Kuching is the capital city of Sarawak, built along the banks of the Sarawak River. It is also very near the coastline, about 32 km away from the sea. A tranquil location, Kuching has some nice landscaped parks and gardens, classic colonial buildings, colourful markets and a beautiful waterfront called the Kuching Waterfront. This place has been transformed into an esplanade, making it a great place to stroll around and relax. It is also the commercial point of Kuching.
The Islamic Museum in Kuching, opened in 1992, was originally a Malay college but now houses seven galleries displaying elements of the Islamic culture and religion. They are divided into; History of Islam in Sarawak; Islamic Architecture; Science, Technology, Economics, Education and Literature, Music, Costumes and Personal Ornaments, Weaponry, Decorative Arts, Domestic Utensils and a Quran Collection.
Built in 1912 but officially opened as a museum in 1993, the Chinese History Museum was originally a court for the Chinese community in Kuching. The museum depicts the rich history of Sarawak’s diverse Chinese groups. Visitors will learn about their origins, traditional skills and culture through the exhibits here.
Located 35 minutes away from Kuching in Santubong, the Cultural Village is dedicated to preserving and exhibiting the cultural heritage of Sarawak’s major ethnic groups. Catch a glimpse of the lifestyles of major indigenous groups such as the Iban, Bidayuh and Orang Ulu. There’s even a cultural performance consisting of songs, dances and entertainment which you can watch here.
Completed in 1891, this old museum in Kuching is the permanent housing place for local native arts and crafts as well as collections of local animals. The ground floor is a gallery dedicated to Sarawak fauna, with specimens of wildlife on display. The west wing, on the other hand, teaches about the history of the oil industry in Sarawak. At the first floor, various ethnographic artefacts are displayed such as models of traditional longhouses, musical instruments, various kinds of fish and animal traps, handicrafts, boats and other things.
As its name suggests, the Timber Museum located on sprawling grounds of rainforest is dedicated to creating awareness and knowledge of Sarawak’s natural heritage. On display are products made by indigenous people using harvest from the jungle along with the opportunity to do a forest walk.
Located at Tunku Abdul Rahman Street in Kuching, this temple is over a century old, making it the oldest in the city. On certain Buddhist festivals, the temple becomes a hive of activity.
Built in 1879, the Fort was used by the Brooke dynasty to guard the Sarawak River. It was named after the second Rajah, Charles Brooke’s wife. Inside, you will find a police museum that depicts the punishment inflicted upon criminals.
The Astana is a palace built by Rajah Charles Brooke in 1870 by the Sarawak River, but is now the official residence of Sarawak’s Yang Di-Pertuan Negeri, or Governor. Visitors are allowed to stroll in the Astana’ beautiful landscaped gardens which are decorated with artefacts. The palace is open to visitors during the Hari Raya festival.
Longhouses are the traditional homes of Sarawak’s indigenous groups. Each tribe has their own style of design but the overall shape and architecture remain the same. Basically, a longhouse constitutes a series of interconnecting rooms built on stilts, covered by one roof and a verandah for communal activities. Visitors who come will be greeted by a glass of rice wine or ‘tuak’ and entertained with a welcome dance. There are also options to spend the night in a longhouse.