Aerial view of Kuching looking south east.
|Nickname(s): "Cat City"|
|Founded by the Sultanate of Brunei||1827|
|Settled by James Brooke||18 August 1842|
|Municipality||1 January 1934|
|Granted city status||1 August 1988|
|• Type||Kuching South : Mayor–council government Kuching North : Council–manager government|
|• Mayor (Kuching South)||James Chan Khay Syn|
|• Commissioner (Kuching North)||Datuk Abang Wahap Abang Julai|
|• City of Kuching||431.02 km2 (166.42 sq mi)|
|• Kuching North||369.48 km2 (142.66 sq mi)|
|• Kuching South||61.54 km2 (23.76 sq mi)|
|Sourced from the DBKU official website|
|Elevation||27 m (89 ft)|
|Highest elevation||810.2 m (2,658.1 ft)|
|Lowest elevation||0 m (0 ft)|
|• Density||1,208.2/km2 (3,129/sq mi)|
|Time zone||MST (UTC+8)|
|• Summer (DST)||Not observed (UTC+8)|
|International dialling code prefix||+6082 (landline only)|
|Vehicle registration plate prefix||QQ, QA and QK (for all vehicles except taxis)
HQ (for taxis only)
|Website||Kuching North: www.dbku.sarawak.gov.my
Kuching South: www.mbks.gov.my
Kuching (Malaysian pronunciation: [ˈku ching], Chinese: 古晉; pinyin: Gǔ jìn), officially the City of Kuching, is the capital and the most populous city in the state of Sarawak in Malaysia. It is also the capital of Kuching Division. The city is situated on the Sarawak River at the southwest tip of the state of Sarawak in the island of Borneo and covers an area of 431 km² with a population about 165,642 on the north and 159,490 in the south. If mixed, the total population are 325,132.
Kuching is a major food destination and the main gateway for travellers to visit Sarawak and Borneo. Kuching Wetlands National Park is located about 30 kilometres from the city and there are many tourist attractions in and around the city. Kuching now has become one of the major industrial and commercial centres in East Malaysia.
- 1 History
- 2 Capital city
- 3 Geography
- 4 Demography
- 5 Economy
- 6 Transportation
- 7 Other utilities
- 8 Culture and leisure
- 9 International relations
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Sarawak was part of the Bruneian Empire since the first Brunei sultanate, Sultan Muhammad Shah. Kuching is the third capital of Sarawak, founded in 1827 by the representative of the Sultan of Brunei, Pengiran Indera Mahkota. Prior to the founding of Kuching, the two past capitals of Sarawak were Santubong, founded by Sultan Pengiran Tengah in 1599, and Lidah Tanah, founded by Datu Patinggi Ali in the early 1820s.
Pengiran Raja Muda Hashimit later ceded the territory to a British adventurer, James Brooke as a reward for helping him counter a rebellion. The rebellion was crushed in November 1840, and on 24 September 1841, Brooke was appointed as the Governor of Sarawak with the title of Rajah. It was not announced until 18 August 1842, following Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin II's ratifying the governorship, and requiring Brooke to pay an annual sum of $2,500 to the Sultan. Since that time, Kuching became the seat of the Brooke government.
The administration was later continued by his nephew, Charles Brooke. As an administrative capital, it became the centre of attention and development. Improvements included a sanitation system. By 1874, the city had completed several developments, including construction of a hospital, prison, Fort Margherita, and many other buildings.
Charles Brooke's wife write his autobiography, (My Life in Sarawak), including his descriptions of Kuching:
|“||The little town looked so neat and fresh and prosperous under the careful jurisdiction of the Rajah and his officers, that it reminded me of a box of painted toys kept scrupulously clean by a child. The Bazaar runs for some distance along the banks of river, and this quarter of the town is inhabited almost entirely by Chinese traders, with the exception of one or two Hindoo shops....Groceries of exotic kinds are laid out on tables near the pavement, from which the purchasers make their choice. At the Hindoo shops you can buy silks from India, sarongs from Java, tea from China and tiles and porcelain from all parts of the world, laid out in picturesque confusion, and overflowing into the street. — Margaret Brooke||”|
The Astana (Palace), which is now the official residence of the Governor of Sarawak, was constructed next to Brooke's first residence. He had it built in 1869 as a wedding gift to his wife. Kuching continued to prosper under Charles Vyner Brooke, who succeeded his father as the Third Rajah of Sarawak. In 1941, Kuching was the site of the Brooke Government Centenary Celebration. A few months later, the Brooke administration came to a close when the Japanese occupied Sarawak.
