Kuching

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Kuching City
City
Cat City
Aerial view of Kuching looking south east.
Aerial view of Kuching looking south east.
Official seal of Kuching City
Commission of the City of Kuching North
Official logo of Kuching City
Council of the City of Kuching South
Nickname(s): "Cat City"
Kuching City is located in East Malaysia
Kuching City
Kuching City
Location in Borneo
Kuching City is located in Malaysia
Kuching City
Kuching City
Location in Malaysia
Coordinates: 1°33′36″N 110°20′42″E / 1.56000°N 110.34500°E / 1.56000; 110.34500Coordinates: 1°33′36″N 110°20′42″E / 1.56000°N 110.34500°E / 1.56000; 110.34500
Country Malaysia
State Sarawak
Division Kuching Division
District Kuching District
First settled Circa AD 600s (7th century)[1]
Incorporation (Municipality) November 1906[2]
Incorporation (City) 1 August 1988
Government
 • Type Kuching South : Mayor–council government Kuching North : Council–manager government
 • Mayor (Kuching South) James Chan Khay Syn[3]
 • Commissioner (Kuching North) Datuk Abang Wahap Abang Julai[4]
Area[5]
 • 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)
Population (2010)[6]
 • Density 1,208.2/km2 (3,129/sq mi)
 • Metro 325,132[6]
Time zone MST (UTC+8)
 • Summer (DST) Not observed (UTC+8)
Postal code 93xxx
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 (/ˈkɪŋ/ KOO-ching), officially the City of Kuching,[7] and formerly the City of Sarawak, is the capital and the most populous city in the state of Sarawak in Malaysia.[8] The city covers an area of 431 km² and has a population about 165,642 on the north, while 159,490 on the south.[6] If mixed, the total of the population are 325,132.[6]

Kuching is one of the two subsets of the Kuching Proper subdistrict, the other subset being part of the Padawan municipality. Kuching Proper is one of the three subdistricts in the Kuching District, which is one of the three districts in the Kuching Division.

History[edit]

Kuching is the third capital of Sarawak, founded in 1827 by the representative of the Sultan of Brunei, Pengiran Indera Mahkota.[9] 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.[9]

Sir James Brooke, the first Rajah of Sarawak.

Sarawak was a part of the Sultanate of Brunei since the first Brunei sultanate, Sultan Muhammad Shah. Pengiran Raja Muda Hashimit ceded the territory to the British adventurer, James Brooke as a reward for helping him counter a rebellion.[10] 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.[10] 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.[10]

Since that time, Kuching became the seat of the Brooke government.[11] As the administrative capital, it was the center of attention and development.[12] Improvements included a sanitation system.[12] By 1874, the city had completed several developments, including construction of a hospital, prison, Fort Margherita, and many others buildings.[12]

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 Raja 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.[12][13]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.[14][15] Kuching continued to prosper under Charles Vyner Brooke, who succeeded his father as the Third Rajah of Sarawak.[10]

In 1941, Kuching was the site of the Brooke Government Centenary Celebration.[16] A few months later, the Brooke administration came to a close when the Japanese occupied Sarawak.[10]

An aerial reconnaissance photograph of Kuching Town near the end of World War II, taken on 1 August 1945.

During the Second World War, six platoons of infantry from 2/15 Punjab Regiment were stationed at Kuching on April 1941.[17] The Regiment defended Kuching and Bukit Stabar airfield from being the destroyed by the Japanese.[17] Defence was mainly concentrated on Kuching and Miri.[17] 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.[18][19][20] From March 1942, the Japanese operated the Batu Lintang camp, for POWs and civilian internees, three miles (5 km) outside Kuching.[21]

After the end of World War II, the third and last Rajah, Sir Charles Vyner Brooke ceded Sarawak to the British Crown in 1 July 1946.[22][23] During the Crown Colony period, the government worked to develop and improve the infrastructure on Sarawak, as well on North Borneo.[19] Kuching was revitalised as the capital of Sarawak under the British colonial government.[24] When Sarawak, together with North Borneo, Singapore and the Federation of Malaya, formed the Federation of Malaysia in 1963,[25] Kuching kept its status as the state capital.[26]

