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The Best Things To Do In Kuching, Sarawak


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Florri Farrington



Kuching, the capital city of the Malaysian state of Sarawak, is a vibrant and culturally rich destination that offers a plethora of exciting experiences for visitors. Known for its diverse ethnic communities, fascinating cultural heritage, and stunning natural landscapes, Kuching is truly a gem waiting to be explored.


As you wander through the streets of Kuching, you’ll be greeted by a fusion of cultures, from the indigenous Sarawakians to the Chinese and Malay communities. This harmonious blend is reflected in the city’s architecture, cuisine, and traditions, creating a unique and captivating atmosphere.


Whether you’re an adventure seeker, a history enthusiast, or a food lover, there is something for everyone in Kuching. From exploring the Sarawak Cultural Village to indulging in delicious local cuisine, there is no shortage of interesting activities to engage in.


In this article, we will take you on a journey through the best things to do in Kuching. So, pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready to experience the charm and beauty of this remarkable city.


Explore the Sarawak Cultural Village

Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Sarawak by visiting the Sarawak Cultural Village. Located just a short drive from Kuching, this living museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the diverse indigenous cultures of the region.


As you step into the village, you’ll be greeted by traditional longhouses, each representing a different ethnic group of Sarawak. You can explore the interiors of these longhouses, which are beautifully furnished with authentic artifacts, demonstrating the unique lifestyles and traditions of the various tribes.


One of the highlights of the Sarawak Cultural Village is the daily cultural performances. You can witness traditional dances, music, and rituals performed by the talented dancers and musicians. The performances are not only entertaining but also provide valuable insights into the beliefs and customs of the indigenous communities.


Don’t miss the chance to engage in hands-on activities, such as trying your hand at blowpipe shooting or playing traditional games. You can also learn traditional craft-making techniques from the skilled artisans at the village.


For an even more immersive experience, you can opt to stay overnight in one of the traditional longhouses that have been converted into comfortable accommodations. This allows you to truly live and breathe the indigenous way of life.


The Sarawak Cultural Village is an educational and enlightening experience for visitors of all ages. It provides a deeper understanding of the cultural diversity of Sarawak and showcases the importance of preserving these traditions for future generations.


Make sure to allocate ample time to explore the Sarawak Cultural Village, as there is so much to see and learn. It’s an experience that will leave a lasting impression and create cherished memories of your time in Kuching.


Visit the Bako National Park

Nature lovers and adventure seekers shouldn’t miss the opportunity to visit the Bako National Park, located just a short boat ride away from Kuching. This pristine and biodiverse park is a treasure trove of natural wonders, offering a unique and unforgettable experience.


Bako National Park is known for its stunning coastline, rugged cliffs, and dense rainforests. Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted by a network of well-marked trails, allowing you to explore the park’s diverse ecosystems at your own pace.


One of the main attractions of Bako National Park is its abundant wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled for the elusive proboscis monkeys, known for their distinctive long noses and pot-bellies. You might also spot macaques, silver leaf monkeys, monitor lizards, and a variety of bird species. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the incredibly rare and endangered Borneo pygmy elephants.


As you hike through the park, you’ll encounter stunning rock formations, hidden waterfalls, and secluded beaches. The scenic trails lead you through different habitats, including mangrove forests, peat swamps, and lowland rainforests, providing an unforgettable experience for nature enthusiasts and photographers alike.


For those looking for more adventure, Bako National Park offers rock climbing and caving opportunities. The park’s towering cliffs are a popular spot for climbers, offering breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes.


Before embarking on your adventure, make sure to stop by the park headquarters to register and receive necessary information. It is also advisable to hire a park guide who can provide valuable insights and enhance your experience by pointing out hidden treasures along the trails.


Bako National Park is a haven for nature lovers, offering a glimpse into the untouched beauty of Sarawak’s natural landscapes. It’s a place where you can reconnect with nature, observe fascinating wildlife, and create memories that will last a lifetime. So, lace up your hiking boots, pack plenty of water and insect repellent, and get ready for an incredible journey into the heart of Borneo.


