishment started in 2002 is shuffling up the exhibits.

    * 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. 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 and houses various ethnic displays and historical items from Sarawak.

    * Dewan Tun Abdul Razak (Tun Abdul Razak Hall), Jl. Tun Abang Haji Openg (Opposite Sarawak Museum). Formerly the New Wing of the Sarawak Museum, now houses changing exhibitions, a rather good gift shop and the Sarawak Museum Department office.

    * The Sarawak Islamic Museum. It is located just behind the Tun Abdul Razak Hall and can be accessed via Jl. P. Ramlee. The museum consists of 7 galleries set around a central courtyard garden, each with a different theme. One of the interesting artefacts shown here is a replica of sword used by Prophet Muhammad pbuh. Open daily from 9AM-6PM (closed on Fridays).

    * Chinese History Museum, Waterfront (east end of Main Bazaar). A small colonial-era museum that used to be the courthouse for the Sarawakian Chinese, then the office of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce It now houses a small permanent exhibition of Kuching's many Chinese groups.

    * Fort Margherita, Completed in 1879, Fort Margherita resides at a breathtaking and strategic position at the riverside of Sarawak. 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 it's old cannons, cannon balls, guns, pistols, swords and other vestiges of its armoury and armaments 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.

    * The Cat Museum. This is a large collection of cat memorabilia, since "Kuching" means "Cat" in Malay. The museum is located at Kuching North City Hall at Petra Jaya, on top of Bukit Siol (Siol 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-5PM (closed public holidays).

    * Sarawak Timber Museum. The museum resides in the building of Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (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 8:30AM-12:30PM (closed Sundays and public holidays). ? +60 82 443477

    * Sarawak Textile Museum. The museum is situated in the Pavillion, yet another historical building on its own right, just opposite of the General Post Office. Open Mon-Fri 8:30AM-4PM, Sat 8:30-12:30PM (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.

Right Time to Visit

March - October

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