Malaysia My Destination : Info about Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
Kuala Lumpur : Malaysia Capital - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
Putrajaya : Federal Territory - Malaysia
Selangor : Central Region Of Peninsular Malaysia - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
 
Terengganu : East Coast Region Of Peninsular Malaysia - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
Kelantan : East Coast Region Of Peninsular Malaysia - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
Pahang : East Coast Region Of Peninsular Malaysia - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
 
Johor / Johore : Southern Region Of Peninsular Malaysia - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
Malacca / Melaka : Southern Region Of Peninsular Malaysia - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
Negeri Sembilan / The Nine State : Southern Region Of Peninsular Malaysia - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
 
Kedah (Langkawi) : Northern Region Of Peninsular Malaysia - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
Penang / Pulau Pinang : Northern Region Of Peninsular Malaysia - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
Perak : Northern Region Of Peninsular Malaysia - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
Perlis : Northern Region Of Peninsular Malaysia - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
 
Sabah : East Malaysia / Malaysian Borneo - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
Labuan (Federal Territory) : East Malaysia / Malaysian Borneo - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
Sarawak : East Malaysia / Malaysian Borneo - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
 
  Welcome
  Sarawak Tourism
  Getting There & Around
 
  Sarawak Map 1
  Sarawak Map 2
 
  PEOPLE & ETHNIC GROUP:
 
  General Info
  Bidayuh (Land Dayak's)
  Iban (Sea Dayak's)
  Melanau
  Orang Ulu
 
  Iban Longhouse Visit
 
  ARTS & CRAFTS:
  General Info
  Pua Kumbu, Pua Sungkit & Pua Karap
   
  Eating Out, Nightlife & Local Delicacy
 
  PLACES OF INTEREST :
 
  Adventure Nature & Wildlife
  National Parks & Wildlife Conservation
   
  KUCHING (STATE CAPITAL):
 
  General Info
  Bus Service / Transportation
  Map
 
  History & People
  Dining & Entertainment
  Nightlife
  Shopping
 
  Recreation & Sports
  Spa Retreats
 
  TOURIST ATTRACTION
  City Centre
  Kuching On Foot
  Heritage Trails
  Historical Buildings
  Museums
  Handicrafts
  Street Life
 
  Nature & National Parks
  Bako National Park
  Batang Ai National Park
  Gunung Gading National Park
  Kubah National Park
  Kuching Wetlands National park
  Matang Wildlife Centre
  Semenggoh Nature Reserve
  Talang Satang National Park
  Tanjung Datu National Park
 
  Santubong & Damai Beach
  General Info
  Irrawady Dolphin
  Sarawak Cultural Village
 
  Kuching Southwest
  Tourist Destination
  Teluk Melano & Sematan
 
  Sibu
  General Info
  Dining & Entertainment
  Shopping & Accommodation
 
  TOURIST ATTRACTION
  City Centre
  Bawang Assan Iban Longhouse
 
  Melanau's Heartland:
  Mukah Town
  Dalat Town
 
  Up Rejang River:
  General Info
  Kanowit, Song & Belaga
  Kapit
 
  Down Rejang River:
  General Info
 
  Miri
  General Info
  City Map
  In & Around Miri Map
 
  Lifestyle & Nightlife
  Shopping
 
  TOURIST ATTRACTION
  Must Visit Places
  Bario & Ba?kelalan
 
  Gunung Mulu National Park
  Lambir Hills National Park
  Loagan Bunut National Park
  Niah National Park
  Similajau National Park
 
 
 
 
SARAWAK - EAST MALAYSIA / MALAYSIA BORNEO

KUCHING : General Info

 
 

Kuching, the capital of Sarawak, Malaysia?s largest state, is simply unique. No other city in Malaysia has such a romantic and unlikely history. And no other city in Malaysia displays its charms with such an easy grace.

 

The residents of Kuching (pop. 580,000 approx.) enjoy living here, and take great pride in their fascinating city, a pride that is reflected in their attitude towards visitors. Kuching welcomes visitors warmly, but it does not put on an act for them. Instead it goes about its own business in a relaxed manner that hasn?t changed in 150 years. It is impossible to really enjoy Kuching from the air conditioned comfort of a tour bus. To make the most of your visit you must put on your walking shoes, take to the streets (and the water), and join in. Like all towns and cities in Borneo, the focal point of Kuching, and the reason for its existence, is the river. Hiring a ?sampan? to meander slowly up and down the Sarawak River is the best way to get your first impression of Kuching, and a real bargain.

 

It?s good during the day, bliss at sunset and a truly one-off experience at night. From the river you will see picturesque Malay villages (kampungs), a golden-domed mosque, a Victorian fort, a whole street of 19th century Chinese shophouses and an imposing wooden-roofed palace, all set against a background of distant mountains. Kuching?s city centre is well preserved and very compact; virtually everything that is worth seeing can be reached on foot or by sampan. The narrow, bustling streets are crammed with shops selling all manner of goods, from the mundane to the exotic. There are ornate Chinese temples, many fine examples of colonial-style architecture, a beautiful waterfront and a number of interesting museums, including the historic Sarawak Museum.