Etymology[edit]

More than 150 years ago Kuching was the major European settlement in Sarawak. It was first called Sarawak, then Sarawak Proper, so as to distinguish it from the larger Sarawak area. In 1841, it consisted of only the area between Tanjung Datu, and the Samarahan River.[27] On 12 August 1872, Sarawak Proper was given its present name, Kuching, under the rule of the second Rajah of Sarawak, Charles Brooke, a British adventurer who had been given the post by the Sultan.[28]

Original names[edit]

Kuching was named after a tidal stream called Kuching River (Sungai Kuching) that ran between the site of the Chinese History Museum.[12] The stream originated from Cat's Eye Hill (Bukit Mata Kuching). It has an abundance of a local fruit called Green Longan (Isau, Dimocarpus longan ssp malesianus), commonly called Cat's Eye (Mata Kuching).[27][29] The name of "Kuching" was already in use for the city by the time Brooke arrived in the 1830s.[12]

Capital city[edit]

Kuching is the only city in Malaysia to be administered by two mayors,[9] the city is divided into Kuching North and Kuching South.[30] Each of these is administered by a mayor for Kuching South and commissioner for Kuching North.[31]

Geography[edit]

Kuching is at the banks of the Sarawak River on the northwestern part of the island of Borneo.[32] 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.[33] 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.[33] 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.

Climate[edit]

Kuching has a tropical rainforest climate (Köppen climate classification Af), moderately hot but very humid at times and receives substantial rainfall.[34] The average annual rainfall is approximately 4,200 millimetres (170 in).[35] 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).[36] 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.[37] 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.[34]

Climate data for the City of Kuching (2008)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 32.4
(90.3)
32.2
(90)
33.5
(92.3)
33.7
(92.7)
34.8
(94.6)
34.2
(93.6)
34.4
(93.9)
33.6
(92.5)
34.3
(93.7)
34.2
(93.6)
34.0
(93.2)
33.8
(92.8)
34.8
(94.6)
Average high °C (°F) 30.4
(86.7)
29.1
(84.4)
30.3
(86.5)
32.0
(89.6)
32.7
(90.9)
31.6
(88.9)
31.2
(88.2)
31.6
(88.9)
32.1
(89.8)
31.5
(88.7)
31.9
(89.4)
30.4
(86.7)
31.2
(88.2)
Average low °C (°F) 22.9
(73.2)
23.2
(73.8)
23.0
(73.4)
23.3
(73.9)
23.5
(74.3)
22.9
(73.2)
23.3
(73.9)
23.0
(73.4)
23.2
(73.8)
23.2
(73.8)
23.5
(74.3)
23.2
(73.8)
23.2
(73.8)
Record low °C (°F) 21.3
(70.3)
22.2
(72)
22.0
(71.6)
20.8
(69.4)
21.9
(71.4)
21.8
(71.2)
22.2
(72)
21.0
(69.8)
21.7
(71.1)
21.1
(70)
22.7
(72.9)
22.5
(72.5)
20.8
(69.4)
Rainfall mm (inches) 466.2
(18.354)
445.2
(17.528)
465.2
(18.315)
251.0
(9.882)
346.8
(13.654)
309.8
(12.197)
183.5
(7.224)
326.4
(12.85)
207.8
(8.181)
307.2
(12.094)
482.4
(18.992)
516.2
(20.323)
4,307.7
(169.594)
Avg. rainy days 20 24 25 25 15 18 17 17 16 20 24 27 248
 % humidity 87 87 87 85 82 84 83 82 84 85 86 89 85.08
Source: Meteorological Station, Kuching International Airport[38]
Climate data for the City of Kuching (2007)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 33.8
(92.8)
32.8
(91)
33.9
(93)
34.8
(94.6)
34.6
(94.3)
34.0
(93.2)
35.0
(95)
34.8
(94.6)
34.5
(94.1)
35.0
(95)
33.5
(92.3)
33.0
(91.4)
35.0
(95)
Average high °C (°F) 29.7
(85.5)
30.4
(86.7)
31.7
(89.1)
31.9
(89.4)
32.7
(90.9)
31.7
(89.1)
31.9
(89.4)
32.1
(89.8)
31.8
(89.2)
32.1
(89.8)
30.9
(87.6)
30.1
(86.2)
31.4
(88.5)
Average low °C (°F) 23.6
(74.5)
23.1
(73.6)
23.3
(73.9)
23.7
(74.7)
23.8
(74.8)
23.4
(74.1)
23.5
(74.3)
23.2
(73.8)
23.2
(73.8)
23.1
(73.6)
23.2
(73.8)
23.3
(73.9)
23.4
(74.1)
Record low °C (°F) 22.5
(72.5)
22.1
(71.8)
21.7
(71.1)
22.7
(72.9)
22.4
(72.3)
21.7
(71.1)
22.3
(72.1)
21.5
(70.7)
22.0
(71.6)
21.9
(71.4)
22.1
(71.8)
22.2
(72)
21.5
(70.7)
Rainfall mm (inches) 822.2
(32.37)
346.6
(13.646)
249.8
(9.835)
263.4
(10.37)
332.8
(13.102)
385.8
(15.189)
284.8
(11.213)
208.8
(8.22)
368.6
(14.512)
403.8
(15.898)
457.2
(18)
637.2
(25.087)
4,761.2
(187.449)
Avg. rainy days 26 21 23 20 19 21 20 17 21 25 24 26 263
 % humidity 89 85 84 85 83 86 83 81 86 85 88 88 85.25
Source: Meteorological Station, Kuching International Airport[39]

