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Kuching Place Of Interest & Things To Do

Kuching is the capital and the most populous city of Sarawak. Situated on the Sarawak River at the southwest tip of the state of Sarawak; it serves as the getaway to Sarawak.

A beautiful land coloured by peace, traditions and biodiversity.

With an unusual name; Kuching – which means ‘cat’ in Malay, there are some stories saying that because of numerous numbers of cat can be found there it gives the city the name, but it is not true. It has been said that Kuching’s got its name from the word kochin which means harbour in Chinese language.

This capital city has a lot to offer ranging from the local delicacies, history, culture and nature. One thing for sure, the city’s architectural heritage of Brooke era buildings and the 19th Century Chinese shophouses are well preserved and it is NOT only limited to that. There are more than hundreds of things that can be done and you can easily find all of it here (yes, it will be updated time to time) and find all those that cater or appealing enough for you.

Of course, the city itself is compact and well preserved. Because it was strategically located in the centre, almost everything that is worth seeing in the city can be reached by walking or sampan.

Let assume you will start at the heart of Kuching; we will list down the place of interest in Kuching and further from the city centre or in this case, from the historic centre – Main Bazaar or the Waterfront.

[We will keep this list updated from time to time]

0km – 30km

Kuching Waterfront

With an almost 900 m long esplanade, Kuching Waterfront once received a major restoration and land reclamation project and now, the most popular meeting spot in Kuching.

Beautifully landscaped, dotted with benches, food stalls and restaurants, the best way to enjoy the waterfront either at the morning, where you can clearly take some photo of the majestic State Assembly Buildings, the Astana or the Darul Hana Bridge or, you can enjoy the sunset or night atmosphere as well.

During the night, there are a lot of eateries that you can try. Most of them will offer varies menu of seafood or you can stroll and enjoy the view.

#Traveller Tips : Come jog in the morning and enjoy not so crowded area, come again 6 pm onwards for breath-taking sunset view and stay for the musical fountain show.

Darul Hana Bridge / Musical Fountain

This S-shaped pedestrian suspension bridge connected the waterfront area and the State Assembly Buildings.

There are two observation or viewing decks available and it offers a majestic panoramic view of the Sarawak River, the centre and the Darul Hana Musical Fountain.

The musical fountain of Darul Hana erupts from the Sarawak River in front of the State Assembly Building. Last for 15 minutes, this water, music and light show will be happening at 8.30 pm and 10 pm daily, with an additional show at 9.30 pm on weekends.

Note : Because of the current RMCO, the show has been suspended until further notice. Watch this space for the updates.

Main Bazaar

Running parallelly to the waterfront, Main Bazaar is the oldest street in the city. It consists of mixed business in a stretch of Chinese architecture shophouse. Amazingly, some of the shophouses have been occupied by the same family from generations.

Here lies the highest concentration of souvenir shops, handicraft and antique of Kuching. You might also want to have a sip of coffee or drinks that are available in old fashioned coffee shops here.

What to buy ?

Since there are so many things to buy from, you might get confuse. To be honest, go for Sarawak Batik; any food paste, pepper or if you want something unique, buy the ‘Penan’ basket or bag. You can get it around RM 46 per piece for the bag or somewhere around there.

#Travellers Tips : Try to bargain when you are here, you may compare from shop to shop, but normally they will agree at one similar ‘best offer’. 

Carpenter Street

Carpenter Street or Jalan Carpenter extends to Jalan Ewe Hai, it runs parallel to the Main Bazaar and consists of similar establishment as Main Bazaar. There is a mixture of small traders, coffee shops and food stalls.

What I like the most about the area is the characteristic of buildings and the ambience here, since it consists of well-preserved 19th-century Chinese houses. There are a lot of places that can be used for your insta-moment.

What to look for?

Indah Café at Upper China street that connected to Carpenter Street.

There you can take a look at the unique café and art gallery. They serve food and of course coffee too!

Aladin Café – The best chicken rice I ever tasted so far!

They open daily from 10 am to 7 pm, there are 3 types of chicken you can choose from; fried, roasted or steamed. Go for the fried chicken!

It is so good that we only manage to eat here on our third visit! First two, they have sold-out their chicken.

Kai Joo Lane

The first things you’d notice are beautifully painted murals and two rows of 32 units of two-storey shophouses (if you are approaching from India Street). You might wonder why there are zinc pieces being attached to the murals which depict the lives of vendors in the lane during the early 1920s.

Yes, Kai Joo Lane has been around for 96-years. Build-in 1923 by a local businessman; Teo Kai Joo, it was named Kai Joo Lane by Charles Brooke himself.

There are two rows of 32 shops and its location should be appreciated for its cultural and historical heritage.

What to look for?

Hiap Yak Tea Shop – The shop has been pass generation to generation. It was registered in 1958 under the North Borneo and Brunei.

It serves arguably the best hot butter coffee in town for RM2 per cup.