TOP DESTINATIONS IN KUCHING
Kuching city centre
The best way to move around the city centre which is the old part of Kuching is by walking. The shop houses along the streets are old but well maintained. These are located along Wayang Street, Main Bazaar, Gambir Road, India Streets, Carpenter Street, etc. Electra House, a former famous landmark is located at Power Street. Opposite the Electra House shopping mall is an old fire station that
Many of the old shop houses along Carpenter Street which runs parallel to Main Bazaar Road have been converted as hostels for backpackers. Several pubs and backpackers’ hostels are also found on this street. There is also a popular Chinese eatery opposite the temple.
The old courthouse built in 1874, is another well known landmark at the heart of the city with the clock tower standing elegantly in front. The complex was used as the State Legislative Assembly before becoming a court house. Events and exhibitions are sometimes held here. Sarawak Tourism has an office located within the premises. A monument dedicated to the 2nd White Rajah, stands in front of the complex facing the Waterfront.
Behind the Courthouse, a ‘colonial Baroque’–style building houses the Textile Museum. Here traditional cloths including beadworks, headgears, silver work, etc are displayed. A new shopping mall cum hotel is located next to it.
The colonial era majestic building built in 1932 across the Textile Museum is the General Post Office.
A stroll along Gambir Road, one can find Indian shops selling spices and an alley in between the Indian shops will lead to the oldest mosque in Sarawak. Further down the alley it will take you to India Street known for shops selling textiles.
Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Center
Located 20kms from Kuching, the Center is a place for rescued, injured or orphaned animals where they are rehabilitated before releasing them into the wild. The Orang Utans are the main attraction of the centre besides hornbills and crocodiles. The Orang Utans, unlike those kept in zoos are allowed to roam freely in the forest unless they are under quarantine. The best time to visit the Centre is during feeding time (9am & 3pm) when they come to collect fruits. There is an entry fee to the Centre.
Bako National Park
The oldest National Park in Malaysia, Bako National Park is located 37kms north east of Kuching. It is well known for it’s biodiversity that includes pitcher plants, orchids, monitor lizards, squirrels, flying lemurs, proboscis monkeys as well as bearded pigs.
For the adventurous there are some 16 colour-coded trails that you can hike and set up camp. Depending on your fitness level you can choose trails range from 30mins to 7 hrs 30mins.
For those opting to stay overnight, there are comfortable chalets and a cafeteria. The park also has a visitor’s room, an education centre and information centre.
Siniawan Old Town
Located 21kms from Kuching on the road to Bau is the long ‘forgotten town’ called Siniawan. In recent years, efforts were made to revive the town with activities on the street hung with lanterns between two rows of more than a hundred years old shop houses. To get a feel of the bygone era, you have to visit during the day. The town comes to live at weekends in the evenings. Stalls are set up to sell traditional food. It is well known for traditional Hakka dishes. For the adventurous there is karaoke and a stage for performances. Events like cowboy weekends are also held and which bring with an atmosphere of the old western.
Sarawak Cultural Village
35kms north of the city, set in a lush jungle setting, the Sarawak Cultural Village is a unique ‘living museum’ allowing a visitor to experience the cultures and traditions of the people of Sarawak. Local authentic dwellings like the Dayak longhouse, Melanau, Malay, Chinese, etc houses are spread around and are staffed to explain to visitors the culture of each group. Cultural shows and handicraft making demonstrations at held daily at the village.