Kuching is a kaleidoscope of different cultures, traditions, crafts, and cuisines. It was once the capital of the White Rajahs of Sarawak and the cleanest city in Malaysia. Some say the name was from the Chinese word kochin or mata kuching (or cat’s eye fruit) which means harbour. Malaysians, Chinese, Indians, Filipinos, and local tribes live in this town.
Despite being a small outskirt, everything here is within reach and there’s so much interesting places to explore. It was featured on #TravelSSBD as the TV show travel host Sonia Chew takes you to another adventure in Kuching for 48 hours.
Cat Statue Welcoming Tourists
First thing that welcomes you is the white cat called the Kuching South City Cat Statue first built in the 90s. It’s quite a quirky thing to see as it waves its hand at people as if it’s literally welcoming you with open arms. There are also other cat statues around the city so those who love this feline creature will fall in love immediately with Kuching.
The Oldest National Park in Kuching
The Bako National Park is the oldest national park in Kuching with a gorgeous coast of the peninsula, pockets of pristine beaches that are hidden in secret bays, and beautiful cliffs. It’s home to mangroves, waterfalls, and rainforests that’s perfect for communing with nature. You can hike the trails which crosses sandstone plateau connecting to some of the main beaches. You might encounter long tailed macaques, proboscis monkeys, and bearded pigs along the way. There are also terrestrial orchids and pitcher plants that are bountiful in this area.
Semenggok Wildlife Centre
The biggest orangutan Rehabilitation Centre in Sarawak is at the Semenggok Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre where injured and orphaned orangutans are brought to be taken care of. They are rescued from captivity and are trained to learn how to survive living in the forest reserve. You’ll see how these animals live freely in the surrounding rainforest and they go back to the centre when it’s time for their meals.
Fairy Cave and Wind Cave Exploration
Experience a cave exploration at the Fairy Cave and Wind Cave in Sarawak. Enter the enormous cave entrance of the Fairy Cave and walk on the ground covered in moss and tiny ferns. Be in awe of the beautiful stalactites and stalagmites formed from centuries ago.
Also explore the Wind Cave where an underground stream runs through the cave. You can walk on the boardwalk which makes it easier to go around the area. There are swallow birds and bats living inside the cave. Watch out for bat droppings falling from above so it’s best to close your mouth in case you’re in awe of your surroundings.
Santubong National Park
At the Santubong National Park, take a cruise from the mouth of the river as you ride the boat and prepare to possibly encounter Irrawaddy dolphins along the way. The mangroves line the river as you get nearer the area. It’s a diverse wildlife in Santubong National Park where there are proboscis monkeys climbing the trees, crocodiles swim quietly on the river, and fireflies lit up the night sky. There are also monitor lizards, silver leaf monkeys, and seagulls. The list of animals doesn’t end there as there are a lot more wildlife living in this park.
Scrumptious Ice Cream Shop, a Quirky Car Café, and Delicious White Lady Dessert
Kuching is a food trip destination with plenty of dining havens you can hop from one to another. You won’t go hungry as you go on a fun food hunt at these restaurants so you can try all the local sumptuous dishes.
DP Ice Cream Gula Apong
Feast and the Furious Café
Swee Kang Ais Kacang
Satok Weekend Market
Cool down with a delicious palm sugar ice cream known as Aiskrim Gula Apong at the DP Ice Cream Gula Apong at Jalan Chan Chin Ann. Locals love going here because of the customised toppings like Oreo, Cornflakes, Chocolate, and other mouth-watering flavours in one big serving. Your sweet palate will be delighted as ice cream melts in your mouth.
There’s a very cool place to dine at which is possibly inspired by the adrenaline pumping movie The Fast and the Furious. Filled with vehicles and motorcycles, certainly the Feast and the Furious Café is a must place to visit. There are huge portraits of known bikers like MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi and the late Formula One Champion Ayrton Senna.
Also, there’s a mural of the seven time winner of Formula One Champion Michael Schumacher. Once you step inside, there are also colourful helmets that’s encase under the glass floor display and a Formula 1 car painted on the wall. You’ll enjoy seeing motorbikes, scooters, bicycle, and a Ferrari 308GTS sports car.
Go for a food trip for authentic local Malaysian food in Kuching. The best place to visit is Jalan Haji Taha’s Swee Kang Ais Kacang which is popular with the locals. It’s an old restaurant serving delicious dessert called White Lady. It’s a sweet shaved iced dessert with evaporated milk, Grenadine syrup, Mango syrup, Lychee, Longans, Jellies, and fruits like Jackfruit or Mango. Don’t miss out on the local spicy noodle soup called Laksa which is a popular delicious Peranakan cuisine (combination of Chinese and Malay food). They serve one of the best rice noodles with chicken or seafoods in rich and spicy curry coconut milk or sour asam (tamarind or gelugur).
Are you into exotic foods? Check out the Satok Weekend Market, an open air market selling local produce, exotic foods, local crafts, etc. Eat sago worms or snake meat if you’re up for it. Sago worms are a delicacy for indigenous Melanau in Sarawak. They’re usually eaten fried or alive and it taste like rich creamy toffee. Snake meat is also usually fried and they taste like fish. It’s not every day you can tell your friends back home you ate something out of the ordinary. Don’t worry there are also other local delicacies if you’re not into eating something different.
Kuching is a great place to visit in Sarawak as the simple cat town surprises you in different ways. Who would expect that it offers a lot of destinations and delicious local food? Certainly, it should be on your top destination list when you’re planning for your next vacation.