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Your guide to Kuching
All About Kuching
The city of Kuching, the state capital of Sarawak in East Malaysia, is a captivating mix of historical and modern architecture. It’s set along the River Sarawak on the north coast of the island of Borneo, close to the border with Indonesia. The compact city center boasts a wealth of buildings to explore, including the neo-classical General Post Office from 1931, the imposing 19th-century Sarawak Museum, an 18th-century shopping street, and the Old Court House from 1871, which has been transformed into a cultural hub with lush gardens and cafes.
The New Sarawak State Legislative Assembly Building, which opened in 2009, dominates the northern riverside with its striking pointed golden roof and diamond-patterned façade. Beside it are the sinuous Darul Hana pedestrian bridge and fountain. All of these feats of architecture are brilliantly illuminated each night, often in rainbow-colored lights. The bridge leads to the south side and the historic Kuching Waterfront, where you can walk along the 3,000-foot promenade at sunset, checking out the hawker stalls and food courts and watching the buskers.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in Kuching?
Kuching is close to the rainforests of Borneo and has a tropical climate, with many rainy days throughout the year, particularly between November and March. Although temperatures remain hot and humid throughout the year, the weather is usually warmer and drier between April and October, when most visitors come to the region. Kuching is the most populous city on the island of Borneo, so it hosts many events throughout the year. These include Gawai Dayak — a regional celebration with rice wine, music, and dancing to mark the end of the rice harvest on the first days of June — and the three-day Rainforest Music Festival in July, which features traditional music, performance, and dance from around the world.
What are the top things to do in Kuching?
Sarawak Cultural Village
Sarawak Cultural Village, 45 minutes from Kuching by car or shuttle, is a unique living museum spread across 17 acres. On your visit, you’ll see replicas of traditional buildings representing the cultures of the seven main ethnic groups in Sarawak: Melanau, Bidayuh, Iban, Penan, Malay, Orang Ulu, and Chinese. People in traditional costume in each part of the village share their stories. You can watch dances and games being performed, and sample a range of Sarawakian cuisines.
Santubong National Park
You have your pick of challenging and enticing trails at Santubong National Park, located on a small peninsula 45 minutes north of Kuching. The two-hour jungle loop takes you through lush stands of trees, past a stunning waterfall, and over a hanging bridge. The summit trail takes three to four hours to reach the top of Mount Santubong, which is 2,600 feet above sea level.
Sarawak State Museum
Housed in a 19th-century townhouse near the center of Kuching, Sarawak State Museum is packed with natural history displays showcasing indigenous flora and fauna; traditional arts and crafts, including musical instruments; and exhibits on the history of the oil industry in Sarawak.