Demography[edit]

Ethnicity[edit]

The Malaysian Census 2010 reports that Kuching has a population of 325,132.[6] 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), Bumiputera (3,250), Melanau (2,078), Indian (1,626) and others (1,140).[40] The Chinese are made up of Fujianese (Hokkien) in the city areas and Hakka in the suburbs mainly.[29][41] Other Chinese consist of Foochow (Fuzhou), Teochew, Hainanese, Cantonese, Henghua and others. Interracial marriages among those of different ethnic backgrounds are common in Kuching.[42] Kuching is home to 30 different ethnic groups.[43]

Languages[edit]

The dialect of Malay spoken in Kuching is known as Bahasa Sarawak (Sarawakian Malay Language), which is a subset of the Malay language,.[44] The dialect used in Kuching is a little different from the dialect used in Miri.[44] Since the second largest population in the city is Chinese, the Chinese language is also commonly used.[45]

Education[edit]

Higher and tertiary education[edit]

The city's higher education system follows the guidance of the Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE). Under the purview of MOHE are two main departments: the Institutes of Higher Education Management Department and the Polytechnic and Community College Management Department.

There are currently no public university campuses in Kuching, apart from the UNIMAS Faculty of Medicine & 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.[46] However, there is a polytechnic — Politeknik Kuching Sarawak — and a community college — Kolej Komuniti Kuching — for school leavers seeking further education in public institutions in Kuching.

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 & Management. Swinburne University Sarawak Campus is currently run by Professor Anthony Cahalan, the CEO and PVC (Pro Vice Chancellor).

The city has other private colleges, mainly subsidiaries from universities and university colleges established in West Malaysia, such as SEGi College, Sarawak, Sunway College Kuching, PTPL Sarawak, INTI College Sarawak (to be closed down end of 2013), 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. 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.

Primary and secondary education[edit]

In Kuching, 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 more than 80 schools with a combined total enrollment of more than 30,000 students in the City of Kuching.[47] Schools are divided into four levels of education — pre-school, primary, secondary (lower and upper) and post-secondary (excluding tertiary). As of January 2010, SMK Green Road had the highest enrollment of all secondary schools in Kuching with 2,075[48] while SJK Chung Hua No. 3 has the highest enrollment (1,553) among all primary schools.[49]

Libraries[edit]

Picture of the Sarawak State Library.
The Sarawak State Library (Pustaka Negeri Sarawak).

The Sarawak State Library is the major information resource centre and provides information services for the public and private sectors.[50] 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.[51]

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.

Transportation[edit]

Land[edit]

Taxis in Kuching.

