Kuching has it’s very own charms and this list of top 10 things to do in Kuching would definitely help you up if you have never been here.
I believe my list here isn’t your typical ‘tourist’ list, but if it is, then that’s perhaps because the place is simply a must visit, or must do. That said, in random order, here’s my top 10 things to do in Kuching.
#1: Visit Sarawak Cultural Village
Visiting this award winning Sarawak Cultural Village (SCV) remains an integral visit point for anyone coming to Kuching. Here, you can experience and see first hand what ethnics groups that make Sarawak, and what culture they inherit. If you need details on this living museum, here’s our local guide about the Sarawak Cultural Village.
#2: Use the river taxis (pak tambang)
When I was a student, I used to take the the ‘Pak Tambang’ across the Sarawak river to reach the northern side of Kuching hundreds of times. The ride takes a mere 5 minutes, but the excitement and the authenticity of the whole experience is priceless! These days, the Pak Tambang remains one of the most recognizable tourism products of Kuching, despite the fact it still remains a major transportation method in the city. Oh, did I mention it only cost less than RM1 (USD 0.20) cents to cross from one end to another? Feel free to read my experience using Pak tambang here.
#3: Ink Up
One of Sarawak’s most popular trend is the Tribal Tattoo. Tribal tattoos in Sarawak, specifically in Kuching are unique to the Dayak tribe, and its influence can be seen around the city. If you have the heart for it, make sure you get a traditional hand tapped Dayak tribal tattoo before you leave. However, be sure you get the right one as tribal tattoos do tend to bring meaning.
#4: Experience Annah Rais Bidayuh Long House
The Annah Rais Bidayuh longhouse is quite a distance from the city, but it is the best place to learn about the Bidayuhs and their lifestyle. Homestays such as Longhouse Adventure allow tourist to stay at Annah Rais while at the same time join the community for any event and celebration that is on-going.
#5: Go to the Kuching Waterfront
If you want to check out interesting places in Kuching but don’t have the time, the Kuching Waterfront is where you should go. This river esplanade is calm and beautiful, and it’s nearby a lot of tourist attractions which includes the old historic buildings like the Old Court House, which dates since the Brooke era, to modern architecture such as the Sarawak Legislative Building. To learn more about what the Kuching Waterfront offers, read about it in our Kuching Waterfront: All you need to know’ article.
#6: Explore the rainforest
Kuching is blessed with a lot of jungle trekking spots. This is why I think trekking in Kuching should be one of the things to do in Kuching. The paths for trekking differ according to location, but I have explained as best I can in my post about trekking in Kuching. My personal favourite spots for trekking are Mount Santubong and Mount Singai as it’s not too far from the city. Check out my article about Hiking Mount Singai.
#7: Eat local food
Anthony Bourdain claims Sarawak Laksa it is the ‘Breakfast of the Gods’, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg to many delicious food available in Kuching. If you are a foodie, Kuching has a lot to offer. Read our ‘What to eat in Kuching’ guide to know what and where you can fill your tummy with yummy.
#8 See the Sunday Market
I usually go to the Satok Market to find jungle produce because this is the one spot you can find practically everything to cook a meal. With hundreds of traders, the weekend market is the biggest of its kind in Kuching with traders selling all sorts of items from fruits, vegetables, meat, souvenirs, cakes and more. Prices are kept low and the place is usually packed. Like me, locals religiously go to this market every weekend to get fresh produce for the week. My post on the Satok Market would definitely help if you want to check this place out.
#9 Try Dayak food
Dayak food isn’t for anyone, but then again, it is not common to find such dishes anywhere else. Personally, I love Dayak food, but I am biased as I am a Dayak myself. Anyway, if you want to heed this recommendation of mine, my list of Dayak food in Kuching will definitely help.
#10: Visit Malaysia’s biggest museum
Kuching just recently declared open the new Borneo Cultures Museum and it is a must visit for anyone coming. The world class museum has a lot to tell through its five storey building with many, children included, loving the museum for what it has to offer. You can read in detail how I experienced it in this blog post.
OTHER THINGS TO DO IN KUCHING
There is actually more than these 10 things to do in Kuching. This is my top 10 unorthodox list about things to do in Kuching. I am very sure every local from Kuching would also have their own list. It’s a matter of preference really.
However, if you need more ideas, my recommended things about Kuching post might help.
Drop me a question if you have any questions.