"Kuching - Great place to sample Borneo" Kuching by Robin922

Kuching Travel Guide: 799 reviews and 2,086 photos

Wildlife, culture, and more!

Word to the wise, allow enough time to enjoy!

I had planned to stay a week, but my friend from there told me there wasn't that much to do and that three days was enough... WRONG! I should have stuck to my original plan. Guess I'll just have to go back and see the rest.

By now you know that Kuching is the Malay for cat. While there I asked several locals about this... ends up there isn't any real cool story, just a name. Some think the original name was 'Cochin' is sounds very similar, but means port. On the other hand they have defiantly taken the name and ran with it. All that 'cat' stuff is fairly new, for the benefit of tourism.

A bit of history in the early days Sarawak was under the control of the Brueni Sultan. However the Sultan' men, didn't treat the people fairly so they rebelled. James Brooke was sent in to settle things down, he did... then became the ruler. This is when Kuching became an administrative center and an active port. Charles Brooke took over in 1868 and served until 1917, many of the historic river front buildings you see to day were built under his direction.
In 1941 they surrendered to the Japanese, which lasted until the end of the war (1945).

In 1963 Sarawak became part of Malaysia, and has continued to grow and develop into a modern derverse cultureal state.

The people of this area are a very derverse group, and you will have the chance to hear several different languages and see the different cultures. English is widely spoken as is Malay, however you will also hear people's native languages.. Hokkien, Mandarin, Iban and Bidayuh.

Things to see and do

While I stayed at the river front, I didn't get time to explore it. I still regret this. It rained a little each morning, and down poured late every afternoon. I had to make the best of my hours of sun and the other places in the area, rated much higher on my list.

The Semenggoh Orang Utan (Orangutan) Sanctuary was top on my list. This is one of the few places in the world where you can see an organ that isn't in a zoo. Defiantly a must see. On a good day, like the one I had it's very up close experience. You aren't allowed to touch, but several were with in reach.

Some people skip this sanctuary figuring they will be visiting one in Sabah. Don't make this mistake! Since there is never a guarantee the more places you visit, the better your odds. In my case, it paid off. There were so many tourists at the two sanctuaries in Sabah that I visited, it was hard to take any photos. My best shots came from this location.

A day of old culture

The Sarawak Culture Village, is a popular place to visit. While not the 'real thing' the houses are full size replicates that you can walk though. The gift shop is overpriced (as all are), but the craftsmen selling their work is fair priced. The best part is you get to see the items being made. So that cheap little coin purse now has new meaning.
You can see more photos of the part in my travel tip.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Lots to do, easy to travel to places of interest, cheap vacation
  • Cons:Weather, always hot, and rains a lot. Allow an extra day or two for weather
  • In a nutshell:Great place if short on time and funds, but still want to do a lot
  • Last visit to Kuching: Aug 2007
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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