During the Second World War, six platoons of infantry from 2/15 Punjab Regiment were stationed at Kuching on April 1941. The Regiment defended Kuching and Bukit Stabar airfield from being the destroyed by the Japanese. Defence was mainly concentrated on Kuching and Miri. However on 24 December 1941, Kuching was surrendered to the Japanese forces. Sarawak was ruled as part of the Japanese Empire for three years and eight months, until the official Japanese surrender on 11 September 1945. The official surrender was signed on HMAS Kapunda at Kuching. From March 1942, the Japanese operated the Batu Lintang camp, for POWs and civilian internees, three miles (5 km) outside Kuching.
After the end of World War II, the town survived and was wholly undamaged. The third and last Rajah, Sir Charles Vyner Brooke later ceded Sarawak to the British Crown in 1 July 1946. During the Crown Colony period, the government worked to develop and improve the infrastructure on Sarawak. Kuching was revitalised as the capital of Sarawak under the British colonial government. When Sarawak, together with North Borneo, Singapore and the Federation of Malaya, formed the Federation of Malaysia in 1963, Kuching kept its status as the state capital and was granted a city status in 1 August 1988.
The name of "Kuching" was already in use for the city by the time Brooke arrived in the 1830s. The word was derived from Malay word for cat, "kucing" or from Cochin, an Indian trading port on the Malabar Coast and a generic term in China and British India for trading harbour. While as been written by a British woman to her son in the 19th century, it was stated that the name was derived from a stream of a same name, called "Sungai Kuching" or Cat River in English. Some source also stated that it was derived from a fruit called "mata kucing" (Euphoria malaiense),[note 1][note 2] a fruit that grows widely in Malaysia and Indonesia.
As a capital of Sarawak, Kuching plays an important role in the political and economic welfare of the population of the entire state as it become the seat of the state government where almost all of their ministries and agencies are based. The Sarawak State Legislative Assembly is located at the suburb of Kuching in Petra Jaya. There are four Members of Parliament (MPs) representing the four parliamentary constituencies in the city: Mas Gading (P.192), Santubong (P.193), Petra Jaya (P.194), and Kuching City (P.195). The city also elects 10 representatives to the state legislature from the state assembly districts of Opar, Tasik Biru, Tanjung Datu, Pantai Damai, Demak Laut, Tupong, Samariang, Satok, Padungan and Pending.
Kuching is the only city in Malaysia to be administered by two mayors, the city is divided into Kuching North and Kuching South. Each of these is administered by a mayor for Kuching South and commissioner for Kuching North. The current commissioner for Kuching North is Datuk Abang Wahap Abang Julai, who took over from Abang Atei Abang Medaan on 1 August 2011 while James Chan Khay Syn became the new mayor for the Kuching South in 2008 after the sudden death of Chong Ted Tsiung. The city obtained a city status on 1 August 1988, and since that it was administered by Dewan Bandaraya Kuching Utara (Kuching North City Hall) and Majlis Bandaraya Kuching Selatan (Kuching South City Council).
The city is defined within the borders of what is the district, formerly the municipality, of Kuching. With an area of 1,868.83 square kilometres, it is the most populous district in Sarawak. The area then subdivided into three sub-districts, namely Kuching Proper, Padawan and Siburan. Kuching Proper included the city area and Padawan municipality, while Siburan and Padawan[note 3] is a sub-district. The combined area of Kuching North City Hall, Kuching South City Council, Padawan Municipal Council and the Samarahan District Council is known as Greater Kuching.
