Dive Into Malaysia

Dive Into Malaysia

24 Top Places To Visit In Kuching, Sarawak

Going on a holiday in Kuching and want to know all the best places to visit in Kuching? We have you covered! Below, you will find our guide to all the best attractions in Kuching to plan your ultimate trip.

Kuching – the capital city of Sarawak state of Malaysia on the island of Borneo – is the most populous city located along the Sarawak River. Considered a significant gateway for tourists visiting Borneo, there’s a great range of attractions to entice you to stay longer both in the city and in the surrounds. It’s also quite pretty thanks to its riverfront location and is maybe my favourite city in Malaysia. It just offers so much.

Grab your Malaysia Kuching map, and let’s explore this modern city! Wondering where to visit in Kuching, well if it’s your first time we suggest starting at the waterfront. You’ll find a plethora of attractions in the vicinity, including some of the top 10 places to visit in Kuching including the Astana and Fort Margherita.  

Kuching riverfront area

First-timers to the city find it almost comical to see all the cat-related statues, artworks and carvings that are scattered throughout the city (Kuching literally means cat in Malay!), and the city is even home to the world’s first cat museum. It’s great for a laugh.

Being one of the most culturally diverse cities of Malaysia, the heritage trail covers museums focused on different cultures and religions and many highlight the region’s many indigenous groups.

There are so many interesting places in Kuching town that you need to plan appropriately to make sure you hit the ones that are most important to you. There are a lot of great things to do in Kuching, so it’s usually not possible to see them all in one stay.

No list of where to visit in Kuching, Sarawak, would be complete without mentioning the abundant nature on the doorstep of the city. Only an hour outside of Kuching city you have splendid national parks such as the Bako National Park, the best place in Kuching, Sarawak, to discover those cheeky proboscis monkeys.

Kuching at night from the Waterfront hotel

And another of the places of interest in Kuching, Malaysia, is the awesome Gunung Gading National Park home to the world’s largest flower – the Rafflesia. 

It’s hard for us to pinpoint the best place in Kuching, Sarawak (and we haven’t even mentioned the orangutans yet!) as there are simply so many spectacular adventures to be enjoyed. You definitely need more than 1 day in Kuching!

Below, you will find our Kuching trip blog guide with everything you need to know about the best places of interest in Kuching, Sarawak, as well as the best places to stay for your ultimate holiday in Kuching! There is also a handy Kuching attraction map of the interesting places in Kuching, Sarawak.

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Top 24 Places To Visit In Kuching, Malaysia

Street art in CHinatown Kuching

Here are the best places to go in Kuching. Read through and select the ones that fit your interests and timeframe.

I have loosely ordered this list starting at the Kuching waterfront and working our way out to places to visit in Kuching surrounds. This means that many of the places in the first part of the list can be visited on a walking tour quite easily. You can see many places in a small area in Kuching.

It also means that this list isn’t in order of what you should prioritise visiting.

There are some absolutely fabulous attractions and day trip options from Kuching in the latter part of the list and you should definitely try to visit some (all!) of them.

Take A Walk Along Kuching’s Waterfront

Kuching riverfront

You don’t need to check your Kuching map; tourists are always naturally drawn to the most iconic Kuching sightseeing spot – the Kuching Waterfront!

A picturesque location from where most of the promotional pictures of the city are taken, this 900-metre esplanade offers an excellent view of the Sarawak River, along with many historical sites such as The Astana and Fort Margherita.

While you are sightseeing here, do not miss the Darul Hana Bridge.  An unusual S-shaped pedestrian suspension bridge with two viewing platforms, this is the best place to admire the magnificent Floating Mosque. In fact, my photo below of the Floating Mosque was taken from this bridge. As was the photo of the Astana.

Time your visit well, as the sunset view is particularly captivating with beautiful sunbeams shimmering across the spectacular golden crown of the mosque. 

There’s a great energy along here especially in the evening as the weather cools down and the locals come out. I try to walk along here as much as I can when I’m in Kuching as I just love it.

The Kuching Waterfront is definitely one of the must-go places in Kuching. The next few Kuching attractions on this list can also be visited or sighted while walking along here.

Address: 37, Jalan Main Bazaar, 93000 Kuching, Sarawak

View The Amazing Floating Mosque

Kuching Floating Mosque

Located on the river itself, the Floating Mosque is a relatively new addition to the riverfront that opened in 2019. It’s big enough to fit 1,600 worshippers.

It was built to replace the 186 year old Masjid India. That mosque was built by Indian Muslim traders who work at India Street.

Its design is inspired by the Middle East. It looks quite spectacular on the river especially at the night when it’s lit up and during sunset when the golden sky accentuates the colours of the mosque.

Non-Muslims can visit outside prayer time if dressed appropriately to see the unique internal design.

Check Out The Astana

The Astana Palace In Kuching

Astana – a name derived from the Malay word ”Istana” which means Palace – is an interesting Kuching place to visit. This majestic colonial building was constructed in 1870 by the second White Rajah – the dynastic monarchy of the British Brooke family who ruled the Raj of Sarawak from 1841 to 1946. A royal couple, Charles Brooke and Renee Margaret constructed the Astana and used it as their home until the Japanese occupation.

The Astana now serves as the official residence of the Governor of Sarawak. Therefore, it is not open to the public except during the annual Hari Raya celebration. However, visitors can appreciate this Kuching famous place from a distance. It’s perhaps best viewed from the Kuching waterfront.

Address: Astana, Kampung Istana, 93050 Kuching, Sarawak

Visit Fort Margherita

Fort Margherita In Kuching

There are plenty of interesting places in Sarawak Kuching to visit that have historical value, but Fort Margherita is perhaps the most famous one. This English-styled fort was built in 1879 by Charles Brooke during the White Rajah era and was said to protect Kuching from the attack of pirates.  

Named after the Rajah’s beloved wife Renee Margaret, visitors start their exploration of the site by admiring the exterior design of the fort from the waterfront before approaching it by a short sampan ride. 

The fort now serves as “Brooke Gallery” and is a really interesting place to spend an hour at, with heaps of memorabilia helping you understand the influence the family had on Kuching. This is one of the fun things to do in Kuching for history fans!

Address: Petra Jaya, 93050 Kuching, Sarawak

Experience A Traditional Wooden Boat Ride At The Sarawak River

Traditional Boats On Sarawak River

In the old days, a traditional wooden boat was the primary mode of transportation in Kuching. Today, tourists may experience the same journey taking an hour-long boat ride along the Sarawak River.

The traditionally designed boat sails upriver from the Kuching Waterfront and offering you great views of the Astana, Fort Margherita, Sarawak Museum and all the major attractions in Kuching, Sarawak. On the return, sailing downstream will take you along a local stretch of the river, revealing a completely different side of Kuching.

If it fits with your schedule, we highly recommend you do this cruise during sunset. The late afternoon orange glow shimmers across the water and with the Kuching top attractions as the backdrop, you’re sure to grab a few Insta-fabulous pics!

Alternatively, you can also take a cruise in a bigger boat and enjoy a meal or sunset drinks while you enjoy the scenery.

Click here for a sunset cruise option.

Address: 1st Floor, Lot 42, Section 33, 124, Jalan Tabuan, 93100 Kuching, Sarawak

Learn More At The Chinese History Museum

Chinese History Museum Kuching

Looking to understand Chinese history and culture in Sarawak? The Kuching best place to visit for this has to be The Chinese History Museum located at the waterfront, right across the river from Fort Margherita.

This educational landmark was formerly the base of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce but was opened to the public in 1993 to help visitors learn about the critical history of the Chinese community in Sarawak.

At the museum, you will find plenty of memorabilia and artifacts explaining the arrival of first-generation Chinese pioneers, early trading activities, the local political environment and today’s Malay-Chinese. There is a particularly interesting exhibit highlighting the various dialects from regions of China, perhaps particularly relatable to Chinese speakers! 

The Chinese Museum is amongst the most educational places to visit in Kuching, Malaysia.

Address: Chinese History Museum, Jalan Bazar, Sarawak, 93100 Kuching, Sarawak

Explore Chinatown

Chinatown In Kuching

During the white Rajah era, an influx of Chinese migrated to Kuching and formed what has become today’s Chinatown. Considered one of the busiest and happening places to visit in Kuching town, the two most notable streets are the Main Bazaar and Carpenter Street.

Both are packed with charming Chinese shophouses, built with intricate architecture, and Chinese Temples that are decorated extravagantly during major Chinese festivals. This is the best place to visit in Kuching, Sarawak to experience the living cultural heritage of the Chinese.

Amongst and within some of the shophouses you will find all types of eateries, including several specialising in mouthwatering local dishes such as Sarawak Laksa and Kolo Mee (Sarawakian dry noodles). A total must-try! 

For all you shopaholics, be prepared to show off your bargaining skills and snatch up Chinese paintings, handicrafts or antiques at a bargain price.

It’s a great place to wander around and take it all in. It’s low level and the pretty shophouses, temples and street art make it one of my favourite places in the city to just soak in Kuching.

Chinatown is also a famous place in Kuching, Sarawak for bars/speakeasies. Picture yourself sipping on an ice-cold beer on an Asian-warm day… Chill, relax and watch the hustle and bustle of chaotic Chinatown!

Address: Padungan Road, Kuching, Sarawak

Check Out The Hiang Thian Siang Ti Temple

Hiang Thian Siang Ti Temple Kuching

Located at the centre of Chinatown on Carpenter Street, the Hiang Thian Siang Ti Temple is the best place to go in Kuching to discover the culture of the Teochew community.  Originally built on the Main Bazaar some 150 years ago, the Temple was moved to its present location in 1863 and underwent a major renovation in 1968.

This ancient temple is insignificant in size but architecturally picturesque, with strikingly colourful artworks and various gold-foil covered deity statues.

An annual celebration is held on the fourth day of the twelfth month of the Chinese lunar calendar, bringing the Temple to life.  Lion and dragon dance troupes parade, traditionally dressed singers and dancers perform, along with a wild battering of gongs and drums that heat up the city until midnight!  

Therefore, we feel that the best time to visit Kuching, Sarawak is perhaps to catch this exciting event at the Hiang Thian Siang Ti Temple.

Address: 22, Jalan Carpenter, 93000 Kuching, Sarawak

Visit The Textiles Museum

Sarawak Textiles Museum Kuching

The Textile Museum is a surprisingly interesting place to visit in Kuching as it celebrates the unique textile-making techniques of the region. It also showcases the intricate designs woven by the Sarakan ethnic groups, taking visitors through the entire textile making process from raw materials to the finished product. 

Also on display are some costumes locally made by ethnic communities, and an exhibit featuring 30 historical garments – including a 100-year-old Kenyah jacket. It is one of the Kuching Malaysia points of interest that offers deep insights into the Sarakan ethnic group.

It’s also housed in a cool building! It was built in “colonial Baroque” style in 1909.

Address: Jalan Tun Abang Haji Openg, 93000 Kuching, Sarawak

Discover Local Culture At The Borneo Cultures Museum

Borneo Cultures Museum

The Borneo Cultures Museum opened in 2021 and is quite the attraction. An awe inspiring building, it was built to reflect “Sarawak’s unique traditional crafts and rich cultural heritage”. But it’s not just the outside that’s worth seeing.

Inside, you’ll find five storeys of exhibits, auditoriums and more to enjoy and learn. The ground floor is home to an auditorium and function rooms for events as well as a restaurant and shop.

Level two has a great area for kids where they can learn about sustainability while studying the state’s rivers. There’s also an Arts and Crafts Gallery where you can learn about traditional crafts, dances and music.

Level three has a massive 2,188 square metres of exhibits about the relationship local communities have in Borneo with their environments. It’s told through a river journey through three different geographical regions.

Level four is home to the “Time Changes” exhibit which is about the history of Sarawak from prehistoric times to today. This includes archaeological discoveries from around Sarawak.

The top level displays Sarawak culture with many top artefacts of skilled craftsmen and more.

This Kuching points of interest is by far the best museum I have been to in Malaysia. Parts are quite immersive and interactive, and it’s done well. It definitely should be on your to-do list.

This is a big museum (the second largest in South East Asia), and you could easily spend the day here. But even if you only have a couple of hours, it’s worth coming here. The only downside is the price. It is expensive for foreigners at RM50 for adults and RM20 for kids up to 12 years old. 13-17 year olds and 61+ year olds are RM25. It is substantially cheaper for Malaysians.

Note that the old Sarawak Museum has closed.

Explore The Natural History Museum

Sarawak History Museum

Located basically across the road from the Borneo Cultures Museum is the Natural History Museum. It’s home to a collection of zoological exhibits such as hornbills, leopards, and those famous wild cats of Sarawak. 

You can see the skeletons of mammals, reptiles, birds, fish and more. There are also animals that are now extinct.

This museum is free and easy to visit.

Address: Jalan Tun Abang Haji Openg, Taman Budaya, 93400 Kuching, Sarawak

Visit The Sarawak Islamic Museum

Sarawak Islamic Museum

Also located by the Borneo Cultures Museum, another Kuching interesting place to visit is the Sarawak Islamic Museum. It was originally built as a school offering teaching training to Malays so that in turn, they could provide a high level Malay education. It opened as a museum in 1992.

Aimed at presenting the honourable culture of Islam to the people of Sarawak, there are seven galleries displaying artifacts.

Themes range from Islamic history, architecture, science and literature influences, cultural collections, weaponry, arts and a special Quran collection. Each gallery is said to offer a valuable lesson to Islamic culture.

The Sarawak Islamic Museum is an informative, free and interesting place to visit in Kuching, Sarawak.

Address: Jalan P. Ramlee, 93400 Kuching, Sarawak

Leave The Big Smoke Behind At Kampung Boyan

Kampung Boyan Kuching

Just across the river from all the action is Kampung Boyan, a Malay village with low level, colourful houses. It feels a world away from the riverfront area, but it does give you good views of it.

There’s also a hawker centre here and other Malay eateries.

The most fun way to get here is by wooden boat ride across the river for RM1 each way. It only takes a couple of minutes. It’s also right by Fort Margherita so you can visit at the same time if you wish.

Look For Cat Statues

the Cats monument Kuching

Being called the ‘cat city of Malaysia’, cat statues are almost a must-have in the city! The most prominent, also considered the city’s icon, is the mega cat monument: the Family Cat installation.

Located at a roundabout in the city centre and beautifully lit in the evening, it makes for an unusual entry on our list of best places to visit in Kuching at night. 

The location of the family cat statue makes it iconic and hard to miss, but it’s not the only one.

In the south of the city sits a white waving cat built in the 90’s. As the very first cat statue installed in the city, it holds a special place in the heart of the local people and would be the very best place to go in Kuching, Sarawak if you are considering writing a Kuching attractions blog post of your time in the city.

There are many more cat statues all over the city, some strikingly cute and easily spotted around tourist places in Kuching town such as the bronze cats at the waterfront. Others are hard to find, in unusual places such a lamp post or a manhole!  

It’s quite the game trying to spot these pesky cats – keep looking and see how many you can find by the end of your trip!

Address: Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, 93100 Kuching, Sarawak

See Sarawak’s State Flower At The Orchid Garden

Orchid park Kuching

Sarawak’s state flower is Normah Orchid and thus it makes sense to find an Orchid Garden in the centre of the city! One of the top things to do in Kuching, the garden is located near the Astana and Fort Margherita, meaning you can easily combine all three within a day’s exploration.

Housing over 75,000 plants, botanists will find this an interesting place at Kuching. In fact, most are dazzled by the 82 genres of orchids on display in the gardens.

Some of the infamous Borneo native species can be found here, including Bulbophyllum Beccarii – rotten meat stinky orchids – and the rare Lady Slippers that were once thought to have gone extinct.

We highly recommend a visit here to anyone who loves orchids or botany, making the orchid garden among the must-visit places in Kuching.

Address: Kampung Istana, 93050 Kuching, Sarawak

Have A Laugh At The Cat Museum

Cat Museum Kuching

The name “Kuching” literally means cats, and the Cat Museum is an attraction place in Kuching that amusingly presents the city’s love of cats. It’s the world’s first museum dedicated to our feline friends!

Located only 15 minutes from the Kuching waterfront, there are over 4,000 exhibits. From the conventional display of history between cats and Kuching city, and the introduction of various cat species to the region, to the lighthearted exhibition of all things cat: Maneki-Neko (The Japanese Beckoning Cats), Garfield The Cat, and even Hello Kitty! 

While it is called a museum, I found it more a kitschy collection of cat related memorabilia. Like someone started collecting cat items, and it got out of hand. However, this isn’t to say it isn’t worth visiting. It’s actually one of my favourite things to do in Kuching because it’s just so funny.

In fact, I consider it a must do in Kuching. You only need about half an hour here to have a good look.

Address: Bangunan DBKU, Jalan Semariang, Petra Jaya, 93050 Kuching, Sarawak

See Orangutans Up Close At Semenggoh Nature Reserve

Semenggoh Wildlife Centre ruby

Visiting endangered orangutans is perhaps the most popular activity when travelling to Borneo. Semmenggoh Nature Reserve in Kuching offers a fantastic opportunity to view these playful and intelligent primates up close.

Here, you’ll find the Semenggoh Wildlife Centre which is just 40 minutes outside of the city, making it a perfect half day trip in Kuching. 

The Reserve is home to semi-wild orangutans that were orphaned, injured or illegally caged as pets. After they are rescued, they live in this environment, roaming freely within the jungle reserve. 

However, there are too many orangutans in too small a space for the orangutans to be able to completely fend for themselves, so they often return for meals at fixed feeding times (currently 9 am and 3 pm). This makes for a great opportunity for you to see orangutans up close.

The Semenggoh Wildlife Centre is open from 8am-10am and 2-4pm so you can visit these feedings and watch the orangutans. Since these are wild animals, there are no guarantees that they will show up. However, outside the fruiting season, you would be unlucky not to spot some orangutans at this time.

I visited in the fruiting season and there were two orangutans that hang out for awhile. It was amazing. They loved posing for us and were awesome to watch.

While you are here, you can also learn about these amazing creatures at the on-site Semenggoh Orangutan Gallery, and there’s also a Botanical Research Centre within the reserve for flora enthusiasts.  

Overall, the Semenggoh Nature Reserve is an excellent Kuching place to go for an interactive and educational encounter with some of nature’s cutest creations! Visits only take a couple of hours and you won’t regret it.

Address: KM 20, Jalan Puncak Borneo, 93250 Siburan, Sarawak

Click here for discounted tickets or click here here to read my full guide to visiting here.

Learn Local Culture At Sarawak Cultural Village

Sarawak Cultural Village

Looking for one of the best activities in Kuching to learn about Sarawak culture? Head to the Sarawak Cultural Village, a living museum that offers guests an opportunity to experience all the cultures of Sarawak squeezed into just half a day!

On your visit, you’ll find authentic replica houses from each of the major ethnic groups in Sarawak such as Bidayuh, Iban, Orang Ulu, Malay, Penan and Chinese. A representative from each group – dressed in traditional clothing – welcomes you to their respective home and showcases their tribe’s culture through demonstrations of unique cultural activities.

After, be sure to catch the multicultural dance performance – presented twice a day – which highlights the harmonious and peaceful style of living that can be found amongst these Sarawakian groups. 

Performance at Sarawak Cultural Village

Finally, end your visit by sampling the different foods on offer at the onsite restaurant. We suggest ordering their ethnic set menu which combines signature dishes from each group, giving you a chance to taste them all! 

Just 45 minutes drive from the city centre at Damai Beach, the Sarawak Cultural Village is one of the most interesting locations for day trips from Kuching.

Click here for discounted half-day tour tickets .

Address: Pantai Damai Santubong, Kampung Budaya Sarawak, 93752 Kuching, Sarawak

Splash, Relax Or Hike At Damai Beach

Damai Beach

Looking for a great beach near Kuching or somewhere to go on a jungle hike while enjoying a swim? Or visiting Sarawak Cultural Village and wondering what else is in the area? Visit Damai Beach!

Located 45 minutes drive north of Kuching, Damai Beach is the place to head for some beach time. It’s home to the Sarawak Cultural Village as well as a great golf course and some nice jungle trekking at Mount Santubong National Park where there is a range of trails from easy to challenging.

The beach itself is lovely, especially at sunset.

You can get a shuttle bus here from Grand Margherita Hotel or take local bus K15 from Saujana Bus Station. Otherwise, you can take a Grab taxi, but note that getting one back again can sometimes be difficult.

Click here to read our full guide to Damai Beach and everything there is to do there.

Take A Santubong Wildlife Cruise

Santubong Wildlife Cruise

For something quite different, go and experience Sarawak’s wildlife from a special cruise. These wildlife cruises sail along the Santubong River to the rivers and mangroves of the Santubong Peninsula (where Damai Beach is located), the mouth of the Salek Estuary and the Kuching Wetlands National Park to the north and northwest of Kuching.

As you cruise along, your guide will look out for Irrawaddy dolphins, proboscis monkeys, silver-leaf monkeys, crocodiles, long-tailed macaques, monitor lizards and a variety of birds. As the day darkens, there are fireflies to spot as well.

It’s a great opportunity to explore the natural side of this area some more. Some cruises also include dinner and will pick you up and drop you off at your hotel in Kuching. These cruises depart late afternoon making it easy to fit into your itinerary.

When I did this cruise, it was simply amazing. Not just the animal spotting, but how beautiful the whole area is as the sun sets. I watched Irrawaddy dolphins glide by for about 30 minutes, saw proboscis monkeys play in a tree, macaques and some great scenery. The fireflies at night are also a highlight.

This is definitely a tour worth doing.

Click here to join this wildlife cruise now or click here to read my full review of this cruise.

Spot Wildlife At Bako National Park

Bako National Park sea stacks

Established in 1957, Bako National Park is the oldest national park in the region and is among the best places to visit in Sarawak, Kuching. Located at the northern tip of the Muara Tebas peninsula, the park is accessed via a 15 minutes boat ride from Kampung Bako, approximately 35 minutes drive from Kuching.

Arrange your boat transfer to go past Bako’s most pictured attraction, the Sea Stacks. These oddly shaped but handsome sea stacks are natural art, formed by waves eroding cliffs and rocks across centuries. The edges can be seen from the beaches at the park, but for a closer (and much better) look join a dedicated boat ride.

The National Park is particularly famous for its diverse range of ecosystems with seven different types including rainforest, mangroves, swamps, dipterocarp forests and cliff vegetations. All attract a diverse amount of wildlife. 

The star of the show is usually the proboscis monkey, endemic to Borneo, but there is much more wildlife such as wild boar (bearded pig), monitor lizards, macaque monkeys, flying lemurs and more!  Visitors can choose from many track options through the extensive jungle trail-system, the shortest taking only 30 minutes through to serious multi-day treks.  

Bako National Park Telok Paku Trail turn off signs

Trails can be hard work with many lacking shade and involving climbing around tree roots. However, I did it with a bad ankle so you can too!

The more adventurous can even spend a night in one of the modest jungle lodges, giving time to tick off more wildlife viewings especially at night. A visit to Bako National Park is definitely one of the best things to do in Kuching!

You can visit independently, but a tour makes it all so much easier. You won’t have any dramas getting there and back and you’ll have a guide for the best chance of spotting wildlife.

Click here for discounted full-day tour tickets.

Address: Muara Tebas peninsula, Kuching, Sarawak

Click here for our full guide to visiting Bako National Park. It has absolutely everything you need to know about visiting here from how to get here to what trails you can hike.

Experience The Annah Rais Longhouse

Annah Rais Longhouse

Longhouses are traditional homes for most native Sarawakian tribal groups. These are long, narrow houses built from timber and bamboo, mostly elevated off the ground on stilts. 

Many of the traditional longhouses can only be found in remote areas in Sarawak, which can involve lengthy travel. Yet here in Kuching you can easily reach one: the Annah Rias Longhouse. Only an hour’s drive from the city centre, this is a truly exceptional and very popular tourist attraction in Kuching, Malaysia.

The Bidayuh Tribe, who make up 8% of Sarawak’s population, are the key residents at the Annah Rias Longhouse. Believed to be over 100 years old, the Longhouse has been greatly expanded with interconnected walkways forming a proper community village. It is one of the most intriguing places to see in Kuching, Sarawak.

