Kuching travel guide

Kuching Tourism | Kuching Guide

You're Going to Love Kuching

Colonial-era buildings rub shoulders with modern office towers in Kuching, the largest city on the island of Borneo and the capital of Sarawak state. From the busy waterfront to landmarks like the Astana, the erstwhile palace of the White Rajahs, Kuching is known as a clean, safe city for travelers to explore. Add a fabulous dining scene and the burgeoning tourist industry is waiting for you to discover.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Kuching

1. Wild Nature

The city is the perfect hub to explore the area's gorgeous natural beauty, including rainforest, waterfalls, beaches, and more, with Bako National Park bordering the city along the waterfront, and Kubah National Park just outside town.

2. The Orangutans

You must check out the region's iconic wildlife on any visit to the city, and you can watch the orangutans feeding at Semenggoh Nature Reserve, an easy bus ride from downtown.

3. Beach Life

Enjoy the beach along with events like music festivals and a lively bar scene at Santubong, a short distance from the city.

4. Fascinating Museums

One of the legends around the city's name comes from the Malay word "kucing", which means cat, making it the perfect place for the delightful Cat Museum, just one of the city's impressive and intriguing museums that you can explore.

5. Great Food and Fun

From street food at the city's night markets to fine dining, the diverse population and lush environment result in a thriving dining and nightlife scene.

What to do in Kuching

1. Unique Wildlife

Filled with a wide variety of plant and animal life, Bako National Park is on a peninsula just north of Kuching. Take a stroll or an all-day hike on one of the trails and there is a good chance you will see some exotic wildlife. The park has a wide range of plant life native to Borneo, including the carnivorous pitcher plant. Birdwatchers can view an astonishing range of colorful birds such as several varieties of kingfishers, owls, babblers and woodpeckers. It's not uncommon to catch sight of wild boars and there are several varieties of monkeys, including macaques, silver leaf monkeys, and almost 300 proboscis monkeys, rare and unusual creatures unique to Borneo. Take a break from a hike at one of the secluded coves with white sand beaches.

2. Meow!

What would a visit to "Cat City" ("Kuching" means "cat") be without a visit to its Cat Museum? Touted as the world's first cat museum, this attraction is completely devoted to the feline species. From famous cats to cats in pop culture, the museum is a dream for cat lovers and is sure to have something for everyone to love.

3. Waterway To Walk

Whether you're looking for something to eat, something to buy, something to do, or just a nice view, this mile-long walk along the Sarawak River has a lot to offer. Modern and historic architecture frames the beautifully landscaped walkway. Sample local food like the "Kek Lapis" cake, shop the neighboring Malay Villages and cross the river in an iconic "tambang" boat to complete your experience. The scene is especially spectacular as the sun goes down, making sunset cruises a popular way to spend the evening.

4. Browse Native Artisans And Produce

Running from Saturday afternoon until Sunday afternoon, the Sunday Market is one of the best places to purchase local products and food. Many of the vendors are natives from rural areas who come to the city on the weekend to sell their wares. All kinds of local foods and fruits are available, as well as fruit trees and even livestock. Jungle products, local crafts and souvenirs are also widely available. Its colorful view of local culture and products make the Sunday Market a place that really should be included in your Kuching itinerary.

5. Relic Of British Colonists

Visible across the river from the Kuching Waterfront, Fort Magherita is one of many historic structures built by British colonists. Visitors can view old cannons, guns and fortifications. Today the fort hosts the Brooke Gallery, a collection of items from the family of Charles Brooke, the first white rajah, or king, of Sarawak. The display gives viewers insights into over 100 years of the area's history.

1. Unique Wildlife

Filled with a wide variety of plant and animal life, Bako National Park is on a peninsula just north of Kuching. Take a stroll or an all-day hike on one of the trails and there is a good chance you will see some exotic wildlife. The park has a wide range of plant life native to Borneo, including the carnivorous pitcher plant. Birdwatchers can view an astonishing range of colorful birds such as several varieties of kingfishers, owls, babblers and woodpeckers. It's not uncommon to catch sight of wild boars and there are several varieties of monkeys, including macaques, silver leaf monkeys, and almost 300 proboscis monkeys, rare and unusual creatures unique to Borneo. Take a break from a hike at one of the secluded coves with white sand beaches.

2. Meow!

What would a visit to "Cat City" ("Kuching" means "cat") be without a visit to its Cat Museum? Touted as the world's first cat museum, this attraction is completely devoted to the feline species. From famous cats to cats in pop culture, the museum is a dream for cat lovers and is sure to have something for everyone to love.