Discover the Semenggoh Nature Reserve

If you’re looking for an up-close encounter with orangutans, the Semenggoh Nature Reserve is a must-visit destination. Located just a short drive from Kuching, this reserve is a sanctuary for orphaned or injured orangutans, where they are rehabilitated and prepared for eventual release back into the wild.


The highlight of a visit to the Semenggoh Nature Reserve is the chance to witness the orangutans during their feeding time. As you enter the reserve, you’ll be led to a designated area where the orangutans are provided with supplementary food. Seeing these magnificent creatures swinging through the trees and enjoying their meal is a truly awe-inspiring experience.


Keep in mind that the orangutans at Semenggoh are not kept in captivity, and their appearance during the feeding sessions is entirely voluntary. As they are gradually reintroduced into the wild, their reliance on the supplemental feeding decreases. Therefore, sightings of orangutans are not guaranteed, but the reserve staff does their best to ensure visitors have the best chance of seeing them.


Aside from orangutans, the Semenggoh Nature Reserve is also home to other wildlife, including various bird species, wild pigs, and civets. Take the time to explore the reserve’s network of trails, which lead you through lush rainforests and provide opportunities for bird watching and wildlife spotting.


It’s important to note that the Semenggoh Nature Reserve is a protected area, and strict regulations are in place to ensure the well-being of the orangutans. Visitors are required to follow guidelines and maintain a safe distance from the animals. This is to protect both the visitors and the orangutans, as these beautiful creatures are still wild animals and should be treated with respect and caution.


A visit to the Semenggoh Nature Reserve offers a unique opportunity to witness orangutans in their natural habitat and contribute to their conservation efforts. It’s a chance to learn about these incredible creatures and gain a deeper understanding of the importance of preserving their fragile ecosystem.


So, make sure to include the Semenggoh Nature Reserve in your itinerary when visiting Kuching. It’s an experience that will leave you in awe of the remarkable beauty and intelligence of orangutans while reminding you of the importance of protecting our natural world.


Explore the Kuching Waterfront

The Kuching Waterfront is a captivating promenade that stretches along the banks of the Sarawak River and serves as the heart of the city. This iconic waterfront area is a hub of activity and a popular spot for locals and tourists alike.


As you stroll along the Kuching Waterfront, you’ll be greeted by picturesque views of the river, beautifully manicured gardens, and stunning traditional Chinese architecture. The river is alive with colorful sampan boats, providing an enchanting backdrop to your leisurely walk.


One of the highlights of the Kuching Waterfront is the iconic Darul Hana Bridge, a modern suspension bridge that spans across the Sarawak River. This architectural marvel is beautifully illuminated at night and offers stunning views of the city skyline. Take a leisurely walk across the bridge and soak in the breathtaking panoramic views of Kuching.


The Kuching Waterfront is also home to some of the city’s most prominent landmarks and historical sites. Visit the Astana, the official residence of the Governor of Sarawak, and admire its majestic architecture and scenic location. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the Fort Margherita, a well-preserved fortress that offers a glimpse into Sarawak’s colonial past.


For those who enjoy shopping and dining, the Kuching Waterfront is a haven. The area is lined with vibrant street markets, where you can browse for local handicrafts, textiles, and souvenirs. Treat your taste buds to a mouthwatering array of street food, or indulge in a meal at one of the riverside restaurants offering a diverse range of cuisines.


The Kuching Waterfront comes alive with activity during the evening hours. Join the locals and enjoy live music performances, street entertainers, and cultural shows at the open-air amphitheater. Witness the transformation of the waterfront into a lively and vibrant atmosphere as the city lights illuminate the night.


Whether you’re looking to relax, explore, or immerse yourself in the local culture, the Kuching Waterfront has something for everyone. It’s a place where history, nature, and modernity coexist, creating a unique and enchanting experience. So, take a leisurely stroll along the waterfront, breathe in the fresh air, and embrace the charm of Kuching.


Visit the Sarawak Museum

If you’re a history enthusiast or simply curious about the rich cultural heritage of Sarawak, a visit to the Sarawak Museum is a must. Located in the heart of Kuching, this museum is the oldest in Borneo and offers a fascinating insight into the history, art, and natural wonders of the state.