Visitors may roam freely around the area and can see the Biyudah people going about their daily lives. To be fair, the area is relatively developed for tourists, but you can still witness the fascinating Biyudah history and culture through items such as a cylinder made of human skulls – believed to be from caught invaders, wall murals and an old wooden house that is miraculously still standing, and home to families today.

Shops sell local produce and handicrafts with one of the unique products to test being Tuak. This is a local rice wine that’s used in rituals and festivals as an offering to the worshipped spirits. This charming village is unique and pretty making it one of the most attractive places in Kuching, Sarawak.

Address: No. 9, Kupo Saba, Kampung Annah Rais Longhouse, Jln Borneo Height, 93250, Kuching, Sarawak

See The Famous Rafflesia Flower At Gunung Gading National Park

Rafflesia in Sarawak

The world’s largest flower Rafflesia can, when in full bloom, grow as large as a coffee table! It is famed just as much for its smell as its size – emitting an awful smell that it uses to attract insects. Gunung Gading National Park is one of the very few natural habitats for this rarely found flower. Let’s hope that you’re lucky enough to catch one in full bloom, one of the most incredible things to see in Kuching. 

Carefully built raised walkways take you to the area where Rafflesia buds are most commonly found. With only a short flowering time – of only a few days – to avoid disappointment, we encourage you to check with the park ranger before making your trip. 

In addition to Rafflesia, Gunung Gading National Park also offers various trekking trails taking you to numerous picturesque spots including a short trek through seven waterfalls, and a serious summit trail across a large dipterocarp forest to a former British Army Camp. Hiking enthusiasts will note this as one of the top 10 things to do in Kuching.

The easiest way to visit is on a guided tour. Click here to book one now.

Address: 94500 Lundu, Sarawak

Eat Kek Lapis

Kek lapis

The last thing to do in this list is also the most delicious – trying Sarawak kek lapis! This is basically layer cake. We couldn’t help but try some after admiring how good it looks.

It tastes just as good as it looks too!

It’s easy to find it in stalls along the waterfront in the evening. Or drop into Kek Lapis Mama Su. This shop opposite the river has many options you can try and buy. It’s the perfect way to top off a great day in Kuching.

Kuching Tourist Attraction Map

The following map shows you where all the attractions listed above are in Kuching. It also has our recommended hotel choices (coming up!).

Top Places To Visit In Kuching, Sarawak map

Best Place To Stay In Kuching, Sarawak

Similar to the wide choice of places to go in Kuching, Sarawak, hotel options are equally vast both in and out of Kuching. 

We have handpicked four properties at different price points and locations from a luxury resort by the coast to a convenient Inn located in the city. This way, we have provided our best recommendations for all types of travellers.

You can find our full guide to the best hotels in Kuching here. If you are looking for a Kuching Airport hotel, read our review of the Raia Hotel here. It’s directly opposite the airport.

BEST RESORT – Cove 55 Hotel Kuching Review

Cove 55 is a luxury boutique resort located at the foot of Mount Santubong, 35 minutes drive from Kuching city not far from Damai Beach. Upon arrival, visitors are dazzled by the 30-metre exquisite turquoise infinity pool that offers a panoramic view of the South China Sea. 

Rooms are aesthetically contemporary with a hint of tribal elements to highlight the hotel’s roots as an Iban family holiday home. All rooms feature either a private garden or a balcony that overlooks the pool and/or the sea. Basic room types are perfect for couples and their two bedroom suite accommodates up to two adults and two children, making an excellent choice for family travellers.

There’s a bar and restaurant on-site which features fresh local produce and Sarawakian cuisine, with the option of indoor or outdoor dining. You’ll find a great pool and gym to work away the kilograms at after!

Winner of Unique Luxury Hotel of the Year Malaysia and Luxury Boutique Retreat for the continent of Asia, Cove 55 offers a wonderful stay and is best suited for people who want a natural and luxurious resort while they are in Kuching.

Click here for the latest prices.

BEST IN KUCHING – The Waterfront Hotel Kuching Sarawak Review

The Waterfront Hotel Kuching Premier Twin Room with View

This 5-star hotel in Kuching is a great place to stay to be close to Kuching’s heart and attractions. Located on top of a shopping centre, a short walk from the riverfront, at the entance to Chinatown and close to the Borneo Cultures Museum, this hotel is a very convenient place to stay.

There are many different room options at this hotel which offer different views (try to get a river view room), sizes and extras. Suites come with spacious living areas and club rooms offer access to their private lounge. 

All rooms have free WiFi, flatscreen TVs, tea and coffee facilities, air-conditioning, minifridge, bathrobe and slippers, desk area and a lounge chair so you can’t go wrong. They are all clean and modern. Rooms come in twin, double and family options (with two queen beds).

There’s a great range of facilities including a restaurant that offers stunning river views. It also features an undercover pool with great views, a bar by the pool and a gym. Of course, there is also the shopping centre downstairs for super easy access to shops and more eating options.

I love staying at The Waterfront Kuching and I recommend it for you too.

Click here for the latest prices or click here to read our full review.

Pullman Kuching Hotel Review

places to visit in kuching sarawak

The Pullman Kuching Hotel is a beautiful property located right above a shopping mall and only 5 minutes walk from the Kuching Waterfront.

Reasonably priced for a 4.5 star hotel, this international branded hotel offers everything you would expect including a well-appointed fitness centre, spa and swimming pool.  And guests of the hotel have access to three restaurants and cafes that offer a wide array of Asian and international food. There’s also a bar by the pool and a lounge bar.

All rooms are spacious and well equipped with everything you need, even fitness gear!

Whilst superior rooms offer vibrant city views, deluxe rooms come with a spectacular waterfront view totally worth the additional cost  And for families, a family room comes equipped with one king and one single bed. There are also suites with separate living areas. 

BUDGET – Tune Hotel Waterfront Kuching Review

places to visit in kuching sarawak

Strategically located, Tunes Hotel is just a stone’s throw away from the Waterfront and is surrounded by major attractions such as both the Chinese and Sarawak Museums. Even though there is no on-site restaurant, you will find some great local Kuching cafes and eateries in the near vicinity.

The rooms are small, but they do have air-conditioning, tea and coffee making facilities and private bathrooms with some toiletries. You can choose between single, twin, double and family rooms which have a bunk bed and bedding for three.

Some rooms do not have windows which can help you save money.

There is a lack of facilities, and rooms are not cleaned during your stay. Otherwise, this is a great option for people looking for a budget hotel in Kuching.

How To Get To Kuching

Kuching Airport

It’s easy to get to Kuching by flight, bus or car (if you are already in Malaysian Borneo).

If you are coming from peninsular Malaysia, your only choice is to fly here.

To see all the latest flights and prices, click here .

If you need to take a bus from elsewhere in Sarawak, click here for the latest timetables and bus prices .

You can also hire a car to get you there by clicking here .

You can also read our guide to getting to Kuching from Kota Kinabalu (in Sabah) here or our guide to getting to Kuching from Sibu here.

Kuching With Kids

Kuching with kids

There are so many interesting places in Kuching, Malaysia that are excellent to go with kids. Within the city, hunting for cat statues and visiting the Cat Museum are both sure to get your youngsters excited. 

Children also love the experience of taking boats across the river to different places of interest in Kuching city. Be sure to include the various museums, especially the Natural History Museum for its animal exhibits.

Outside of the city, Kuching is surrounded by natural jungle and the nature that Borneo is famous for. Young and old have fun exploring the region’s national parks and trying to spot the vast amount of wildlife and especially seeing the jaw-dropping Rafflesia flower. 

And then there’s the feeding of orangutans at Semenggoh Nature Reserve and all the fun at the Sarawak Cultural Village with the locals dressed in traditional clothing and their old-style, unusual, homes to be discovered. My kids loved the opportunity to get up on stage at the cultural village during the dance performance.

You will not regret bringing your children for a holiday in Kuching, Malaysia.

Final Words

Chinatown In Kuching

Kuching has the perfect combination of being vibrantly modern with a twist of rich cultural vibe. This is a city where you may casually stroll aimlessly around the streets, taking in the artistic surroundings and admire the diverse cultural harmony. It’s a beautiful place both at its centre and in its surrounds.

Being the capital of Sarawak, it’s a busy city but just drive for half an hour and you’re in a primeval jungle, full of natural wonders. Truly an amazing city, it makes for a perfect starting point to your Borneo journey.

You can check out all the best Kuching day trips here. Find our full travel guide to Kuching here and our full guide to the best places to stay in Kuching here .

Planning a trip to Malaysia? Have any questions? Join our Malaysia Travel Planning Facebook group here now! It’s the perfect place to ask any questions and to be inspired!

Related posts:

places to visit in kuching sarawak

By Sharon Gourlay

Sharon is a certified Malaysia travel expert and can't get enough of travelling and talking about Malaysia since she first visited 21 years ago. She travels around Malaysia multiple times a year both alone and with her kids. She used to call Penang home and especially loves this food paradise. Sharon also has a Bachelor of Arts in Asian Studies, a Certificate III in International Travel Sales and has been certified by Tourism Malaysia as a Malaysia Travel Expert. Through this site, she'll help you have the perfect trip to this amazing destination.

The Crazy Tourist

Home » Travel Guides » Malaysia » 25 Best Things to Do in Kuching (Malaysia)

25 Best Things to Do in Kuching (Malaysia)

Kuching is the capital city of Sarawak which is part of East Malaysia and is located on the wider island of Borneo. Anyone who has been to Peninsular Malaysia will find that Sarawak has a very different feel, and Kuching in particular, thanks to its strategic location on the snake-like Sarawak River, is one of the prettiest spots in the region.

The city is known for being the home of a number of indigenous groups such as the Iban and the Dayaks, and people flock here to learn more about the unique culture found in this part of Malaysia. For many visitors, the highlight of a visit to Borneo is the chance to visit a traditional longhouse and see how people would have lived here in the days of old. History buffs can also spend time checking out the wide range of museums in town as well as the elegant buildings, many of which date from the colonial period.

You may also be surprised to find that Kuching is covered in statues of cats, and the reason for this is said to come from a miscommunication during the colonial period when the local people were asked the name of the city and thought that James Brooke, the first British Rajah of Sarawak, was pointing to a cat. As such they replied ‘kucing’, the Malay word for cat, and the rest is history. Whether or not the story is true, anyone who loves felines should make sure not to miss a trip to all the cat statues that adorn the city as well as the peerless Cat Museum.

Here are the 25 best things to do in Kuching :

1. Visit the Sarawak Cultural Village

Sarawak Cultural Village

Just a 35 minute drive outside of Kuching will take you to the Sarawak Cultural Village where you can learn all about the different indigenous groups that live in this part of Malaysia, as well as take in a range of local crafts and buildings.

There are live demonstrations which will teach you ancient techniques such as weaving, bamboo carving, and bead making and you can also tour this model village and check out all the architecture.

Just some of the sights on offer include a traditional Chinese farmhouse as well as a Penan hut, Iban longhouses, and a Malanau Tall House and the site sprawls over 17 acres so there is a huge amount to see and do here if you fancy an easy day trip out of the center of Kuching.

2. Stroll along the Kuching Waterfront

Kuching Waterfront

The most iconic part of Kuching, without a doubt, is its scenic waterfront which is where all the main action happens.

This part of town would have been used by warehouses in the days of old, but now you will find a pretty walking path that flanks the water and offers you amazing views over the main sights in town such as the Astana and the majestic Fort Margherita.

At night this is the place to see and be seen, and many young couples from Kuching choose this spot for a leisurely romantic stroll.

You will also find a selection of small cafes here and although the prices are a little higher than in other spots, the views more than make up for it.

3. Explore the Astana

Astana, Kuching

Astana is the Malay word for Palace and this iconic building dates from 1870 during the time of Charles Brooke who was also known as the Second White Rajah of Sarawak.

The Astana is now the official home of the Governor of Sarawak but it was originally built as a wedding gift for Ranee Margaret, the wife of Charles Brooke.

The complex is made up of three different bungalow areas which are joined by walkways and the Astana enjoys panoramic views over the waterfront of Kuching.

As this is an official state residence however, visitors are not permitted to enter the Astana grounds and you will have to make do with admiring this historical gem from afar.

4. Check out the Cat Museum

Cat Museum, Kuching

Kuching means cat in Malay, and as you will soon discover on a trip here, this is a city obsessed with cats.

To that end, make your way to the Cat Museum where you will learn all about the historical and cultural significance of these felines with over 2,000 cat-related exhibits on show.

Some of the highlights include a cat in mummified form that hails from Egypt and is said to date back 5,000 years as well as a mounted example of a Bay Cat which is a kind of wild feline that is indigenous to the island of Borneo.

As if all of that wasn’t enough, there are even sections dedicated to the story of Hello Kitty as well as the Broadway show Cats.

Certainly if you are looking for a quirky attraction to visit on a rainy day in Kuching then this is hard to beat.

5. Visit Kuching Mosque

Kuching Mosque

Kuching Mosque used to be known as the State Mosque of Sarawak so you may still hear it referred to by this name occasionally.

The original building would have been constructed as far back as 1847 and was made of wood, although it has since been upgraded and the building that stands now was completed in 1965. The mosque is decorated in pretty pink and white designs and is topped with a large gold dome that glints under the fierce Malaysian sun.

6. Learn some history at the Sarawak Museum

Sarawak Museum, Kuching

If you only have time to visit one museum in Kuching then the Sarawak Museum is an excellent pick.

The museum also has the claim to fame of being the oldest in Borneo and was founded in 1891 under Charles Brooke.

The museum is housed in a huge building that dates from the Victorian period and is, somewhat surprisingly, modeled on a traditional Normandy townhouse.

If you are interested in the culture of Sarawak, then the museum is a treasure trove of antiquities that include tribal weapons, models of longhouses, and a plethora of stuffed animals.

Another highlight is a model of the Niah Caves which are thought to be the source of the first human settlement in Borneo.

7. Shop at the Main Bazaar

Main Bazaar, Kuching

The Main Bazaar is actually something of a misleading name as this actually refers to a row of traditional shop houses that line the main street in Kuching.

The shop houses face the water and this is the place to come if you are looking for souvenirs or traditional arts and crafts.

Some of the items you are likely to find here include beautiful beads and jewelry as well as textiles that show off the intricate weaving techniques of the indigenous groups here.

8. Visit Tua Pek Kong Chinese Temple

Tua Pek Kong, Kuching

In additional to the many tribal communities here, Kuching also has a sizeable Chinese population and to that end you will find a number of Chinese buildings in the city including the Tau Pek Kong Chinese Temple which is an important place of worship for the Chinese community.

The temple is said to date from 1770 which makes it the oldest of its kind in Kuching and you can expect to find a riot of color here as well as intricate carvings that tell the stories of the various Chinese deities.

9. Travel to Bako National Park

Bako National Park

Bako National Park has the claim to fame of being the oldest national park in Sarawak and sprawls across almost 3,000 hectares of land.

This however actually makes it one of the smallest parks in Borneo in terms of its area which means that it is easy to visit as part of a day trip from Kuching and you can still manage to see a lot of the park in a short space of time.

The park lies on the Sarawak and Bako rivers and has an impressive seven different eco-systems within its boundaries including towering cliff sides and mangrove swamps.

You will also find scrubby grasslands here and animals abound including proboscis monkeys, macaques, and bearded pigs.

10. Visit the Old Courthouse

Old Courthouse, Kuching

The Old Courthouse is now actually the building that houses the official Sarawak Tourism Complex and dates from 1871. The complex is a great spot for history buffs to visit as it includes a wealth of interesting buildings such as a clock tower built during the colonial period in the Baroque style as well as a Renaissance Pavilion which is now used as the Textile Museum.

You can also explore the Round Tower which was constructed in 1886 and would have been a fort before becoming a dispensary as well as a memorial in honor of Charles Brooke.

The complex is conveniently located next to the main promenade in Kuching so it makes a good place to go for a stroll and take in the views over the water at the same time.

11. Admire the flowers at Gunung Gading National Park

Rafflesia Flower, Gunung Gading National Park

Many people on a visit to Kuching travel to the nature reserves in the hope of seeing orang utans and other forms of indigenous wildlife.

At Gunung Gading National Park however, the big draw is the flora rather than the fauna as this is one of the spots where the famous and rare rafflesia flower grows.

Rafflesia are known for being the largest flowers in the world and they bloom at the park throughout the year, so there is a good chance that you will be able to spot some no matter which time of year you visit.

As well as admiring the flowers you can also spend time in the park checking out the lush jungle trails and taking in the pretty waterfalls and tinkling streams.

If you are feeling energetic then you can even scale the peak of Gunung Gading Mountain.

The park is around 2 hours away from Kuching so it is possible to visit it as part of a day trip.

12. Shop at the Sunday Market

Satok Market, Kuching

The Sunday Market in Kuching is also often called Satok Market as it is located at Medan Niaga Satok and actually begins on Saturday and lasts until Sunday.

The market sprawls for several blocks and you will find a huge array of produce here including local delicacies such as salted fish and exotic fruits and vegetables.

There are also other treats on offer such as local honey and you can pick up other items like clothes, textiles, and toys.

13. Visit the Cat Statue

Cat Statue, Kuching

Kuching is covered in references to cats, but perhaps the most famous is the Cat Statue that sits at the entrance of the city.

The statue was built in the 1990s and soars to a height of 5 meters and resembles a large white feline with its paw raised.

If you happen to be here during holiday periods such as Christmas, the cat can also be found wearing a range of seasonal outfits.

14. Meet the turtles at Satang Turtle Island National Park

Satang Turtle Island National Park is made up of two islands in the form of Pulau Satang Besar and Pulau Satang Kecil which lie off the west coast of Sarawak.

You can visit the national park as part of a day trip from Kuching and the big draw here is the turtle conservation area and hatchery which is dedicated to the preservation of turtle eggs and their eventual release into the sea when they hatch.

You can also swim or snorkel off the islands and you will find a gorgeous underwater world here which is filled with pretty coral and an abundance of colorful fish.

15. Explore Fort Margherita

Fort Margherita, Kuching

Fort Margherita was built in 1879 and is one of the most iconic structures in Kuching.

It would have been constructed in order to protect the city from an imminent attack and nowadays you will find the Police Museum housed here which has an fascinating collection of ancient weaponry that includes cannons, swords, pistols, and cannon balls.

The fort and museum are located across the river from the main Kuching Promenade and you will need to take a scenic boat ride to get to it which is half the fun.

16. Have something to eat at Kubah Ria Complex

Kubah Ria Complex is one of the newest shopping areas in Kuching and lies on the Sarawak River close to Satok Bridge.

The main reason to come here is to check out the food scene, as you will find some 45 different cafes and eateries dotted around the building where you can try a feast of local delicacies.

Some of these to look out for include Sarawak Laksa which is a kind of delicious soothing soup as well as Mee Sapi or noodles with beef.

If you are looking for a quick way to try a range of local dishes under one roof then this is an excellent pick.

17. Get out on the river

Sarawak River, Kuching

Kuching is bisected by the Sarawak River and one of the best things about this city is the river views.

With that in mind, you can hire a traditional wooden boat and driver and go for a leisurely trip along the river that will let you enjoy the views over Kuching from the water.

Trips are negotiable and can range from a quick 10 minute jaunt to a longer journey that will take you to the outskirts of the city.

18. Discover Semenggoh Nature Reserve

Semenggoh Nature Reserve

Semenggoh Nature Reserve is around 40 minutes outside of Kuching so it is easy enough to visit as part of a day trip.

The reason that visitors flock here is to see the orang utans and the center had a rehabilitation program that lasted for some 30 years.

The center sits of 2.6 square miles of land and as well as the graceful orang utans you will also find birds, mammals, and reptiles roaming all over the forests.

The orang utans in the center have been released and are considered to be wild, but there are several feeding sessions a day when the animals may come to one of the main feeding platforms and this is your best chance of seeing them on a trip here.

19. Visit St. Thomas’ Cathedral

St. Thomas’ Cathedral, Kuching

You might not imagine that you would find a cathedral in Kuching but there is a sizeable Christian population here, hence the presence of St. Thomas’ Cathedral.

The building looks out over Padang Merdeka which means Independence Square and is easily spotted than to the ancient kapok tree than stands in front of it.

This is an Anglican cathedral which was built in 1954 and notable parts of the building to look out for include the barrel-vaulted ceiling which is painted bright crimson.

If you continue up the hill from the cathedral you will find the Bishop’s House that would have been the home of the first Anglican bishop in Kuching and is also one of the oldest buildings in town having been built in 1849.

20. Eat at the Open Air Market

Market Street, Kuching

Conveniently located on Jalan Market or Market Street is the Open Air Market which is something of a misnomer as it is actually made up of a covered area.

This is the place to come if you want to try traditional Malay and Chinese food and most of the market is made up of little stalls that focus on serving only one dish.

Some of the highlights here include traditional beef noodles and sio bi which are juicy pork dumplings.

21. Go kayaking on the Sarawak River


The Sarawak River runs through Kuching and if you are looking for an adventure then one of the best ways to explore it is to take to a kayak.

There are several companies such as Kuching Kayaking that will rent you a kayak and you can either paddle along the river or choose to go out into the open sea where you may even find pods of dolphins

22. Visit Annah Rais

Annah Rais Hot Springs

Annah Rais is some 100 kilometers outside of Kuching and is made up of a traditional Bidayuh longhouse which lies at the base of the majestic Borneo Highlands.

There are 500 local residents that live here and you can visit the longhouse and see how people have lived and worked here for centuries.

There are actually three different longhouses that you can explore here called Kupo Terekan, Kupo Saba, and Kupo Sijo and you can go on a tour where you will learn about some of the history and traditions of these ancient buildings.

23. Enjoy the Sarawak Timber Museum

The Sarawak Timber Museum is an unusual venue that tells the story of the timber industry in this part of Borneo.

To this end you will find displays dedicated to explaining the history of the timber business as well as displays of traditional wooden objects and an explanation of forestry across the region.

If you want to know more about one of the economic backbones of Sarawak then this makes a fascinating visit.

24. Visit the Sarawak Islamic Museum

Sarawak Islamic Museum

The Sarawak Islamic Museum lies close to the Tun Abdul Razak Hall and has some seven different galleries that are dedicated to different periods of Islamic art.

All the galleries face a leafy courtyard and you will find a huge range of artifacts such as a replica of the sword that is said to have belonged to the Prophet Muhammad.

If you like religious history then this is not to be missed on a visit to Kuching.

25. Explore the Indian Mosque

Some people may be surprised to know that there is a sizeable Tamil community in Kuching and the Indian Mosque is certainly one of the most unusual attractions here.

The building is located on the aptly named India Street (Jalan India) and you will find small emporiums here selling a wealth of heady spices.

On the same road lies the mosque which was built out of ironwood in 1836 by Tamil traders who settled in Kuching.

25 Best Things to Do in Kuching (Malaysia):

  • Visit the Sarawak Cultural Village
  • Stroll along the Kuching Waterfront
  • Explore the Astana
  • Check out the Cat Museum
  • Visit Kuching Mosque
  • Learn some history at the Sarawak Museum
  • Shop at the Main Bazaar
  • Visit Tua Pek Kong Chinese Temple
  • Travel to Bako National Park
  • Visit the Old Courthouse
  • Admire the flowers at Gunung Gading National Park
  • Shop at the Sunday Market
  • Visit the Cat Statue
  • Meet the turtles at Satang Turtle Island National Park
  • Explore Fort Margherita
  • Have something to eat at Kubah Ria Complex
  • Get out on the river
  • Discover Semenggoh Nature Reserve
  • Visit St. Thomas’ Cathedral
  • Eat at the Open Air Market
  • Go kayaking on the Sarawak River
  • Visit Annah Rais
  • Enjoy the Sarawak Timber Museum
  • Visit the Sarawak Islamic Museum
  • Explore the Indian Mosque

Wander With Jo

35 BEST Things to do in Kuching Sarawak in 2024

After two trips to Kuching, including two weeks volunteering with Orangutan Project at the MonkeeBar, I got many opportunities to travel in Kuching, like a local. Since I was staying in a volunteer house in the city, it was easy to just get a Grab or Uber to all attractions in Kuching city. This gave me ample chances to explore this lovely cat city and create this amazing list of things to do in Kuching Sarawak , heart of Malaysia.

From cute cafes to national parks, stunning sunsets to museums, there are plenty of interesting places in Kuching for a first-time wanderer.