Kuching is at the banks of the Sarawak River on the northwestern part of the island of Borneo. The limits of the City of Kuching include all that area in Kuching District containing an area approximately 431.01 square kilometres (166.41 sq mi) bounded from Gunung Lasak (Mount Lasak) in Muara Tebas to Batu Buaya (Crocodile Rock) in the Santubong peninsula following a series of survey marks as stated in the First Schedule of the City of Kuching Ordinance, 1988. As a simplification of the legal statute, the Kuching city limits extend from the Kuching International Airport in the south to the northern coast of the Santubong and Bako peninsulas; from the Kuching Wetlands National Park in the west to the Kuap River estuary in the east. The Sarawak River generally splits the city into North and South. The highest point in the city is Mount Santubong on the Santubong peninsula, which is at 810.2 metres (2,658 ft) AMSL, located 35 km north of the city centre. Rapid urbanisation has occurred in Greater Kuching and the urban sprawl extends to Penrissen, Kota Sentosa, Kota Padawan, Batu Kawah, Siburan, Tarat, Bau, Lundu, Kota Samarahan, Asajaya as well as Serian which is located about 65 km from Kuching.
Kuching has a tropical rainforest climate (Köppen climate classification Af), moderately hot but very humid at times and receives substantial rainfall. The average annual rainfall is approximately 4,200 millimetres (170 in). Kuching is the wettest populated area (on average) in Malaysia with an average of 247 rainy days per year. Kuching receives only 5 hours of sunshine per day on average and an average of only 3.7 hours of sunshine per day in the month of January (wettest month of the year). The wettest times are during the North-East Monsoon months of November to February and the dry season starts from June till August. The temperature in Kuching ranges from 19 °C (66 °F) to 36 °C (97 °F) but the average temperature is around 23 °C (73 °F) in the early hours of the morning and rises to around 33 °C (91 °F) during mid afternoon but the heat index often reaches 42 °C (108 °F) during the dry season due to the humidity. This temperature stays almost constant throughout the year if it is not affected by the heavy rain and strong winds during the early hours of the morning which could bring the temperature down to 19 °C (66 °F), but this is very rare.
|Climate data for Kuching (1971–2000)|
|Average high °C (°F)||29.8
|Average low °C (°F)||22.9
|Rainfall mm (inches)||684.1
|Avg. rainy days (≥ 1.0 mm)||22||17||16||17||15||14||13||14||16||19||22||22||207|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||109.5||108.5||135.5||162.1||188.8||188.9||192.9||171.4||147.1||147.1||142.9||125.9||1,820.6|
|Source #1: World Meteorological Organisation|
|Source #2: NOAA (sun, 1961–1990)|
The terms "Kuchingite" have been used to describe the people of Kuching, although it is not official. However, the simplest way to called the people of Kuching is only by "orang Kuching", which means "people of Kuching" in English.
The Malaysian Census 2010 reports that Kuching has a population of 325,132. The city population (North and South) consists of Malays (146,580), Chinese (120,860), Iban (28,691), Bidayuh (13,681), Non-Malaysian citizens (7,216), other Bumiputras (3,250), Melanau (2,078), Indian (1,626) and others (1,140). The Chinese are made up of Hokkien in the city areas and Hakka in the suburbs mainly. Other Chinese consist of Foochow (Fuzhou), Teochew, Hainanese, Cantonese, Henghua and others. Most of the Malays and Melanau are Muslim, the Chinese practiced either Buddhism, Taoism or Christianity while the Iban and Bidayuh are mainly Christian with some of them still practiced Animism. A number of Hindus, Sikhs and a small number of secularists also exist around the city.
A sizeable of non-citizen are mostly coming from the Indonesian area of Kalimantan due to the state proximity with it and most of them consist of migrant workers. Since the British period, a small population of South Asian especially Pakistanis have exist around the city by running their business mainly in selling clothes and spices. Other migrants during the time also included those Bugis from the Dutch East Indies and other races from the neighbour Dutch Borneo. While interracial marriages among those of different ethnic backgrounds are common in Kuching, and the city itself is a home to 30 different ethnic groups.
Beside being the capital city of Sarawak, Kuching became a business and cultural centre for the Malays of Sarawak. The dialect of Malay spoken in Kuching is known as Bahasa Sarawak (Sarawakian Malay Language), which is a subset of the Malay language. The dialect used in Kuching is a little different from the dialect used in Miri. Since the second largest population in the city is Chinese, the Chinese language is also commonly used. Almost all residents are able to speak English. A number of special private schools that teach English for expatriates child can be found through the city.
