If you are coming to Kuching and you want to know things you can do in Kuching with limited time, here’s my recommendations as someone who lives in Kuching.
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.
Visit the Sarawak Cultural Village
The award winning Sarawak Cultural Village is a must go for anyone coming to Kuching and comes as first in things to do in 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.
Eat Sarawak laksa
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
Visit 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
Eat 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. / Photo shows Ulam with Sambal, a typical Dayak dish
Check out Borneo Cultures Museum
The Borneo Cultures Museum is the largest museum in Malaysia and it displays details unique to Sarawak. The museum is one of the best in the region and is Kuching’s latest ‘star’ when it comes to attraction. You can read about my day at the museum here to know more.
Ride 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. You can also read about my experience riding the perahu tambang here.
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
Stroll at the Kuching Waterfront
If you have limited time to spare, then the Kuching Waterfront is where you would want to go in Kuching. There’s so many things to do and see at this focal point with the majestic Sarawak Legislative Building as a backdrop. Go on the Darul Hana Bridge, check out the Kuching Floating Mosque, enjoy the Darul Hana Water Fountain show or chill while enjoying a cup of Ice Cream Gula Apong, a local favourite desert as you see the historical side of Kuching.
Visit 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
Visit ‘Old’ 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.
Tours in Kuching
If you remain unsure of where to go, consider going on a tour in Kuching. There’s numerous places you can book a tour from and they are listed below.
List of 10 things to do in Kuching
In brief, here’s the ten things you can do in Kuching.
- Visit Sarawak Cultural Village
- Eat Kuching Street Food
- Eat Dayak food
- Visit the Satok Sunday Market
- Visit Borneo Cultures Museum
- Go on the Perahu Tambang
- Go Trekking
- Go Massage
- Visit Orang Utans
- Visit Old Kuching