Guide to Booking a Last Minute Trip to Kuching

Are you on a short trip to Kuching or have just a few days left before you fly? Well, worry not, with this handpicked list of tours and hotels, you are covered.

Must Try Kuching Tours

Bako National Park Tour  – Absolute must visit , read my post about Bako here.

Semenggoh Orangutan Centre 

Sarawak Cultural Village Tour 

Top Hotels in Kuching

Hornbill’s Nest  – Best budget stay with cozy rooms

Citadines Uplands Kuching  – Superb fully serviced apartments. Read my full review here .

Merdeka Palace  – Good location and fancy stay in heart of Kuching

In this Kuching blog, I will cover the best places to visit in Kuching, alongside some great activities in Kuching – the pretty cat city of Sarawak.

So, join me and experience some popular Kuching attractions, through my eyes.

30 Things to do in Kuching Sarawak For All Sorts of Travelers

what to do in kuching

Kuching – the cat city , is a no brainer stop if you are in Borneo and wondering what to do in Sarawak.  With so much to do for foodies, nature lovers, adventurers and the likes, Kuching will surely not disappoint.

things to do in kuching

If you are a true blue nature lover and prefer jungles over big city madness, Kuching is the perfect getaway. Think – orangutans, national parks, sea turtles, beaches and much more.

Here’s a quick video run through of some of the best things to do in Kuching city –

Hike in Bako national park

Bako national park happens to be one of my top spots for hiking in Kuching . It’s a lovely park for nature and wildlife enthusiasts and has the highest density of Proboscis monkeys, which are endemic to Borneo. You can also see the adorable Bornean bearded pigs here and enjoy a multitude of jungle hikes.

bako national park trail

Since the weather is hot and humid, Bako requires a fair bit of planning and packing essentials . Be sure to check out the guided night hike for a chance of one on one encounters with nocturnal animals in Bako.

In short, this park offers an amazing array of adventures and activities and tops my list of Kuching things to do.

Read my full post about Bako National Park here  

Look for Sea Turtles in Satang Island

Satang island can be a once in a lifetime experience if you visit during the turtle hatching season from April – September. If lucky, you can actually see turtles coming to the beach and laying eggs or the hatch-lings fleeing away to the big blue seas.

sea turtle satang

This can be an incredible experience and I documented my entire experience of watching this natural phenomenon in another blogpost.

Click here for my pictures and travel stories from Satang Island

Hop on the Irrawady dolphin tour

One of the best attractions in Kuching is a lovely mangrove tour to find the Irrawady dolphins. This starts from Damai beach and usually lasts 2-3 hours.

We were fortunate enough to see a bunch of playful dolphins up close (Even though I didn’t consider Kuching as a dolphin watching destination ) , Proboscis monkeys, few water birds, neon blue tiny crabs as well as a crocodile on this tour.

irrawaddy dolphin

The tour also covers a visit to the local fishing village, which offers a peek inside traditional village culture.

kuching fishing village

Click here to check out pictures from my Irrawady dolphin tour in Kuching

Orangutan Feeding at Semenggoh Nature Reserve

Semenggoh is a primate rehabilitation center which offers best chances of seeing Orangutans in ‘Semi-wild’, as they call it. Orangutans here are left free to roam in the reserve and the rangers call them out at fixed feeding time everyday to ensure they never run short of food in the wild. Hence, they are ‘semi-wild’ as sometimes during fruiting season, they might not come looking for fruits at feeding hour.

semenggoh orangutans

Early morning is the best time to visit Semenggoh so you can walk around a bit on your own and do some birding and hiking before feeding time at 0900 hours. The noon feeding time is at 1500 hrs but it gets very hot and it’s not a great time for bird watching either.

Rangers in Semenggoh are friendly and helpful. They would happily tell you about all Organutans in the park, their names and awesome facts about the park and these primates.

Entry ticket semenggoh

A visit to Semenggoh is a must-d0 family activity in Kuching Sarawak Malaysia.

Click here to book a hassle free tour to Semenggoh from Kuching. 

Bird Watching in Kuching Malaysia

As an avid birder, my sole mission was to find the best birding spots in Kuching and so, I did. In no particular order, these are the top 3 birding spots in Kuching –

Asian fairy bluebird

Kubah National Park –  The trails inside Kubah have ample fruiting trees which draw hoards of bird species. A quick early morning 3-4 hour birding session in Kubah is said to be extremely fruitful. Be sure to take an experienced guide along with. While in Kubah, also pay a visit to animal rescue center at Matang to understand what Project Orangutan stands for an how you can help.

Borneo Highlands Resort – This is a eco-wellness resort, around 45 mins from Kuching city center. The resort lies 1000 mtrs over sea level is nestled amidst dense forestation, making it ideal for highland birds. I could not check it out personally but all avid naturalists I met would swear by this place. The only criteria is you will have to start extra early around 0430 hrs to make it there on time for early morning birding.

Bako National Park – Bako was undoubtedly my favorite. Since the park rangers and guides don’t have immense birding knowledge (well, they know their kingfishers and sunbirds), its best to spend a few nights and zero in on best spots each morning. I had great luck around the restaurant area, which is also an excellent spot for Proboscis monkeys. During one of my morning birding sprees, I was lucky enough to spot a Proboscis without the usual tourist rush, well, i was the only one there at that time. I spotted a White bellied woodpecker and the Asian fairy bluebird, which were both lifers for me.

White bellied woodpecker

Tip – There is dearth of good birding guides in Kuching. Mr Yeo is the most popular (And expensive) guide but he s booked for months in advance and worth every cent he charges. However, if you are on a budget (like us), simply spend more time and look for fruiting trees, open areas near resorts and wake up early. It can be hard to find birds in the dense rainforests but keep your eyes open and binoculars handy, you can get lucky anytime!

Enter the world of Cats at the Cat Museum

Are you a cat lover? If so, I would highly recommend visiting the cat city of Kuching and definitely take a look inside this adorable cat museum. Surely one of the best indoor activities in Kuching to enjoy on a hot humid day.

Entry is free and it takes around an hour to go through all displays.

kuching cat museum

The cat museum in Kuching has some cute cat statues, many cat posters, cat adverts and cat figurines. However, the best part are the cat souvenirs which you can buy for just RM 10 for 3-10 pieces (Depending on what you buy). This amounts to $2.3 total, and you can choose from fridge magnets and keyrings.

Cat museum is surely among the top free things to do in Kuching .

Tip – Cat museum is open till 1700 daily, so I would recommend starting from Kuching city around 1500 (max) as the museum is located on the outskirts and can take a while to reach. 

Smell the Flowers at Orchid garden

Our third free entry spot in Kuching is the lovely Orchid garden . It is close to the cat museum so I would recommend visiting both together.

This greenhouse nursery boasts of over 82 species of Orchids including the Normah Orchid which is the state flower of Sarawak.

Orchid garden in Kuching

However, avoid an afternoon visit as it can get very hot and you lose half the fun in a rush to get out of the scorching sun. Not many Uber/Grab drivers and locals know this garden yet so search and save it beforehand on your phone GPS.

Volunteer at the Monkee bar

Follow my footsteps and do your bit by traveling responsibly. Help out where you can and since I am not too great at teaching, I choose to opt for animal welfare. MonkeeBar is in affiliation with Project Orangutan , which means 50% proceeds from the bar profits go towards orangutan conservation in Matang wildlife center.

volunteer monkeebar

There are two ways to volunteer with the Project Orangutan – paid and free. Paid volunteers stay in close proximity to the animals and help out by cleaning their enclosures, feeding (in rare cases), building enclosures or any odd jobs required around Matang. As a free volunteer, you cannot work directly with Orangutans but you can help out at the bar by doing usual bar work – cleaning, serving drinks, informing guests about the project and more.

You can read all about Project Orangutan  and how you can help by clicking here .

Get a tan at Damai Beach

This is surely one of the best beach resort destination in Borneo. With stunning coastline, dotted with Damai resort properties, this beach is popular with guests staying in these resorts, as well as locals/travelers who visit just to enjoy some beach time. If you are looking for laid back outdoor activities in Kuching, Damai has a few options plus a free tan.

damai beach sarawak

Several water activities and the mangrove tour are also organized by the resorts at Damai. Plus, this is one of the best spots in town for some great beach side dining options.

High Five the Cat Statues

Well, you are in cat city! You most certainly cannot ignore the multitude of amazing cat statues at important intersections in Kuching city. Why not try what I did and high five the adorable cat statues around town ? I soon discovered this was a LOT of fun 🙂

Cat Statues in Kuching city

I booked a Grab car and simply asked the driver to take me to all the cat statues in Kuching. I was told that the main cat statue (the white cat in pic above) is adorned in traditional clothes from time to time, like during Chinese new year, the cat wears a red dress and so on so forth. How utterly cute is that?

Be Mesmerized by the best Sunsets in Malaysia

Honestly, I experienced some of the best sunsets of Malaysia right here in Kuching. Some of the best things in life are free and sunset chasing is surely the best. Especially if you are wondering what to do in Kuching alone, well, nothing beats solo gazing at a stunning sunset.

My top sunset spots in Kuching were –

Waterfront – Walk towards the very end of the Waterfront, opposite the open air market. You will come to a dead end and usually a lot of photographers will mark the spot after 1800 hrs daily. The USP here is the sun fading over the city and mountains with the river in forefront, offering perfect reflections of the changing colors of the sky. This is also definitely the best place to walk in Kuching with lots of food and entertainment to keep you occupied.

sunset waterfront kuching

Bako National Park – You can find the most dramatic sunsets on the beaches of Bako. I love the crooked shaped mountain as the backdrop, sky always seems to be on fire and the Bornean bearded pigs make for excellent objects to shoot in this landscape.

bearded pig bako

Satang Island – The sunsets at Satang had the most beautiful and bright orange hues I have ever seen. This private island offers excellent sunset photography options with various objects on the beach – trees, fallen branches, crabs, rocks and the empty beach which help to create a stunning effect.

sunset satang kuching

Gulp Beer in Cool Drinking Holes

Well, I am surely biased so I will highly recommend having a few pints at the MonkeeBar or Bear Garden. Both of these bars are affiliated with Project Orangutan so 50% proceeds go towards Orangutan conservation efforts. So, if you are in Kuching and want to drink for a cause – Check these bars out.

monkeebar kuching

Other options are Junk, The Library or just head over to one of the many kiosks by the Waterfront to enjoy ‘after-party’ drinks at happy hour rates.

Walk along the Waterfront

THE place to be in Kuching, hands down is the beautiful waterfront. The Waterfront is a great place to walk around, eat out and chill with friends. Evenings are vibrant and lively with the lovely state legislate building, all lit up, casting amazing reflections on the water.

kuchin waterfront

You can choose to stroll the length of Kuching waterfront or even opt to take a guided river cruise.  There is a lot to do at the Waterfront like listen to live music, eat local food (at dirt cheap rates) or watch breathtaking sunsets. The sunset point is right at the end of the waterfront and makes for lovely views of sun peeking behind the mountains. So if you are wondering what to do in Kuching at night? A visit to the Waterfront is surely one of the top things to do in Kuching at night , apart from scoring the multitude of bars.

India Street

Okay so in all honesty, coming from India, the India street in Kuching didn’t impress me much. Narrow lanes, shops and a local mosque is basically all the street has to offer.

india street kuching

It might not be the best place to visit in Kuching, but, the India street is right across the beautiful Waterfront and the open air market so its easy to cover it with your Waterfront evening stroll. If nothing else, the vibrant colors and clothing might interest you.

Check out the Kuching Mosque

Kuching has some incredible architecture with jaw dropping backdrop of rainforests and mountains. So much so that everything looks ultra pretty in the cat city.

Kuching Mosque

Kuching city mosque and other lovely mosques in town stand tall and look stunning from every angle – throw in some cloud porn for good measure and you have a picture perfect setting. The city mosque however is the main one and one of the top Kuching attraction.

Visit the Quirky Upside Down Museum aka Rumah Terbalik

Okay so full disclosure – this was my first visit to an Upside down museum, so needless to say – I loved it to bits. I believe I saw a few upside down exhibits in London several years ago but nothing like this quirky museum in Kuching.

upside down kuching

So as everyone knows, things in the museum are upside down and you simply pose and click pictures to give a notion of hanging from the roof and fun stuff like that.

After this, I even visited the bigger better version in Penang but quite honestly, I would say the museum in Kuching was far better. The staff was super helpful and smiling vs. the staff in Penang’s Upside down who always seemed to be a rush, can’t blame them as they are super busy, but hey.. you can’t rush a good picture now can you?.

upside down house in kuching

Even though’s Kuching’s Upside down museum is small but its very new so with enthusiastic and helpful staff and lovely displays, this is surely a must visit. If you are wondering where to go in Kuching, this museum should be top of your list. If you are seeking for date ideas in Kuching, this museum will guarantee a fun time with your partner.

You can buy a combo ticket with the 3d Wonders museum (though, I didn’t try it personally). Ticket price for non Malaysians is RM 20. For any info, feel free to contact their responsive staff on their Facebook page .

Sarawak museum

Another one of those free things to do in Kuching is visiting the Sarawak State Museum. As the oldest museum in Borneo, it draws fair bit of crowds from all over Malaysia.

You can see stuffed animals and peek into the rural Bornean life and culture in the olden ‘headhunter’ days. My favorite part was a re-creation of a traditional long house. You can literally walk inside and see exactly how Sarawakians used to live, sleep, eat in their authentic village house.

Sarawak Museum

Photography is prohibited inside the museum but the lovely building makes perfect backdrops for your travel photos.

See the Famous Fort Margherita

Built by Rajah of Sarawak in 1879 along the Sarawak river, this is a important milestone in Sarawak’s history.

Fort Margherita was built with the sole purpose of safe guarding Kuching from pirates who would come via the river. Back in the day, a canon shot from the fort, used to mark the end of each work day.

Loiter around Padungan Street

Jalan Padungan is a bustling street full of lovely themed restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, bars and bakeries. This is the place to be for chilling or a day out with friends.

jalan padungan

Bar (or even restaurant/cafe) hopping can be easily done here and that’s what I did for over 2 weeks while volunteering at the bar. MonkeeBar is a short 5 mins walk from the street intersection which made this the perfect day hangout / work space for me.

Cat statues at Padungan st intersection

Kuching Old Courthouse

If you like to see heritage style architecture, pay a visit to the old courthouse which is now a tourism complex. It used to be the administrative center for Kuching and now hosts all sorts of events like weddings, corporate events and a multitude of indoor and outdoor private events.

Stay at Fancy Hotels

You can stay at lovely hotels without breaking the bank just because Kuching is an overall cost effective city to live in. I have personally stayed in Citadines apartment hotel, where they provide fully equipped apartments with all hotel comforts. Click to read my review of Citadines .

cooking jo

The other hotel I tried was Merdeka Palace hotel , which was also pretty amazing with close proximity to Plaza Merdeka shopping mall and a short walk from the bustling Waterfront.

Apart from these two hotels, I practically lived like a local in the volunteer house whilst walking/cycling to work everyday, hitching rides or taking a Grab car. I also lived in basic jungle lodges at Bako national park and Satang island.

Must Read –  top 10 amazing hotels in Kuching on TripAdvisor .

Bask in the Cafe Culture

Cafe culture in Kuching is simply amazing. As someone who is location independent, I love working from cafes while traveling. I get to try local food, drinks, meet people and just enjoy living like a local .. in a new country. Plus, it is so much better working from a cafe than your hotel, right?

bing kuching

From themed cafes like Feast & Furious (You are right, that’s Fast & Furious themed) to lovely coffee shops like – Bing, 21 Bistro, The Coffee Garden, Earthlings & more, its easy to immerse in the cafe culture here.

Attend the Rainforest World Music Festival

Kuching has a variety of events and festivals which attracts hoards of travelers from around the globe. I was fortunate enough to be invited as a guest of Sarawak tourism to attend the amazing Rainforest World Music Festival 2017 and I LOVED it!

RWMF hashtag

This absolutely makes it to my top 30 list. It was attended by over 20,000 Malaysians and foreigners this year and has a great vibe to it. Even though its trying to resurrect traditional instruments, the beats created are simply amazing. I never expected to have so much fun in a cultural music fest but this was way beyond my expectations and turned out to be a fun-filled event.

Fun photoshoots at RWMF

Lots of beer, great music and good company are the key elements to enjoy this festival – and of course, when it rains, things get a lot crazier.

Check out my video & pictures of RWMf 2017

Shopping in Kuching

Honestly, I am not big on shopping but I got some great deals for gifts, souvenirs and clothes at Plaza Merdeka. I also paid a visit to the biggest mall in Kuching – Spring Shopping Mall . However, the malls houses similar international brands like we have in India, so there was no novelty for me, at least.

India street and the open air market around the waterfront is great for street shopping. For example, I purchased a pair of slippers for 50 cents and no they are not branded but last for years.

Watch a Muay Thai match

Muay Thai is quite popular in Kuching, as in other parts of Asia. For the first time, I saw a Muay Thai match inside a mall (at Plaza Merdeka) and there was no place to step foot inside – that’s how much Sarawakians enjoy watching this sport. Bystanders were gawking at the champions from even upto 4th floor of the mall.

muay thai kuching

It was quite a frenzied affair, which also meant all shops were empty and I could roam around and shop with ease.

Buy Cat Souvenirs

You cannot visit the cat city and leave without cat souvenirs now, can you? Absolutely and most certainly not!

cat souvenirs

Purchase cute and cheap cat souvenirs and trinkets for just RM 10 ( USD 2.4) for 10 pieces at the cat museum, which is the cheapest I saw in the city. I also found a lovely cat print pashmina at Plaza Merdeka for RM 20 in their souvenir store on 1st floor. Apart from that, you can find souvenirs around the open air market at Waterfront or India street.

Try Local Food

You will NEVER be worried about ‘ What to eat in Kuching ‘. This city , like any other Malaysian city actually, is FULL of delightful delicacies around every corner. However, unlike peninsular Malaysia, Kuching is extremely cost effective.

Malaysian cuisine in kuching

My personal favorite restaurant is the Life cafe and for outdoor seating and local street food – head to the open air market at waterfront. Food kiosks offer dishes starting at just $1 and you can gulp ice cold beer as you enjoy the river breeze and lovely sunsets.

Stay Fit at Kuching Integrated Recreational center

Want to stay active while traveling ? Visit the Kuching Integrated recreational center to enjoy a variety of sports and activities to stay active, healthy and motivated. Take a jog around the huge park or dip in the pool, play a game of basketball or enjoy an open air Tai Chi class.

Meow Meow Cat Cafe

I love how Kuching city has all this cool cat stuff and I cannot stop recommending this destination to my cat loving friends. Another feature in the hat for this cat city is the enchanting Meow Meow cat cafe.

meow meow cafe

This is a lovely cat themed cafe with decor, drinks and food – everything themed around cats. Plus you can make new feline friends by playing with one of the 6 friendly in-house cats.

cute cat kuching

Entry is just RM 10 ($2.3) which includes a drink from their menu. What’s not to like about this cute cafe? I say, head straight to Meow Meow when you visit Kuching! Surely one of my favorite hidden places in Kuching. 

cat cafe kuching

Cooking class with a local

Many locals offer cooking classes where you can learn the local cuisine. These classes can be quite fun too and start at around RM 50 ($11.6).

Benefits of taking a class with a local is you experience the local lifestyle first hand by cooking with them and understanding all ingredients and process. What you want to learn will depend on you but the popular dishes are Roti canai and Laksa .

My friend gave this class a shot and even though it was her worst attempt at making Roti canai, she had a blast.

For booking a cooking class, feel free to contact this number (Whatsapp/Call) – +601136316579

[BONUS Things to Do in Sarawak Kuching – Updated]

During my latest research on Kuching, I realized there are several attractions and fun things to do which I had missed visiting during my trip to the cat city. 

However, these can make for great additions to your Kuching sightseeing list so here are my 5 bonus things to do in the cat city of Kuching – 

Try Water Sports in Kuching

I love exploring water activities during my trips – be it surfing in Bali or wakeboarding in Hradec Kralove , tubing in Vang Vieng or paddleboarding in Big berry . 

With around 1050 kilometres of coastline, the Sarawak coastline is the second-longest in Malaysia. This ensures that Kuching has ample coastline for those interested in water sports activities.

If you are looking for adventure activities around the coast you can head for various kayaking spots where you can admire the spectacular and natural scenery of Kuching.

Also, those looking for underwater activities can try scuba diving and snorkelling here. You can find many scuba diving instructors and schools to help you learn how to scuba dive and snorkel if you are doing this for the first time. You can also try river cruising and enjoy the views of Kuching from a river.

Hike Mount Santubong

When you are exploring Kuching you can see Mount Santubong from a distance as it is one of the highest mountains in Sarawak. Nestled within a gazette national park this is one of the best places for hiking. Being one of the highest mountains in the area, hikers are rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of the city and the Sarawak River.

With more than 4 hours of hiking activity, you will need enough stamina and strength to hike up the mountain. If you are looking for a day-long hiking activity hiking Mount Santubong or Gunung Santubong is one of the things you must do when you are in Kuching. 

This is a popular Kuching tourist attraction which I am actually sad about missing, as a hiking enthusiast myself. 

Spend Time at Sarawak Cultural Village

Kuching has a long history of indigenous people living here for many centuries. Visiting Sarawak Cultural Village is one of the things you must do to find out more about the local culture and traditions and even the local arts and crafts.

Spending time at the Sarawak Cultural Village is a great way to go back in time and learn about the local architecture and other ancient techniques such as bead making, bamboo carving and weaving.

This cultural centre is Sarawak’s only living museum offering you a virtual tour of ethnic houses, try authentic Kampung food through the menu they offer multi-cultural dance performances as well. This is surely one of the top things to do in Sarawak. 

Click here to book a guided Sarawak village cultural tour. 

Pray at the Tua Pek Kong Chinese Temple

Over many centuries many Chinese immigrants have settled in the city making Kuching their permanent home. Hence, you will also find one of the oldest Chinese temples here in Kuching.

It is estimated that the Tua Pek Kong Chinese temple was built in 1770 for the Chinese community settled here. The temple structure has intricate carvings that convey the stories of Chinese deities.

While the temple did suffer heavy damage during the Japanese invasion during the WWII era, the structure has been restored and today it has become a part of the Kuching Heritage Trail. The temple overlooks the Sarawak River and has become a focal point for the Chinese community living in Kuching. 

Explore Kuching Wetlands National Park

best things to do in kuching

Visiting the Kuching Wetlands National Park can offer you a unique experience as you cover the saline mangrove plantations which are now the only existing part of Sarawak Mangrove Forest Reserve.

Going on a river cruise in this national park offers you a unique perspective and allows you to see the untouched natural beauty hard to find elsewhere. On this river cruise you pass through quaint Malay fishing villages, endangered species of birds and wild crocodiles basking in the mud.

Being on a river cruise during the evening hours provides a magical experience as you watch the sunset over the horizon and see those golden rays light up the water as well. You can say its one of the best place in Kuching city for nature lovers. 

Where to Stay in Kuching, Sarawak?

Kuching has all sorts of accommodation from private room rentals for long term or short stay options for tourists (which we will cover here).

Budget stays and Hostels in Kuching

Sunset homestay –  Highly rated accommodation offering mixed dorms for travelers.

QuiikCat – Private rooms close to the waterfront, without breaking the bank.

Hero hostel – One of the best rated centrally located hostels in Kuching.

Hornbill’s Nest Kuching – At 5 bucks a night, dorms here are cozy clean and comfortable.

Mid-Range Hotels in Kuching

The Lime tree hotel   – One of the top-rated properties in Kuching, with a rooftop lounge and a short walk from the waterfront.

Dorset Boutique hotel – Cozy rooms in the heart of Kuching city.

Luxury accommodation in Kuching

Hilton Kuching – Located in the bustling Kuching waterfront, Hilton is a class apart with its stunning pool and 6 in-house dining options. As ideal pitstop while you explore places to go in Kuching. 

Citadines Uplands Kuching – This was my choice of stay in Kuching so I can highly recommend these fully serviced apartments. Read my full review here .

Imperial suites Kuching – Fully serviced cozy apartment hotel in Kuching.

How to Stay Insured During your Trip to Kuching

Traveling to Kuching?  Don’t forget to purchase travel insurance!