Kuching is one of the main industrial and commercial centre for Sarawak. Many state-level, national-level and international commercial banks, as well as some insurance companies establish their headquarters and branches here. The economy is dominated by the primary sector and currently by the tertiary-based industry as the state government want to aim Sarawak to be transform into a developed state by 2020.
The newly Kuching Central Business District, Pending Industrial Estate, Demak Laut Industrial Park, Sama Jaya Free Industrial Zone and the Petra Jaya suburb is intended to boost the city's commercial and industrial activity to making it a major growth centre in East Malaysia, as well for the BIMP-EAGA (Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area). The city also where numerous conferences, congress and trade fairs is hosted, such as the Malaysia Global Business Forum, Tomorrow’s Leaders Summit, International Hydropower Association (IHA) World Congress, the ASEAN Tourism Forum, the Routes Asia Conference and many others. These events are normally held at the Borneo Convention Centre.
Historically, the Chinese have contributed to the city economy since their migration during the Brunei Sultanate period after the discovery of antimony ore and also during the Charles Vyner Brooke administration who encouraging the migration of the overseas Chinese to planting black pepper.
Roads in the city are under the jurisdiction and maintenance of either the two local councils, i.e. DBKU (Dewan Bandaraya Kuching Utara) and MBKS (Majlis Bandaraya Kuching Selatan), or the state's Public Works Department. Roads of the latter category are either state roads or federal roads.
Most major internal roads are dual-carriageways and the city is linked by highways to other towns in Sarawak. These highways are mainly federal roads maintained by the national Public Works Department. The city also famous for a number of roundabouts including the oldest and largest one, known as Datuk Abang Kipali Bin Abang Akip Roundabout. The roundabout are usually landscaped and were efficient to handling traffic congestion. However, traffic lights are more commonly used now as the city traffic continues to rise.
As the city is located near the equator, potholes have the tendency to develop on the roads during the monsoon season, usually at the end of the year due to coinciding with winter in the northern hemisphere. Roads leading outside of the city to the interior are of a slightly lower quality but are now being upgraded. Highway routes from Kuching include:
- Kuching–Serian Highway
- Kuching Bypass
- Kuching–Kota Samarahan Expressway
- Tun Salahuddin Bridge
- Matang Highway
There are two types of taxi operating in the city, the main taxi is the red and yellow while the larger is painted in blue, which is more comfortable but expensive known as the "executive taxis". In 2014, a smartphone taxi booking application named "MyTeksi" was launched and making the city as the fifth area after Klang Valley, Cyberjaya, Putrajaya and Johor Bahru that have the applications. The main bus terminal is the Kuching Sentral, which just launched in 2012. It is located in the south of the city, about 5 minutes away from the Kuching International Airport and 20 minutes from the city centre. The terminal serves a long-distance destination to Brunei, Sabah and West Kalimantan in Indonesia. Another bus terminal is the Old Kuching Bus Terminal, it is still operating as some of the bus companies that supposed to use the new terminal are unwilling to use the facilities due to some ongoing disagreement. Other minibuses or vans services also available in the city.
Kuching, like most towns in Sarawak, has connections to other urban centres and settlements by water transportation. Between the banks of Sarawak River, near the city centre, many 'tambang' (traditional roofed wooden sampan) can be seen carrying passengers from one riverbank to another. For those staying along the river banks, it is a short way to getting to the city-proper. The wharf for express boats servicing transport to further areas such as Sibu and Bintulu, is located in the east of the city at the Sim Kheng Hong Port (formerly known as the Tanah Puteh Port) in Pending.
Kuching International Airport (KIA) (ICAO Code : WBGG) is the main gateway for air passengers. The airport's history dates back to the 1940s and today the airport has undergoing many major redevelopment. The airport terminal is listed as the fourth busiest airport in Malaysia. Since 2009, the airport has grown rapidly with an increasing number of passengers and aircraft movement. It is the secondary hub for Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia while became the third hub for MASWings, which serves flights to smaller towns and rural areas in East Malaysia.
Courts of law and legal enforcement
The current court complex is located in Petra Jaya. It contains the High Court, Sessions Court, and the Magistrate Court. Another courts of Syariah and native were also located in the city.
