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Things To Do in Kuching, Sarawak

Looking through my pics of a recent trip to Kuching, I realised that I have fallen in love with Kuching quite a bit. It is a quaint and charming city with one of the friendliest people I have met, yummy food and interesting cultural and nature attractions too.

While there's a lot more to do, here's some of my favourite discoveries of Kuching from my last 2 getaways to Kuching. In fact if you like, you can cover all the items below in one weekend! I stress that these are what I experienced and loved. I certainly welcome suggestions and recommendations on what else I should try out in Kuching and of course Sarawak!


Kuching Riverfront
The riverfront is a lovely place to visit for a stroll. Walk along the river, enjoy a little meal or drink while drawing in the view. One of the yummy eats that I discovered on the recent trip was ikan bilis fritters. Fresh from the hot oils, it is crispy on the outside, fluffy inside with the delicious saltiness of ikan bilis. Have it on its own or some of the chili sauce. 

If you like to cross over to the other side of the river which is famous for Kuih Lapis, then you can either drive over or check out the river taxis also known as bot tambang / penambang! It is quite a fun experience crossing the river and the fare is only RM0.50 / USD0.12.

Sarawak River Cruise
And if you are at the Kuching Riverfront in the evening, do also check out the Sarawak River Cruise. Arrive early so that you can grab your choice seats or spots on the upper deck. Enjoy a 360 degree view of Kuching along Sarawak River. You will see a modern and historical view of Kuching. Photobugs, bring your gears to shoot away. The view is magnificent!
Enjoy the sunset.
State Assembly Legislative Assembly Building is a prominent landmark in Kuching.

Food and Shopping
Kuching has plenty of good food. And if you love cooking then you must not leave Kuching empty handed. Make sure you stock up on their famous peppers. And if you love Sarawak laksa and lemongrass chicken etc, you can even buy the ingredients to replicate the feast in the comforts of your own home.
Colourful kuih lapis make lovely gifts. So remember to buy more!

Midin is a fern that is found only in East Malaysia. Popular preparation is stir fry.
Sarawak laksa 
Kolo Mee
Orchien or fried oyster in Kuching is different. Crispy batter topped with plump oysters and gravy.
Kuching started the trend of 3 colour tea and of course it now has developed into 4 or even 5 colour tea. You can have it with any meal and anytime of the day!
Best pork satay in Malaysia can be found at Carpenter Street. Take your time to explore this area with lovely architecture. Reward yourself with a satisfying meal of satay thereafter!
Thanx to my buddy Jian, I discovered that Kuching has many more drinks than just tea! The bowl is called Matterhorn and the glasses from left to right are Malboro, White Lady, 3 Sour and Red Eye. Colourful and refreshing!

Rainforest World Music Festival
This happens once a year and is held at the Sarawak Cultural Village. It is a lovely 3 days event with lots of music and dance. I urge you to go for the workshops that are held in the daytime. Trust me, many of us return for the Rainforest World Music Festival because it is so fun!

You can stay in the city itself with many hotels providing daily shuttle service to the festival site. Alternatively, you can stay at the hotels near the festival site. Book early!
For more information, check out www.rwmf.net

Sarawak Cultural Village
Even if it is not Rainforest World Music Festival, this place is a must visit. A "living museum" with about 150 people living in the village, demonstrating traditional daily activities from Sarawak's diverse tribes like the processing of sago and the making of handicrafts. There are also replicas of buildings that represent every major ethnic group in Sarawak including Iban, Bidayuh and Orang Ulu long houses, Melanau tall-house etc.

Kayaking
If you love nature, kayaking along Sarawak River surrounded by lush rainforest is an interesting experience. Its has been years since I went kayaking and the fact that I had to buddy up with the hubster proved to be a challenge because I have always been doing it on my own. THANX to the amazing and very skilled guides at Semadang Kayak, kayaking with the hubster (and flipping the kayak at the early start of the session) was super fun. 
Life vest, demo and amazing guides got us all sorted out for our 11km ride!
The hubster and I. We finally got our coordination sorted out because I am accustomed to kayaking on my own rather than with a buddy. Team work isn't easy but when you have it sorted out, it gets really fast and fun!

