Top things to do in Kuching Including Trying Its Diverse Street Food

Top things to do in Kuching Including Trying Its Diverse Street Food

Sarawak’s capital is famed for its amazing food, but don’t forget to visit their museums too!

things to do in kuching

With 19th-century landmarks, themed museums, hawker food stalls as well as antique shops and massive bazaars that light up the night sky, Kuching, the bustling, diverse capital of Sarawak contains a distinct mix of older colonial buildings and modern towers that line the city’s many hotspots.

The most intriguing thing about this place, however, is its historical significance. Explore some of the more prominent attractions here in Kuching with this 3D2N guide.

Day 1 – A blast from the past

things to do in kuching

Image credit: Dustin Iskandar

First things first, head on over to the Kuching Waterfront. This is where the first White Rajah, James Brooke, landed in Sarawak. It used to primarily be a docking area for villagers crossing the river but it now features docks where cigar-shaped boats ferry people to and from the north bank and Petra Jaya (a string of governmental buildings amidst Malay settlements). Spend your morning strolling through vibrantly painted Malay villages, take in the sights and sounds of the street hawkers, eateries, entertainment outlets and beautiful architecture throughout the area. Historical buildings like an observation tower and various other sculptures are also present here.

things to do in kuching

Image credit: Aronpaul

Next, it’s on to the oldest museum in Borneo, The Old Sarawak Museum, which was sponsored by the second Rajah, Charles Brooke, and established in 1981. Here, you can find a comprehensive collection of tribal artefacts and historical information about Borneo’s colourful past for a taste of just how deep and ancient this region’s story is.

Image credit: Yeo Jiun Tzen

The National History Museum is a great source of natural history. Built in 1908 for administrative use, this structure now features exhibits including skeletons of mammals, reptiles, birds and insects.

Just a short drive away from the city, the Siniawan Night Market offers a glimpse into local life. Expect a bustling atmosphere and amazing food with a variety of Sarawakian dishes!

Day 2 – Deep historical insights

Image credit: Ashkho

Built in 1879, Fort Margherita stands as a prominent historical landmark that was once used to protect the city from attacks while the island was under British rule. It can be found on the other side of the Kuching Waterfront and its original structure remains intact, complete with cannons, guns, prisoner cells and more. The old fort has been converted to a Police Museum which is just as interesting.

Image author: Shoestring

The Chinese History Museum is another attraction to include in your historical expedition. Formerly the headquarters of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Sarawak, it is now a colossal source of information where visitors can learn more about the Chinese that resided in Sarawak.

Image credit: Garlic Kichap

Ready for dinner? A holistic atmosphere, affordable prices and generous portions can be found at Lepau, a low-slung wooden structured eatery in the alleys off Ban Hock Street where food is probably quite unlike anything else in town. Pansoh meats (stuffed with spices and roasted in bamboo shoots), umai (a fiery local take on ceviche served with sago balls), banana leaves filled with rice and crunchy jungle ferns are just some of the wonderful selections you can enjoy here.

Day 3 – Journey into cultural splendour

Image credit: Shoestring

This morning, a superb collection of old buildings with meticulous detailing that reflects local art forms awaits at the Sarawak Tourism Complex. Built in 2871 as the seat of Sarawak’s government, this huge array of historical landmarks includes the colonial-baroque Clock Tower (which was added in 1883) and the Charles Brooke Memorial as well as the Pavilion Building (a piece of old New Orleans transplanted to Kuching).

Image credit: Fabio Achilli

Finally, head on over to the oldest street in the city and the heart of old Kuching; Carpenter Street. This amazing spot contains examples of Chinese shophouse architecture as well as a string of antique and handicraft shops. Small coffee stalls and eateries can also be found. There’s also a row of perfectly preserved 19th-century Chinese houses at the nearby Upper China Street (off Leboh China).

Image credit: La Bonati

If you’re feeling like seafood, grab a bite at Top Spot, a fish market on top of a parking garage near the end of Green Hill Street. Stalls here offer varieties of shellfish that are cooked to order and served alongside fresh fruit juices.

Kuching remains an integral part of Sarawak’s preserved history so if you ever find yourself in the vicinity, it’s only fitting that you explore and appreciate the many landmarks and interesting attractions this great city has to offer. Refer to this 3D2N guide and get ready for a journey through remnants of the nation’s past.

About Author

Rauf
Rauf

Trying to get Rauf’s attention? Just say one word…roadtrip! Coming from an international background, he’s always felt at home in the midst of different people and cultures. Whether discovering historical gems or indulging in awesome food, he feels out of place if he’s not ‘out of place’ at least once a month. With a broad array of interest, Rauf likes to bask in knowledge, read, write, box, cook, look at art and have deep deep discussions on mind-altering topics.

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