|Kuching is situated at the banks of the Sarawak River on the North-Western part of the island of Borneo.
The climate in Kuching is tropical,
moderately hot and receives substantial rainfall. The average annual rainfall
is approximately 4,000 mm or 160 inches. Kuching is the wettest city in Malaysia. The wettest times are during the North-East
Monsoon months of November to February.
Kuching is the 4th largest urban area in Malaysia, after Kuala Lumpur-Klang
Valley, Ipoh and Johor Bharu. Interesting places to see in Kuching includes:-
Sarawak Museum. The two-storey building was
completed in 1891 to permanently house and display local native arts and crafts
as well as collections of local animals. A famous naturalist Alfred Wallace
spearheaded the effort then. Today, the ground floor of the museum holds the
natural history collection and specimens of Sarawak fauna and animals - all expertly prepared and mounted for
display. The west wing of the museum houses Shell exhibition - featuring the
history of petroleum industry of Sarawak.
The first floor displays exhibits of ethnographic artefacts such as models of
longhouses of the various ethnic groups in Sarawak,
musical instruments, various kinds of fish and animal traps, handicrafts,
models of boats and others.
Islamic Museum. The building that houses the
Islamic Museum, opened in 1992, today was initially a James Brooke Malay
College. This Museum consists of seven galleries. Each of the galleries
displays items that are related to a particular discipline such as History of
Islam in Sarawak; Islamic
Architecture; Science, Technology, Economics, Education and Literature; Music,
Costumes and Personal Ornaments; Weaponry; Decorative Arts and Domestic
Utensils; and the Holy Quran Collection.
Chinese History Museum. Officially opened in
1993, the museum building itself is historic and was built in 1912. Situated at
the Kuching Waterfront, it was
initially used as a court by the Chinese community from 1912 to 1921. The
museum portrays the rich and fascinating history of Sarawak's diverse Chinese groups. Visitors will acquire in-depth
historical knowledge relating to the origin of each Chinese dialect group,
their respective traditional skills and cultural heritage, and progress
achieved throughout the years.
Cat Museum. The Cat Museum's cat artefacts
displayed were previously on show for the first time at the National Museum,
Kuala Lumpur, in 1987 as one of its gallery. Later it was brought to Kuching (The Cat City) under the care
of Sarawak Museum and was put on
display for the first time on 1 August 1988, when Kuching was proclaimed as a Cat City. Today, the collection of the
exhibited materials from all over the world is one way of making the Cat Museum
as a "Cat Information Centre".
Cultural Village. Famously referred to as a
living museum, the Sarawak Cultural
Village typifies the heritage of the major ethnic groups in Sarawak and duly showcases and
celebrates the respective lifestyle amidst 14 acres of land - about 40 minutes
drive from downtown Kuching. A
visit will offer a lifetime chance to see and sample Sarawak's rich culture diversity - namely the Iban, Melanau,
Bidayuh, Orang Ulu, Penan, Malays and Chinese - in a day. And at the end of the
visit, do attend the 45-minute cultural performance of songs, dances and
entertainment. It is something that you will not want to miss out during your
Bazaar. No visitor should miss the old Main
Bazaar, Kuching's oldest and most
famous shopping street where souvenir-hunters can seek out an assortment of
traditional brassware, pottery, ceramics, tribal arts and crafts, bamboo mats,
rattan basket and much more. The handicraft shops here are stacked floor to
ceiling with cultural curios and antiques, and are a treasure trove of Iban
icons, Bidayuh bric-a-brac and Orang Ulu ornaments. Located near the Kuching Waterfront, shoppers are
advised to always bargain for the best deal.
Fishing Village. This quaint fishing village
is 32 km from Kuching and can be
reached by express boat or taxi from downtown Kuching. It has good beaches and is the site of several
archaeological findings. Ancient Hindu and Buddhist rock carvings have been
found around the Santubong River delta. During the Tang and Sung dynasties from
the 9th till the 13th centuries, Santubong was an important trading centre.
Santubong today can be reached by road across the Santubong Bridge
Market. It is recommended that visitors to Kuching should spend a few hours at the
Sunday Market at Jalan Satok, which besides selling the usual market produce
may have antiques on sale. A place for unusual herbs, fruits, plants and
animals, the Sunday market at Kuching's
Jalan Satok is a colourful place to which the villagers bring their fresh
jungle herbs and fruits not available elsewhere.
Waterfront. The Waterfront, now transformed
into a landscaped esplanade, was an important place in the founding of Kuching. Its location on the Sarawak River was chosen not only for
its strategic and commercial importance, but also for its enchanting natural
beauty. In days gone by the river was the city's main highway. Present day life
is still concentrated on the waterfront. A meander on the Kuching Waterfront is a walk through time; from Kuching's humble, ancient origins, to
its status as a modern city. No visit to Kuching would be complete without a stroll on the modern esplanade, or to sit, relax
and experience a Sarawakian sunset.
Margherita. Completed in 1879, Fort Margherita
commands a breathtaking and strategic position along the Sarawak River, with a location chosen to overlook the long stretch
of river approaching Kuching. Named
after the second Rajah Charles Brooke's wife Ranee Margaret, it was built in
the defensive edifice/castle style of the late English renaissance.
Astana. The Astana, a variant of the usual
spelling istana or palace, lies in
regal splendour across the river. It is a majestic building with romantic
history. Built in 1870, also by Rajah Charles Brooke, it is now the official
residence of Yang di-Pertua Negeri, the Governor of Sarawak. As it is an official residence, the Astana is not open to
the public. Visitors are, however, allowed the pleasure of strolling around the
Astana's beautifully landscaped gardens, which are decorated with ethnic
artefacts. It is also only open to the public on Hari Raya Aidilfitri.
Pek Kong Temple. Located at Jalan Tunku Abdul
Rahman, the century-old Chinese temple is the oldest of its kind in Kuching. It is particularly famous for
its Wang Kang celebration to commemorate the spirit of the dead. The temple was
supposed to have been built as early as 1843. Today, the temple is also a place
for the Buddhists to offer prayers during the many Buddhist festivals.