Sarawak’s capital city is filled with palaces, forts and temples, and is the gateway to the national parks and thriving orangutan habitats.

A city which has retained and treasured its historic buildings and cultures, Kuching is the place to discover Malaysian Borneo’s past. The nearby national parks will lead you on a journey through Borneo’s ecology, from wetlands and rain forest, to a primate rehabilitation center.

To find your bearings in the “Cat City” (kuching is Malay for cat), follow the city’s waterfront trail that winds along the Sarawak River. This trail takes you past a 19th-century fortress, a Chinese Pavilion, a Buddhist temple, and street food vendors and restaurants where you can try everything from oyster omelettes to a local dry noodle dish, kolok mee.

Discover the oldest existing street in the city, Main Bazaar, where the two-story shops are a great place to hunt for bargain antiques, wooden folk crafts, ceramics and jewelry.

Spend a day or two exploring Kuching’s many museums. The Sarawak Museum was opened in 1891 and has exhibitions of tribal artifacts and extensive natural history collections. Investigate the influence of Islam on Malaysia at the nearby Sarawak Islamic Museum, where you’ll find exhibits dedicated to weaponry, architecture, literature and costumery. The Chinese influence on the city is proudly displayed at the flamboyant riverside temple Tua Pek Kong, built in 1843.

Nature tours are also a prime reason to base yourself in Kuching. Just 30-minute bus ride from the city is the entry to the Bako National Park. Hike the short or long trails through the jungle while keeping an eye out for the endangered proboscis monkeys and flying lizards. Join a boat tour of the Kuching Wetlands National Park to see otters and Irrawaddy dolphins.

Come face-to-face with Borneo’s most famous primates at the Semenggoh Orangutan Sanctuary, which is also rehabilitating a number of other endangered species.

Kuching offers year-round sunshine and is compact and safe enough to comfortably explore on foot or by bicycle.

Top hotels in Kuching

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Pullman Kuching
Pullman Kuching
4.5 out of 5
1a Jalan Mathies, Kuching, Sarawak
RM194
per night
9 Dec-10 Dec

Located in the heart of Kuching, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Tun Jugah Shopping Center and Riverside Shopping Complex. Plaza Merdeka and ...

4.1/5Very Good! (822 reviews)

"Spacious room with very comfortable bed! Only downside was the pool that doesn't catch much of sun."…"

Reviewed on 11 Nov,2019

Pullman Kuching
Imperial Hotel Kuching
Imperial Hotel Kuching
4 out of 5
Jalan Datuk Tawi Sli, Kuching, Sarawak
RM167
per night
18 Dec-19 Dec

Situated near the airport, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Kuching Boulevard Shopping Complex and Boulevard Shopping Mall. City One Shopping Mall and ...

4.3/5Excellent! (508 reviews)

"The food is variety compare to other hotels..n worth to stay here..but the toilet is too slippery coz my dad falls down n he was not feeling well after the incident.."…"

Reviewed on 10 Nov,2019

Imperial Hotel Kuching
Hilton Kuching
Hilton Kuching
4 out of 5
1 Jln Tunku Abdul Rahman, Kuching, Sarawak
RM221
per night
16 Dec-17 Dec

This family-friendly Kuching hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Riverside Shopping Complex and Kuching Waterfront. Hills Shopping Mall and Tun Jugah Shopping ...

4.2/5Very Good! (514 reviews)

"clean and spacious room"…"

Reviewed on 23 Oct,2019

Hilton Kuching

Popular things to do in Kuching

Bako National Park
Image for Bako National Park

Bako National Park

4.5/5(2 reviews)

Forests, mangroves and beaches teeming with bearded pigs, otters, proboscis monkeys and macaques await at this park, less than an hour’s drive from Kuching.

Top activities in Kuching

Private Bako National Park with Lunch
Image for Private Bako National Park with Lunch

Private Bako National Park with Lunch

RM546

Take a tour through the world of rare species and lush rainforest on the cliffs and headlands of Bako National Park. This journey lets you admire the pristine scenery of land and water around Sarawak's oldest national park, along with the remarkable diversity of plant and animal life within.

Full-Day Matang Wildlife Centre Tour & Kubah National Park Hike
Image for Full-Day Matang Wildlife Centre Tour & Kubah National Park Hike

Full-Day Matang Wildlife Centre Tour & Kubah National Park Hike

RM319

Venture out of the city for a day spent among the adorable animals of Matang Wildlife Centre. Spot orangutans, binturongs, and civets being rehabilitated to survive in the wild, and then set out for a rainforest hike to see jungle waterfalls and exotic plants in Kubah National Park.

Private Semenggok Wildlife Rehab Center Tour
Image for Private Semenggok Wildlife Rehab Center Tour

Private Semenggok Wildlife Rehab Center Tour

RM198

Head away from the bustle of the city to visit the biggest orangutan rehabilitation center in Sarawak, and learn about the lives of these remarkable creatures. Rescued from captivity and trained to survive in the surrounding forest, these animals can teach you the enduring power of nature.

Full-Day Semenggoh Nature Reserve Tour & Kayaking Adventure
Image for Full-Day Semenggoh Nature Reserve Tour & Kayaking Adventure

Full-Day Semenggoh Nature Reserve Tour & Kayaking Adventure

RM231

This full-day trip showcases the natural beauty of Kuching with a visit to the Semenggoh Nature Reserve and a kayaking journey on the Sarawak Kiri River. See native orangutans in the nature reserve before taking to the water and exploring picturesque landscapes on your way to Kampung Semadang.

Private Kuching City Tour
Image for Private Kuching City Tour

Private Kuching City Tour

RM176

Get the perfect introduction to Sarawak's historic capital with this tour through the best sights of Kuching. From the Chinese Temple's vibrant colors to the grand former palace of the White Rajahs and the city's lively storefronts, you can experience the remarkable history and energy around you.

Gold Mines, Wind & Fairy Caves Full-Day Mountain Bike Tour
Image for Gold Mines, Wind & Fairy Caves Full-Day Mountain Bike Tour

Gold Mines, Wind & Fairy Caves Full-Day Mountain Bike Tour

RM238

Put your feet to the pedals of a rugged mountain bike as you explore rainforest trails, bat-filled caves, and abandoned gold mines on this outdoor adventure. Follow an experienced local guide to the Wind and Fairy Caves, and settle in for lunch at a beloved restaurant along the way.

Other places like Kuching

Kuantan
Image for Kuantan
Kuantan
Johor Bahru
Image for Johor Bahru
Johor Bahru
Tainan
Image for Tainan
Tainan
Sanya
Image for Sanya
Sanya