  • The price is 1/3rd of the price of the biggest competitor for similar coverage
  • Offers worldwide coverage as well as limited home country coverage (up to 30 days every 3 months, or 15 days if your home country is the US)
  • Available for purchase in 180 countries and can be purchased while already traveling
  • It works like a subscription, you can choose your start date and cancel any time
  • You can also select specific dates, with a minimum of 5 days
  • 24/7 support is available
  • 1 young child per adult (up to 2 per family) aged between 14 days and 10 years old can be included with no additional cost

Click here to read more or to buy SafetyWing Insurance and stay safe on your travels. 

Kuching Attractions Map

Here are some of the best places to visit in Kuching, all jotted down on a map to give you an idea of distances in the city –

things to do in kuching sarawak

What to do in Kuching for 3 Days?

Okay so I spent over 3 weeks in Kuching so obviously there was a lot to see in do. If you only gave 3 days in the cat city be sure to check out the cat museum, statues, good food and laid back bars. Keep it short and don't pack it with the multitude of Kuching activities.

What is Kuching Famous For?

Kuching's top attractions are surely - Bako national park (Definietly my favorite too), Cat museum, Kuching waterfront, Sarawak museum, City mosque and Damai Beach.

What to Buy in Kuching?

Since I was in Kuching for almost a month ofcourse I was expected to bring back souvenirs. So I decided to check the best souvernirs from Kuching to bring back as gifts. Personally, I loved the cat themed clothes (a little hard to find but one shawl is still my favorite), Black pepper, coffee and many cool local Malay food items. Textiles and Bornean artifacts from the headhunter tribes can also make for interesting gifts.

What to do in Kuching Waterfront?

Take photos of sunsets, listen to live music, take a traditional boat cruise on the river and eat amazing food. The waterfront was my favorite place for easy evening strolls.

Kuching is the gem of East Malaysia and a Sarawak must visit city. If you happen to be headed to Borneo, enjoy one of the many interesting and fun things to do in Kuching as listed here or try something different on your own. Do share your must-do’s and anecdotes from your time in Kuching city with me in comments or feel free to drop me an email .

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22 thoughts on “35 best things to do in kuching sarawak in 2024”.

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Such a great, in depth guide. I’ve never been to Malaysia but if I do this would be a great reference!

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Wow, what an amazingly comprehensive post! I knew about the Orangutan Feeding, and was also aware of the chances to see sea turtles and the appeal of exploring nature and wildlife via the national parks and beaches. But thanks for the recommendations for all the other things to do! I want to visit the Cat Museum and the Upside Down Museum, that last one is an instagrammer’s dream! I also love gardens, so the Orchid Garden is now on my list. Food is a big passion of mine so eating locally and taking a class would be high priorities for me.

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Hi Kavey, Totally agree on IG’er’s dream – reminds me I need to add more frm Kuching to my IG 🙂 There’s tons to see in Kuching itself and I soooo wanna explore more parts of Borneo. Have you visited already?

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Wow, there is certainly a lot to do in Kuching! I love that all the activities are so varied too. How many days do you think is good for a visit, based on all these things to do?

I would say, at least two weeks 🙂

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There’s a great balance of cultural and outdoor activities here. I love cats and would definitely spend some time at the cat museum. And I never say no to a good hike!

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Honestly bookmarking this page and sending it to my husband as a possible travel option for next summer! I love the cats being everywhere (crazy cat lady here), and that there are opportunities to meaningfully volunteer and help with wildlife. Great and informative post. Also that upside down museum is AWESOME!!

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omg I would LOVE to see the sea turtles!! It’s on my bucket list to see them in person. They’re such marvelous creatures!

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Kuching is the best isn’t it!! Bako was one of the highlights of all our time in Asia to be honest, such an amazing place! But hey, my favourite thing to do in Kuching was to come and sink a few beers with you at the monkee bar!! ha ha!

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I’ve never heard of Kuching but you have highlighted so many fun things to do. I’ll have to look more into it. I especially loved the museum. It looks quite fun for posing for pictures.

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Looks like an amazing place Jo. My favourite – the upside down museum. Loved all the photos of you in unusual places. The Citadines reminded me of the hotel I always stayed at when I was in Melbourne for work many years ago. Always a comfy place to stay.

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I had no idea this was such a cat-crazy city! What with all those cat statues, the cat museum and the cat souvenirs – how crazy! But also totally what I’d be wanting to see ha ha!

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So many fun activities to choose from! I’d love to visit Kuching, thanks for sharing 🙂

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Excellent article – I will be in Kuching early January 2018!! Being a massive cat lover ( juts returned from St Petersburg Russia ) which is also cat crazy city…. Will definitely use your trip report as a guide!! Any tips on Airport transfers to Hotel? Do you have any trip reports on Kota Kinabalu

Hey Johan, Glad you enjoyed the article and well you will surely love Kuching esp as a cat lover 🙂 Well use grab or uber from airport they are super cheap. Depending on where in the city you stay, fares start at JUST 4RM. Sorry I haven’t been to Kota Kinabalu yet (its on my list) but def visit Bako national park, near Kuching. Here’s my guide – https://www.wanderwithjo.com/bako-national-park-haven-wildlife-enthusiasts-nature-lovers/ Have fun and do share your experience with me once you are back!

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I’ve stayed in Citadine twice! Love that hotel… and I loved how convenient it was to just walk over to the Springs and find dinner. Sakai is my fave sushi spot!

Good to know. wow i totally missed Sakai – next time.

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I found kuching very boring

Sorry to hear, did you try some of these things?

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Really great in depth guide 🙂

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went there with my phillipines friend some years ago and while I was fascinated with the head hunter display across the river and textile museum ,there seemed to be much that was either being renovated or simply closed the orangotang refuge appeared to be on hold and no help from any staff we came across also a trap //the bus there had a very loose idea of any itinerary,,we got stranded there and managed to flag down a car to enjoyed the boat across to the fort and admin building being constructed and those head hunter skulls nearby //nice hotel and would go back to see changed things..of course/things have changed dramatically anyway now /would still like to receive info so will add my e mail address//vey good presentation from you chrs ted partridge new Zealand 02102651883 ps/it was actually yr 2008 was there

Ah yes ups and downs are part of any trip, Ted. I have my own set of travel fails – https://www.wanderwithjo.com/travel-fails/ Wow it must’ve changed a lot since 2008 – For me, its been few years already and I would want to go back too. Maybe once this is all over.

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Travel with My Lens

Top 12 places to visit in Kuching (attractions within the city)

Posted on Last updated: January 26, 2024

Categories Sarawak , Visit Malaysia

Top 12 places to visit in Kuching

We recently spent a week in Kuching and visited many of the renowned places in the city. In this article, we want to share our experiences and suggest the best places to visit if you travel to Kuching. Our story is based on our experiences and perspectives, and we took all the photographs in this article.

We will focus on the places to visit in Kuching City only. We plan to write a separate article for all the places we visited within a two-hour drive from Kuching City. Also, we arranged our list of places to visit in the order that we visited them, so it does not mean that the first place listed is the most important or the last place listed is the least important.

If you want to learn what to eat in Kuching, we have a separate article dedicated to Kuching’s food.

Here is the list of places to visit in Kuching based on our trip to Kuching.

1. Kuching Waterfront Esplanade

The Kuching Waterfront Esplanade, located along the south bank of the Sarawak River, should be on top of the list of places to visit in Kuching. It offers beautiful river views and is a popular spot to experience the city’s cosmopolitan vibes. It is just a few minutes from Carpenter Street, Chinatown. 

The waterfront runs alongside the Sarawak River and is best visited in the evening. We came here before sunset and waited until after dark to see it lit up.

There are many famous buildings in this area, with the latest addition being the tallest flag post in Malaysia, located on the opposite side of the river.

Kuching Waterfront Esplanade, flagpost tallest

We walked around the Waterfront and took lovely pictures of the Sarawak River with the cruise sailing along. Here is the perfect spot to view the Dewan Undangan Negeri across the river.

We also strolled to the Darul Hana Bridge, but it started to rain. Now is December, which is already the start of the monsoon season. So we headed back to our car and stopped by the Square Tower.

a. Dewan Undangan

Dewan Undangan day

On the other side of the river is the impressive Dewan Undangan building. There’s also a jetty where you can join a waterfront cruise to tour the Sarawak River.

Astana at Kuching, places to visit in Kuching

b. The Square Tower

The Square Tower, Kuchig, places to visit in Kuching

The Square Tower is a historic fort and prison built in 1879, located on the Waterfront on the south bank of the Sarawak River; it has served various purposes throughout its history, including as a jail, administrative office, and dance hall. The building is a significant historical remnant from the Brooke era of Kuching’s history. It is now home to the Magenta Restaurant, a fine-dining restaurant in the historic fort.

c. The Darul Hana Bridge

The Darul Hana Bridge is a pedestrian bridge in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia. It was completed in November 2017 and spanned over the serene Sarawak River. The bridge connects the City North with the City South. The Darul Hana Bridge is known for its dynamic twisting shape, which offers a unique and visually appealing sight.

The bridge is designed with Yin and Yang, symbolizing the balance of cultures living together. It has two masts, inclined in opposite directions, and a walkway made of precast concrete slabs. The bridge has several resting areas where you can enjoy a spectacular panoramic view over the river. It is decorated with colored night lights, adding a vibrant touch to the city’s Waterfront at night.

floating mosque, kuching, places to visit in Kuching

One of the best places to capture a stunning photo of the floating mosque at night is from this bridge.

During the day, visitors can enjoy scenic views of Astana, Fort Margherita, Dewan Undangan, the tallest flag pole in Malaysia, and the Malay villages across the river. The best time to visit is after sunset when the esplanade comes alive with vibrant nightlife. 

2, The Cat Monuments

There are a few cat monuments in Kuching. Kuching is thought to have derived its name from the Malay word “kucing,” which means cat. 

The most famous Cat Monument features a family of cats known as “The Cat Family.” This iconic statue is located at the golden triangle of Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, in front of the Grand Margherita Hotel and beside the Riverside Majestic Hotel. The statue consists of a father cat, a mother cat, and seven kittens. It has been in place for nearly 30 years and is one of the most photographed spots in Kuching. 

places to visit in kuching sarawak

Another notable cat statue is the Cat Monument in Kuching China Town, in front of Padungan Road, near the city center. This monument features a cat wearing different styles of uniform. 

the cat statue, places to visit in Kuching

There is also the Padungan Roundabout Cat Statue, a 2.5-meter-high statue of a white cat with its front left paw raised as if waving at visitors.

In addition to these statues, Kuching is home to several other cat-themed public spaces and roundabouts

cat statue MBKS

Cat and the name of Kuching

here are different versions of the origin of the name. One version suggests that when James Brooke, the first White Rajah, asked a local Malay guide about the settlement’s name, the guide thought he was pointing to a cat and replied, “Kuching,” and the name stuck.  Another version suggests that the name “Kuching” might have derived from the Kuching River, a small stream that flowed from the direction of the Kuching Reservoir Park (Reservoir Park, Kuching). The name has been associated with the city since the Brunei rule, and it is also suggested that “Kuching” means “mata kucing” (cat’s-eye in Malay) for the longan fruit, a popular trade item.

3. Chinatown of Kuching

carpenter street of china town kuching, places to visit in Kuching

There are two main Chinatowns in Kuching. One is at Padungan Street, and the other is at Carpenter Street. The Hong San Si Temple is situated to the east, while the Old Court House and Round Tower are located to the west.

Both of these areas have many well-preserved shophouses, which are worth exploring for their unique architecture. Small food stalls, bars, and shops sell various items in these areas. We walk around these areas and have dinner several times.

china town shop made coffee jug

4. The Chinese History Museum Kuching

The Chinese History Museum Kuching was constructed in 1912 and was initially used as a court by the Chinese people until 1921. After that, it was taken over by the Chinese Trade Council. In 1993, the building was converted into the Museum of Chinese History, 

The Chinese History Museum Kuching, places to visit in Kuching

The outside of the museum is prominently painted in pink. Once we enter the museum, we can see a pair of ivory sculptures. 

The museum is situated opposite the Tua Pek Kong temple. It traces the history of the various Chinese dialect groups in Sarawak.

The Chinese History Museum Kuching, places to visit in Kuching

The museum also showcases some of the Chinese political leaders in Sarawak. 

It is open from Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 4:45 pm and on Saturday, Sunday, and public holidays from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Admission is free. 

The Chinese History Museum Kuching classroom

Various artifacts, documents, and exhibits depict the Chinese community’s journey in Sarawak, including their traditions, culture, and contributions to the state. 

Besides, traditional Chinese musical instruments and a replica of an old primary school classroom are on display.

The Chinese History Museum Kuching festival, places to visit in Kuching

Also, there are stories about some of the main festivals the local Chinese community celebrates.

5. Tua Pek Kong Temple

Tua Pek Kong Temple is opposite the Chinese History Museum.

Tua Pek Kong Temple kuching entrance

It is also known as Siew San Teng Temple, the oldest Chinese temple in the city, and is part of the Kuching Heritage Trail. The temple is believed to have existed before 1839, and several renovations in the 19th century. 

Tua Pek Kong Temple prayer

The temple survived the 1884 Great Fire of Kuching and the Japanese invasion during World War II, with its structure remaining intact despite the surrounding damage. It is ornately decorated and is said to have the best Feng Shui location in the city. 

Tua Pek Kong Temple

6. Fort Margherita.

Fort Margherita is an ancient fort constructed in 1879 by Charles Brooke, the Rajah of Sarawak. The fort was built in the style of an English castle to safeguard Kuching from pirate attacks. Today, it houses the Brooke Gallery, an exhibition showcasing Sarawak’s history under the Brooke dynasty. The fort was named after Charles Brooke’s wife, Ranee Margaret.  

Fort Margarita

The battlement of the three-story tower block includes a watchpoint on top, a courtyard surrounded by a high wall with sharp glass shards inlaid for protection, and wooden windows set into the wall where the cannons were fired. 

Fort Margarita

The spiral stairs between each floor are not easy, but it is worth exploring all the floors, especially if you want to know more about the history of Sarawak during the White Rajahs.

Fort Margarita

7. Malaysia-China Friendship Park

The Malaysia-China Friendship Park is a 2.8-hectare man-made park commemorating the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and The People’s Republic of China. It was established in 2004, the year of Malaysia-China friendship, and was funded by the governments of both countries.

places to visit in kuching sarawak

As you enter the park, you’ll be welcomed by beautiful white stone lions. The park offers stunning views of the Tea Pavilion and the lake, featuring a large pond full of fish. 

places to visit in kuching sarawak

The popular attraction in the park is the giant statue of Zheng He (Cheng Ho), a Chinese explorer who commanded expeditions to Southeast, South, Western, and East Africa from 1405 to 1433. Admiral Cheng Ho played a significant role in Malaysian history. He accompanied Princess Hang Li Po and 500 ‘Dayangs’ (ladies in waiting) to marry Sultan Mansor Syah of Melaka. This led to mixed marriages that birthed the ‘Baba and Nyonya’ in Malaysia.

The statue of Cheng Ho and the stone platform-shaped Chinese junk were built at one end of the lake, facing away from the Tea Pavilion. It is between 30 and 40 feet tall and is believed to be one of the world’s largest statues of Cheng Ho. It stands before a stone junk, with his right hand stretched out in greeting while holding royal diplomatic scrolls. 

places to visit in kuching sarawak

8. Sarawak Islamic Information Centre

The Sarawak Islamic Information Center is a place that may not be included in the list of must-visit places in Kuching. However, after I visited this place, I recommend taking some time to explore the unique architecture of the building.

Sarawak Islamic Information Centre

The Islamic Information Centre was established on August 17, 2008, to promote and communicate the universality of Islam and create a better understanding of the religion among Sarawak’s multi-ethnic and multi-religious population.

Sarawak Islamic Information Centre

The most prominent feature of this building is its architectural design. It perfectly blends various ethnic designs from different groups in Sarawak.

It features a combination of various ethnic identities, highlighting the true Islamic universality with no distinction between different races and cultures.

Sarawak Islamic Information Centre

Upon entering the building, we counted all six designs: Chinese, Malay House, Iban longhouse, Bidayuh Baroque, Melanau High House, and Orang Ulu. All of these designs represent the main ethnic groups in Sarawak. The architecture of the building signifies “One Religion, Many Cultures,” where Islam is universal and not exclusively specific to Malays or Arabs.

It is highly unlikely that you will find Islamic architecture with such a unique design anywhere else.

9. Borneo Cultures Museum

Borneo Cultures Muzeum is the second-largest Southeast Asian museum, a modern five-story building. It should be one of the places to visit in Kuching, regardless of the duration of your visit.

Borneo Cultures Museum

The museum’s first floor is the lobby, where you can find the auditorium, function room, and VIP lounge.

On the second floor, you can explore the Children’s Gallery and the Arts & Crafts section, which has several areas where kids can engage in various activities. It has sensory booths offering an interactive learning environment to keep children entertained.

Borneo Cultures Museum

The third floor is the main gallery called In Harmony with Nature. It is the largest gallery in the museum, offering 2,188 sq m of exhibition space. Here, we learn about the close relationship between local communities and their surrounding environments. It also lets us embark on a river journey through three major geographical regions- sea, mountain, and forest.

Borneo Cultures Museum

The fourth floor is the Time Changes gallery. Here, we journey through time and explore changes across the ages. We learn about archaeological discoveries across Sarawak’s network of caves, the history behind the formation of Sarawak and its regions, and the rise of nationalism within the state. It tells the entire history of Sarawak, from the prehistoric era to the modern times.

Borneo Cultures Museum

The fifth floor is the Objects of Desire gallery, which showcases the intricate handicrafts of the tribes in Sarawak. These range from mats and beadwork to clothing and reflect skilled craftsmanship that has yet to be seen since.

10. Cat Museum

The Cat Museum in Kuching is the largest museum dedicated to cats worldwide. It was founded in 1993 at the Petra Jaya in the Kuching City North City Hall.

Cat Museum

The museum houses over 4,000 artifacts, including paintings, a gallery of feline-related advertising, and memorials related to cats. It tells the history of cats back 5,000 years, and the museum’s highlight is the mummified cat from ancient Egypt.

Cat Museum

If you love cats, this museum is the ultimate paradise for you. But even if you’re not a cat lover, it’s still one of the worthy places to visit in Kuching.

11. The Kuching Old Courthouse

Kuching Old Courthouse Kuching

The Kuching Old Courthouse was built in 1868 and completed in 1874. It served as the administrative center for the government of Sarawak until 1973. 

In 2003, the building was converted into the Sarawak Tourism Complex. The architecture of the building is notable, consisting of four blocks and featuring an ironwood roof. 

The Food Journal Group now manages the Old Courthouse, a heritage building catering to private events and corporate functions.

12. Taman Perpaduan

Taman Perpaduan

Taman Perpaduan is a park that promotes unity and harmony among the diverse communities in Kuching. The park serves as a public space that provides recreation and relaxation opportunities. The park offers a peaceful and serene environment where people from different backgrounds can interact and learn about each other’s cultures.

Taman Perpaduan

During the evening, we visited the park and saw many locals jogging, exercising, and spending quality time with their families. The park’s main features are a beautiful lake with a fountain and a unity statue with two hands holding together.

Other places to visit in Kuching (within a two-hour drive from the Kuching): 

We have visited several places within Kuching City. However, we will not provide detailed information about them in this article, as we plan to write another article about places to visit outside the city but within the distance of a day trip. To give you an idea of the places you can visit, here is a list of the places we have already visited.

  • Bako National Park- to view the stunning sea stacks, look for beared pigs and proboscis monkeys, and enjoy walking on the trails.
  • Sarawak Cultural Village- A place to learn about the culture of various tribes and visit the traditional houses.
  • Semengguh Wildlife Centre – A place to get close to the Orangutan in the wild.
  • Annah Rais Longhouse – Visit the Bidayuh longhouse, understand the culture, and enjoy traditional food with the family.
  • Kubah National Park – One of the best trails we had it during our trip, especially if you like jungle tracking and waterfalls.
  • Gunung Gading National Park – The best place to observe Rafflesia Blooming. 
  • Matang Wildlife centre – A center to rehabilitate orangutans.
  • Fairy Cave and Wind Cave are beautiful caves with standing rock formations, stalactites, and stalagmites formations; look for bats, swiftlets, and underground rivers.
  • Paku Rock Maze Garden – This unique rock formation is a mini pinnacle.
  • Serikin is a border town with Indonesia where they offer a variety of goods brought in from Indonesia, including fabrics, rattan mats, and other traditional products.

Friday 26th of January 2024

Not being a troublemaker, but the stone bench in your photo is obviously being held by a cat ( which makes total sense ) and a panda, ….not orangutan.

Thank you for bringing the mistake to my attention. I have fixed it and appreciate your help.

31 Things To Do In & Around Kuching, From Breathtaking Caves To Malaysia’s Biggest Museum

places to visit in kuching sarawak

Things to do in and around Kuching

As the biggest state in Malaysia, Sarawak has much to offer with its abundance of natural wonders.

If you’ve been meaning to travel to East Malaysia but can’t decide on where to start, the capital of Sarawak, Kuching is a good place to begin. Here’s our starter guide to things to do in and around Kuching.

– Sightsee –

1. fort margherita – learn about the white rajahs’ history.

things to do in kuching - fort margherita

Visiting Fort Margherita and learning the history of how Sarawak was formed would ring a bell to most Malaysian high school students who paid attention during Sejarah lessons. The names James and Charles Brooke, after all, have been repeated consecutively in our textbooks and exams.

For those who enjoy history, Fort Margherita is where you can learn all about Sarawak’s birth in great, nitty-gritty detail at their 3-storey Brooke Gallery .

things to do in kuching - fort margherita brooke gallery

Dedicate an afternoon to find out how The White Rajahs came to East Malaysia, how they formed an administration, the battles between the rebels and the supporters, and how the Brooke dynasty came to an end. You can also view exclusive artifacts, original hand-written letters, weapons, and many more.

Fort Margherita was initially constructed by Charles Brooke in 1879 by the Kuching river to guard the area from pirates back then.

After touring it, cross the river via the Darul Hana Bridge to The Ranee Museum at Old Court House, where your Brooke Museum ticket will also grant you entry. Named after Queen Ranee, Sarawak’s second Rajah’s wife, it’ll bring you through her life as queen, her family history, and her memorabilia. Shop the souvenirs here for a takeaway from your Sarawak trip.

All visitors to the fort and the Brooke Museums must be fully vaccinated.

Entrance fee: RM10 locals, RM20 foreigners, free for children under 7 (includes admission to Brooke Gallery) Address: Petra Jaya, 93050 Kuching, Sarawak Telephone: 16 310 1880 Opening hours: 9AM-4PM, Daily Brooke Museums website | Brooke Gallery Facebook page | Ranee Museum Facebook page

2. Kuching Old Courthouse – dine in a historic setting

things to do in kuching - old courthouse

For those who want to relish in history without having to read long blocks of information, head over to the Old Courthouse near the Kuching Waterfront. A heritage, colonial-style building built by Charles Brooke in 1883, it’s a site that’s teeming with rich history.

It was originally used as a government office and a venue for state ceremonies. In fact, the Sarawak state council meetings were still held at the courthouse up till 1973.

things to do in kuching - restaurant in the old courthouse

What’s in place today are no longer government offices or administrative proceedings, but several fancy restaurants and event spaces have taken root instead – from COMMONS cafe that serves Western and local dishes perfect for weekend brunches to ROOTS bistro with fine dining, including Sarawakian ingredients that go well with evening drinks.

With a classy environment, luxurious ambiance, and ample food options, the Old Courthouse is now a place for special occasions for Kuchingites.

Address: 7, Jalan Barrack, 93000 Kuching, Sarawak Telephone: 82-417 601 Opening hours: 9AM-12AM, Daily Kuching Old Courthouse Facebook page | Instagram

3. Kuching Waterfront – soak up the nighttime atmosphere

things to do in kuching - kuching waterfront

Kuching Waterfront is where most Kuchingites gather at night to take a stroll by the river and spend quality time with their loved ones.

Even on a weekday night, you will see a substantial amount of people just sitting with their baes on the stairs by the river, or families hanging around the centre square playing with their kids.