As you step into the Sarawak Museum, you’ll be greeted by a remarkable collection of artifacts and exhibits. Explore the galleries dedicated to Sarawak’s diverse ethnic groups, showcasing traditional costumes, jewelry, tools, and handicrafts. Gain a deeper understanding of the customs, beliefs, and way of life of the various indigenous communities in Sarawak.


The museum also houses an impressive collection of archaeological artifacts, including ancient ceramics, stone tools, and pottery. Marvel at the intricately crafted traditional musical instruments and learn about the traditional dances and music of Sarawak.


A highlight of the Sarawak Museum is the display of indigenous wildlife and biodiversity. Discover the unique flora and fauna of Sarawak through dioramas, taxidermy displays, and preserved specimens. You’ll have the chance to learn about the diverse ecosystems of Sarawak, from its lush rainforests to its pristine marine habitats.


One of the most iconic exhibits in the museum is the skeleton of the Gigantopithecus, an extinct species of giant ape that once roamed Borneo. Standing next to the massive skeleton gives you a sense of the ancient history and natural wonders that Sarawak holds.


The Sarawak Museum also houses special exhibitions throughout the year, offering visitors the opportunity to delve deeper into specific topics or themes. These temporary exhibitions cover a wide range of subjects, from contemporary art to cultural festivals, providing a fresh and dynamic experience with each visit.


The museum is surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens, dotted with sculptures and historical monuments. Take a leisurely stroll through the serene gardens, and perhaps, enjoy a picnic amidst the lush greenery.


Visiting the Sarawak Museum is like taking a journey through time and culture. It’s a chance to appreciate the rich tapestry of Sarawak’s history and heritage, and gain a deeper appreciation for the region’s natural wonders. So, make sure to carve out some time to explore this fascinating museum and uncover the treasures it holds.


Take a Stroll in the Kubah National Park

Nestled in the lush rainforests of Sarawak, the Kubah National Park offers a picturesque setting for nature enthusiasts and hikers. Just a short drive from Kuching, this pristine park is a haven for biodiversity and a perfect escape from the bustling city.


Kubah National Park boasts a network of well-maintained jungle trails, varying in length and difficulty. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or prefer a leisurely stroll, there’s a trail suitable for every level of fitness. As you wander along the trails, you’ll be surrounded by towering trees, vibrant tropical foliage, and the soothing sounds of nature.


One of the main attractions in the Kubah National Park is its assortment of waterfalls. The Serapi and Rayu waterfalls are popular destinations for visitors seeking a refreshing dip in their crystal-clear pools. The short and easily accessible trails leading to these waterfalls make them ideal for a picnic or a rejuvenating swim.


For those interested in flora and fauna, the Kubah National Park offers a remarkable display of plant life. The park is home to a diverse range of plant species, including rare orchids and pitcher plants. Keep your camera ready as you might chance upon various species of colorful birds, butterflies, and other wildlife during your walk.


If you’re up for a challenge, make your way to the summit of Mount Serapi, the highest peak within the park. The hike takes you through dense forests and steep terrain, rewarding you with breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes from the summit.


As you explore the Kubah National Park, make sure to keep an eye out for the unique and endemic wildlife that calls this place home. You might spot the vibrant green tree frog or the elusive Bornean gibbons swinging through the treetops. The park also supports a variety of reptiles, insects, and mammals, making every stroll an opportunity for wildlife sightings.


Before setting off on your adventure, stop by the park’s visitor center to gather information and obtain necessary permits. The friendly staff can provide you with maps, hiking tips, and insights into the park’s natural wonders.


Kubah National Park offers a serene and immersive experience in the heart of Sarawak’s rainforest. It’s a place where you can reconnect with nature, embrace the tranquility of the surroundings, and marvel at the wonders that the natural world has to offer. So, lace up your hiking boots, pack your water bottle, and embark on an unforgettable stroll in the Kubah National Park.


Shop at the Main Bazaar

For those in search of unique souvenirs and traditional handicrafts, a visit to the Main Bazaar in Kuching is a must. Located along the historic waterfront area, this bustling street market is a haven for shoppers looking for a taste of Sarawak’s vibrant culture and heritage.