As Kuching is located near the equator, potholes have the tendency to develop on the roads during the monsoon season (usually around the end of the year, coinciding with winter in the northern hemisphere). Roads leading outside of Kuching to the interior are of a slightly lower quality but are being upgraded from time to time. The main resort roads (e.g. leading to Damai) and Borneo Highlands are good.

Bus travel is available by either antiquated, smoky, non-air-conditioned buses or newer air-conditioned buses or the 'van sapu' (mini-van converted into mini-buses) which are cheaper.

Kuching is served by several major bus companies. Among others, Chin Liang Long Motor Vehicle Co. (traditionally blue) serving Kuching South, Matang Transport Company (yellow and orange) serving Matang-Kubah and Petra Jaya Transport Company (Black, yellow and red strips) serving Kuching North. The Sarawak Transport Company (traditionally green) and Bau Transport Company (Red) have routes from Kuching to other smaller towns. A large portion of the buses in service are antiquated and not air conditioned. The fares are low. For tourists, the State Ministry of Tourism has provided bus shuttles to transport tourists around Kuching.

Kuching is famous for many large traffic circles or roundabouts. The roundabouts are efficient at handling medium scale traffic. However, as traffic continues to rise in Kuching several roundabouts have given way to traffic lights and over and underpasses. These traffic circles are usually well landscaped.

The list of highways in Kuching city include:

Water[edit]

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' (small boats) can be seen ferrying passengers from one riverbank to the other. For those staying along the river banks, it is a faster means of 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, near the Sim Kheng Hong Port, also known as the Tanah Puteh Port, in Pending.

Air[edit]

Kuching International Airport at night.

Kuching International Airport is the main gateway for air passengers. The airport's history dates back to the 1940s. The new terminal complex was opened in April 2006. The airport terminal is capable of handling five million passengers per annum and it is the fourth busiest airport in Malaysia. KIA has grown rapidly with an increasing number of passengers and aircraft movement. In 2010, KIA handled 3,684,000 passengers with a corresponding volume of 46,382 flights. In the same year, 26,977 metric tonnes of cargo were handled through this facility.

Attractions and recreation spots[edit]

Museums[edit]

The old Sarawak Museum was built by Rajah Charles Brooke in 1891 and modelled on a town hall in Normandy

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[citation needed], the Sultan Iskandar Planetarium adjacent to the Kuching Civic Centre.

Historical sites[edit]

Interesting historical landmarks and sites of Kuching include The Astana (the former palace of the White Rajahs and currently the official residence of the Governor of Sarawak), and Fort Margherita.

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 .[52] 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.[citation needed] The oldest private school is Sunny Hill School. Some other interesting areas around the CBD include Padungan Street, which is the Chinatown of Kuching.

Islands and beaches[edit]

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 Holiday Inn Resort Damai Beach, Damai Puri Resort and Spa and Santubong Kuching Resort. 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 Sentral, 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 Malaysain 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.

Other attractions[edit]

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.

Music[edit]

Model of the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK)

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. Since 2009 several large business/political events have been established in Kuching, including The Malaysia Global Business Forum and Tomorrow’s Leaders Summit.

The Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) is the first dedicated convention and exhibition centre in Borneo. It was opened in October 2009 to attract international concerts, events, exhibitions and conventions to the city.

Shopping[edit]

  • The Spring[53] – 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.[54]
  • Boulevard Shopping Mall[55] – 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[56] – 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.[57]
  • Green Heights Mall[58] – Kuching's first suburban neighbourhood small mall, occupied by international franchise, Cold Storage, opened on 13 June 2008.[59]
  • 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[60] – 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 Kota Padawan Mall – The complex costs RM25 million and was opened on 25 October 2011. It is the third Giant Mall in Sarawak.[62]
  • Crown Square – Located at Jalan Pending. Offering electrical equipment,sport equipment and also a good choice of F&B outlets.
  • Tun Jugah Mall[63] – 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[64] – 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[65] – 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[66] – 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[67] – 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[68] – 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.[69]
  • 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.
  • Everise Hypermarket 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 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.

International relations[edit]

Sister cities[edit]

Kuching currently has seven sister cities:

References[edit]

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External links[edit]