3. Waterway To Walk

Whether you're looking for something to eat, something to buy, something to do, or just a nice view, this mile-long walk along the Sarawak River has a lot to offer. Modern and historic architecture frames the beautifully landscaped walkway. Sample local food like the "Kek Lapis" cake, shop the neighboring Malay Villages and cross the river in an iconic "tambang" boat to complete your experience. The scene is especially spectacular as the sun goes down, making sunset cruises a popular way to spend the evening.

4. Browse Native Artisans And Produce

Running from Saturday afternoon until Sunday afternoon, the Sunday Market is one of the best places to purchase local products and food. Many of the vendors are natives from rural areas who come to the city on the weekend to sell their wares. All kinds of local foods and fruits are available, as well as fruit trees and even livestock. Jungle products, local crafts and souvenirs are also widely available. Its colorful view of local culture and products make the Sunday Market a place that really should be included in your Kuching itinerary.

5. Relic Of British Colonists

Visible across the river from the Kuching Waterfront, Fort Magherita is one of many historic structures built by British colonists. Visitors can view old cannons, guns and fortifications. Today the fort hosts the Brooke Gallery, a collection of items from the family of Charles Brooke, the first white rajah, or king, of Sarawak. The display gives viewers insights into over 100 years of the area's history.

Where to Eat in Kuching

Explore local Dayak cuisine in elegant style at the.Dyak, where main dishes start at RM25. Sample innovative Chinese-style fusion dishes at Bla Bla Bla, where mains begin at RM22.

When to visit Kuching

Kuching in June
Estimated hotel price
$30
1 night at 3-star hotel
Kuching in June
Estimated hotel price
$30
1 night at 3-star hotel

Most travelers opt to visit the city during the drier months of the year, from June through August, when daytime temperatures average around 90 degrees.

Data provided by weatherbase
Temperatures
Temperatures
Average
Celcius (°C)
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Kuching

Plane

Kuching International Airport (KCH) is about seven miles from the city center. A taxi into town should be available at a fixed rate of about RM26.

Car

There are well-maintained highway connections within Sarawak state between Kuching and other centers such as Sarikei, Sibu, and Miri, but there is no guarantee of paved surfaces if you are traveling from farther away.

Bus

The Kuching Sentral Bus Terminal provides intercity connections to other major centers in Sarawak state, including Sibu, Miri, and Pontianak in Indonesia, among others. Sarawak Transport Company and Bintang Jaya Express Bus are two of the larger bus companies operating out of the terminal.

Airports near Kuching

Airlines serving Kuching

KLM
Good (292 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (1,074 reviews)
British Airways
Good (939 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Good (932 reviews)
Emirates
Excellent (663 reviews)
Etihad Airways
Good (203 reviews)
Singapore Airlines
Good (155 reviews)
Malaysia Airlines
Good (24 reviews)
Japan Airlines
Good (300 reviews)
Oman Air
Good (2 reviews)
Philippine Airlines
Good (105 reviews)
China Airlines
Good (11 reviews)
Scoot
Good (39 reviews)
Batik Air
Mediocre (1 reviews)
AirAsia
Okay (16 reviews)
Garuda Indonesia
Excellent (11 reviews)
Firefly
Excellent (2 reviews)
Show more

Where to stay in Kuching

Stay in stylish modern comfort at the Batik Boutique Hotel, with a convenient central location. You'll enjoy the contemporary decor and amenities at the Padungan Hotel, about a half mile from the waterfront.

Popular neighbourhoods in Kuching

Padungan - this is the city's historical commercial and shopping area, with plenty of nightlife and hotel options, along with attractions like the Kuching waterfront and cat statues.

Satok - this is where you will find the city's busiest weekend market, a mecca for bargains on local goods and food of all kinds, along with a restaurant scene nearby to sample from.

Siniawan - this area that runs along the Sungai Sarawak Kanan River is where you will find the famed Siniawan Night Market, along with a commercial area and dining options.

Where to stay in popular areas of Kuching

Most booked hotels in Kuching

Hilton Kuching
Excellent (8, Excellent reviews)
$115+
Pullman Kuching
Good (7.7, Good reviews)
$65+
See all hotels

How to Get Around Kuching

Public Transportation

There is reliable bus service through the city by City Public Link, with bright green buses you can't miss. Fares vary by zone, ranging from RM1.80 to RM2.30.

Taxi

Taxis are metered and fairly plentiful, and can be rented by the hour for about RM40.

Car

Roads within the city are in good condition, and driving is oriented to the left. A car rental starts at about RM160 per day.

The Cost of Living in Kuching

Shopping Streets

You'll find modern shopping malls like the Riverside Shopping Complex in the city center, with many smaller stores along Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, which runs along the Sarawak River.

Groceries and Other

H&L and Upwell are two of the larger local supermarket chains. A quart of milk costs about RM6.25 and a dozen eggs should cost about RM4.30.

Cheap meal
$2.89
A pair of jeans
$82.03
Single public transport ticket
$0.72
Cappuccino
$3.20