 

There is an excellent range of accommodation, from luxury to budget, good restaurants, and nightlife to suit every taste and pocket. You can try local delicacies such as deer meat and jungle fern, drink a glass or two of tuak (local rice wine), or feast on a vast array of seafood dishes. Kuching has an unusual name - the word means "cat" in Malay. There are a number of stories as to how this name came about, but it is unlikely that it has anything to do with cats. The two more likely explanations are that it derives from the Chinese word kochin, meaning "harbour," or that it is named after the mata kuching or "cat?s eye" fruit, a close relative of the lychee that grows widely here.

 

Sarawak is a unique and enjoyable tourism destination, and Kuching is the ideal base from which to go exploring. There are a number of national parks nearby including the famous Bako, home of the rare proboscis monkey, Gunung Gading, where giant rafflesia flowers bloom, the Kuching Wetlands, which protects a fascinating mangrove ecosystem, Kubah, with its rare palms and orchids, and the Matang Wildlife Centre. Literally hundreds of Iban and Bidayuh longhouses are within easy travelling distance. Damai, on the nearby Santubong Peninsula is Sarawak?s main resort area, and many travel agents offer "two-centre" packages allowing you to explore Kuching, go on a longhouse trip, visit Bako and the rainforest and then relax on the beach after the rigours of jungle trekking.

 
 

GETTING AROUND KUCHING

 
 

BY AIR - INTERNATIONAL

 

MAS operates twice daily Kuching - Singapore services and flies from Kuching to Pontianak (Indonesia) five times weekly. Flights from Kuching to Guangzhou and Hong Kong are via Kota Kinabulu. Connections to other destinations are via Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu, or Singapore. Silk Air Operates four flights weekly from Singapore. Batavia Air operates daily flights to Jakarta via Pontianak. Departure tax is RM6.00 (domestic), RM20.00 ( Within ASEAN) and RM45.00 (international). MAS, Air Asia and FAX also levy fuel and insurance surcharges which vary based on the sector; contact airlines for the latest fees.

 
 
 

BY AIR - DOMESTIC

 

Regular MAS flights connect Kuching with Johor Bahru, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Miri and Sibu. Malaysia?s budget airline, Air Asia operates frequent flights to Kuching from Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru, Kota Kinabalu, Miri, Bintulu and Sibu. Like most budget airlines, prices vary depending on how far in advance you book. As a rough guide, one-way fares typically range between RM 80 and RM 200. Please note that baggage allowance is only 15kg. Fly Asian Xpress (FAX) has taken over the old MAS Rural Air Service. Its Twin Otters (baggage allowance 10kg) & Fokker 50s (15kg) serve 40 routes across East Malaysia, including Kuching - Mukah.

 
 
 

BY ROAD

 

The Trans-Borneo highway connects Kuching to all major cites in Sarawak. Kuching to Sibu takes about 5 hours by car. Roads in and around Kuching are generally good.

 
 
 

EXPRESS BOATS - KUCHING TO SIBU

 

The fast and comfortable Express Bahagia service departs daily at 8.30 am. RM 40, 5 hrs. Tel: 464622. Tickets are sold at the Port Authority Jetty or at Lim Magazine Bookstore (off Jln Khoo Hun Yeang behind Electra House). It?s advisable to get there 30 mins before departure. Taxi fare is RM 15.

 
 
 

SAMPANS - known locally as TAMBANGS

 

To get across river take one of the small ferries that connect the riverside kampungs to the town. Place the fare (30 cents) on the seat as you leave. Hiring a sampan (RM 20-25 per hour) is a great way to see the river and the waterfront villages. From the river you?ll have great views of the city, get in close to the villages and get some good photos of river life.

 
 
 

KUCHING CITY TRAM

 

The City Tram is an open-air sightseeing bus service that operates three daily tours around Kuching. The tours start from the Merdeka Palace Hotel and cost RM 12 (adults) and RM 6 (children under 12). Tickets can be purchased from the Visitor Information Centre, the Sarawak Tourism Federation office on the Kuching Waterfront and the Matahari Tours office in the Holiday Inn. For information contact the Sarawak Tourism Federation (Tel: 240620).

 
 
 

TAXI

 

Airport to town is RM 17.50 - buy a coupon at the taxi stand at the airport. Town to the airport is RM 15. At the moment not all Kuching taxis use meters so agree the fare first. Taxis can always be found outside the big hotels and at the taxi stand where Jln Gambier becomes Leboh Jawa. Alternatively, call 343343/342255 or 348898 for 24-Hour Radio Taxi service (RM 1 surcharge). Short distances around town are RM 6-10.

 
 
 

CAR HIRE

 

This is a great way to explore in and around Kuching. A number of tour operators provide chauffeur-driven cars, vans or 4WD vehicles, but there are only a few fully-fledged self-drive companies operating in Kuching. Be wary of unlicensed operators, as they (and you) will not be fully insured - look for the Hire & Drive Permit fixed to the windscreen. At peak periods it is advisable to book a car in advance.

 
 
 
 
KUCHING : General Info
SARAWAK - EAST MALAYSIA / MALAYSIA BORNEO