The Sarawak Police Contingent Headquarters is located in Badruddin Street. There are only one district headquarters in the city, the Kuching District police headquarters located in Simpang Tiga Road. Other police stations are found in Khoo Hun Yeang Street, Satok, Gita, Santubong, Padungan, Bintawa, Beratok, Sekama, Sg. Maong, Batu Kawa, KIA, Padawan (Mile 10), Siburan, Tapah and Tabuan Jaya. Police substations (Pondok Polis) are found in Wisma Saberkas, Hui Sing, Mile 7, Tiang Bukap and Allamanda Park.
Kuching Prison Complex is located in Puncak Borneo Street. Temporary lock-ups or prison cells are found in most police stations around the city.
There are many types of health services in the city, such as the main public hospitals, public health clinics, other type of health clinics, mobile clinic, flying doctor service, village clinics and 1Malaysia clinic. The main hospital is the Sarawak General Hospital which is the oldest hospital since 1923. Another hospital is Rajah Charles Brooke Memorial Hospital. Hospital Sentosa (Sentosa Mental Hospital), which built with a half-funded from the British Government was opened in 1958, it provides psychiatric services for the entire state and known as the second oldest hospital in Sarawak after the main hospital.
Normah Medical Specialist Centre in Petra Jaya is the largest private hospital with (130 beds) in Sarawak. In addition, three other large private health facilities are Borneo Medical Center with (120 beds), KPJ Healthcare with (75 beds), and Timberland Medical Centre with (72 beds).
In the city, all schools under the National Education System (government education institution category), are managed by the Kuching Combined Education Office (Pejabat Pelajaran Gabungan Kuching). There are many government or state schools in and around the city. Like other Malaysian schools, schools in the city are divided into four levels of education — pre-school, primary, secondary (lower and upper) and post-secondary (excluding tertiary). Among the well-established and prestigious boarding schools in the city is Sekolah Menengah Sains Kuching, which is located at Batu Kawa. Other secondary schools are Sekolah Menengah Kai Chung, Sekolah Menengah Min Lit, Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Batu Lintang, Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Green Road, Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Padungan, Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Petra Jaya, Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan St. Teresa, Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan St. Thomas, Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Tun Abdul Razak and many others. There are also a number of independent private schools in the city. Among them are Chung Hua Middle School No. 1, Chung Hua Middle School No. 3, Chung Hua Middle School No. 4, St. Joseph's Private School and Sunny Hill School.
There are currently no public university campuses in Kuching, apart from the Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences building situated next to the Sarawak General Hospital. The Sarawak state government moved the last remaining public university campus (Universiti Teknologi MARA) from Kuching to Kota Samarahan in 1997 in a long-term initiative to transform Kota Samarahan into an education hub. Kuching is home to two full-fledged private university campuses: the Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus, the only branch campus of Swinburne University of Technology outside Australia; and UCSI University, Sarawak Campus which houses the Faculty of Hospitality and Management. A polytechnic and community college, both known as Politeknik Kuching Sarawak and Kolej Komuniti Kuching are also located in the city.
Other private colleges can be found through the city with most of the colleges are subsidiaries from universities and university colleges established in West Malaysia, such as SEGi College, Sarawak, Sunway College Kuching, PTPL Sarawak, Limkokwing Borneo, FTMS International College and Twintech College Sarawak. There are private institutions conducting franchised programmes from full-fledged universities (apart from running their own courses) such as SATT College (conducting franchised programmes from UiTM) and the Institute of Dynamic Management, Sarawak (conducting franchised programmes from UNIRAZAK). The International College of Advanced Technology Sarawak or ICATS is an institution created as the state government's initiative to enhance technical and vocational training education among school leavers. The college was established from the former INTI College facilities. Operated by a state-owned subsidiary, ICATS focuses on producing human capital for the hi-tech sector, especially for the development of the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy.
The Sarawak State Library is the major information resource centre and provides information services for the public and private sectors. The library serves Kuching and its outskirts as the main depository of public records. In addition, it administers, monitors and facilitates the operations of 36 village libraries in the state funded by the National Library of Malaysia.
Other public libraries in Kuching include the DBKU City Library and village libraries such as in Bandar Baru Samariang, Kampung Samariang Lama and Taman Sepakat Jaya.
