As many travelers may be asking 'What to do in Kuching?', there are actually quite some interesting things you can do in Kuching town or the outskirts. Many who have been here will instantly brand Kuching as a not so active place but if you have been here enough times, there are actually quite a few things to explore here. Anyway, I have created this list for the first times or those who have a few days in Kuching, Sarawak.
Before I go there, Kuching is the capitol of Sarawak and is well known as a gateway to all of Sarawak's nature and wildlife. Kuching is also a great place to try local Sarawakian food for the foodies or food lovers. Another popular thing many locals like to do is go shopping for handicraft and antiques here.
The common cruise is via the larger ferry-like boat that charges about RM60-RM70 per person for a one and a half hour cruise while there is one more much smaller one that charges about RM20-RM25. I would recommend you take the larger one as it is more comfortable with full facilities with orange juice and local layer cakes served complimentary. The smaller one is is a wooden sampan or traditional boat and only takes you around for about 30 minutes.
|Kuching Main Bazaar|
3. Explore the Main Bazaar and Carpenter Street - These are one of the oldest trading streets in Kuching where nowadays, you get a myriad of shops selling all sorts of local souvenirs. The Main Bazaar in Kuching is a well known area for buying souvenirs, antiques and the much talked about Sarawak Layer Cakes (Kek Lapis Sarawak). Best time to visit this place is in the mornings till about after lunch. Most of the shops here will close by 5pm. For Malaysians, there are shops that sell the famous Sarawak Mats (Tikar Sarawak) where after purchasing them, they are air-flown to your home, at a cost of course.Some new budget hotels have recently opened along the Kuching Main Street Bazaar while towards one end, you will find numerous goldsmith shops.
|Carpenter Street Kuching|
At the back of the Main Bazaar is Carpenter Street, a well known road that offers budget hotels, popular coffee shops, restaurants and cafes and also stores selling souvenirs and so on. Many locals like to come here for the food as there are some notable restaurants like Aladdin Chicken Rice and also the Temple Hawker Centre which has a few local Sarawakian dishes. This place is best visited from mornings till about lunch.
|Pasar Serikin Market|
7. Shop at the Serikin Market - A very popular border town market that locals love to visit. Locals, mostly Malaysians, Bruneians and Singaporeans are the ones who flock here to buy the cheap border items like curtains, rattan items, comforters and anything for the home.This place is also one of the closest towns to the earth's equator therefore can be hotter than normal. So bring sun protection when you visit here. Taxi's or tour companies can be used to get here while it takes about two hours from Kuching to get here.
|Main Street Bazaar in Kuching|
|Sarawak 3 Layer Tea selection|
Kuching is also well known for the famous Sarawak Laksa, a soupy noodle dish. A number of popular places sell these and you can simply ask locals about where to get some good ones. Apart from that, Sarawak is also known for their Three Layer Teas and if you're a tea or iced tea lover, this is a must-try. I also wrote an article about eating local food in Kuching, Sarawak.
Finally, for those of you who have never been to Kuching, you should always take a free and easy day to explore the city. Kuching is also now one of the popular places for conventions and exhibitions where a number of world class events will taking place in 2014. The Asean Travel Forum 2014 will also be happening next year therefore you will be seeing more tourist visiting Malaysia's largest state and hopefully this list will be of help for those thinking of What to do in Kuching, Sarawak.