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In a relatively small, chilled-out city, Kuching blends history and culture as well as colonial architecture with contemporary designs. Be captivated and inspired as part of a Malaysia and Borneo adventure by these 7 reasons for visiting Kuching.
1) Kuching: One of the most affordable capitals in Malaysia
The affordability of trips is one of the main reasons for visiting Kuching, according to backpackers. Sarawak’s capital suits the more budget-conscious visitors compared to neighbouring Sabah and West Malaysia. Think RM4 ($1) for a delicious plate of Sarawakian food, free admission to many attractions, and nightly rates that cost less than RM70 ($17.60). Malaysia is one of the most budget-friendly travel spots in the world and Kuching is one of the cheapest cities in Malaysia.
2) Embrace the cat city
The cosy friendship between the city and cats is one of the top reasons to visit Kuching for curious travellers. In Bahasa, Malaysia, Kuching itself means ‘cat’, and the city lives up to its name and reputation. Kuching is an enticing city for cat lovers, with a cat museum and many feline statues littering the streets.
3) Make your taste bud happy with Sarawakian food
Forget Penang and Ipoh, Kuching can be known as Malaysia’s food city. With a variety of local delicacies, including bamboo chicken, Kolo mee and the popular Sarawak Layer Cake (Kek Lapis), one of the top reasons for visiting Kuching is the chance to taste some of the flavours. Sarawak Laksa, a form of vermicelli rice noodle dish with a prawn-based broth, chicken, egg and bean sprouts, was also placed by celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain on his Top 10 Wish List.
4) Cruise the Sarawak River with local boat or ship
Another of the key reasons for visiting Kuching is the opportunity to take a sunset cruise on the Sarawak River. A 90-minute journey takes passengers along the river to see the sunset over Astana and Fort Margherita in the 19th century. Either relaxing with a drink on the sky deck and enjoying the views or chatting to the guides as they point out the mansions and landmarks lining both sides.
5) Visit the orangutan rehabilitation centre
Deforestation ruins orangutan populations without the skills to live in the wild and leaves the young helpless and homeless. The orphaned primates are adopted by Semmengoh Nature Reserve and help them prepare to return to their natural environment. Within the rehabilitation centre’s reserve, many orangutans live. At 9:00am and 3:00pm, return during feeding time for a better chance of seeing them.
6) Kuching’s colonial charm
The colonial legacy persists in the architecture of the town since the White Rajahs ruled over Sarawak for more than a century. A specific highlight is Kuching’s Astana (Palace), the former residence of the ruling Rajahs. Others include Fort Margherita, the House of the Old Court, the Round Tower and the State Museum of Sarawak. To build an eclectic mix of layered history, culture and modernity, the colonial styles juxtapose and merge with traditional Chinese shophouses and modern streets.
7) See rare proboscis monkey at Bako National Park
Another of our most captivating reasons for visiting Kuching is to take advantage of a day trip to see wild proboscis monkeys in Bako National Park. A red pot belly and a long distinctive nose are present in the rare and endangered primates. Estimates say that between 150 and 250 people live in the oldest national park in Sarawak, only an hour from Kuching.
Reference: Culture Trip, Sarawak Tourism