The capital city of Kuching in Malaysia happens to be one of the more alluring cities in Asia, with fantastic new hotels, and fabulous food, along with little traffic or high-rise building to spoil the laid back and relaxing vibe.
Things to See And Do
Kuching is definitely defined by the historic waterfront, which is the ideal introduction for taking a slow sunset stroll across the 1-mile pedestrian promenade which follows along the snaking Sarawak River. Across this water lie the sleepy Malay kampongs along with the once-imposing Colonial Fort Margherita along with the White Rajah’s palace which is now dwarfed by today’s modern and immense parliament building that resembles an awe-inspiring golden spaceship. You can take advantage of a river cruise, but a simple-sampan ferry that rows tourists and visitors back and then forth is far more fun.
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Kuching is not very big on the sights, but there is a venue you should add to your list and this is the Sarawak Museum, that has barely undergone any changes since the first opening in the year 1891. This venue is home to outstanding collections of flora-and-fauna collections as well as an authentic insight into indigenous tribes from the Borneo rainforest.
Places to Stay
Kuching offers a variety of five-star, modern hotels, but if you are in search of an original and unique place to stay consider the Ranee. This romantic boutique hotel is set in 2 former Chinese shop-houses and decorated with tribal handicrafts and antiques. If you are in search of an attractive budget alternative, consider the Borneo Rainforest Lodge that offers an astonishing interior and traditional courtyard. There are also numerous backpacker hostels like the Singgahsana Lodge which houses its own rooftop bar along with live music on occasions and pool tables. Another backpacker hotspot includes the hip DIY Dorm in Chinatown with its own Wrong Place café.
Places to Eat
Kuching happens to be a food paradise, especially the selections of street-food options where the majority of the dishes cost under a pound. Start off at Chinatown’s Seng Kee where you can pick up main meals for around 90p. Here you can choose from a selection of pork satay, fish ball soup, Sarawak Laksa, Chinese rice porridge served with preserved vegetables and salted egg or if you are feeling adventurous you may want to try kueh chap which is a meal of slow-braised intestines and pork ribs.
There is a host of fine-dining spots too, which includes Asian fusion cuisine from Bla Bla Bla, to outstanding pizza and pasta at Junk, a restaurant decorated with a variety of eclectic antiques that were collected by George Ling the flamboyant chef.
Places to Drink
For the very best of the river views, enjoy a sunset cocktail or afternoon tea at James Brooke Bistro, which recalls days associated with the White Rajahs. The locals prefer the freshly-roasted coffee that comes from the beans that are grown on the Sarawak plantations at the popular spot known as Black Bean Coffee. For an early-evening happy hour that stretches well past midnight, head to the Drunk Monkey which is a popular favourite in Kuching’s Chinatown. This spot is often confused with an equally popular hot spot known as Monkeebar, which is owned by one of the conservation NGOs who donates a third of the profits made to the Orangutan conservation project. On weekends head down to The Canteen to enjoy live heavy metal and reggae.
Out of Town Trips
An exciting trip to Semenggoh Wildlife Center provides visitors with a unique and extremely rare opportunity to view orangutans in a natural habitat. Visitors need to keep in mind that this rehabilitation centre is dedicated to a species that is still significantly threatened and should not be regarded as one of the tourist attraction. The 26 Orangutans in Semenggoh roam the jungles free and swing from the trees when the forest wardens come around twice daily for their feeding. Visitors are allowed to watch in respectful silence from the dedicated platform which is about 100 meters away.