11km of pure bliss soaking in the beauty of the Borneo rainforest. Lush greens, cool clean waters and a lovely blue sky. Even though it rained towards the end bits of our kayaking session, it was all good fun playing in the rain. The journey was broken down to lil bits here and there. 4km first with one break for us to stretch our arms and legs. After lunch, we continued with many breaks in between for pictures and of course for us to play! Have your fun soaking in the cool river that is so blissful after kayaking under the hot sun.

The lunch that the folks at Semadang Kayak provided was the most memorable meal for me during this recent visit to Kuching. A delicious home cooked Bidayuh lunch. While I was hungry because it is really a good workout doing kayaking, the second and third helping came along because the meal was simply too delightful. I loved them all but if I had to choose one then it would be the Asam Pedas Terung Dayak - terung Dayak is a native eggplant that is only found in Sarawak.


The folks at Semadang Kayak also offer bamboo rafting, jungle trekking and caving tours!
T: +6013 804 2118 (Edward Doring) and +6010 9715850 (Macquin Doring)

Semenggoh Wildlife Centre
The star attraction at Semenggoh Wildlife Centre is really the orang utans - they do have a small crocodile enclosure as well. Arrive early because feeding time normally starts at 845am and 3pm. Of course, there is no guarantee that the orang utans will come out during the feeding hours especially when it is the fruiting season that spans from November to April.

You can opt to walk in from the main entrance of the centre to the feeding area. Alternatively, there is also transport provided. Had I had the liberty of more time, I would certainly have loved to walk or run in while drawing in the sights, sounds and view of the jungle.

A short briefing by the guide before we take a short trek to the feeding areas. I wouldn't recommend bringing young kids / toddlers / infants along for this trip. The orang utans shy away from loud noises. During our visit, the orang utans only came out after almost 30 minutes of coaxing from the guides who called out to them. The calls were only successful when a few families took their children away - the kids were either screaming or crying earlier.

The orang utans here are either rescues or born in this centre itself. They roam free in these grounds. Do visit the Information Centre to know more about these orang utans and the rehabilitation work done by the Centre.
Richie 34 year old male orang utan at Semenggol Wildlife Centre.  Ritchie was an orphaned orang utan when his mother was killed by hunters. 

Semenggoh Wildlife Centre
GPS Coordinates 1°23’59"N 110°19’27"E
T: +6082 618325 OR +6082 618324 

Caving
The Wind Cave and Fairy Cave are located a short distance from each other. Both caves offers a different experience. 

The Wind Cave is generally dark and I would recommend that you bring your own headlamp or you can rent at the point of entry. Made up of 3 caves, one might easily miss one of it. However follow the signages and you will definitely make it through all 3 caves.
Follow the directions to explore all 3 caves.
Amazing work of nature. 

The Fairy Cave requires a little more walk. It starts with a lovely walk up the steps. Leave your abgs etc behind so that you can leave your hands free when you climb up the steep steps of a man made ladder like staircase. A headlamp will come in handy so that you can see the steps which can be a tad wet. The climb is worth it because you walk into a huge room of beautiful green with beautiful formations of stalagmites and stalactites. If you think that some of them look like humans, then legend goes that a pair of orphan kids had cursed and cursed an entire village to stone because the villager were cruel towards them.
5 storeys high...take it slow to enjoy the walk and view!
More steps. The air is fresh and cool!
Refreshingly green.
Windows of light

Airasia flies 12 times a day from Kuala Lumpur to Kuching. So there's more reasons for me to explore Kuching soon! Do drop me a line or comment below to let me know where else I should check out in my next visit. 

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