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10 things to do in Kuching, the Cat City of Sarawak

Kuching, also known as Cat City, the capital of Malaysian state of Sarawak is a vibrant, colourful city.

It is a mixture of old and new; with traces of the 150 year reign of the Brooke family as well as recent modern development under the Malaysian federation.

Most foreign tourists treat Kuching as the main gateway to visit the rest of Sarawak and Borneo.

The city itself , however, has so much to offer. Here in KajoMag, we highly suggest not to leave the Cat City of Sarawak until you have done these 10 things:

1.Learn the cultures

Kuching is a multi-cultural city and a visit to it is incomplete without learning about the different cultures.

The best place to absorb and experience the different cultures Is one place is none other than Sarawak Cultural Village (SCV).

It is a living museum showcasing the different ethnicitIes of Sarawak including Iban, Orang Ulu, Chinese, Malay, Melanau and Bidayuh.

Baruk, the Bidayuh Cultural House at Sarawak Cultural Village.
2.Eat your heart out

Kuchingites are foodies to their core and they are very proud of their food. Plus thanks to the city’s multicultural backgrounds, it offers more variety of food inspired by different races in the Sarawak.

If you are stuck on what to eat in Kuching, here are KajoMag’s list of what to devour in Cat City.

As for desserts, do not skip on these two classic ice-creams!

Some of the local Dayak food found in Sarawak.
3.Explore the national parks

Sarawak’s wide range of biodiversity is the state’s crown jewel. The best part of Kuching is that you do not need to travel far to experience its rich flora and fauna.

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Visitors can take a dip in Matang Wildlife Centre or climb to the peak of Mount Serapi.

Get this view from the top of Mount Serapi.

Read more: Six nature attractions near Kuching City, Sarawak

4.Walk the streets of Kuching
Explore the old part of Kuching.

While in Cat City, skip the shopping malls and walk on the streets of its old town.

Visitors can start with the Main Bazaar, the oldest street in Kuching located at the Kuching Waterfront. Explore Carpenter, India and Padungan streets and let the different smells and sound excite you.

5.Visit the museums
The Textile Museum of Sarawak.

Did you know that the Sarawak Museum’s old wing was built in 1891, making it the oldest museum in Borneo?

Besides Sarawak Museum, there are other museums in Kuching as well including Textile Museum, Chinese History Museum, Art Museum, The Brooke Gallery and Islamic Heritage Museum.

Since you are in Cat City, do not forget to visit Kuching Cat Museum.

6.Spend a day at Santubong peninsular
Spend a day at the foot of Mount Santubong.

Located only 40 minutes from Kuching city, Santubong peninsular provides the perfect place for a little R&R.

It is the perfect place to have the best of mountain and the sea. There are so many things to do that you can actually spend the whole day at the peninsular. Visitors can start a day with hiking at Santubong National Park, have a quick kayaking at Permai Rainforest Resort in the afternoon and end the day with a beer at Damai Central.

7.See the wildlife up-close
Tourists admiring the magnificence of orangutans at Semenggoh.

A trip to one of the cities in Borneo is never complete without seeing wildlife up close.

Here in Kuching city, you can choose to watch a bearded pig strolling by the shore or a proboscis monkey jumping from tree to tree at Bako National Park. Or visit an orangutan during its feeding time at Semenggoh Nature Reserve.

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8.Sight-see heritage buildings
Sarawak Post Office is one of the heritage buildings found in Kuching.

With a rich history spanning over 150 years, Kuching has so much to offer when it comes to heritage buildings.

Only in Kuching, you can find the only Japanese building built during World War II, a prison turned into a fortress and which now houses a restaurant at Square Tower and a neoclassical style post office.

9.Experience at least one festival
The Rainforest World Music Festival brings international performers to Kuching for a 3-day immersion of world music.

Kuching is probably best known for its international 3-day full of music and fun Rainforest World Music Festival.

However like any other city in Malaysia, you can experience different kind of festivals all year round.

Experience the harvest festival with the Ibans or Bidayuh during Gawai or go house-visiting during Chinese New Year or Hari Raya Adilfitri.

10.Hop into the coffee culture

The coffee culture in Kuching city has its own charm. First of all, Sarawak has its own coffee bean called the Sarawak liberica. You can find them at Black Bean Coffee at Jalan Pending and Ewe Hai Street.

Atmosphere-wise, you can choose to have your cup of java in a heritage building such as Commons Kch at the Old Courthouse or Indah Cafe at Upper China Street or in a hip, minimalist-decorated cafe like Keeper’s Ground.

Hop into the coffee culture of Kuching.


Patricia Hului
Patricia Hului is a Kayan who wants to live in a world where you can eat whatever you want and not gain weight. She grew up in Bintulu, Sarawak and graduated from the University Malaysia Sabah with a degree in Marine Science. She worked for The Borneo Post SEEDS, which is now defunct. When she's not writing, you can find her in a studio taking belly dance classes, hiking up a hill or browsing through Pinterest. Follow her on Instagram at @patriciahului, Facebook at Patricia Hului at or Twitter at @patriciahului.

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