Culture and leisure
Attractions and recreation spots
Kuching maintains several museums showcasing its culture and history. The Sarawak Museum, the oldest of its kind in Borneo, exhibits collections on the natural history of Sarawak. Directly opposite the Sarawak Museum is the Dewan Tun Abdul Razak which serves as an exhibition venue and the office of the Sarawak Museum Department. Located right behind Dewan Tun Abdul Razak is the Sarawak Islamic Museum.
Other museums in Kuching include the Chinese History Museum, the Kuching Cat Museum, the Sarawak Timber Museum and the Sarawak Textile Museum. Kuching is also home to the first ever planetarium in Malaysia, the Sultan Iskandar Planetarium adjacent to the Kuching Civic Centre.
The oldest street of Kuching is the Main Bazaar, a row of 19th-century Chinese shophouses located along the Kuching Waterfront overlooking the Sarawak River. It offers the city's best concentration of antique and handicraft shops. The Main Bazaar is part of Kuching's old town, which also includes the Carpenter Street and India Street. The old Courthouse building, which sits in between Carpenter Street and India Street, has undergone restoration and now houses the Sarawak Tourism Board. The oldest private school is Sunny Hill School. Some other interesting areas around the CBD include Padungan Street, which is the Chinatown of Kuching.
Leisure and conservation areas
Talang-Satang was established with the primary aim of conserving Sarawak’s marine turtle population. The park comprises the coastline and sea surrounding four islands of the southwest coast of Sarawak; Pulau Talang Besar (Greater Talang Island) and Pulau Talang Kecil (Lesser Talang Island) off Sematan, and Pulau Satang Besar (Greater Satang Island) and Pulau Satang Kecil (Lesser Satang Island) off Santubong, near Kuching. These four “Turtle Islands” are responsible for 95% of all the turtle landings in Sarawak. The park also includes the Pulau Tukong Ara-Banun Wildlife Sanctuary, two tiny islets which are important nesting sites for colonies of Bridled Terns and Black-Naped Terns.
Talang-Satang National Park covers a total area of approximately 19,400 hectares (19.4 km2), and comprises all lands below the high tide marks on the respective islands, and the surrounding seas for a radius of 4.8 km from the highest point on each island. Beautiful shallow reef areas surround all the four islands. The reefs generally consist of several species of hard coral and colonies of soft coral. They provide shelter and resting grounds for sea turtles, and are also important fish breeding
Damai, Sarawak's main beach resort area, is located on the Santubong Peninsula, about 35 minutes' drive from Kuching. The area has sandy beaches at the foot of an imposing jungle-covered mountain. Damai features three world-class resort hotels: the Damai Beach Resort, Damai Puri Resort and Spa and One Hotel Santubong. Each resort has their own private beach, swimming pool and offers jet skiing, water-skiing, windsurfing, mountain biking, tennis, squash and fitness centres. There is also an Arnold Palmer-designed golf course nearby. Other attractions at Damai include the Damai Central, Sarawak Cultural Village and the sleepy fishing villages of Santubong and Buntal with their excellent seafood restaurants. For visitors wanting more adventurous activities, climb through the rainforest to the summit of Mount Santubong. It is a five to six-hour trek and surrounding hotels will usually provide a guide and a packed lunch.
Irrawady Dolphin Watching Damai is one of the best places to see the rare Irrawady dolphin, particularly in Santubong, Salak and Buntal river estuaries. A good guide-cum-spotter is necessary in order to catch a sight of this shy dolphin in the Damai area. Hotels and tour operators offer Irrawady Dolphin Cruises to take visitors to popular sighting destinations.
Bird-Watching The Santubong Peninsula offers a few sites for bird watching. Buntal village, an important wintering ground for migratory birds, is the best place. The best period is from October to March.
Among the migrants that were spotted by the Malaysian Nature Society (Kuching Branch) at Buntal in their bird count in January 2000 include a variety of Plobers, Sandpipers, Egrets, Terns and other rare migrants, while resident birds include Collared kingfisher, the White-bellied Sea Eagle and Brahminy Kite.