The Main Bazaar is a vibrant and colorful marketplace, lined with rows of shops and stalls. As you browse through the eclectic mix of merchandise, you’ll find an array of local handicrafts, textiles, traditional Sarawakian artworks, and souvenir items.


One of the highlights of the Main Bazaar is the selection of Sarawakian crafts. From intricately woven baskets to beautiful beadwork and woodcarvings, you’ll be amazed by the craftsmanship and attention to detail expended by the local artisans. Take your time to admire the skill and artistry that goes into creating these unique pieces.


Textile enthusiasts will also be delighted with the variety of woven fabrics available at the Main Bazaar. Sarawakian textiles, such as the Pua Kumbu and Songket, are beautifully designed with intricate patterns and motifs. These fabrics make for exquisite souvenirs or stunning home decor items.


As you browse the stalls, you’ll also find an assortment of traditional musical instruments, pottery, and silverware, each reflecting the cultural heritage of Sarawak’s diverse ethnic groups. These items not only make unique keepsakes but also serve as a tangible reminder of your visit to the Land of the Hornbills.


To fully appreciate the Main Bazaar experience, engage with the friendly shopkeepers and craftsmen. They are always ready to share stories about their products and provide insight into the traditional techniques used in their creation. Don’t hesitate to ask questions or haggle for a better price.


If shopping leaves you feeling hungry, worry not, as the Main Bazaar is also home to a selection of local food stalls and cafes. Take a break and savor the flavors of Sarawak’s cuisine, from savory delicacies like Sarawak Laksa and Kolo Mee to delectable snacks like Kek Lapis, the famous layered cake. It’s the perfect opportunity to satisfy your taste buds and refuel for more shopping adventures.


The Main Bazaar is not just a place to shop; it’s an experience that immerses you in the unique cultural heritage of Sarawak. So, set aside some time during your visit to Kuching to explore this vibrant marketplace, support local artisans, and take home a piece of Sarawak’s rich traditions.


Explore the Cat Museum

For all the feline lovers out there, Kuching has a purrfect attraction – the Cat Museum. Located on the top of the hill at Bukit Siol, this quirky and unique museum is dedicated entirely to our furry friends, showcasing the special bond between cats and the city.


The Cat Museum is a delight for cat enthusiasts of all ages. The museum houses an impressive collection of cat-related exhibits, ranging from artwork and sculptures to photographs and cat-themed memorabilia. Learn about the cultural significance of cats in Kuching and see how they have become a beloved symbol of the city.


As you wander through the museum’s halls, you’ll encounter various interactive displays and informative panels about different cat breeds, their history, and their significance in different cultures around the world. The museum aims to educate visitors about the diversity and beauty of the feline world.


One of the highlights of the Cat Museum is the Cat Hall, which features an extensive display of cat artifacts from different countries. Admire the various cat-themed artworks, including paintings and sculptures, and marvel at the creative interpretations of our beloved companions.


Don’t miss the opportunity to snap a selfie with the giant cat statue located outside the museum. This iconic landmark is a popular spot for visitors to capture their love for cats and create lasting memories of their visit.


The Cat Museum is not only a place for cat enthusiasts, but it also serves as a platform for advocacy and awareness about animal welfare. The museum regularly collaborates with local animal organizations to highlight the importance of responsible pet ownership and promote the well-being of cats in the community.


After exploring the museum, take a moment to enjoy the panoramic views of Kuching from the museum’s hilltop location. The breathtaking vistas of the city and the Sarawak River serve as a serene backdrop, allowing you to relax and reflect on your feline-inspired adventure.


Whether you’re a cat lover or simply interested in exploring the unique and quirky side of Kuching, a visit to the Cat Museum is a delightful and memorable experience. It’s a purrfect way to celebrate the unique bond between humans and cats, while also gaining a deeper appreciation for the cultural heritage of this charming Malaysian city.


