Kuching City, Sarawak

Kuching Travel Blog

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The Astana at Sarawak River, Kuching City

Kuching is the capital city of Sarawak state. Population estimated to be under 1 million. (it looks under 500,00 to me) There's another million or so people scattered over the rest of Sarawak (which is bigger than the whole of West Malaysia). It means that this place is rather quiet comparative to  Kuala Lumpur which has 4 million people within the city confines & surroundings.

So folks, if you are here for some peace and quiet, this is the place. If you are looking for the latest clubs & rave parties,  wrong city, make it wrong island entirely. You can get to the World Rain Forest Music Festival that is held every year, it has some interesting music from various groups around the world.
All the major hotels & hostels are located along this stretch of the city.
As a tourist promotion item, it works a little bit. There isn't much tourist overflow into the city, most are stuck at Damai beach / Holiday Inn Hotel. I'm just echoing the sentiments of the souvenir shops in town at the waterfront really, I do see that effect myself. (twice already) Me ? I won't pay the MYR 90 ticket to go into the festival and cultural village there. A little steep for something like that. (maybe locals are cheapos) What I know is that if you follow bigwigs, you can mosey your way in too. ha  ha  ha

The city (for tourists) is centred around that 3km stretch of riverfront. You can see the spice market, museums, old warehouses, craft shops, take boat rides (no tubing yet, I mooted the idea to a friend though), get some local food, a bit of shopping and some exotic foodstuffs.
Sarawak River - Waterfront. The most happening place in Kuching for visitors. ZZZZZZzzzzzzzzz......
The far end of the riverfront away from the city is the red light district (shoo !) but wait a minute, I can be found there.... A ha !

That's because that is also the oldest business district in Kuching. All the established businesses have an office there even though they have a fancy office elsewhere. This is where the big towkays (i.e. bigwigs) hang out for breakfast. Some eating shops cater to these chaps only, breakfast is served from 7am to 11am. After that, sorry folks - they are closed for the day. Don't let their shirts which aren't tucked in, with 1970's patterns or plain cotton vests fool you. These buggers own entire blocks of commercial buildings, complete housing estates or timber concessions worth as many digits as your phone number has.
The place where the white Rajah stayed before his descendants ruined the gig. He could just passed it to me !
This is definition of a power breakfast for the Chinese community in Kuching! Buwahahaha !

For a regular tourist, enjoy the coffee as you take in the sights around this part of town. Breakfast, lunch or dinner is leisurely in this part of the world. For good local food, it's in another part of town, much further away. You need locals to take you there. It's tough to find it yourself. If you prefer spicy food, Malay or Indian Muslim food, head to Satok Market or  Jalan Satok. (taxi or bus or a long walk) There's good variety there and they open till late at night. Most places for food in Kuching close early in the night. 9pm is the last call for many places serving Chinese food. Not many nice places left after that, not that it is a total lost cause. Grab a local to help  you out !

lilyj says:
Now a days u will see a lot of changes. Kuching is my hometown.
Posted on: Jan 10, 2014
KeikoCreative says:
If we have plan to go there this summer will definitely get some info from u;)
Posted on: Jan 28, 2010
almond72 says:
This city and the state of Sarawak seriously needs a boost in medium industries. The main driving force for the economy is timber, mining & oil revenues. (not much trickle down effect on local economy) Tourism doesn't have critical mass to take off yet. Anyway, contact me if you need more info.
Posted on: Nov 26, 2009
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Kuching
photo by: aotw