The Kuching Waterfront is an approximately 1 kilometer long riverside esplanade stretching from the main hotel and commercial heartland of the city to downtown Kuching. The landscaped waterfront is dotted with food stalls, restaurants and benches and offers excellent views of The Astana, Fort Margherita and the New Sarawak State Legislative Assembly Building. The waterfront also features an observation tower, an open-air theater and musical fountains. The Sunday Market previously at Satok now operates at Kubah Ria and during weekends offers a large diversity of items for trade. The Kuching Civic Center offers a panoramic view of the city from a viewing platform during the day.
Numerous natural attractions including National Parks, notably the Bako National Park and the Kuching Wetlands National Park as well as the Semenggoh Wildlife Center which operates an orang utan orphanage and rehabilitation program are popular attractions near Kuching. Also, available near Kuching are the Gunung Gading National Park and the Kubah National Park. Located about 40-minutes drive from Kuching is Santubong, a prominent beach resort area home to numerous world-class beach resorts, the Damai beach and the Sarawak Cultural Village. The Sarawak Cultural Village is a primary attraction in the area, which is essentially a living museum that allows visitors a first-hand experience to Sarawak's ethnic diversity. Other beaches accessible nearby Kuching are the Lundu Beach and the Sematan Beach. The Borneo Highlands is also nearby Kuching and offers a fresh and chilly highlands resort experience located 1000-meters above sea level.
- The Spring – Situated along Jalan Simpang Tiga, the lifestyle shopping mall was opened on 10 January 2008, The mall is spread over 4 stories including a carpark basement. The anchor tenants are Parkson Department Store, Ta Kiong Supermarket, MBO Cinemas, Padini Concept Store, MPH Bookstore and Toys "R" Us.
- Boulevard Shopping Mall – Phase I of the mall was opened on 22 December 2007. It is a new regional mall located along Jalan Datuk Tawi Sli in the 4th Mile area. The major tenant is the Boulevard Department Store & Hypermarket. Phase II was opened on 1 June 2012, with more than 150 retail shops.
- Plaza Merdeka – Largest mall around the city centre area. The mall opened to public on 29 November 2012. The anchor tenants are Parkson Flagship Store, Everrise, Kidz Clubhouse and Level Up Fitness.
- The Summer Mall – Located at Kota Samarahan, is a 3 storey shopping mall with an underground car park. A water park and an apartment hotel is being built and is expected to be completed later this year. Its anchor tenants are Servay Hypermarket, Parkwell Department Store and Lotus Five Star cineplex which is also touted to be the largest one in Malaysia with 12 cinema halls.
- CityONE Megamall – The mall has over 1.5 million square feet of gross space, evenly spread across a four-storey building. It house many retail outlets with Metrojaya, Golden Screen Cinemas and Celebrity Fitness as anchor tenants.
- Green Heights Mall – Kuching's first suburban neighbourhood small mall, occupied by international franchise, Cold Storage, opened on 13 June 2008.
- OneTJ – Sarawak's first ICT based shopping mall was developed in the Heights Drive Commercial Centre, opened on 22 November 2008.
- E-mart Matang – A one-stop shopping destination, located at Matang Jaya. The anchor tenant is E-mart Department Store and Supermarket.
- Hills Shopping Mall – A 2 storey up-market shopping centre (next to Pullman Hotel), located in Kuching City Centre, opened on 29 December 2009.
- Kuching Sentral – A new bus terminal mix with 3 storey shopping complex. Located 5 minutes from Kuching international airport.
- Giant Tabuan Jaya Mall – Anchor tenant Giant Hypermarket occupies 63,000 sq ft (5,900 m2), which makes it the largest Giant Hypermarket in Sarawak.
- Giant Kota Padawan Mall – The complex costs RM25 million and was opened on 25 October 2011. It is the third Giant Mall in Sarawak.
- Crown Square – Located at Jalan Pending. Offering electrical equipment,sport equipment and also a good choice of F&B outlets.
- Tun Jugah Mall – The 3-storey shopping complex is located within the Golden Triangle of Kuching. The mall’s anchor tenant is Popular Bookstore which renovated its outlet last year and reopened as the biggest Popular bookstore in Borneo.
- OneJaya – Strategically located at the heart of Jalan Song, the shopping complex has 230 strata-title retail units across 4 floors. The shopping complex opened on 28 November 2010.
- Wisma Saberkas – a 22-storey shopping cum office complex with 7 storeys of shops and 15 storeys of offices. Since opening its doors in 1985, Wisma Saberkas has established its name as being one of Sarawak’s foremost ICT malls.