Visit the Fairy Caves

Tucked away in the lush limestone hills of Sarawak, the Fairy Caves offer a mystical and awe-inspiring experience for adventurers and nature enthusiasts. Located just a short drive from Kuching, these magnificent caves are a hidden gem waiting to be explored.


The Fairy Caves get their name from the enchanting atmosphere created by the natural sunlight streaming through the massive cave entrances. As you step into the caves, you’ll be greeted by towering stalagmites and stalactites, creating surreal shapes and formations that seem almost otherworldly.


Inside the Fairy Caves, you’ll find a network of well-lit walkways and platforms that allow you to navigate through the cavernous passages. Take your time to marvel at the breathtaking beauty of the limestone formations and learn about the geological processes that shaped them over millions of years.


One of the highlights of visiting the Fairy Caves is the opportunity to climb up a series of wooden steps to reach the Aladdin’s Lamp, a stunning natural skylight that illuminates the cave and adds to its ethereal charm. Standing in awe beneath this natural spectacle is a truly unforgettable experience.


Outside the caves, you’ll discover lush greenery and a peaceful atmosphere. Take a leisurely stroll along the trails that wind through the surrounding rainforest and immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature. Keep an eye out for diverse flora and fauna that call this area home, including various bird species and colorful butterflies.


Getting to the Fairy Caves involves ascending a steep flight of stairs, so be prepared with comfortable shoes and plenty of water. It’s advisable to bring along a torch or use the flashlight feature on your smartphone to fully appreciate the nooks and crannies of the cave.


While the Fairy Caves are a popular destination for visitors, they still maintain a sense of untouched beauty and tranquility. The lack of crowds allows you to fully immerse yourself in the unique atmosphere of these mystical caverns.


A visit to the Fairy Caves is an adventure that takes you into the depths of Sarawak’s natural wonders. It’s a chance to witness the marvels of nature up close and create memories that will last a lifetime. So, put on your explorer’s hat, grab your camera, and prepare to be amazed by the magical allure of the Fairy Caves.


Discover the Annah Rais Longhouse

Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Sarawak by visiting the Annah Rais Longhouse. Located about an hour’s drive from Kuching, this traditional longhouse offers a fascinating glimpse into the lifestyle and traditions of the Bidayuh indigenous community.


The Annah Rais Longhouse is one of the largest and best-preserved traditional longhouses in Sarawak. As you step into the longhouse complex, you’ll be transported back in time, surrounded by charming bamboo structures and the warm hospitality of the local villagers.


Take a guided tour of the longhouse to learn about the everyday life of the Bidayuh people. The friendly villagers will proudly share stories and customs, giving you unique insights into their history, beliefs, and traditional practices.


Wander through the longhouse’s communal areas and visit the individual family units, each comprising living quarters, a kitchen, and a communal space. Admire the intricate architecture and craftsmanship of the traditional houses, which are built on stilts and feature bamboo walls and thatched roofs.


Don’t miss the chance to witness a traditional dance performance or musical demonstration by the villagers. These cultural performances showcase the vibrancy of Bidayuh traditions and provide an immersive experience that leaves a lasting impression.


Explore the beautiful surrounding countryside by taking a short hike to the nearby hot spring. Immerse yourself in the soothing thermal waters, which are believed to have healing properties. It’s the perfect opportunity to relax and rejuvenate while surrounded by the natural beauty of Sarawak.


While visiting the Annah Rais Longhouse, make sure to sample traditional Bidayuh cuisine. Indulge in local dishes such as bamboo chicken, which is cooked inside bamboo stalks, or try the famous tuak, a fermented rice wine enjoyed during special celebrations.


It’s important to respect the customs and traditions of the villagers when visiting the longhouse. This includes adhering to appropriate dress codes and asking for permission before entering any private areas. Show your gratitude by supporting local artisans, who sell handmade crafts and unique souvenirs.


A visit to the Annah Rais Longhouse provides a remarkable opportunity to connect with the vibrant Bidayuh culture and gain a deeper appreciation for the indigenous communities of Sarawak. The warm hospitality of the villagers and the authenticity of the experience make it a cherished memory for any traveler.


