Whenever someone mentions Kuching, you might either recall that it’s a state in Sarawak or you might picture a cat (kucing) in your head. Although it might have a pun name that has a stealthy connotation, Kuching is by no means an obscure place. Located in the biggest state in Malaysia, Kuching has many treasures to offer you.
Places to visit in Kuching
1. Cat Museum.
As you probably already know by now, Kuching sounds like kucing, which means cat in Malay. Therefore, visiting the Cat Museum in ‘cat city’ is definitely a must during your visit here. This Museum is located on the Lobby Floor of Kuching North City Hall Headquarters.
The Cat Museum is easily a paradise for cat lovers. Here, there are over 2000 exhibits ranging from different breeds of cats to cats in various cultures and historical periods. You can even catch a glimpse of mummified cats! The museum also sells cat souvenirs guaranteed to satisfy your cat-loving soul.
Even if you are not particularly crazy about cats, you can still enjoy the visit. The Cat Museum is a good place to learn about the history of Sarawak and Kuching, like how Kuching got its name.
Visiting the Cat Museum is free. However, you will be charged RM3 if you bring a camera and RM5 if you bring a video camera.
2. Gunung Gading National Park
Did you know that Rafflesia is the biggest flower in the world? More importantly, did you know that Kuching is home to the biggest flower in the world?
Rafflesia can be found at Gunung Gading National Park located at Lundu. While you can probably spot this flower all year round, you would probably have the best chance of seeing a full bloom Rafflesia any time from November to January since it is the peak blooming season. It is recommended that visitors contact the Gunung Gading National Park headquarter the National Parks and Wildlife Booking Office in Kuching to check if there would be any Rafflesia already in bloom when they visit the park.
Of course, admiring the flowers is not the only thing you can do. Gunung Gading National Park is also perfect for jungle-trekking and taking Instagrammable photos of the waterfalls. If you are adventurous enough, you can even climb up to the peak of Gunung Gading.
Admissions fees range from RM3 to RM10 for Malaysians and RM7 to RM20 for non-Malaysians. All children under the age of 6 can enter for free.
3. Satok Weekend Market
What’s a visit to Kuching without shopping at a local-oriented place? The Satok Weekend Market is located at Medan Niaga Satok. The most special part about this market is that it is where locals come to sell their produce.
At the Market, visitors can find a wide variety of products from vegetables and fruits to handicrafts and clothes. For Malaysian visitors, it is worth taking a visit to this market to buy fresh ingredients; for foreign visitors, it is worth a visit to marvel at the wide variety of fresh produce and to purchase some souvenirs too. Not just that, but there are also many different treats you can try, such as honeycomb crackers and pancakes!
4. Fort Margherita (Brooke Gallery)
If the Cat Museum is for cat lovers, then Fort Margherita is for history buffs. Fort Margherita was built in 1879 by Charles Brooke, Rajah of Sarawak. It was initially constructed to protect Kuching from pirates. Now, it serves as a relic of the Brooke dynasty and has been turned into a museum.
The Brooke Gallery displays the Brooke family’s belongings and artefacts, documents, and photography from the dynasty. To enter the fort, visitors will have to take a boat across a river and walk a short distance.
The entrance fee to the Gallery is RM10 for Malaysians and RM20 for non-Malaysians. Children under the age of 7 can enter free of charge.
5. Irrawaddy Dolphin and Mangrove Swamp Cruise.
Kuching offers you a chance to get even closer to nature on a cruise. This cruise lasts anywhere from two to five hours and begins at Damai Beach.
Visitors will be taken along the swamps and witness many wildlife like crocodiles and Proboscis Monkeys. If you’re lucky, you can even spot an Irrawaddy Dolphin! Apart from that, the cruise also includes a visit to a traditional fishing village where you will get a peek into life in the village.
In conclusion, Kuching is a great tourist destination for people who want to see something different for a change. From nature to historical sites, Kuching truly has it all.