There are also pop-up vendors selling snacks, trinkets, and toys, and roadside restaurants with proper tables and chairs that you can dine in at. You’ll be close to many key attractions from the Astana Negeri Sarawak’s public gardens, the Chinese History Museum, and the Chinatown area with plenty of food options from kolo mee to traditional handmade pau .

Parents with children can entertain them by buying bubble wands from streetside peddlers, while simultaneously enjoying the view of the Darul Hana Bridge and The Astana Negeri Sarawak’s palace where the governor resides – across the river, both lit up beautifully at night.

Address: 37, Jalan Main Bazaar, 93000 Kuching, Sarawak

4. Siniawan Night Market – relaxed evening atmosphere with local Chinese eats

things to do in kuching - siniawan night market

Siniawan Night Market (Pasar Malam Siniawan) is a weekly food market that sets up every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 5PM onwards. Located in the tiny town of Siniawan, the night market is operated by the town’s residents, mostly consisting of Chinese Hakkas.

Rows of food kiosks and stalls line up the street of century-old wooden shophouses adorned by glowing tanglungs at night.

The atmosphere is cheery and laidback, with visitors mingling around, enjoying their meals, and the locals happy to entertain and welcome people into their quaint town.

things to do in kuching - pasar malam siniawan

Do head there with an empty stomach and a ravenous appetite as there are plenty of local delicacies to feast on. From standard Malaysian staples such as ice kacang and char kway teow , to unusual finds such as the pitcher plant steamed rice, you’ll be spoilt for choices the whole night.

Siniawan is a 35-minute drive from Kuching city, with Grab fares priced from RM30 one way.

Address: Jalan Siniawan Bau, 93746 Kuching, Sarawak Opening hours: Fri–Sun 4.30PM-11PM | Mon–Thu 6-10PM

5. Satok Weekend Market – morning shopping and bargaining excitement

things to do in kuching - satok weekend market

The best way to get to know a place is to go to their wet market and see for yourself what the locals shop for, how they bargain, and how camaraderie is fostered between the vendors and shoppers.

things to do in kuching - pasar satok

That’s why there’s no better place to immerse yourself in locals’ daily life than at the Satok Weekend Market (Pasar Satok). The market is set up every weekend from early morning at 6AM till 10PM, so it’s perfect for both the early risers to catch the morning market scene and the night owls who prefer to shop when it’s dark.

You’ll find a plethora of produce and goods sold at Satok Weekend Market. Expect to see and shop for native handicrafts, flowers, seafood, rare forest produce, fruits, snacks, and a whole lot of delicacies. You’ll spend around RM60 if you’re planning to go home with some fruits, produce, flowers, and snacks.

Address: Q309, Petra Jaya, 93050 Kuching, Sarawak Opening hours: 6AM-6PM, Daily

6. India Street – souvenirs, spices, and shopping

things to do in kuching - jalan india

The name India Street (Jalan India) is a little misleading. One might hope to see a colourful scene with Indian restaurants, snacks, music, and fashion, but the India Street in Kuching is more like a quiet, short al fresco street lined with shops selling different kinds of goods and a couple of Indian Muslim restaurants. Nevertheless, this lane makes for a good pit shop for souvenirs, clothes, jewellery, spices, and textiles.

For those who like to wander through the nooks and crannies, try to spot a narrow passageway halfway through the street. It will lead you to Gambier Road and if you keep following the path, you’ll find a small Indian Muslim mosque called Masjid Bandar Kuching built in 1834, and tucked away from the busy street.

masjid bandar kuching

Address: Jalan India, 93000 Kuching, Sarawak

7. Chinatown – old-school stores and hip bars

things to do in kuching - chinatown

An hub of racial unity in Malaysia, Kuching’s Chinatown is located 5 minutes away by foot from India Street. Here, you will find lots of old-school kopitiams and family businesses passed down through generations, and housed in pre-war shophouses. From its rattan furniture to Chinese ornaments, Chinatown is a rustic street with a strong sense of heritage.

things to do in kuching - kyushigai

At night, the place is famous among bar crawlers who patronise their many pubs, bars, and speakeasies, some out in the open, others obscured in hidden alleyways.

Address: Jalan Padungan, 93100 Kuching, Sarawak

8. Sarawak Cultural Village – local communities’ heritage and architecture kept alive

things to do in kuching - sarawak cultural village

Sarawak Cultural Village (Kampung Budaya Sarawak) is a sprawling 17.5 acre – equivalent to 13 football fields – worth of land on the foothill of Mount Santubong. It’s a one-stop centre where you can learn all about the indigenous people of Sarawak.

things to do in kuching - kampung budaya sarawak

There are 7 authentic ethnic houses in the village, built in actual sizes – each one representing the home of a different ethnic group. You can go into the houses, get a feel of how the indigenous people of Sarawak live, and learn more about the cultures of each ethnic community.

things to do in kuching - cultural village

There are also a bunch of activities you can engage in at the village including a cultural dance performance, traditional games, rituals and ceremonies, and handicraft-making demonstrations.

The village is humongous with lots to see and do. You can easily spend around 4 to 5 hours taking in the sights and participating in the activities.

There’s also a lot of walking under the sun involved so make sure you come prepared with sunscreen, an umbrella, and adequate amounts of water.

Entrance fee: RM60 for adults, RM30 for children Address: Pantai Damai Santubong, 93752 Kuching, Sarawak Opening hours: Tue–Sun 9AM-5PM | Closed Mondays Telephone: 082-846 108 Sarawak Cultural Village website

9. Semenggoh Nature Reserve – home to protected orangutans

things to do in kuching - semenggoh nature reserve

Semenggoh Nature Reserve (Pusat Pemuliharaan Hidupan Liar Semenggoh) is a wildlife sanctuary specially dedicated to the rehabilitation of orangutans who have been orphaned or rescued from captivity.

Here, you can spot some of its over 20 resident orangutans that may come out during feeding times, so make sure you head there in the morning around 9AM-10AM or later in the afternoon from 3PM-4PM to catch the orangutans swinging from the trees and towards the rangers on the ground to collect their fruits.

things to do in kuching - pusat pemuliharaan hidupan liar semenggoh

You can also learn more about the orangutans at the information centre. Visitors will be introduced to the orangutans’ names, their family trees, and even their personalities.

Entrance fee: RM5 for adults, RM3 for senior citizens, RM2 for children 6 and above, free for children 6 and below (Malaysians) Entrance fee: RM10 for adults and senior citizens, RM5 for children 6 and above, free for children 6 and below (foreigners) Address: KM 20, Jalan Puncak Borneo, 93250 Kuching, Sarawak Opening hours: 8AM-10AM and 2PM-4PM, Daily Telephone: 082-618 325 Semenggoh Nature Reserve website

10. Sarawak Timber Museum – learn about the state’s forestry industry and sustainability efforts

things to do in kuching - sarawak timber museum

Sarawak is known for its vast rainforests – with mining, agriculture, and forestry making up 40% of the state’s GDP.

It may sound like a dry topic, but those with an interest in forestry, traditional wooden crafts, forest products, and the development of the timber industry should definitely head to the Sarawak Timber Museum (Muzium Perkayuan PUSAKA).

things to do in kuching - muzium perkayuan pusaka

Located in the Sarawak Timber Industry Development Council building, the museum offers visitors a view of heritage forest items that are associated with local customs and traditions, and learn more about the efforts to sustain the forests and wildlife of Sarawak.

Entrance fee: Free Address: Wisma Sumber Alam, Jalan Stadium, Petra Jaya, 93050 Kuching, Sarawak Opening hours: Mon–Thu 8AM-1PM and 2PM-5PM | Fri 8AM-11.30AM and 2PM-5PM | Closed weekends Online booking required. Book here . Telephone: 082-473 000 Sarawak Timber Museum’s Facebook page 

11. Sarawak Islamic Heritage Museum – local and world Islamic community, agricultural, and craft history

things to do in kuching - sarawak islamic heritage museum

The Sarawak Islamic Heritage Museum (Muzium Warisan Islam) comprises 7 galleries, each with an individual theme centered around the history, heritage, and culture of the Muslim community in Sarawak.

Here, visitors will get to learn about the history of Islam in Sarawak, Islamic architecture, weaponry, decorative arts, literature, and more – also look out for the Middle Eastern artifacts dating from the 1800s.

things to do in kuching - muzium warisan islam

The museum was originally a school called the James Brooke Malay College. Then it changed its name to the Madrasah Melayu Sarawak in 1930, before turning into a museum in 1992.

Entrance fee: Free Address: Jalan P. Ramlee, 93400 Kuching, Sarawak Opening hours: Mon–Fri 9AM-4.45PM | Sat & Sun 10AM-4PM Telephone: 082-244 378

12. Sarawak State Museum – Borneo’s oldest museum

things to do in kuching - sarawak state museum

Built in 1891, the Sarawak State Museum (Muzium Negeri Sarawak) is the oldest museum in Sarawak. They claim to be the keeper of one of the best collections of artifacts in Southeast Asia. In fact, visitors can look forward to a plethora of different exhibits, displays, and collections.

things to do in kuching - state museum exhibits

You can walk around at your own pace and learn more about the specimens of Sarawak fauna including reptiles, mammals, birds, and other native animals all mounted for display. There are also a wide range of ethnographic collections, historical artifacts, and traditional handicrafts.

things to do in kuching - state museum exhibitions

The exhibits are very diverse, with galleries ranging from the items representing the oil industry in Sarawak, a Heroes’ Memorial, a Botanical Garden, and more.

Entrance fee: Free Address: Jalan Tun Abang Haji Openg, Taman Budaya, 93400 Kuching, Sarawak Opening hours: Mon – Fri 9AM-4.45PM | Sat & Sun 10AM-4PM Telephone: 082-244 232

13. Borneo Cultures Museum – Sarawak’s newest museum

Borneo Cultures Museum - night view

The new kid on the block among Sarawak’s museums, the Borneo Cultures Museum has been selling out entrance tickets ever since it opened in March 2022. As the second-largest museum in Southeast Asia and Malaysia’s biggest museum , it boasts over 1,000 historical artifacts and exhibits about the region’s nature, local communities, and architecture.

Museum display

Entry is free until the end of June 2022, and lockers and wheelchair-friendly lifts and other facilities are available. Read more about the museum in our article here .

Address: Lorong P. Ramlee 2 93400 Kuching, Sarawak Opening hours: Mon–Fri 9AM-4.45PM | Sat & Sun 9.30AM-4.30PM Borneo Cultures Museum Facebook

14. Cat Museum – because it’s Kuching after all

cat museum kuching

Cat lovers would be ecstatic to know that the city of Kuching is not named so without reason. Sarawak is clearly serious about their tribute to this feline. Their cat statues all over the city and a full-fledged museum dedicated to cats prove their point.

In fact, Kuching’s Cat Museum (Muzium Kucing Kuching) is the world’s first cat museum, and has more than 4,000 artifacts, art, souvenirs, and photos all centered around adorable meowkins.

cat museum

You will learn about how Kuching got its name, different species of cats, famous cats in history, and more. There are also a whole lot of pictures of cats fighting, cats napping, and cats at play, among many others. A purr-fect afternoon for all the cat ladies and gents out there, indeed.

Entrance fee: RM1 Address: Bangunan DBKU, Jalan Semariang, Petra Jaya, 93050 Kuching, Sarawak Opening hours: 9AM-5PM, Daily Telephone: 082-446 688

15. Chinese History Museum – the history of migrants-turned-Sarawakians

kuching chinese history museum

As its name suggests, the Chinese History Museum features the history of the Chinese community in Sarawak.

kuching chinese history museum exhibits

Visitors will learn about the initial migration of the Chinese people into Sarawak, the early pioneers of businesses and inventions, traditional trading activities, political history, and more. Actual household items used by early settlers and their descendants are fascinating and well-preserved.

kuching chinese history museum displays

The museum was previously the headquarters of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Sarawak, but was turned into what it is today and officially opened to the public in 1993.

Entrance fee: Free Address: Jalan Bazar, Sarawak, 93100 Kuching Opening hours: Mon–Fri 9AM-4.45PM, Sat & Sun 10AM-4PM Telephone: 082-258 388

16. Tua Pek Kong Temple – a scenic spot during festive seasons

kuching tua pek kong temple

Located right opposite the Chinese History Museum and right smack in the middle of a busy intersection lies Tua Pek Kong Temple , the oldest temple in Kuching.

Believed to have been built in 1843 with some claims saying the temple was founded in 1770, Tua Pek Kong temple is dedicated to the God of Prosperity.

kuching tua pek kong

You can visit the temple any time when it’s opened but it’ll be better if you check it out during festive periods such as Chinese New Year and the Wang Kang Festival – a festival to commemorate the deceased – to watch devotees and the vibrant temple come to life.

Address: Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, 93100 Kuching, Sarawak Opening hours: 6AM-6PM, Daily Telephone: 082-237 643

17. DBKU Orchid Garden – diverse blooms in a well-kept park

things to do in kuching - dbku orchid garden

Those who love flowers would thoroughly enjoy their time at the DBKU Orchid Garden (Dewan Bandaraya Kuching Utara Orchid Garden). There is 15.4 acres’ – equivalent to around 11 football fields – worth of space, filled with a collection of 75,000 beautiful plants.

You can expect to admire various types of orchids of all colours, sizes, rarity, and scents – some housed in a cold room.

things to do in kuching - orchid garden

It’s also easy to get to, as the botanical garden is located opposite the Kuching Waterfront, near the Astana and Fort Margherita, so you can easily cross over the bridge to grab a bite at Chinatown when you’re done strolling through the garden.

Entrance fee: Free Address: Kampung Istana, 93050 Kuching, Sarawak Opening hours: Tue–Sun 9.30AM-6PM Telephone: 082-446 688

18. Talang Satang National Park – a turtle hatchery

talang satang national park

The waters of Sarawak boast 5 critically endangered turtle species and you’ll have a chance to spot 2 of those species, namely the Green turtles and Hawksbill turtles, when they come ashore to lay their eggs on the four islands of Talang Satang National Park (Taman Negara Talang Satang).

talang satang national park turtles

The park is so active with turtle activity that it recorded up to 95% of turtle landings in Sarawak. This led the state to gazette the four islands – Pulau Talang-Talang Besar, Pulau Talang-Talang Kecil, Pulau Satang Besar and Pulau Satang Kecil – as a marine protected area in 1999, which allows conservation efforts to be carried out.

It’s highly recommended to book a tour as they’ll take care of your transportation and accommodation if you choose to stay overnight. Prices vary but do expect to spend from RM300 per person.

Most tours will pick you up from your hotel to head to the Boat Club, where you’ll then board a boat to the marine park. The journey will take 40 minutes crossing mangrove forests before the boat goes out to the open sea.

If you are staying overnight, you can spend the first day snorkeling and relaxing on the serene beach then wait for nightfall in hopes of a turtle landing.

Those who are only there for a day trip, unfortunately, will not be able to watch wild turtles lay eggs, but you can still drop by the turtle hatchery where conservation efforts are put in place to protect the eggs.

Some tour companies to check out include Borneo Adventure , CPH Travel , and Borneo Travel Network .

19. Damai Beach – evening dinner views

damai beach kuching

If you’re longing to catch the ocean breeze, you can head over to Damai Beach (Pantai Damai) to chill and stroll along the beach in the evening.

Located right opposite the Sarawak Cultural Village, it’s almost an hour away by car from Kuching city centre with Grab fares going up to more than RM50 for a one-way trip.

damai beach kuching escobar

There are a few restaurants in the area with al fresco dining, so it’s best to head there just before the sunset to enjoy some drinks outdoors when it’s not too hot, then stay on till dinner to relax to the sound of waves and the night breeze.

Address: SF3 Damai Central, Pantai Damai, Kampung Santubong, 93050 Kuching, Sarawak Opening hours: 8AM-10PM, Daily Telephone: 082-846 113

20. Bumbu Cooking Class – learn local recipes

bumbu cooking class kuching

Sarawak’s local delicacies are truly one of a kind, and now you can learn to cook them wherever you go by attending a local cooking class.

Bumbu Cooking Class , in particular, offers you the full experience of going to a local market to pick out fresh ingredients, then proceeding to learn how to cook popular Sarawakian dishes with a friendly teacher, Joseph.

The menu changes every now and then, but you can expect to master recipes for sago pudding, ayam masak merah , stir-fried midin , and tako – a type of kuih wrapped in pandan leaves.

One session will cost you around RM190 per person.

Addr ess: 57, Carpenter St, 93000 Kuching, Sarawak Opening hours: Mon–Fri 9AM-5PM | Sat 9AM-1PM | Closed Sundays Telephone: 019 8791050 (Joseph) Bumbu Cooking Class’ website | Facebook page 

– Outdoor activities –

21. bungo range national park – less-trodden forests near the indonesian border.

bungo range national park

Only accessible by boat, the Bungo Range National Park is still relatively unknown as not many have hiked there before.

Located on the border between Sarawak and Indonesia, it is truly a hidden world of gorgeous waterfalls, ethereal jungle landscapes, and a remote Bidayuh village high up in the hills.

The trek begins from the Bengoh Dam where you will first board a sampan that will take you on a short 10-minute ride to a hill to start your hike.

bungo range national park waterfall

The journey is easy and doable for beginners as the ground is mostly flat. You will also be required to cross handmade bamboo bridges across rivers, which can feel a little unnerving especially if you’re scared of heights. But the reward leads you to several breathtaking waterfalls and refreshing streams that you can take a dip in along the way.

Then, if you’re up for it, you can visit Kampung Sting, a Bidayuh village shrouded in the hills – think a 40-minute hike uphill. The locals are friendly and welcoming, and you’re free to take a walk around their village and see their way of life.

bungo range national park rocks

A guide is mandatory for this excursion. Those interested can look for MJ at 010-231 7878, a local Sarawakian who provides native guides to take you to the Bungo Range.

Expect to pay around RM60 to RM100 per person, depending on the size of your group. The guide will meet you at the Bengoh Dam. You will have to arrange your own transport to the dam, easily accessible by Grab for around RM50 for a one-way trip.

Duration: 5 hours Difficulty level: Easy

22. Silabur Cave – a challenging hike to a huge cavern

silabur cave in kuching

Silabur Cave is even more obscure, with many locals unaware of its existence till now. This hidden gem is tucked away in the town of Serian. It’s quite a distance from Kuching – 2 hours away by car – so it’s recommended to rent a car. Car rental companies are aplenty in Kuching, with prices mostly starting from RM100 a day.

hike to silabur cave

The entrance of the hike can be found at Kampung Batu Lin, a Bidayuh village. Upon reaching, it’s a must to hire a guide for around RM80 per person. You have to plan your expedition beforehand, and can contact a local guide or guides to book them for your hike.

From the village, it takes about 2 hours to reach the cave. Once you’re in the cave, there are parts where you will have to navigate in total darkness so it’s mandatory to bring a torchlight with you, better still if it’s a headlamp.

silabur cave

You will spend more than 3 hours exploring just the cave alone as the cave is massive. The main chamber itself, although not accessible to visitors because of its dangerous descend, is able to fit 3 Boeing airplanes from head to tail.

There are incredible rock formations that look jade green when sun rays illuminate the cave through gaps and cracks from the top. You can also look out for bats, swiftlets, and other cave creatures during your expedition.

It’s recommended to wear rubber shoes for better grip and do bring at least 1.5L of water for one person, some dry food such as energy bars and biscuits to fuel up, and a change of clothes as you may get wet or dirty from bat excretions after.

Guides’ numbers: Benedik 014-589 8801 Able 011-1939 9146 Marasang 014-591 2964

For those who prefer going with a tour operator, CPH Travel offers the excursion for around RM350 per person.

Duration: 6 hours Difficulty level: Moderately challenging Address: Tebakang, 94700 Serian, Sarawak

23. Kubah National Park – cooling, scenic falls, home to wildlife

kubah national park waterfall

Kubah National Park (Taman Negara Kubah) is a 2,230-hectare park with Mount Serapi, Mount Selang, and Mount Sendok nestled within its enclave.

kubah national park

You can look out for bearded pigs, hornbills, mouse deers, and a bunch of other reptiles and amphibians during your hikes. In fact, the park is known for its rich amphibian species that they have a dedicated frog pond for you to spot those slimy creatures.

kubah national park hill

There are many trails in Kubah National Park, each with different levels of difficulty leading you to a separate destination. You can trek to the Matang Wildlife Centre, climb up to viewpoints, or go to waterfalls.

Address: 93050 Kuching, Sarawak Opening hours: 8AM-4PM, Daily Telephone: 082-370 264 Entrance fee: RM10/adult

24. Mount Serapi – view the entire city of Kuching from the peak

mount serapi view

The Mount Serapi (Gunung Serapi) trail in Kubah National Park is a steep, uphill climb on a tar road. Trekking on a tar road may sound easy but the continuous, 3-hour uphill walk will leave you breathless with legs soft as tofu by the time you reach the top. It’s an exhausting, but satisfying workout.

Besides, being surrounded by thick trees and breathing in pure fresh air makes the experience enjoyable. And you’ll be greeted with endless blue skies and views of the mountain valleys ahead of you when you make it to the summit.

Address: 93050 Kuching, Sarawak

25. Blue Pool at Mount Santubong – crystal-clear water

blue pool mount santubong

Mount Santubong is a popular hiking spot among Kuchingites, with amazing views at the top. Not just that, the mountain also boasts a natural blue pool huddled inside its lush greens.

You can access the pool in Permai Rainforest Resort as there’s a trail that specifically leads you there. The pool is the size of a pond, with a gorgeous blue shade that changes colour depending on the time of the day.

You will have to cautiously manoeuvre over rocks, steep tracks, and narrow pathways to get there but taking a dip in the pool is a refreshing experience and a deserving reward that’s well worth the hustle.

Duration: 6 hours Difficulty level: Moderately challenging Address: Teluk Penyuk, Jalan Sultan Tengah, Santubong, 93050 Kuching, Sarawak Telephone: 082-846 490

26. Bako National Park – free-roaming wildlife and ancient rock structures

taman negara bako

Bako National Park (Taman Negara Bako) is one of the smallest national parks in Southeast Asia, but rest assured that it has lots to offer.

The wildlife is diverse there, but the main attraction is the proboscis monkey, the big-nosed primate with reddish-brown fur and a long tail.

things to do in kuching - bako national park bearded pig

The park is also home to macaque monkeys, monitor lizards, flying lemurs, snakes, bearded pigs, and rare birds that are frequently spotted within the park.

bako national park monkeys

As it’s located near the coastline, you can follow the Teluk Pandan Kecil trail to marvel at the rock formations carved by the waves over hundreds of years.

bako national park formations

Address: Muara Tebas Peninsular, 93000, Kuching, Sarawak Opening hours: 8.30AM-5PM, Daily Telephone: 082-370 434

27. Irrawaddy dolphin tours – see rare dolphins up close

dolphins in kuching

Many Malaysians would be surprised to know that there are dolphins swimming in our seas. Although these creatures are a rare sight, there are several tour operators in Kuching offering to bring you on an Irrawaddy dolphin tour .

sungai santubong

The rates vary depending on the operators, but a ballpark figure is around RM170 per person. The tour will take you cruising through the Santubong River and pass mangrove swamps where you will get to take a closer look at the mangrove ecosystem, and even keep an eye out for other animals such as crocodiles, monkeys, and uncommon birds.

The Santubong area is apparently one of the best places in Sarawak to catch a glimpse of the Irrawaddy dolphins as they are often seen swimming in rivers, estuaries, and around shallow coastal areas.

Here, the dolphins are also accustomed to boats – they have been spotted diving around small fishing boats repeatedly.

As expected with all wildlife sightings, there’s no 100% guarantee that you’ll spot a school of dolphins doing flips around you, so don’t feel too dejected if you fail to spot them.

However, some tour operators claim that the boatmen are familiar with these dolphins and will know how to call out to them, so let’s hope that these adorable creatures are nearby and in a friendly mood on the day you set out to meet them.

Some tour companies to check out include Borneo Adventure , Bako National Park , Bike & Tours , and Mari Mari .

28. Kayaking and canoeing – exercise while hitting the water

kayaking and canoeing in kuching

With its number of rivers, mangrove swamps, and creeks accompanied by gorgeous landscapes, it makes sense that kayaking and canoeing are popular activities in Kuching.