- Riverside Shopping Complex – Located at Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, annexed to its sister property, Riverside Majestic Hotel in Kuching’s central business district. The anchor tenants are Parkson Grand, Riverside Super Bowl (24-lane bowling alley) and Lotus Five Star cineplex.
- Sarawak Plaza – The shopping complex is located at Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, adjacent to its sister property Grand Margherita Hotel.
- Wisma Satok - Wisma Satok located between Jalan Satok and Jalan Kulas,a busy centre for shopping,offices and bank. Built at the end of 1980's, Wisma Satok is considered as one of the oldest Shopping complexes in Kuching.
- Electra House - The oldest shopping complex. Electra House is located at Khoo Hun Yeung Road in the heart of Kuching City. Electra House was once the focal point of the city as it was the first multi storey shopping complex in Kuching. The shopping complex adopts an open air concept and is not air conditioned.
- Hock Lee Centre – The shopping podium has retail space across 4 floors. The interior of the building itself is made from a composition of large high quality panel of imported deep red African granite, with thick laminated glass curtain walls to sustain the cool temperature.
- Tabuan Plaza – Located at Jalan Bayor Bukit, the plaza's anchor tenants are H&L Supercenter and Grand Supermart.
- ST3 Mall – Located along Jalan Simpang Tiga, directly across road opposite The Spring Shopping Mall.
- Hopoh Shopping Centre – Located at Jalan P.Ramlee.
- Eastern Mall – A sub-urban mall along the Pan Borneo Highway located at the 17th mile of the busy Kuching-Serian Road between the booming district of Padawan and Serian. Anchor tenant is H&L Supercenter occupying 30,000 sq. ft while other tenants such as Watsons, LEA Centre, KFC and Singapore Chicken Rice.
- Genesis Parade – Apart from the anchor tenant 100% Superstore, there is also a food court, wet market, clothings outlet, electrical goods outlet, stationery shop and IT outlet in the shopping mall.
- EG Mall, King's Centre (Completed soon) – Located at King's Centre area, near to the Simpang Tiga Interchange.
- VivaCity Megamall (On-Going Project) – Located at Jalan Wan Alwi, Tabuan Jaya. When fully completed, Vivacity Megamall will be the largest premium shopping mall in Sarawak. The longest mall in East Malaysia will house everything under one roof, ranging from a Departmental Store, Cinema, Supermarket, Hotel, Food Court, Bank and Premium Specialty Stores. Many of the brands will be the first in East Malaysia and will add to the already exciting retail landscape in Kuching City.
- Papillon Street Mall (On-Going Project) – Located at Batu Kawah New Township\MJC Kuching, a new concept street mall is coming to town at MJC New Township.
- E-Mart Batu Kawa (On-Going Project) – Located in booming Batu Kawa area, strategic and fast-developing area along fourth and a half mile to Bau. Covers 8.9 acres, with over 300 retail outlets, when ready it will become the biggest E-Mart in Sarawak.
- Kuching City Mall (On-Going Project) – Located along Jalan Datuk Amar Kalong Ningkan, two-storey lifestyle shopping malls Neighbourhood of Taman Desa Wira, near MJC and Jalan Stephen Yong.
- Mydin Mall Bandar Samariang (coming soon) – Sited on a prime 8.1 acre site at the Bandar Samariang commercial centre, it would have a total floor area of 10,777 sq m - about 4,000 sq m for the hypermarket, 1,514 sq m of mall space and 603.87 sq m for the food court.
- AEON Mall (coming soon) – First AEON mall in East Malaysia.
Since 1997, Kuching has been host to the Rainforest World Music Festival, an annual music festival which brings performers and spectators to the region from all over the world. Hosted by the Sarawak Cultural Village, the festival is now one of the largest musical events in Malaysia.
Kuching currently has seven sister cities:
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- Mata Kucing is a close relative of Longan (Euphoria longana).
- Mata Kucing is similar to that of Longan fruit.
- Not to be confused with Padawan municipality.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kuching.|
- Kuching travel guide from Wikivoyage
- Commission of the City of Kuching North
- Council of the City of Kuching South
- Kuching Catscity – Kuching Travel Information Site