Labelled one of the most ‘liveable’ cities in Southeast Asia, Kuching offers a glimpse of what other Asian cities were once like; laid back, gracious and friendly with a population of just 600,000.
A walk along the streets, the most atmospheric being Jalan Gambier, India and Carpenter, will reveal dragon festooned Chinese temples and shop houses, a 19th-century South Indian mosque and British colonial architecture.
Places to Stay:There are a number of budget places in and around the Chinatown area, which you’ll find just behind the Waterfront and Main Bazaar. OUR PICK: Singgahsana Lodge – A great choice, super friendly atmosphere and a range of dorms and private rooms available. It also has a sister lodge, the (more expensive) Village House in the beach area of Santubong (approximately one hour away). Singgahsana offers a shuttle service to most of the attractions in and around Kuching (including Semenggoh Wildlife Centre). Read our full review here. For more accommodation in Kuching, Click Here!
Things to do in Kuching:
Getting there:Air Asia fly into Kuching from Kuala Lumpur. New airline, Maswings, now offer internal flights throughout Borneo. Where to go next? Sibu: From Kuching, you can bus it (8 hours), boat it (4 ½ hours) or fly using Malaysia’s own boutique airline MASwings. There’s not a great deal to write home about Sibu in general, but it’s the main tourist gateway to the Upper Rajang River. Spend endless lazy days floating past small villages, and staying in one of the many Iban and Orang Ulu longhouses en route to the other main towns of Kapit and Belaga. Miri: The archaeological wonders of Niah Caves is a couple of hours away from Miri, although most people are drawn here with the aim of visiting the famous Gunung National Park with its proliferation of trails, hikes and caves. The best option is to fly with MASwings. Tanjung Datu National Park, (the tip of Borneo): The smallest of Sarawak’s National Parks, Tanjung Datu is located at the very south-western tip, where it meets Indonesia. Expect secluded, remote beaches, crystal clear waters, beautiful coral reefs (so great for snorkelling and diving), and of course, close proximity to the jungle, with a number of easy to medium jungle trails to follow. Tanjung Datu’s wildlife is equally impressive, being home to at least three types of Hornbill, as well as peacocks, gibbons, Bearded Pigs, Mouse Deer, Barking Deer, and a number of different species of monkeys, including Pig-Tailed Macaques. This is also a well-known Turtle Rehabilitation site. Not the easiest place to get to, but well worth it… You’ll need to get a boat from Sematan to the nearby fishing village of Telok Melano, then another boat to Tanjung Datu (the bus to Sematan from Kuching takes around 2 ½ hours). The boats are infrequent and unscheduled, however, so best would be to join an organised tour from Kuching. Further details can be found from Kuching’s National Parks Booking Office; they can also provide details on the Homestay programme in Telok Melano (overnight stays are currently not permitted in the Park).
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