So, take a step back in time and embrace the cultural richness of Sarawak by exploring the Annah Rais Longhouse. It’s an encounter that will broaden your horizons and leave you with a deeper understanding of the diverse heritage that Sarawak has to offer.


Indulge in Sarawakian Cuisine

One of the most delightful aspects of visiting Sarawak is the opportunity to savor its unique and delectable cuisine. With influences from various ethnic groups, including Malay, Chinese, and indigenous communities, Sarawakian cuisine offers a diverse and tantalizing culinary experience that is sure to satisfy the taste buds of any food lover.


A must-try dish in Sarawak is the iconic Sarawak Laksa. This flavorful noodle soup is made with a fragrant and spicy coconut broth, topped with prawns, shredded chicken, bean sprouts, and a dash of lime. The harmonious blend of flavors and textures makes it a beloved Sarawakian favorite.


Another specialty to tantalize your taste buds is Kolo Mee. This beloved noodle dish features springy egg noodles tossed in a savory sauce of lard, shallots, and soy sauce. It is typically topped with slices of tender barbecued pork, minced pork, or even prawns.


For seafood enthusiasts, Sarawak offers a wide selection of fresh and succulent seafood dishes. From butter prawns and chili crabs to steamed fish and grilled stingray, you can indulge in a variety of mouthwatering delicacies that showcase the bounty of Sarawak’s coastal waters.


Sarawakian cuisine is also known for its unique use of jungle produce. Taste the exotic flavors of dishes like Midin, a type of wild fern that is often stir-fried with garlic and chili, or Bamboo Chicken, where chicken is cooked in bamboo stalks with a blend of herbs and spices, resulting in tender and aromatic meat.


No Sarawakian meal is complete without trying some traditional snacks and desserts. Sink your teeth into Kek Lapis, a layer cake with intricate patterns and a variety of flavors, or indulge in Apong, a crispy pancake filled with sweet or savory fillings.


When dining in Sarawak, be sure to explore the local markets and food stalls. The bustling open-air markets, such as the Satok Weekend Market and the Medan Niaga Satok, offer an array of street food and fresh produce. Sample local favorites like Sambal Belacan, a spicy shrimp paste condiment, or try exotic fruits like durian and rambutan.


To complete your culinary exploration, wash down your meal with a refreshing glass of Sarawak’s traditional rice wine called Tuak. Made from fermented rice or sugarcane, Tuak is enjoyed during festive celebrations and offers a unique and enjoyable drinking experience.


Indulging in Sarawakian cuisine is not only a feast for the senses but also a way to connect with the local culture and traditions. So, don’t miss the opportunity to embark on a gastronomic adventure and discover the mouthwatering flavors that Sarawak has to offer.



Kuching, Sarawak is a destination that truly captivates visitors with its blend of rich culture, breathtaking landscapes, and mouthwatering cuisine. From exploring the Sarawak Cultural Village and experiencing the vibrant traditions of the indigenous communities to immersing in nature at the Bako National Park and Semenggoh Nature Reserve, there is no shortage of exciting adventures to embark on.


Strolling along the Kuching Waterfront, visiting the Sarawak Museum, and discovering the Main Bazaar offer unique insights into the city’s history and heritage. From the unique Cat Museum to the enchanting Fairy Caves, Kuching has something to offer for every type of traveler.


Exploring the Annah Rais Longhouse gives a glimpse into the indigenous Bidayuh culture, while indulging in Sarawakian cuisine is a delight for the taste buds. From the iconic Sarawak Laksa and Kolo Mee to the mouthwatering seafood and traditional snacks, Sarawakian cuisine is diverse and sure to leave a lasting impression.


As you bid farewell to Kuching, you’ll carry with you memories of the warmth and hospitality of its people, the beauty of its natural wonders, and the richness of its cultural heritage. Whether you’re drawn to adventure, history, or gastronomy, Kuching, Sarawak offers an unforgettable experience that will leave you yearning to return.


So pack your bags, embark on this Malaysian adventure, and embrace all that Kuching, Sarawak has to offer. Whether you’re exploring the longhouses, hiking through the rainforests, or indulging in local delicacies, this remarkable city will leave an indelible mark on your heart and create memories that last a lifetime.