So you have landed in Kuching, and now, you do not know what to do.
Tourist guides might introduce you packages to go on tours to fill your time, but as a local, here’s what I think you should do, if you have the time. Before you read on, please note that some of the activities take over a day, so do plan your trip wisely. I’ve also put in the time recommendation for each activity.
10GO TO THE SARAWAK CULTURAL VILLAGE
The award winning Sarawak Cultural Village is a must go for anyone coming to Kuching. The village is dubbed as ‘the live museum’ as it showcases the different ethnics in Sarawak in their traditional day to day life and costumes. Once here, be sure to stay for one of their daily shows as it is very captivating and interactive. There is an entry fee charged, and you are advised to spend half a day here. / Photo shows the SCV during the annual Rainforest World Music Festival.
9EAT KUCHING STREET FOOD
Street food in Kuching is one of the best in the world, and even popular chef Anthony Bourdain agreed to this when he called the ever popular Sarawak Laksa, the ‘breakfast of the Gods’. If you are looking for dishes to try, it is highly recommended to try out local favourites like Sarawak Laksa, Kolok Mee, Kampua Mee, Bihun Belacan, Kueh Chap and local made drink Teh C Peng Special. For a list of popular Sarawak Laksa places, check our local laksa favourite spots. / Photo shows Sarawak Laksa
8VISIT THE SATOK SUNDAY MARKET
The diversity of Kuching people is best seen at the Satok Sunday (Weekend) Market. Now located at the Kubah Ria Farmer’s Centre, the market has practically everything one could imagine, ranging from local cakes, sago worms, books, textile, plants and so much more. Since the market is only open on Saturday and Sunday morning, it is advised to go early in the morning to see the buzz. If you can’t make it to the Sunday Market, visiting the Satok Market is also quite thrilling. / Photo shows vegetables on sale on the Sunday Market
7EAT DAYAK FOOD
Over the years, Dayak cuisine has gained popularity among tourist and locals due to the fact that such cuisine is not available in any other part of the world. Among the dishes recommended are Manok Pansuh, Umai Ikan, Kasam Ikan/Babi, Tempoyak Pork Soup, and Terung Asam Chicken Soup. That said, it is highly recommended to go eat Dayak food for dinner at these restaurants. Among the places serving this exotic dishes are Sorai Cafe and Aroma Cafe. When at these places, the Dayak food menu is listed here. / Photo shows Ulam with Sambal, a typical Dayak dish
Although Kuching is not located nearby the sea, seafood is surprisingly cheaper here compared to other cities in Malaysia, including Kota Kinabalu. Due to this, there’s a lot of reason for you to eat your ‘seafood heart’ out when you are in Kuching. If you are interested enjoy quality seafood at even cheaper rates, we made a list of places to eat good seafood in Kuching for you. / Photo shows Salted Egg Fried Crab at iCafe
5GO ON THE PERAHU TAMBANG
Kuching is often dubbed as the ‘Venice of the East’, and this has been largely attributed to the role played by the Perahu Tambang (Tambang boat), which not only acts as a mode of transportation for the locals, but also a very unique tourism product in the heart of Kuching City. With fees as low as RM20(USD5), one can rent a whole boat and go on a 30-60 minute ride on the Sarawak river, enjoying the beautiful Kuching City from the river. Else, you can take a Perahu Tambang like the local to cross the Sarawak River at the cost of less than RM1. / Photo shows a pier meant to catch the popular Perahu Tambang
One would need to drive out to the sub-urbs of Kuching to go trekking, but with Kuching owning some of the best trekking places in Malaysia, it would be totally worth it. For those interested, here’s a our list of places you can go to for trekking. / Photo shows Bako National Park
3GET A TRADITIONAL MASSAGE
Massages in Kuching are really great and they are surprisingly cheap. For a full two hour message, it would cost you roughly RM120 (USD30). Massage parlours are dotted around the city, but if you want a massage without the kinky ‘happy ending’, our list here would definitely help you.
2CHECK OUT THE ORANG UTANS
The Semonggoh Orang Utan rehabilitation centre is a great place to get acquainted with the Orang Utans. The centre is some 30 minutes away from Kuching, and it is highly recommended to go during feeding time. You will need half a day for a trip here. / Photo of a tourist observing an Orang Utan
1VISIT ‘ANCIENT’ KUCHING
Tourist will likely want to end their trip to Kuching with souvenirs for their loved ones back home. In Kuching, not only do you get to buy souvenirs, but you also get to check out old colonial buildings in the city as the Main Bazaar and Carpenters Street, both colonial era streets, are home to the highest concentration of Sarawak souvenirs, crafts and artwork. / Photo shows the arch going into Carpenter Street.