There are many tour operators offering kayaking and canoeing for varying levels of fitness starting from around RM180 per person.

You can opt to gently row down the stream and relax to your heart’s content, or try to manoeuver a bamboo raft and have fun falling into the water again and again.

Some popular tour companies to check out include Semadang Kayak , The Rucksack Rainforest Kayaking , Bike & Tours , and Adventure Alternative Borneo .

29. Kuching Wetlands National Park – wildlife-spotting cruises

kuching wetlands national park

For those who want to be near the ocean but still stay dry, you can hop on a river cruise at Kuching Wetlands National Park (Taman Negara Tanah Lembap Kuching). The park comprises 6,610 hectares of mangrove forest, small rivers, creeks, and streams.

For around RM200 per person, you can hop on the Santubong Wildlife Cruise that will take you through the park to spot animals such as proboscis monkeys, Irrawaddy dolphins, monitor lizards, eagles, crocodiles, kingfishers, and a wide range of birds.

The cruise will usually take around 3 to 4 hours, and remember to bring insect repellent to protect yourself from mozzie bites when you’re passing through the mangrove forests.

Tour companies to check out include Borneo Adventure , CPH Travel , and Amansar Tours and Travel .

Address: Petra Jaya, 93050 Kuching, Sarawak

30. Wind Cave and Fairy Cave – beginner-friendly cave exploration

wind cave in kuching

The Wind Cave (Gua Angin) and Fairy Cave are perfect for those who want to explore caving, without the need to go through hours of taxing hike.

The caves are only 30 minutes away by car from Kuching where you can even drive straight up the tar road that will bring you right at the entrance of Wind Cave.

There are proper walkways and platforms for you to stroll on to admire the extraordinary stalactites and stalagmites.

fairy cave in kuching

Once you’re done exploring the Wind Cave, you can then head to the Fairy Cave, a mere 10-minute drive away.

There are also concrete stairs and elevated platforms at the Fairy Cave so it’ll be suitable for young children as well.

Wind Cave Address: 94000 Bau, Sarawak Opening hours: 8.30AM-3.45PM, Daily Telephone: 082-765 490

Fairy Cave Address: 94000 Bau, Sarawak Opening hours: 8.30AM-4PM, Daily Telephone: 013-803 5516

31. Gunung Gading National Park – home to the world’s largest bloom

gunung gading national park

Did you know that the world’s largest flower, the Rafflesia, can be as big as a coffee table when it’s in full bloom?

Those who have never caught the sight of this majestic flower should definitely make a trip to Gunung Gading National Park (Taman Negara Gunung Gading) where you may get the chance to witness the Rafflesia blooming.

The flowers bloom year-round, though it’s highly recommended to give the visitor information centre a call in advance to check if you’ll be able to see them.

You can also cool off by the park’s four waterfalls in between hikes, and also rent rooms from RM40 per room with 2 bunk beds and basic kitchen facilities, though you’ll have to bring your own food.

Address: 94500 Lundu, Sarawak Opening hours: 8AM-5PM, Daily Telephone: 082-735 144 Gunung Gading National Park website | Facebook

Where to go and what to do in Kuching

Kuching covers most things a traveller would seek – unforgettable food, phenomenal views, accessibility when getting around, and most importantly, warm and friendly people. It will leave you satisfied, fulfilled, happy, and itching to return.

For more travel guides, check these out:

  • Kudat, Sabah is a hidden Malaysian beach town
  • Hiking trails in Sabah
  • Visit scenic beaches and the Sky Mirror Jetty at Jeram, Kuala Selangor
  • Hin Bus Depot in Penang is a bustling arts and culture hub
  • Go mountain biking and jungle trekking at Pulau Jerejak, Penang

Cover image adapted from: @tunehotels , Semadang Kayak ,  Saieed Rahman , @_anuar , @nicholascsc007 , Borneo Cultures Museum

This article was updated by Janet Cho in January 2023.


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1. Sarawak Cultural Village

Sarawak Cultural Village

22 km from city center 1 out of 30 Things To Do in Kuching

Snuggled on the island of Borneo, Sarawak Cultural Village is a living museum that gives visitors a glimpse of the state’s indigenous tribes living in their traditional dwellings. It is located at Pantai Damai, 32 kilometres from the capital city of Kuching.

2. Kuching Waterfront

Kuching Waterfront

0 km from city center 2 out of 30 Things To Do in Kuching

Kuching Waterfront, spread across 900 metres along the southern bank of Sarawak River, is the most iconic place in Kuching. The waterfront is lined with hotels, restaurants, souvenir shops, entertainment areas and various historically significant buildings making it one of the most popular attractions.

3. Sarawak Cultural Village

22 km from city center 3 out of 30 Things To Do in Kuching

4. Tua Pek Kong Temple

Tua Pek Kong Temple

1 km from city center 4 out of 30 Things To Do in Kuching

Tua Pek Kong Temple is an old Chinese temple situated atop a foothill, opposite to the Kuching Esplanade. The focal point for the entire Chinese community in Kuching, and the oldest temple in the city, this temple serves as a major tourist attraction.

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5. Fairy Caves

Fairy Caves

5 out of 30 Things To Do in Kuching

Located at a distance of 40 kilometres from Kuching near the former Bau gold mining settlement, Fairy Cave is a limestone cave with unique rock formations. It is commonly known as Gau Pari and can be accessed after climbing a four-storey staircase.

6. Kuching Cat Museum

Kuching Cat Museum

5 km from city center 6 out of 30 Things To Do in Kuching

Kuching Cat Museum is reputed as the world’s first cat museum dedicated to the feline. Located to the north of Kuching in the City Hall, it boasts more than 4000 artefacts (photos, exhibits, souvenirs) displayed in four different galleries.

7. Kuching Cat Museum

7 out of 30 Things To Do in Kuching

Located to the north of Kuching on the ground floor of the City Hall, Kuching Cat Museum is reputed as the world’s first cat museum dedicated to the feline. Perched atop the hill of Bukit Siol, it boasts more than 4000 artefacts displayed in four different galleries.

8. Kuching Wetlands National Park

Kuching Wetlands National Park

19 km from city center 8 out of 30 Things To Do in Kuching

Kuching Wetlands National Park, located about 30 kilometres from Kuching in Sarawak, is one of the last remains of the former Sarawak Mangrove Forest Reserve. The park is filled with saline mangrove plantations and tourists can explore the lush greenery and vegetation of the park on a river cruise. It also houses some endangered species.

9. Orchid Park Kuching

Orchid Park Kuching

2 km from city center 9 out of 30 Things To Do in Kuching

The Sarawak Orchid Garden is one of the most popular orchid exhibitory and garden in Malaysia. Sprawled over an area which is 15 acres huge, it houses more than 82 different species of orchids. The major highlight is the Normah Orchid indigenous to this region.

10. Kuching Waterfront

10 out of 30 Things To Do in Kuching

Kuching Waterfront, bordering the southern bank of Sarawak River, is the most iconic place in the city with the cosmopolitan vibes and the best views of the River, Astana and the Fort Margherita. It is a walkway described by locals as 'the people place' owing to the myriad of hotels, restaurants, souvenir shops, entertainment areas and various historically significant points located there.

11. Mount Santubong

Mount Santubong

20 km from city center 11 out of 30 Things To Do in Kuching

With a height of 810 metres, the mammoth Mount Santubong stands erected on Damai Peninsular near Kuching. Regarded as one of the highest peaks in Kuching, it boasts several hiking trails that allure trekkers and adventure seekers across the nation.

12. Fort Margherita

Fort Margherita

12 out of 30 Things To Do in Kuching

Fort Margherita is one of the most important monuments in Sarawak’s rich history. Situated across the Sarawak River, near Astana, the main purpose of the fort was to act as an attacking and defensive mechanism.

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13. Sarawak Museum

Sarawak Museum

2 km from city center 13 out of 30 Things To Do in Kuching

The Sarawak State Museum, located in Taman Budaya, is one of the oldest and most comprehensive natural history museums in Borneo. Inspired by the Normandy town-house, the museum building houses the ethnographic collection and natural history displays.

14. Semenggoh Nature Reserve

Semenggoh Nature Reserve

14 out of 30 Things To Do in Kuching

Semenggoh Nature Reserve, located around 20km from Kuching is one of the most diverse nature reserves serving as a rehabilitation centre to the primate orangutang and several bird species.

15. Tua Pek Kong Temple

1 km from city center 15 out of 30 Things To Do in Kuching

16. Semenggoh Nature Reserve

16 out of 30 Things To Do in Kuching

Semenggoh Nature Reserve, located around 20km from Kuching is one of the most diverse nature reserves serving as a rehabilitation centre to the primate orangutang and several bird species. The major highlights are orangutang feeding and bird watching.

17. Fort Margherita

1 km from city center 17 out of 30 Things To Do in Kuching

Fort Margherita is one of the most important monuments in Sarawak’s rich history. Situated across the Sarawak River, near Astana, the former fortress is now converted into the Brooke Gallery which houses rare memorabilia of the Brooke family and history of Sarawak.

18. Niah National Park

Niah National Park

18 out of 30 Things To Do in Kuching

Niah National Park, located in the Miri Division of Sarawak, encompasses of limestone caves and forms an archaeological site that attracts the interest of both history and nature lovers.

19. Fairy Caves

33 km from city center 19 out of 30 Things To Do in Kuching

20. Kuching Main Bazaar

Kuching Main Bazaar

20 out of 30 Things To Do in Kuching

Unarguably one of the most visited places in the city, Kuching Main Bazaar is the one stop marketplace with the highest concentration of ethnic handicrafts and antique shops in the city. The exact location of the bazaar is adjacent to the Waterfront, in the heart of old Kuching.

21. Batang Ai National Park

Batang Ai National Park

21 out of 30 Things To Do in Kuching

Batang Ai National Park is a national park in Malaysia which can be accessed through the largest man-made lake Batang Ai. Orangutans (pongo pygmaeus) can be widely observed while on the treks offered or while staying in the longhouses or night camps.

22. Tua Pek Kong Temple

1 km from city center 22 out of 30 Things To Do in Kuching

23. Sarawak Islamic Heritage Museum

Sarawak Islamic Heritage Museum

2 km from city center 23 out of 30 Things To Do in Kuching

Situated in Kuching, Sarawak Islamic Heritage Museum provides a deep insight into the rich cultural heritage of Sarawak’s Muslim community. The seven galleries are the main attraction of this museum. These galleries give an insight into Islamic architecture, literature, science, decorative arts, and costumes. Each of these galleries features a different theme.

24. St Thomas Cathedral Kuching

St Thomas Cathedral Kuching

2 km from city center 24 out of 30 Things To Do in Kuching

The St Thomas Cathedral is an Anglican church situated in the Malaysian city of Kuching. The church features Basilian style of architecture with a bright-red barrel-vaulted ceiling. The Calvary steps, Narthex, Tower and Western Courtyard are the main features of this church.

25. Kubah National Park

Kubah National Park

19 km from city center 25 out of 30 Things To Do in Kuching

Kubah National Park is located 20 km from Kuching at the scenic backdrop of Matang Range. Even though the park beholds a myriad of fauna, it is famed for its flora, especially the wide range of palm species.

26. Bako National Park

Bako National Park

22 km from city center 26 out of 30 Things To Do in Kuching

Bako National Park is the oldest national park of Malaysia housing beaches, cliffs and rock formations. Covering an area of 27 square kilometers, it envelops the peninsula of Muara Tebas. The wildlife of the park is exceptional with long-tailed macaque monkeys, proboscis monkeys, squirrels and monitor lizards. Proboscis monkeys, unique to Borneo, are a major highlight of this park. It is said that one can witness all the Borneo’s vegetation at Bako.

27. Gunung Gading National Park

Gunung Gading National Park

61 km from city center 27 out of 30 Things To Do in Kuching

Often referred to as the ‘Home of the elusive Giant Flower’, Gunung Gading National Park is located near the town of Lundu in Kuching Division of Sarawak, Malaysia. The park is considered as the best place in Asia to witness the rare Rafflesia plant which produces the world's largest flower. This parasitic plant is 1 meter huge and blooms for a few days only.

28. Santubong


20 km from city center 28 out of 30 Things To Do in Kuching

Santubong is a town that sits under the peak of Mount Santubong in the state of Sarawak, Malaysia. It is famous for the huge expanse of sandy beaches. A visit to this town ensures the sight of Irrawaddy river dolphins. Lucky travellers may also spot Indo-pacific humpback or finless porpoises. Another uniquely alluring feature is that of Kampungs which are coastal Malay villages giving an experience of Malay life.

29. Talang Satang National Park

Talang Satang National Park

34 km from city center 29 out of 30 Things To Do in Kuching

Talang Satang National Park is the first Marine National Park of Malaysia. The area covered under the park is home to an array of marine life including the endangered Green and Hawksbill Turtle. Talang Satang is the first site in the world to emphasise turtle research and management. The park also has rich coral reefs and underwater life.

30. Sarawak Natural History Museum

Sarawak Natural History Museum

2 km from city center 30 out of 30 Things To Do in Kuching

Established by Charles Brooke the Second Rajah in 1860, Sarawak Natural History Museum pays homage to the great naturalist Alfred Russell Wallace. Open daily, it is the oldest museum in Borneo. There are two floors displaying specimens of Sarawak fauna like reptiles, mammals, birds, ethnographic artefacts of the indigenous people, musical instruments and handicrafts.

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  • 10 Must Visit Attractions In...

15 Must-Visit Attractions in Kuching, Malaysia

Kuching offers everything from colonial palaces and forts to national parks and cultural villages

Sarawak is a diverse, fascinating region of Malaysia with plenty to offer, from the huge stretches of thick jungle and the various towns to the heady mix of different cultures. Kuching, the state capital, provides a great stepping stone into exploring the region while also having plenty to offer in its own right. Here are some of the highlights.

1. admire the astana: residence of sarawak’s white rajahs.

Building, Memorial

clock towers in malaysia

The Astana (palace) always features on lists of the must-visit attractions in Kuching. Sitting elegantly on the banks of the River Sarawak, the 1870 colonial palace exudes grandeur. Formerly the residence of Sarawak’s White Rajahs , it’s now the Governor of Sarawak’s seat and isn’t open to the public. Manicured lawns and a fence surround the palace with Astana spelled out in giant white letters. Stand on the opposite side of the river for the best photographs. Return after dark when the palace lights up.

2. Stroll along the Kuching Waterfront

Natural Feature

Kuching Waterfront with Hilton Hotel during Sarawak Regatta, on the Sarawak river, Kuching, Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia

The Kuching Waterfront hugs the southern banks of the Kuching River which divides the capital. The walkway provides views of the river, access to hotels and restaurants as well as vendors hawking snacks and street food. Stretching for almost one kilometre (0.6 miles), you can watch the sunset, snap a photograph next to the First White Rajah of Sarawak and visit Kuching’s oldest Taoist temple at Tua Pek Kong.

3. Learn about the White Rajahs at Fort Margherita and Brooke Gallery

The prominent Fort Margherita stands on the northern banks of the Sarawak River. The Second White Rajah Charles Brooke built the fort in 1879 to defend the city against pirate attacks and named it after his wife, Margaret. Today, it houses the recently opened Brooke Gallery with relics, artefacts and historical documents detailing Sarawak’s early statehood under the White Rajahs. Fort Margherita sits inside the police barracks, so you might need to show ID before entering.

5. Embrace local culture at Sarawak Cultural Village

Iban ladies Sarawak

Sitting 35 kilometres (21.7 miles) north of Kuching in Damai, Sarawak Cultural Village gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in Sarawakian tradition. The open-air museum features a collection of longhouse replicas such as ones that the infamous former headhunting Iban tribes inhabited, as well as Malay kampung-style dwellings and Chinese farmhouses. Stroll through the village and see traditional instruments inside the Rainforest Music House or follow jungle trails to the foot of Mount Santubong. Families and tourists interested in Sarawak’s rich cultural and ethnic heritage rate this as one of the must-visit attractions in Kuching.

6. Tour the oldest museum in Borneo: Sarawak State Museum

Borneo’s oldest museum first opened in 1891. The White Rajah at the time, Charles Brooke, had a passion for natural history and commissioned the Sarawak State Museum. Several displays cover all aspects of Sarawak from ethnographic exhibits and traditional longhouses to Neolithic artefacts, natural specimens and both Chinese and Islamic art. The grand three-storey colonial building housing the museum is a masterpiece in itself.

7. Photograph orangutans at Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre

Borneo orangutan

Approximately 21 kilometres (13 miles) south of Kuching sits the Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre. The orangutan rehabilitation centre has been taking care of baby and orphaned orangutans since opening its doors in 1975. Orange-haired primates roam semi-wild inside the protected area. Visit during either the morning feeding time between 9am and 10am or in the afternoon at 3pm.

8. Visit the Cat Museum in the City of Cats

Sarawak’s name translates as cat in English, giving it the nickname City of Cats. The world’s first cat museum covers four galleries inside the City Hall buildings. With over 4,000 items covering everything related to felines, this is a must-visit attraction in Kuching for cat lovers. Since opening in 1988, the Cat Museum has received thousands of annual visitors. Expect to find figurines, photographs, posters and a rare Egyptian mummified cat.

9. Take a river cruise through Kuching Wetlands National Park

Park, Natural Feature

Although it requires you to travel 15km (9mi) outside of the capital, Kuching Wetlands National Park is one of the area’s crown jewels and certainly justifies the extra distance. The maze of waterways connects the Sibu Laut River with the Salak, and on arrival you simply jump in a tour boat and away you go, spotting fish, crocodiles, monkeys, birds and even the strange-looking and increasingly rare Irrawaddy dolphins.

10. See proboscis monkeys at Bako National Park

Forest, Hiking Trail, Park

Proboscis Monkey

Holding the title as Sarawak’s oldest and one of the state’s smallest, Bako National Park can be reached within an hour to the northeast of Kuching. After taking a boat to the park entrance, you can hike along colour-coded trails, visit beaches and go wildlife-spotting in the many habitats. Highlights include its resident population of endemic proboscis monkeys, slow loris and pangolins, as well as 190 species of birds, lizards and mammals. Bako National Park is an ideal place to see wildlife and experience Sarawak’s rainforests.

11. Count the cat statues in Kuching

Architectural Landmark

Cat statues at base of pillar in Kuching, Sarawak, Borneo

Given the city’s name, it’s quite fitting that Kuching has several cat statues decorating public spaces. The Kuching South City Council Cat Statue, a white feline posing in front of Little Chinatown, became the first of many sculptures in the city. A favourite activity for visitors is to stroll along the streets in search of the statues and pose next to the giant felines.

12. Climb to the top of Mount Santubong

Visible as you enter Kuching, Mount Santubong is one of the highest mountains in the area, at 810m (2,657ft) above sea level. The mountain lies within a national park, and can be reached from Kuching in about 30 minutes. The hike to the summit takes around four hours, and leads you through thick jungle and up to one of the best panoramic views of Sarawak anywhere in the region. A slightly easier two-hour hike will take you to a nearby waterfall, a perfect spot to sit and relax.

13. Explore the Sarawak Orchid Garden

Botanical Garden, Park

Beautiful different orchids flower in the garden

Having opened in 2009, the Sarawak Orchid Garden is a relatively new addition to the Kuching tourist roster. It sits next to the Sarawak River, accessible either by using the Darul Hana footbridge or taking one of the jetty rides. In either case, you can easily spend hours walking through the gardens, observing and learning about the hundreds of orchid species on display and the various ways they hoodwink insects into pollinating for them.

14. Take a look around Kuching Mosque

Kuching City Mosque view from behind, Sarawak, Borneo Malaysia

Like the rest of Malaysia, Kuching (and Sarawak at large) has a significant Muslim population, and as the state capital, Kuching sports the largest mosque in the area. Originally built in 1847, completion of the work on the version you see today occurred in 1965. The opulent pink and gold building is open to visitors, although non-Muslims cannot enter during prayer, and appropriate dress is requested for those who do visit (legs covered, shoes removed).

15. Snorkel at Satang Turtle Island National Park

This one actually involves taking a day trip out of Kuching, but most of these are organised within the city. Travelling to Pulau Satang Besar, you are given the opportunity to see the turtle conservation centre and hatchery where baby turtles are released into the sea in order to boost the local population. The beach itself is also a great snorkelling spot.

Additional reporting by Callum Davies.

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the best things to do in kuching malaysia

The 16 Best Things to Do in Kuching, Sarawak

Kuching is quite different from any other Malaysian city in Borneo. Although it was captured by the Japanese in World War II, the city itself survived and much of the infrastructure and buildings remained intact. Because of this, Kuching has a lot of architecture dating from the Bruneian Empire right up to the occupation of the British Empire.  In visiting the city and this region, you’ll be able to explore its biodiversity and uniqueness. Kuching has plenty of national parks, museums, and historical sites to explore. In this article, I’ll take you on an adventure to discover the top things to do in Kuching.



Kuching Catsview

Take a Cycling Tour of Kuching

Like Melaka, Kuching has a great cycling culture and there’s no better way to explore the city than by taking a half-day cycling tour. You’ll get a great local guide, and see all the sights, including all those cat statues!

The Top 16 Things to Do in Kuching

When you plan a trip to Kuching, you can fill your itinerary with a variety of different activities, including discovering the forests and wildlife that Borneo is known for. This is also a great place to learn about Sarawak’s history and culture, try delicious Malaysian dishes, and of course, soak up the sun on its relaxing beaches.

Let’s start with something that you need to know before you go to Kuching.  The name of this city, the capital city of the Malaysian state of Sarawak, means “Cat” in Bahasa Malay.  And that will explain a lot as you explore the city.  And it’s why the first thing you should do when you come to Kuching is…

1. Visit the Cat Museum in Kuching

The Museum of Cats in Kuching is one of the top attractions here. The Cat Museum is located next to the Kuching North City Hall, about a 12-minute drive from Kuching Waterfront. A visit to this cat museum means that you will learn more about cats and also Kuching City.

Museum of Cats Kuching

This is probably an unexpected place to get some facts about the city but with more than 4,000 exhibits there’s bound to be something that you didn’t know before you got here!

  • Address of Cat Museum: Bangunan DBKU, Jalan Semariang, Petra Jaya, 93050 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
  • Opening Hours of  Cat Museum: 9 AM to 5 PM daily
  • Entry Fees for  Cat Museum: RM3 ($0.68) for adults and RM2 ($0.45) for children below 12 years old

Like Cats? Cali in Colombia is another city that is famous for cat statues and monuments, check it out here .

2. Find the Cat Statues of Kuching

You’re in the city of cats, so you’re going to see a lot of cats.  Since you already visited the Cat Museum, to complete this list of things to do in Kuching, you have to spend a few hours finding the Cat Statues of Kuching. The cat statues are pretty easy to find since they are massive and colorful. The most famous of the cat statues are in the middle of a roundabout and it’s known as the Family Cat statues. 

things to do in kuching see the cat statues

The statues of cats are a famous landmark in Kuching, it gets busy during the afternoon. If you plan to take a photo, it’s best to come earlier, or in the evening when it’s floodlit. It will take you about an 11-minute walk west of the Waterfront.

  • Address of Cat Statues of Kuching: Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, 93100 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia

Want to explore more of the area around Kuching? Read our guide to the 7 best day trips from Kuching.

3. Walk along the waterfront in Kuching

The Waterfront of Kuching is one of the main attractions that’s popular both with locals and foreign visitors. This waterfront showcases a water fountain light show performance every evening. There are also river cruises that take around an hour which will give you a different perspective of Kuching’s Waterfront.

things to do in kuching walk along the waterfront

On dry land, walk along the walkway and browse stalls that sell food, handicrafts, and other products. It’s a pretty cool spot to buy souvenirs and mix with the locals.

  • Address of Name of Attraction: Waterfront, 93000 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia

4. Take a photo of the Astana in Kuching

The Astana Negeri is the official home of Sarawak’s Governor. The colonial-era palace was built in 1870, and Charles Brooke, of the British Brooke Family, aka the White Rajahs lived there until the area was occupied by the Japanese during World War II.

Astana Negeri Kuching

Unfortunately, as a member of the public you’re not allowed to visit inside, only those who are invited by the State are allowed to enter. Everyone is allowed to take photos from the outside, at night the building itself is lit with magnificent colors.

