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Colonial-era buildings rub shoulders with modern office towers in Kuching, the largest city on the island of Borneo and the capital of Sarawak state. From the busy waterfront to landmarks like the Astana, the erstwhile palace of the White Rajahs, Kuching is known as a clean, safe city for travelers to explore. Add a fabulous dining scene and the burgeoning tourist industry is waiting for you to discover.
The city is the perfect hub to explore the area's gorgeous natural beauty, including rainforest, waterfalls, beaches, and more, with Bako National Park bordering the city along the waterfront, and Kubah National Park just outside town.
You must check out the region's iconic wildlife on any visit to the city, and you can watch the orangutans feeding at Semenggoh Nature Reserve, an easy bus ride from downtown.
Enjoy the beach along with events like music festivals and a lively bar scene at Santubong, a short distance from the city.
One of the legends around the city's name comes from the Malay word "kucing", which means cat, making it the perfect place for the delightful Cat Museum, just one of the city's impressive and intriguing museums that you can explore.
From street food at the city's night markets to fine dining, the diverse population and lush environment result in a thriving dining and nightlife scene.
Most travelers opt to visit the city during the drier months of the year, from June through August, when daytime temperatures average around 90 degrees.
Kuching International Airport (KCH) is about seven miles from the city center. A taxi into town should be available at a fixed rate of about RM26.
There are well-maintained highway connections within Sarawak state between Kuching and other centers such as Sarikei, Sibu, and Miri, but there is no guarantee of paved surfaces if you are traveling from farther away.
The Kuching Sentral Bus Terminal provides intercity connections to other major centers in Sarawak state, including Sibu, Miri, and Pontianak in Indonesia, among others. Sarawak Transport Company and Bintang Jaya Express Bus are two of the larger bus companies operating out of the terminal.
Stay in stylish modern comfort at the Batik Boutique Hotel, with a convenient central location. You'll enjoy the contemporary decor and amenities at the Padungan Hotel, about a half mile from the waterfront.
Padungan - this is the city's historical commercial and shopping area, with plenty of nightlife and hotel options, along with attractions like the Kuching waterfront and cat statues.
Satok - this is where you will find the city's busiest weekend market, a mecca for bargains on local goods and food of all kinds, along with a restaurant scene nearby to sample from.
Siniawan - this area that runs along the Sungai Sarawak Kanan River is where you will find the famed Siniawan Night Market, along with a commercial area and dining options.
There is reliable bus service through the city by City Public Link, with bright green buses you can't miss. Fares vary by zone, ranging from RM1.80 to RM2.30.
Taxis are metered and fairly plentiful, and can be rented by the hour for about RM40.
Roads within the city are in good condition, and driving is oriented to the left. A car rental starts at about RM160 per day.
You'll find modern shopping malls like the Riverside Shopping Complex in the city center, with many smaller stores along Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, which runs along the Sarawak River.
H&L and Upwell are two of the larger local supermarket chains. A quart of milk costs about RM6.25 and a dozen eggs should cost about RM4.30.
Explore local Dayak cuisine in elegant style at the.Dyak, where main dishes start at RM25. Sample innovative Chinese-style fusion dishes at Bla Bla Bla, where mains begin at RM22.