What to do in Kuching, Borneo
Borneo is one of the favorite destinations of many travelers who visit Malaysia. We’ve been to many places in Asia, but Borneo will always have a special place in my heart. From food, friendly local people to culture, wildlife and jungle – Kuching has a lot more to offer than many other countries in Asia.
Don’t get me wrong, I love to hear the sounds of the sea and the splashing waves, read a book under palm trees, relax and then jump into a swimming pool, but after a week I’m craving for some adventure. Kuching, and Borneo for that matter, has something for everyone!
When I decided to stay in Kuching for 3 days, the the owner of my hostel convinced me to stay at least 5 days since there’s so much more to discover than jungle/wildlife only. He was totally right! I eventually stayed for almost 1 week. I’ve spent four days outside the city and three days inside the city of Kuching. You probably won’t expect it – neither did I – but Kuching has a lot of trendy restaurants where they serve top notch food and wines and cafes that come alive at night where locals play the guitar and sing oldies like the Beatles. Definitely my cup of tea:)
Let me take you along a journey you will never forget!
The city of Kuching
Kuching is the Capital of the Sararawak province. The city is well know for it’s style, culture and natural habitat. It might be a small city but it it’s big in it’s venues. You will see statues of cats everywhere – the city’s name is derived from the Malay word for cat — Kucing. A bit weird in the beginning but you will get used to it. It’s a vibrant and dynamic city with beautiful new and historic buildings with impressive architecture. The locals are very friendly and warm, you feel at home right away.
Cruise along the majestic Sarawak River
Explore the city by boat along the Sarawak River. The Sarawak River, separating the north and the south called, is the best way to view the city. Relax and take a moment to see the city from another angle. Normally you will pay around RM60 (13 euros) per person when you do a tour via an agency where you share a big boat with at least 15 people. Tip » I took a small taxi boat where the locals travel with. A lot cheaper – RM 30 (6 euro) for two people – you will get a lot more inside info and you will have the boat all for yourself! You will have to negotiate, but my trip took 1.5 hours and the local guy I had was so lovely. Take a breath and enjoy the calm river while sipping a cold refreshing beer.
Walk along the waterfront
Kuching’s Waterfront Boulevard is great for a walk during the whole day. During the day you see the daily activity on the river where local people using the small ferry boats to travel to and from their homes across the river. There are food with beverages and snacks to eat as you stroll along. In the afternoon/beginning of the evening when the sun sets you will enjoy the beautiful view of the waterfront where locals preform almost every night. There’s not only a harmonious vibe on the streets but also in different bars and restaurants!
Visit China Town
Kuching’s Chinatown is Carpenter Street, marked on its western end by the large Chinese gate officially called the “Harmony Arch”. While there are a few guest houses and lots of restaurants along the road, the area is not very ‘touristy’ at all. Somewhat surprisingly, Carpenter Street still has a few carpenter shops, along with bicycle shops, printers and other small businesses.
DRINKS | Drunk Monkey Old street Bar
Drunk Monkey Old Street Bar brings a taste of the urban hipster scene to Kuching. Nice ambiance, great beers and music.
TIP! Check out the other side of the bar/terrace – Beautiful street art!
FOOD | Saigon Fusion
If you’re hungry you should definitely check out the authentic Vietnamese restaurant Saigon Fusion. Try the PORK PHO, amazing! The owner Allan Goh know how to surprise people with his excellent food and service!
You can also ask the staff of Drunk Monkey Old Street Bar for the food menu, they can get the order for you from this amazing Vietnamese restaurant.
Check out the Street Art in Kuching
Next to the open air market and India street you will see beautiful street art of the talented Lithuanian painter Ernest Zacharovic, famous for his interactive street art in different countries. This was the first time that I’ve ever heard of him and immediately I became a huge fan. He brings his street art to life and interact with local people by letting them participating in his work. His work is widely shared on social media and I understand why! More of him to come in my next blogpost about George town Penang, Malaysia, where I have seen a lot more of this impressive work.
5. Hip Hang outs
Kuching is a hip and happening place. I never expected Kuching to be so trendy, but it is!Kuching has a great bar and restaurant scene, where many
DRINKS & FOOD | The Barber
Before an old barber shop with mirrors and barber chairs, became a trendy and chic venue to dine and have cocktails. They serve American style food, like burgers.
FOOD & DRINKS | The Junk
After a jungle trekking and some street food dinner we wanted to have a few drinks before going to bed. We found this place – a few doors away from The Barber – The Junk. It’s quit a unique and impressive place, it’s divided into 4 areas which named as Backstage, Red room, Junk bar and restaurant area. Every room is different and if full with great decor pieces like red lanterns. At night this restaurant turn into one of the hottest clubs in town! Oh what a night…
I hope I have inspired you a bit… More of Malaysia and Borneo down here!