  • Address of Astana: The Astana, Pejabat Yang di-Pertua Negeri, Petra Jaya, 93050 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia

5. Visit the Kuching City Mosque

The City Mosque in Kuching is a stunning and peaceful attraction in the city. Kuching City Mosque is located right next to the Sarawak River and it’s more beautiful when the sunset shines on the building and reflects stunning colors. 

Kuching City Mosque

The first mosque built here would have dated back to 1847, although today’s iteration is from 1965.  It’s pink and white with a large gold dome, particularly stunning at sunset.

  • Address of Kuching City Mosque: 332, Jalan Datuk Ajibah Abol, Kampung No3, 93400 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
  • Opening Hours of Kuching City Mosque: 5 AM to 10 PM, every day

6. Explore The Hiang Thian Siang Ti Temple

For those who love visiting temples, pay a visit to the Temple of Hiang Thian Siang Ti. This small Cantonese Taoist temple was built in 1889, by Chinese settlers from Guangdong Province.  It’s just a 3-minute walk southeast of the Kuching Waterfront.  There’s a board outside the temple with pertinent information, and it’s particularly ornate.  If you go inside, remember to remove your shoes before entering and wear appropriate clothing.   

  • Address of Hiang Thian Siang Ti Temple: 22, Carpenter St, 93000 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
  • Opening Hours of Hiang Thian Siang Ti Temple: every day from 6 AM to 6 PM

7. Visit Tua Pek Kong, Chinese Temple

The temple of Tua Pek Kong is the oldest Taoist temple in the region (it dates from 1770), which means many Chinese tourists go the extra mile to see the temple to pray and pay respects to their ancestors.

Tua Pek Kong Chinese Temple Kuching

It’s covered with colorful designs. The Tua Pek Kong Temple is also situated right next to the Sarawak River, 5 minutes on foot east of Hiang Thian Siang Ti Temple.

  • Address of Tua Pek Kong Chinese Temple: Jalan Penaga, Kampung Paya, 13110 Penaga, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

8. Visit the Old Courthouse in Kuching

The Kuching Old Courthouse is a historical landmark, a museum, and the official headquarters of the Sarawak Tourism Complex. It was built in 1871 with wooden materials featuring colonial architecture. 

The Round Tower here was built in 1886, most likely as a fort, it was also used as a dispensary and is a memorial to Charles Brooke. Today, the Old Courthouse of Kuching is well-maintained, and it is a great spot to learn about Kuching and Charles Brooke, the famous head of state of Raj of Sarawak from 1868 to 1917. There are places to eat, have some tea, cake, and even a cocktail at night.

  • Address of Old Courthouse: 7, Jalan Tun Abang Haji Openg, 93000 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
  • Opening Hours of Old Courthouse: 9 AM to 12 AM, daily

9. Explore the Sarawak State Museum and Natural History Museum

A visit to the Sarawak State Museum, the oldest in the state of Sarawak, will teach you about the region’s cultural and natural history. If you are traveling with young children, this place has 5 interactive galleries featuring handicrafts and traditional houses, a great way to learn and experience Kuching. 

Sarawak Museum Kuching

This is another building from the second White Rajah, Charles Brooke and it contains many of the collections from his time.  When we visited it was “straight out of the 70s” – with lots of badly stuffed decaying animals, although there has been a massive restoration project ongoing since 2017.

  • Address of Sarawak State Museum And Natural History Museum: Jalan Tun Abang Haji Openg, Taman Budaya, 93400 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
  • Opening Hours of Sarawak State Museum And Natural History Museum: weekdays 9 AM to 4:45 PM, for the weekends, it’s open from 10 AM to 4 PM
  • Entry Fees for Sarawak State Museum And Natural History Museum: free

10. Visit Fort Margherita and the Brooke Gallery

Fort Margherita is situated across the Sarawak River from downtown. This means that you have to get on a boat to reach the fort. (It cost us 50 MYR) The Fort was built in 1879 to protect the city from pirates, by, yes, you’ve guessed it, Charles Brooke, again, and it’s named after his wife, Margaret.  Margaret became the much-loved Ranee Margaret.  Today, Fort Margherita houses the Police Museum, which showcases weaponry; including guns, cannons, swords, and even cannon balls. 

In the heart of Fort Margherita is The Brooke Gallery. It shows the history of Sarawak’s “White Rajahs”. As a reward for helping the Sultan of Brunei fight piracy, an Englishman – James Brooke – had been granted Sarawak in 1841 and received independent kingdom status.  He and his dynasty became known as the White Rajahs. The rights were ceded to the United Kingdom in 1946.

things to do in kuching visit fort marghertia

Charles Brooke is the most well-known White Rajah of Sarawak for the work he did for Malaysians during his rule, and you’ll get to know him better in the gallery. The Brooke Gallery doesn’t just cover the history of Kuching but the entire region of Sarawak.

  • Address of Fort Margherita: Petra Jaya, 93050 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
  • Opening Hours of Fort Margherita: 9 AM to 4 PM
  • Entry Fees for Fort Margherita: RM10 ($2.27) for local adults and RM5 ($1.13) for children 7-12 years old, RM20 ($4.50) for foreigners, and RM10 ($2.27) for children 7-12 years old

11. See Sarawak’s State Flower At the Orchid Garden

In 1983, Sarawak declared its State Flower to be the Normah Orchid, which was named after the wife of Sarawak’s 4th Supreme Head of the Federation. The scientific name of the Normah Orchid is “Phalaenopsis Bellina”.   The best place to see the State Flower of Sarawak is to go to the Dewan Bandaraya Kuching Utara Orchid Garden. It’s a 13-minute walk north of Kuching Waterfront and over the Darul Hana Bridge. During your visit, you will find many varieties of orchids (up to 75 of them) but keep in mind that there is a flowering season, which is from March through summer.  You’ll also be able to see native Bornean orchids here, from the stinky rotten meat orchids and rare orchids that were once thought to be extinct.

  • Address of The Orchid Garden: Kampung Istana, 93050 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
  • Opening Hours of The Orchid Garden: 9:30 AM to 6 PM, it’s closed on Mondays
  • Entry Fees for The Orchid Garden: free

12. Explore The Chinese History Museum in Kuching

Malaysia has a large population of Malay-Chinese, and Mandarin is well-used as an everyday language. You can learn more about how Chinese from the mainland have come to arrive and settle in Malaysia and Sarawak by visiting the Chinese History Museum.

The museum is small, but it’s filled with information, exhibitions, and prominent Chinese figures relating to their immigration from China to Sarawak. The Chinese History Museum is only a few steps away from Kuching Waterfront.

  • Address of Chinese History Museum: Chinese History Museum, Jalan Bazar, Sarawak, 93100 Kuching, Malaysia
  • Opening Hours of Chinese History Museum: Monday to Friday from 9 AM to 4:45 PM, Saturday and Sunday from 10 AM to 4 PM
  • Entry Fees for Chinese History Museum: Free

13. Visit the Sarawak Islamic Museum

Did you know that Islam was established in Malaysia in the 15th century? You can learn more about Islamic history in Malaysia by visiting the Islamic Museum of Sarawak, which is situated on the busy street of Jalan P. Ramlee. The museum itself is pretty peaceful once you are through the main entrance.

At the Sarawak Islamic Museum, there’s also lots of info on how the religion developed and was embraced by the locals. I found it truly fascinating!  It also displays Islamic artifacts and documents that are related to the arrival of Islam in the region. The Islamic Museum of Sarawak is a 20-minute walk from the Waterfront or a 6-minute drive.

  • Address of Sarawak Islamic Museum: Jalan P. Ramlee, 93400 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
  • Opening Hours of Sarawak Islamic Museum:   Monday to Friday from 9 AM to 4:45 PM, Saturday and Sunday from 10 AM to 4 PM
  • Entry Fees for Sarawak Islamic Museum: Free

14. Take A Traditional Wooden Boat Ride on The Sarawak River

Don’t confuse a Traditional Wooden Boat Ride with a Waterfront Cruise. To experience the traditional wooden boat, it’s best to talk to local tour agencies and see which ones offer the best price. You can choose between a quick 10-minute ride up to a much longer journey, of an hour or so. The boat ride can also take you to the outskirts of the city and explore areas less visited by other tourists.

things to do in kuching take a wooden boat trip

15. Visit India Street in Kuching

Go to India Street if you are looking to buy souvenirs and try local dishes. India Street is famous for affordable clothing, footwear, and random products, but remember that many of the known brands you will find here are knockoffs.

India Street Kuching Saraw

Walk around the street, since food and clothing are usually not sold side by side if you can’t find what you are looking for.

16. Go to the Upside Down House in Kuching

Bring your silly side and go to the Upside Down House in Kuching. This attraction is famous for being such a fun place where you can invent poses that will make your photos hilarious and at the same time – mind-bending.

For solo visitors, the staff will help you take photos and give tips on how to pose creatively. Go to Upside Down House over lunchtime when it’s not too crowded. The house is only an 11-minute walk from the Waterfront, very near the Cat Statues.

  • Address of Upside Down House: Ground Floor, No.281-1-1, Lot 281, Section 48, KTLD, Block H, Taman Sri Sarawak Jalan Tun Abdul Rahman, Off, Jalan Borneo, 93100 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
  • Opening Hours of Upside Down House: every day from 9:30 AM to 6 PM
  • Entry Fees for Upside Down House: RM15 ($3.40) for adults and RM8 ($1.82)

Food and Drink in Kuching

As you should expect, the food and drinks in Kuching are very diverse just like its culture and traditions. When making your list of fun things to do in Kuching, make sure to try some local food and drinks during your time here.

Sarawak Laksa

Don’t miss a Malay breakfast of Sarawak Laksa at the famous Chong Choon, this bright and warming soup is full of flavor including ginger, tamarind, and coconut milk.

Eat at Kubah Ria Complex

Kubah Ria is a commercial complex filled with a variety of stores. But as a visitor, this is where you want to go to get a taste of the local fruits and dishes of Sarawak. This includes bananas, fried noodles, and fried rice.

Eat at the open-air market

The open-air market, also known as Hawker Market is near the Kuching Old Courthouse, which is a good stop to take a break and eat some local desserts. Make sure to try pandan ice cream and ABC, short for Ais Kacang, a bean ice cream.

Eat at the night market

The night market, also called Uptown Kuching transforms from a nice little performance area during the day to a very busy night market. Uptown Kuching at night sells various local food and products. Instead of trying only one dish, have multiple and order rice dishes, noodles, and desserts.  Don’t miss the dumplings and wan tan mee

Eat Kolo Mee in Kuching

Kolo Mee is a Malaysian dry noodle. The ingredient includes pork char siu, minced meat, shallots, and fried onions. Kole Mee also has some wonton or dumplings, fish balls, and vegetables. It’s a local and popular dish, you shouldn’t have a problem finding a restaurant that serves it.

things to do in kuching eat kolo mee

Sarawak Layer Cake – Kek Lapis.

This mint and chocolate layer cake is wonderful, it feels, somehow very British! It’s layer upon layer of mint and chocolate sponge baked together.

things to do in kuching eat cake

Have a Beer in Kuching

Enjoy a sip of beer or two after a long walk exploring Kuching. You can enjoy a cold beer and also support businesses donating profits to save the orangutans. Go to the Bear Garden or Monkee Bar Bistro, for every beer and dish you order, a portion of the profits are donated to wildlife rehabilitation centers. Both places serve great local and international dishes.

Map of the Best Things to do in Kuching, Sarawak

You can also see the Kuching Things to Do map here.

Map of things to do in kuching sarawak

How to Get Around Kuching

Surprisingly, scooters are a popular mode of transportation for locals of Kuching. As a tourist, you can rent a scooter for as low as RM40 ($9) a day and have the freedom and convenience to get anywhere in Kuching and explore the outskirts of the city.

You will also not have a problem walking around Kuching since many attractions are near each other. However, during summer and typhoon season, this could be difficult.

Riding a bicycle is also an option to get around the city. If you have been to Melaka, ( our guide of things to do in Melaka is here ) Kuching has a similar bicycle culture. You can rent one from your hotel or bike rental shops designed for tourists.

Renting a car in Kuching is also possible. But this is only recommended if you plan to visit places outside the city. You can of course hail local taxis and use ride-hailing apps such as Grab.

Where is Kuching

Kuching is in the west of Borneo, south of Sabah, near the border with Indonesia. It’s about 528 miles (850 km) southwest of Brunei or 435 miles (700 km) directly east of Singapore.

How to get to Kuching

Kuching has an international airport, making it easy to get there wherever you may be coming from. The airport is only a 20-minute drive to downtown Kuching.

From Kuala Lumpur , there are multiple daily flights which are about 2 hours non-stop. It can cost as little as RM110 ($25).

Miri is only an hour’s flight to Kuching, the tickets start around RM90 (US$20) for one way. From Kota Kinabalu, you can take a 1.5-hour direct flight starting at RM90 (US$20). If you’re spending time in Miri, then our guide to Miri is here.

You can get to Kuching from Sandakan by taking a 3 to 7-hour series of flights. There are no direct flights though, the connection is often through Kota Kinabalu. The flight cost is usually around RM260 (US$60).

Where to stay in Kuching

Fortunately, Kuching is an affordable place to explore but has plenty of resorts for those who want a little more luxury and comfort. Budget travelers can find hostels in Kuching, there is also no shortage of mid-range Kuching hotels, while luxury resorts in Kuching are also available.

If you are looking for accommodation in Kuching, here are our recommendations for Kuching hotels:

The Waterfront Hotel is an incredible place to stay in Kuching, it offers a great view of the Sarawak River. It’s also conveniently located near all the must-see attractions in Kuching. The Waterfront Hotel has a fitness center, an infinity pool with a view, and a sauna.  You can check the rates and availability of Kuching’s Waterfront Hotel here.

The Kuching Hotel is a great choice for accommodation and is great value for money. The Waterfront is only a 5-minute walk from the hotel. Although the Kuching Hotel doesn’t have an on-site restaurant, outside its doors are various places to eat from a quick bite to fancy dining.   There are more reviews on the Kuching Hotel here.

The Meritin Hotel is conveniently located near a busy area offering various tourist activities. Even though the rooms are small, the beds are comfortable and the AC works great. There is basic furniture, the rooms are very clean, and the staff are super helpful. The hotel has its own restaurant which also offers a buffet.  This is a great location check it out here.

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Final Words on The Best 16 Things to Do in Kuching

Kuching might be a less popular destination in Malaysia, but it has a lot to offer. The city has some interesting history with the fort and other historical buildings that survived World War II largely untouched. Kuching’s association with cats is fun and it’s great to walk or cycle around the city finding all the iterations of them.

Stock images in this article are courtesy Deposit Photos.

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12 Top Tourist Attractions in Kuching, Malaysia

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Located in the west of Borneo Island, Kuching is the capital and largest city of the state of Sarawak in Malaysia. Set in a picturesque spot on the banks of the Sarawak River, not far from the South China Sea, the city has long been an important trading post. As such, it is home to an intriguing mix of different peoples, cultures, and cuisines.

Throughout its history, Kuching has been ruled by everyone from the Sultan of Brunei to the Japanese, and the adventurer James Brooke rather incredulously made it his own personal kingdom. Consequently, there are a lot of interesting historical sights to be found around town, with galleries, museums, and old colonial buildings all on show.

In addition to all of these tourist attractions, Kuching is ideally located if you want to explore the wild jungles and rugged coast that Sarawak is renowned for.

12. Chinese Museum

Chinese Museum

Once the courthouse of the Sarawakian Chinese, this delightful museum now hosts a whole range of different exhibitions on the customs, cultures, and lifestyles of the nine main Chinese communities that came to live in the city. Among the extensive collection are lots of fantastic artifacts, photographs, and traditional costumes for you to peruse. These document the history of the Chinese in Kuching since they first started migrating to the city around the year 1830.

The pastel-colored colonial-era building lies on the banks of the Sarawak River and is just a stone’s throw away from the gorgeous Tua Pek Kong Temple, which is an important holy site for the local Chinese community.

11. The Old Courthouse

The Old Courthouse

Built all the way back in 1871, the Old Courthouse was once the administrative center of the city. As such, it occupies a prominent place along Kuching’s waterfront. Its verandahs, pavilion, and Round Tower are very peaceful to walk around and showcase some wonderful architecture from different epochs.

Nowadays, the lovely old colonial building is home to the fantastic Ranee Museum, which looks at the life and times of Margaret de Windt, the former queen of Sarawak. There’s also a bar and restaurant. In addition to this, there are several venues located in the Old Courthouse that host art exhibitions and cultural performances.

10. Sarawak Museum

Sarawak Museum

The oldest museum in the whole of Borneo, the Sarawak Museum was first opened in 1888. Since then, it has educated countless numbers of people on the rich history, culture, and heritage of the island’s many indigenous groups.

With lots of interesting ethnographic artifacts, local handicrafts, and wildlife specimens on display, the museum really is fascinating to wander around.

The extensive collection is housed in a charming old building that dates to Victorian times. With the perfectly manicured lawns all around it, it wouldn’t look out of place in Merry Old England. Due to re-open in mid-2020 after lengthy renovation works, the Sarawak Museum is well worth visiting if you want to learn more about Borneo and Kuching’s captivating past.

9. Mount Santubong

Mount Santubong

Located around half an hour’s drive to the north of Kuching, Mount Santubong lies at the heart of a delightful national park of the same name, with lots of great outdoor activities and beautiful scenery on offer. Towering above its surroundings, the mount dominates the park, and its forested slopes rise dramatically above the glistening waters of the South China Sea.

Trekking through the lush rainforest to reach its summit is a marvelous experience, and the views from up high are simply spellbinding. With wildlife in the shape of proboscis monkeys and colorful hornbills for you to spot, Mount Santubong certainly makes for a memorable and nature-filled day out.

8. Fort Margherita

Fort Margherita

Overlooking the lively Kuching waterfront, Fort Margherita was built in 1879 on the banks of the Sarawak River to help protect the city from attack. One of the main attractions in Kuching, the dazzling white walls and turrets of the fort stand out against the greens of the lawns and trees that surround it.

Besides exploring the impressive fortifications, visitors can also take a look around the fort’s Police Museum, which has an amazing collection of old armaments and armor, including cannons, pistols, and swords.

7. Sarawak Orchid Garden

Sarawak Orchid Garden

Located just a short walk away from Fort Margherita, the Sarawak Orchid Garden is a delight to stroll around, with a myriad of different plants, flowers, and orchids lining its peaceful pathways and greenhouses. Tastefully laid out, the garden is very well looked after, and there are over 75,000 plants on display.

The gorgeous Normah Orchid – the state’s flower – can be spotted here and there. To get to the orchid garden from Kuching waterfront, you can either walk across the Darul Hana footbridge or take a short boat ride across the river.

6. Waterfront Promenade

Waterfront Promenade

Covering the south bank of the Sarawak River, Kuching’s scenic Waterfront Promenade stretches for just under a kilometer, and for many people, it is the heart of the city. Taking you past such sights as the Chinese Museum, Square Tower, and the India Mosque, the promenade really is a beautiful place to go for a walk and has a lovely laidback feel to it.

On the opposite bank, you can see the impressive Astana and Fort Margherita rising before you; at night, lots of young couples congregate here to take a romantic stroll when everything is beautifully illuminated. As a number of cafes and food kiosks line the way, the waterfront promenade is also a great place to grab a bite to eat.

With so much for you to see, no trip to Kuching can ever be complete without having ambled along the promenade at least once or twice.

5. Gunung Gading National Park

Gunung Gading National Park

Although Gunung Gading National Park is blessed with lots of stunning scenery, fantastic treks, and fantastic wildlife, it is the enormous Rafflesia flower that is undoubtedly the star attraction. Reaching up to a meter in diameter, the parasitic plant is remarkably the world’s largest flower. It can take months and months to grow, only to bloom for just a couple of days.

While it certainly does make for an impressive sight, the national park has loads of other natural wonders for you to enjoy, with plenty of trails and paths snaking their way through the dense rainforest that coats its mountainous terrain.

Lying around two hours away from Kuching, Gunung Gading National Park is just about doable as a day trip. While visiting its many twinkling streams and waterfalls, you may even catch a glimpse of an orangutan or two peacefully swinging through the jungle.

4. Kubah National Park

Kubah National Park

Despite calling itself ‘the home of palms and frogs,’ Kubah National Park has much more to offer, although you certainly will see plenty of them dotted around the rainforest. Hidden away amongst the dense undergrowth are lots of colorful orchids, as well as a number of beautiful waterfalls for you to make your way to.

As it lies just half an hour’s drive to the west of Kuching, many locals enjoy coming here at the weekend to go for a walk in the forest or cool off in one of its pretty streams or bathing pools.

3. Sarawak Cultural Village

Sarawak Cultural Village

If you’re interested in learning more about Borneo’s various indigenous peoples and cultures, then a visit to the Sarawak Cultural Village is a must. The living museum has seven traditional buildings and longhouses for you to wander around, and each of these displays an architectural style from a particular group, such as the Malay, Chinese, or Penan.

In addition to this, you’ll see lots of locals dressed in their traditional attire making handicrafts using ancient techniques. These live demonstrations show you how the indigenous groups once weaved, carved, and cooked. Twice a day, the locals put on a dance and music performance which proudly showcases their rich cultural heritage.

2. Bako National Park

Bako National Park

The first national park to be established in Sarawak all the way back in 1957, Bako is home to an incredible range of different landscapes and ecosystems. Lying just half an hour away from Kuching, it is one of the most popular national parks with both locals and tourists alike, and it is easy to see why.

Jutting out into the South China Sea, the peninsula on which it lies is home to jagged cliffs and secluded beaches, with some pretty mangroves also on display. Its tangled mess of dense rainforest is a delight to explore, and lots of hidden waterfalls and sparkling streams can be found here and there.

As there are a plethora of fantastic paths and trails for you to hike along, many people end up staying a night or two in Bako. On top of its astounding natural sights, Bako National Park also boasts a vast array of wildlife, and over 150 types of birds have been spotted within its confines. With proboscis monkeys, bearded pigs, monitor lizards, and pangolins all on show, the park really is well worth visiting.

1. Semenggoh Nature Reserve

Semenggoh Nature Reserve

For many people, Borneo is synonymous with orangutans, and Semenggoh Nature Reserve is one of the best places to see them in the world. The reserve has long run a successful rehabilitation program for orphaned or rescued orangutans, and thankfully, all of them have since been released back into the wild. As such, they roam free around the rainforest at their will, coming and going as they please.

Many of them, however, still return to the center for a free meal a couple of times a day. Seeing the orangutans happily munching away on the fruit that is left out for them is an amazing experience, and is undoubtedly one of the highlights of any trip to Kuching – or even Borneo, for that matter.

Besides seeing them up close and personal, visitors to Semenggoh Nature Reserve can also go on a walk around its premises and enjoy the colorful fauna and flora of the rainforest.

Best Time to Visit Kuching

With temperatures remaining between 30 and 33°C (86 to 91°F) and each month seeing a lot of rainfall, you can’t really visit Kuching and avoid the heat, sun, humidity or rain. As such, many just visit when they have a holiday or plan it around one of its numerous fun festivals.

As the driest months are from April to September (though that’s not saying much!), loads of people visit then. July and August are of course the peak season due to the school holidays with prices being higher. Conditions are also best then for exploring the center, sunbathing or trekking about its lush, steamy jungle. Huge events include its Gawai Dayak Festival and Rainforest World Music Festival in June.

From October to March, the riverside city sees an incredible amount of rain tips down. If you don’t mind the sudden strong showers, prices are lower and there are barely any crowds at its caves, jungle lodges and wildlife sanctuaries.

Although extremely wet with pretty much every single day seeing at least some, if not a lot, of rain, December is the most popular month along with August. Prices again rise as people pour in for the holidays. Some also visit for Chinese New Year in either January or February.

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Rider Chris

Places Of Interest In Kuching, Sarawak: Attractions & Itinerary

Kuching is one of the cities that I love to be in as the people are friendly, the food is cheap and it has a lot of green landscapes. In this post, I’ll share Places Of Interest in Kuching and the things to do so you can maximize your time whilst in Kuching.

Nestled on the scenic banks of the Sarawak River, at the southwestern apex of the captivating Borneo island, lies Kuching, the City of Kuching. Revered as the cultural and administrative hub of the Sarawak state in Malaysia, this city boasts a thriving population of 325,132 people.

