When it comes to Malaysia, many travelers only focus on Peninsular Malaysia where the capital city is located. However, Malaysia is so much more than that. So, if you’re one of the travelers who think that Malaysia is only Kuala Lumpur, Penang, and Malacca, here’s some good news for you: Malaysia is so much more than that! Apart from the Peninsular, East Malaysia in Borneo is also worth to visit for so many reasons. From the delicacy of Sarawak Laksa that tastes totally different than the one in Penang, to the beauty of nature that you wouldn’t find in Kuala Lumpur. Kuching is the capital and most populous city in the state of Sarawak, one of the two Malaysian states located in Borneo. Named after the Malaysian word for ‘cat’, Kuching is a great place to visit when you’re a cat lover like me. But, do you know what’s better? Kuching is so much more than just taking some pics of cat statues!
One of the cat statues in Kuching, Sarawak.
In this post, I’m going to share with you the list of things you can do around Kuching just so you could spend your stay in East Sarawak to the fullest. Either you’re a city dweller who can’t live far away from the city light or an adventurous person who’s thirsty of more challenging activities, Kuching is a perfect place for you.
Strolling Around the Waterfront
Kuching Waterfront is a great spot to experience the city’s cosmopolitan vibes. During the daylight, apart from the hot weather of Borneo, it offers you some scenic views of Astana, Fort Margherita and its surroundings across the river. After the sunset, it is when the area really comes to life. The area will be packed with people, both locals, and visitors. So many food vendors will start opening their hole in the wall around the Waterfront, and everybody simply enjoys the vibes that the Waterfront offers. From watching some show or simply just hanging out with friends while sitting by the riverside. If you’re keen to do something different, you can even try jetty-hopping along the river on the local boats and experience different sights as well as the delicacies between the two riverbanks. Even if you’re traveling on a budget, you can just enjoy the Waterfront and stroll around while taking pictures of the city lights at night. If anything, when you’re not so sure what to do around the Waterfront, you can always sit by the river and watch people around you to enjoy the vibes. Some of them come with their family to have quality time together, some try to make a living out of their small business selling things from dried mangoes to some Sarawak t-shirt and local souvenirs. The place is pretty much alive at night, and I’d totally recommend you to stop by the Waterfront when you’re in Kuching!
Taking Pics in Front of the Infamous Cat Statue(s) in the City
As Kuching is a Malay word for ‘cat’, there are various versions of why the city is named that way. However, the association of the city name and the feline has somehow incorporated through some cat elements throughout the city. There are many cat statues located in the city, one of the most iconic cat statues in the city is the North City Hall. Located in a walking distance from the Kuching Waterfront, it’s quite impossible to go to the Waterfront without seeing the big statue of the cats there. As the local Kuchingites are proud to call their hometown ‘the cat city’, taking some pics in front of the statues has become somewhat mandatory when you get a chance to stop by Kuching in your travel. If you’re a cat person like I am, I’m pretty sure you’ll have a good time in the biggest city in Borneo. You’ll get too excited to the point that you think you know how it feels like to be a cat finding a cardboard box to play with. Yup, it’s that exciting! Also, since it’s obvious that the city obsessed with cats, there are so many spots where you could take pictures in front of the cat statues. It’s within walking distance, and you’ll find yet another cat statue to pose with. Really, all you need to do is just to relax and stroll around the city.
Checking Out Some Museums in the City
There are some interesting museums
that are worth your visit around Kuching. From the Chinese History Museum to learn about the major waves of immigrants from China to Borneo until they settle in Sarawak for many generations, to the Cat Museum where you could basically see a lot of cat pictures to make you happy and emotional at the same time. Most of the museums around the city center are free entry, except for the Cat Museum where you need to pay 3 ringgits for the entry ticket. Kuching city center is quite easy to navigate, and if you like walking around while exploring the places, you’d definitely find museum-hopping in Kuching so exciting! Although, please note that the Cat Museum is around 15-minute drive from the city center, so make sure download Grab app to get you there.
Visiting Orangutans at Semenggoh Nature Reserve
From Kuching city center, you can also reach Semenggoh Nature Reserve for around 40-minute drive where you can visit orangutans in their natural habitat. The visitors are welcomed to see orangutans at Semenggoh during their feeding time either in the morning or in the evening. The entry ticket for foreign visitors is 10 ringgit, but since it’s their natural habitat, it’s not always guaranteed that you will see them come for the feeding time. Some of the orangutans are semi-wild, while some occasionally come back for the feeding time. The feeding time starts from 8 AM to 10 AM in the morning, where visitors are able to enter the area and watch them during the time. If you’re keen to watch them during the feeding time in the evening, the area will be reopened at 3 PM.
Stopping by Bako National Park
Bako is the first national park located in Sarawak, East Malaysia when it was established in 1957. Bako has a wide range of vegetation, where it is possible to see almost every type of vegetation found in Borneo. From silver leaf monkey to proboscis monkey, you could see them living in the wild. And it only takes you around 40 minutes from Kuching city center. You can either drive or take the bus from the city center for only 5 ringgits. It is possible to have half-day trekking at Bako National Park, but if you’re keen for more adventurous experience, you can also book accommodation and stay overnight at Bako
. From a shared hostel room to a forest lodge, you can choose any kind of accommodation suitable for your preference and enjoy the wildlife at Bako National Park.
Are You Going to Kuching Soon?
So, those are the recommended things to do for you in Kuching, the big city in Sarawak. Are you interested to go? If so, what activities are you going to opt during your stay? Are you a city dweller or someone who’s thirsty for more adventure? Believe me, you could experience both in East Malaysia! ?