Page Contents

The Details

BEST Kuching Attractions

I would recommend that you spend at least 5 Days and 4 Nights (the longer better) to enjoy all the Kuching attractions.

In a nutshell, below are top Kuching attractions and If you don’t have the time or budget, you can always skip some places and/or modify the itinerary accordingly.

Why Kuching is called Kuching?

The name of the city,  Kuching , is thought to derive from the Malay word kucing, meaning cat. Many of the locals refer to  Kuching  as the “Cat City” but it more likely comes from the Chinese word for port (“cochin”) coupled with the Malay name mata kucing (cat’s-eye) for the longan fruit, a popular trade item

Kuching City Video

Kuching Attractions

Tugu pahlawan (warrior monument), old courthouse.

  • Fort Margherita

Kuching Waterfront

  • Darul Hana Bridge

Sarawak Cultural Village

Damai beach, shopping at main bazaar, bako national park, semenggoh nature reserve, siniawan night market, feast & furious cafe.

The list above is arranged based on the distance to one and another so you can save up on your time. I’ll now share you the details of the Kuching Attractions places below:

Kuching Attractions Trip Itinerary

Cat Statue

Take a photo at the famous Kuching’s city icon, the cat statue.

Location: Google Map

Tugu Pahlawan (Warrior Monument)

Tugu Pahlawan, also called the War  Memorial, is a memorial behind the Sarawak Museum. It was erected to commemorate fallen heroes from all the past wars involving Sarawak

Old Courthouse

The Old Courthouse is one of many colonial buildings that are a lasting legacy of Sarawak`s unique colonial history dominated by the Brooke family / the White Rajahs .

Fort Margherita (Brooke’s gallery)

Fort Margherita (Brooke's gallery)

Fort Margherita was built in 1879 by Charles Brooke, the first White Rajah of Sarawak and named after his wife Margaret, the Ranee of Sarawak. This landmark building located on a hill on the northern side of the Sarawak River, was built to help protect Kuching from unwelcome attacks from pirates. Today the fort has been fully restored and houses the Brooke Museum which showcases some of the history of Sarawak and the White Rajahs

Kuching Waterfront

The Kuching Waterfront is the most popular gathering place in this capital city. The esplanade stretches for about 900 meters along the south bank of the Sarawak river. 

Don’t miss out the musical fountain show around 8.30PM from this bridge on weekends. It’s beautiful.

Sarawak Cultural Village

This is the place you need to come to experience Sarawak culture. You can see a replica of different kinds of houses and experience the lifestyle. The theatre was the main attraction, it included traditional dances and blowpipe demonstration.

Entrance Fee: RM65 Adult, RM 30 Children (2020 Promo)

The theatre shows are at 11 AM and 4:30 PM. Don’t be late because you don’t want to miss it! Check out the video below from 0:14 – 2:44 which I’ve taken during my Borneo Ride .

Damai Beach

Located just next to Sarawak cultural village, you can chill here in the evening you miss the sea.

Cat Museum

I underestimated this place but from paintings to statutes, pictures, ornaments & taxidermy, there is a lot of info to take in! Not being huge cat fan, I still found this quite interesting.

  • Entrance Fee: RM 3

Shopping at Main Bazaar

Located opposite of Waterfront, you can buy all types of local souvenir here. I would highly recommend that you get the local design shirt/dress as it’s unique. You can also get instant laksa Sarawak here.

Bako National Park

Just a short gateway from city bustles, taking a speed boat crossing over river and sea to reach the island Bako. Surrounded by the beautiful Rocky Mountains, forest wild animals mainly wild boars. You can either stay there or make a day trip.

Semenggoh Nature Reserve

There are 32 orang-utans here in 10,000 hectares of forest and so the probability of seeing one of these creatures is pretty remote. Combine this with the fact that between November and April there is enough food in the forest then there is very little chance of seeing them at all. So this can be tricky and waste of time, you’ve been warned.

Fairy Cave in Bau

Easily the most impressive cave I’ve ever seen. Part of the ceiling is collapsed, creating a massive green skylight; it indeed looks like a fairy tale.

You will need to climb 3 floors for staircase before entering the opening of the caves and invited with more stairs into a dark tunnel. Right after, you’ll be amazed by the beautiful caves with many different sites that you can explore. I would recommend to come in the morning so that You have more time to explore. Please ensure your phone is installed with torchlight. Sone part can be slippery, better to wear proper shoes. Bring cameras that can capture dark spots.

Siniawan Night Market

Located about 25 KM away from Kuching, it’s a must place to experience the local night market for a foodie. The old wooden shop houses flanking the street is charming and the food selection is good too. Come earlier and see the sights of the town as well, like the little jetty that the locals used to cross the river.

Note: If you’re going here, make sure you arrange cab/taxi/grab on your way back in advance because it’s difficult to get one from Siniawan to Kuching. Alternatively, you can stay at the Tian Xia homestay at the night market area. (Just Google it)

Where To stay In Kuching?

If you fancy comfortable hotels, waterfront area would be the place and If you’re on a budget, stay at carpenter street which is not far away from the Waterfront.

How Do You Get Around in Kuching?

You can easily get around Kuching by taxi, Grab or hire a personal driver.

If you prefer to drive on your own, I would suggest that you rent a car from Ajim ( +60128848842 ) as he provides excellent service. For navigation, you can use Google Maps or Waze.

What & Where To Eat In Kuching?

Best laksa sarawak / kolo mee in kuching.

Laksa Sarawak is a local food that you must try! I’ve tried a few places and I would recommend the top two places for the best Laksa and Kolo mee

Chong Choon Cafe

Chong Choon Cafe

For me the Laksa here is a little bit spicy but you would love it! The place closes at 12 Noon, so be early!

Choon Hui Cafe

Choon Hui Cafe

The Laksa here has more (thick) flavour and less spicy. It can be crowded here and I would suggest that you go here early.

Feast & Furious Cafe

If you’re looking for a cafe for your coffee fix, delicious western food or even laksa, this is the best place to be. Owned by multi-talented proud Sarawakian, Alex Stmrock Wong who is also the founder of the Borneo Blowpipe Run .

This cafe has a great atmosphere especially for motor enthusiasts and I would highly recommend that you check this place out as it’s just within walking distance from the waterfront.

Aladdin Chicken Rice Shop

Aladdin Chicken Rice Shop

Located in the Carpenter street, I would suggest that you try out their roasted chicken here. For me, it is tasty and said to be the best chicken rice shop in Kuching. (They might be!)

Kek Lapis (layer cake)

Mira Cake House

Your visit to Kuching would not complete without trying out the Kek Lapis. Mira Cake House offers great choices for you to choose from and they also offer free testing.

Tips: From the waterfront, you can a take a boat ride across the river and walk to Mira Cake house. The ride will cost you RM1/pax (one way). The boat station is located at the back of Gloria Jean’s Coffees White Barouk .

Kuching Bars

The bikalan.

The Bikalan Kuching

As I’ve travelled quite extensively in South East Asia, I must say Bikalan in Siniawan Night Market is one of my favourite bars that I’ve been to. Situated just about 25KM from Kuching city, Bikalan is a laid back bar, serving authentic local cuisine and they offer a great range of alcohol/foods to fill up your night. Their food/drinks pricings are quite affordable and we really enjoyed the Bikalan, you don’t get this kind of atmosphere anywhere in Malaysia. Imagine having a good draught beer next to a river in a Belian wood shop house in Siniawan’s historic main bazaar.

The owners (Andy & Grace) are down to the earth person. If you’re going there, ask Andy about the history of the place, he would love to explain it to you.

Bear Garden

Bear Garden Kuching

Probably the cheapest bar and walking distance from the Waterfront! Bear Garden is one of the very few places within Kuching that you can grab a much need beer during the day whilst out sightseeing.

The staff are really friendly and welcoming. A great little bar which gets busy in the evening. We had such a good experience we made sure it was our regular watering hole for the trip. They also serve food which is great value for money and homemade. They also do amazing work supporting local animal conservation projects. Well worth a visit.

Drunk Monkey Old Street Bar

Drunk Monkey Old Street Bar

If you choose to wander along Carpenter Street (near the waterfront), there are numerous bars and the Drunk Monkey is one of them. The staff are efficient and they have a large selection of drinks available. Highly recommend it.

Kuching is definitely a destination I would recommend if you aren’t looking for somewhere too commercialised, but rather a place that has some character and culture to it. Have you been to Kuching? Which Kuching attractions you liked the most?

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Kuching Top Attractions


Stretched over an area of 17 acres of land at the foot hills of Mount Santubong around 40 mins outside Kuching, this is a living museum and a fascinating cultural display, the charismatic Sarawak cultural village. The place is a display of the multiple cultural styles of the region along with a showcase of their houses and living style and conditions. One can experience the essence of each culture and explore the style of the interiors at own leisure. There s a varied collection of handicrafts available here ranging from Kain Songket (cloth of Malay with gold inlay), Iban parang (swords), Bidayuh tambok (basket), Melanau Terendak (sunhat), Pua Kumbu (housewives textiles), Orang Ulu wood carving and others. Highlights: The cultural dance programs by various races showcasing their talents and giving a glimpse of their rich heritage. Timings: 9:00 am to 5:15pm and open on all daysLocation: Pantai Damai Price: 60RM for adults and 30RM for children

Kubah National Park

Kubah National Park was established in 1989 due to its rich diversity in plat life but the decision to open it for public came in 1995. One of the most exciting tourist location, this park stretches for 2230 hectares with fascinating waterfalls, bathing pools, sections of palms and orchids. The diversity in wildlife is equally remarkable in the park. One can enjoy the sight of bearded pig, mouse deer, black hornbill and many species of reptiles and amphibians. The park has six jungle trails and each trail provides something unique to explore. There are resting arrangements in each pathway to enjoy the jungle trail comfortably enjoying its beauty. There is availability of accommodation within the park and the same can be booked online. Highlight: Water fall trail Location: Jalan- Landu Sampadi, 20km west of Kuching. Timings: 8:00am to 5:00pm Price: RM10 per adult

The Cat Museum

One of the fun oriented exciting places to visit is the Cat Museum which is the first one of its kind in the whole world. Kuching in Malay means Cat and that is one can find quite a few cat statues at prominent places within the city. But what attracts more is the elaborate museum in Petra Jaya in North city hall of Kuching. For the cat lovers this is a complete whole new world with more than 4000 pictures and souvenirs, feline art of various types cats found. Covering an area of 1035 sq meter it is a one of the entertaining destinations especially for the kids. Location: North City Hall on the top of hill called “Bukit Siol”, Kuching Timings: 9 am to 5 pm daily (close Public Holiday) Price: Entry is free for all visitors however there is a charge of RM3 for Camera and RM5 for video camera

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places to visit in kuching sarawak

1. Semenggoh Nature Reserve

places to visit in kuching sarawak

2. Bako National Park

places to visit in kuching sarawak

3. Sarawak Cultural Village

places to visit in kuching sarawak

4. Waterfront Esplanade

places to visit in kuching sarawak

5. Mount Santubong

places to visit in kuching sarawak

6. Kubah National Park

places to visit in kuching sarawak

7. The Brooke Gallery

places to visit in kuching sarawak

8. Chinese Museum

places to visit in kuching sarawak

9. Kuching Waterfront

places to visit in kuching sarawak

10. Sarawak Museum

places to visit in kuching sarawak

11. The Great Orangutan Project

places to visit in kuching sarawak

12. Sarawak Orchid Garden

places to visit in kuching sarawak

13. Cat Museum

places to visit in kuching sarawak

14. Borneo Cultures Museum

places to visit in kuching sarawak

15. Darul Hana Bridge

places to visit in kuching sarawak

16. Carpenter Street

places to visit in kuching sarawak

17. Kuching Wetlands National Park

18. kbs buddhist village.

places to visit in kuching sarawak

19. Tua Pek Kong

places to visit in kuching sarawak

20. Annah Rais Longhouse Adventure

places to visit in kuching sarawak

21. The Old Courthouse

places to visit in kuching sarawak

22. Upside Down House Kuching

places to visit in kuching sarawak

23. Wind Caves

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24. Fort Margherita

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25. Matang Wildlife Centre

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26. Borneoartifact Asian Art, Antiques, Cultural artifacts

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27. The Ranee Museum

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28. Jong's Crocodile Farm & Zoo

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29. Masjid Bahagian Kuching - Kuching Mosque

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Borneo Post Online

Hope Place Kuching delivers aid to mother, son having schizophrenia

places to visit in kuching sarawak

Hope Place volunteer extends food supplies to Camillia and her children during the NGO’s visit to their house in Kampung Bunuk.

KUCHING (April 26): The struggles of a single mother and her child diagnosed with schizophrenia have been brought to the attention of Hope Place Kuching.

The family’s hardships were brought to attention when a caring social worker at Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) learnt of their struggles and reached out to the non-governmental organisation (NGO).

Hope Place recently visited Camillia Diana Nilo, 43, and her two children aged 17 and 21 years old at their house in Kampung Bunuk, Jalan Puncak Borneo near here.

The NGO was informed that Camillia was first diagnosed with the mental disorder back in 2015, to which her medical report showed that she suffered from severe depression.

“Currently Camillia is taking two types of oral medication daily and a monthly injection,” said Hope Place in a statement yesterday.

The family’s struggles intensified when Camillia’s eldest son, Oliver, was also diagnosed with schizophrenia in 2021.

“He, too, is taking medication for his mental condition. Oliver himself told us that he used to hear ‘voices’, even when there’s no one around,” the statement read.

The sudden passing of Camillia’s husband in 2015 was a great loss to the family, one that plunged Camillia into a deep depression and forever altered the family’s lives.

Camillia’s second child, Amy, since then has assumed the responsibilities of a caregiver at only 17 years old, forsaking her education by discontinuing her studies in Form 4 last year.

Her daily duties include cooking, cleaning, and tending to the needs of her mother and brother.

Despite the challenges they face, the family draws comfort from Camillia’s elderly parents and brother who live nearby.

However, the burden is further compounded by the fact that Camillia’s mother is bedridden and necessitates constant care.

“Camillia’s only source of income comes from the social welfare department’s RM300 monthly financial aid and her husband’s Social Security Organisation’s (Socso) monthly reimbursement.

“Hope Place, on the other hand, is supporting the family with food aid,” it added.

In response to their plea for assistance, Hope Place can be contacted on 082-505987 during their operational hours from 8am to 5pm on Mondays to Fridays, and 8am to 12pm on Saturdays.

Hope Place welcomes all donations, offering receipts upon request.

Contributions can be made directly to their bank account (MBB: 511289001160) or through their Facebook page to obtain their Sarawak Pay / S PAY GLOBAL QR code.

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  1. 24 Top Places To Visit In Kuching, Sarawak

    Astana Kuching. Astana - a name derived from the Malay word "Istana" which means Palace - is an interesting Kuching place to visit. This majestic colonial building was constructed in 1870 by the second White Rajah - the dynastic monarchy of the British Brooke family who ruled the Raj of Sarawak from 1841 to 1946.

  2. THE 15 BEST Things to Do in Kuching

    7. The Brooke Gallery. 182. History Museums. Open from 24th September 2016, the 175th anniversary of the founding of the State of Sarawak, the Brooke Gallery tells the story of one of the most remarkable kingdoms in history: Sarawak and its 'White Rajahs'. In the 1830s Sarawak, a province of the once-mighty Sultanate of Brunei in north-west ...

  3. 25 Best Things to Do in Kuching (Malaysia)

    Here are the 25 best things to do in Kuching: 1. Visit the Sarawak Cultural Village ... If you only have time to visit one museum in Kuching then the Sarawak Museum is an excellent pick. The museum also has the claim to fame of being the oldest in Borneo and was founded in 1891 under Charles Brooke.

  4. 35 BEST Things to do in Kuching Sarawak in 2024

    In this Kuching blog, I will cover the best places to visit in Kuching, alongside some great activities in Kuching - the pretty cat city of Sarawak. [Please note: Even though I visited and wrote this article few years ago, all attractions covered here are still operational post covid-19.

  5. Top 12 places to visit in Kuching (attractions within the city)

    The Kuching Waterfront Esplanade, located along the south bank of the Sarawak River, should be on top of the list of places to visit in Kuching. It offers beautiful river views and is a popular spot to experience the city's cosmopolitan vibes.

  6. THE 15 BEST Things to Do in Kuching

    Absolutely excellent museum. Review of: Borneo Cultures Museum. Written March 1, 2024. This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews. Things to Do in Kuching, Malaysia: See Tripadvisor's 52,960 traveler reviews and photos of Kuching tourist attractions.

  7. 31 Things To Do In & Near Kuching Like Breathtaking ...

    All visitors to the fort and the Brooke Museums must be fully vaccinated. Entrance fee: RM10 locals, RM20 foreigners, free for children under 7 (includes admission to Brooke Gallery) Address: Petra Jaya, 93050 Kuching, Sarawak. Telephone: 16 310 1880. Opening hours: 9AM-4PM, Daily.

  8. 9 Best Things To Do In Kuching, Sarawak

    Things to do in Kuching, Sarawak for adventurous travellers. 1. Meet wild orangutans in the flesh at Semenggoh Wildlife Center. 2. Slurp on big prawn Sarawak laksa at Golden Arch. 3. Snap IG-worthy pics at the Kuching Waterfront. 4. Go cafe-hopping at a motorsports or cat cafe.

  9. 30 Best Things to do in Kuching Malaysia 2024

    61 km. from city center 27 out of 30. Things To Do in Kuching. Highlights: Rafflesia Flower Trail, Waterfall Trail, Gunu (Read More) Often referred to as the 'Home of the elusive Giant Flower', Gunung Gading National Park is located near the town of Lundu in Kuching Division of Sarawak, Malaysia.

  10. 10 Must-Visit Attractions In Kuching Malaysia

    Here are some of the highlights. 1. Admire the Astana: Residence of Sarawak's White Rajahs. The Astana (palace) always features on lists of the must-visit attractions in Kuching. Sitting elegantly on the banks of the River Sarawak, the 1870 colonial palace exudes grandeur.

  11. THE 10 BEST Things to Do in Kuching

    7. The Brooke Gallery. 182. History Museums. Open from 24th September 2016, the 175th anniversary of the founding of the State of Sarawak, the Brooke Gallery tells the story of one of the most remarkable kingdoms in history: Sarawak and its 'White Rajahs'. In the 1830s Sarawak, a province of the once-mighty Sultanate of Brunei in north-west ...

  12. The 16 Best Things to Do in Kuching, Sarawak

    Address of Tua Pek Kong Chinese Temple: Jalan Penaga, Kampung Paya, 13110 Penaga, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia. 8. Visit the Old Courthouse in Kuching. The Kuching Old Courthouse is a historical landmark, a museum, and the official headquarters of the Sarawak Tourism Complex.

  13. The Top 40 Places to Visit in Kuching, Sarawak (Borneo)

    Tourist Attractions in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia. Sarawak, the largest state in Malaysia, is one of two states situated on the island of Borneo, which is famous for its orangutans. Sarawak was ruled by the British from 1842 until its independence in 1963, when it joined Malaya, Sabah and Singapore to form Malaysia. In 1965, Singapore separated ...

  14. 12 Top Tourist Attractions in Kuching, Malaysia

    8. Fort Margherita. Overlooking the lively Kuching waterfront, Fort Margherita was built in 1879 on the banks of the Sarawak River to help protect the city from attack. One of the main attractions in Kuching, the dazzling white walls and turrets of the fort stand out against the greens of the lawns and trees that surround it.

  15. THE 10 BEST Things to Do in Kuching

    7. The Brooke Gallery. Open from 24th September 2016, the 175th anniversary of the founding of the State of Sarawak, the Brooke Gallery tells the story of one of the most remarkable kingdoms in history: Sarawak and its 'White Rajahs'. In the 1830s Sarawak, a province of the once-mighty Sultanate of Brunei in north-west Borneo, was ravaged by ...

  16. 10 BEST Places to Visit in Kuching (UPDATED 2024)

    Places to Visit in Kuching. Enter dates. Attractions. Filters. Sort. Map. All things to do. Category types ... Things to do near Semenggoh Nature Reserve Things to do near Bako National Park Things to do near Sarawak Cultural Village Things to do near Mount Santubong Things to do near Carpenter Street Things to do near Matang Wildlife Centre ...

  17. Places Of Interest In Kuching, Sarawak: Attractions & Itinerary

    Kuching Waterfront. Image: 360tour.asia. Square Tower (waterfront) Darul Hana Bridge (Waterfront) - Image: 360tour.asia. The Kuching Waterfront is the most popular gathering place in this capital city. The esplanade stretches for about 900 meters along the south bank of the Sarawak river.

  18. Things to see & do in Kuching, Sarawak

    Parallel to the waterfront is the Main Bazaar, not actually a bazaar but the oldest street in Kuching, where you'll see some lovely 19th century Chinese townhouses as well as many shops selling antiques and handicrafts. The Chinese History Museum tracing immigration to Kuching and Sarawak in the Brooke era is a fascinating place to while away ...

  19. Places to Visit in Kuching

    6. Kubah National Park. We brought formal attire, and changed there and there, just to immerse ourselves in the wonders of Borneo's... 7. The Brooke Gallery. Open from 24th September 2016, the 175th anniversary of the founding of the State of Sarawak, the Brooke Gallery tells the story of one of the most remarkable kingdoms in history: Sarawak ...

  20. THE 15 BEST Things to Do in Kuching (Updated 2024)

    Vibrant riverfront walk lined with local food stalls, nightly light and sound shows, and cultural activities, highlighted by a scenic bridge and mosque view. See ways to experience (3) 10. Sarawak Museum. 820. Speciality Museums. Nature studies, tradition and local craftsmanship come together in this 1891 museum.

  21. 15 Best Places to Visit in Kuching

    KUCHING MAIN BAZAAR. Send Enquiry. Located at the heart of Kuching, the Kuching Main Bazaar is the best place in Kuching to shop for antiques, handicrafts and souvenirs of your trip to this city, which is a perfect blend of nature, culture, craft, tradition and cuisine. The market is full of shops selling ethnic handicrafts and antiques.

  22. All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

    KBS Buddhist Village, Kuching: See reviews, articles, and photos of KBS Buddhist Village, ranked No.88 on Tripadvisor among 100 attractions in Kuching. ... Kuching Cultural & Heritage Tour with Sarawak Sunset River Cruise. 1. Bus Tours. from . AU$211.76. per adult (price varies by group size) Gunung Gading National Park Tour. Full-day Tours. from .

  23. 13 Exciting Places Where You Can Live For $1,500 (Or Less) A Month

    The Kuching waterfront. getty Kuching, Malaysia. Why Move There: Founded in 1839 along the tranquil Sarawak River, Kuching, ... MORE FROM FORBES 15 Affordable Places To Travel In 2024, ...

  24. 30 BEST Places to Visit in Kuching (UPDATED 2024)

    I was visiting Kuching, Sarawak, MALAYSIA (Borneo Island) early in December 2023. And there was this tallest flag pole in the country recently constructed and completed. Ready for official opening in the eve of the New Year 2024. Wonderful scene. Great activities along the waterfront (Sarawak River). Lots of local foods and western foods as well.

  25. Best Supper Place in Kuching! Pork Porridge ...

    Best Supper Place in Kuching! 🍚🐷😍📍Pork Porridge, Lau Ya Keng Food Court Carpenter Street ⏰ 12:30am - 8am ( Tuesday to Sunday ) Closed on Sunday night to Monday morning #kuching #supper #porridge #sarawak #pork #placetoeat #kuchingfood #breakfast

  26. Hope Place Kuching delivers aid to mother, son having schizophrenia

    You are at: Home » News » Sarawak » Hope Place Kuching delivers aid to mother, son having schizophrenia 0 By Jude Toyat on April 26, 2024, Friday at 8:00 AM Sarawak

  27. THE 10 BEST Things to Do in Kuching

    Things to Do in Kuching, Malaysia: See Tripadvisor's 53,004 traveller reviews and photos of Kuching tourist attractions. Find what to do today, this weekend, or in May. We have reviews of the best places to see in Kuching. ... I was visiting Kuching, Sarawak, MALAYSIA (Borneo Island) early in December 2023. And there was this tallest flag pole ...