24 Top Places To Visit In Kuching, Sarawak

Published Categorized as Kuching
This article may contain compensated links. Read the disclaimer for more info. We follow our review guidelines

Going on a holiday in Kuching and want to know all the best places to visit in Kuching? We have you covered! Below, you will find our guide to all the best attractions in Kuching to plan your ultimate trip.

Kuching – the capital city of Sarawak state of Malaysia on the island of Borneo – is the most populous city located along the Sarawak River. Considered a significant gateway for tourists visiting Borneo, there’s a great range of attractions to entice you to stay longer both in the city and in the surrounds. It’s also quite pretty thanks to its riverfront location and is maybe my favourite city in Malaysia. It just offers so much.

Grab your Malaysia Kuching map, and let’s explore this modern city! Wondering where to visit in Kuching, well if it’s your first time we suggest starting at the waterfront. You’ll find a plethora of attractions in the vicinity, including some of the top 10 places to visit in Kuching including the Astana and Fort Margherita.  

Kuching riverfront area
Kuching riverfront area

First-timers to the city find it almost comical to see all the cat-related statues, artworks and carvings that are scattered throughout the city (Kuching literally means cat in Malay!), and the city is even home to the world’s first cat museum. It’s great for a laugh.

Being one of the most culturally diverse cities of Malaysia, the heritage trail covers museums focused on different cultures and religions and many highlight the region’s many indigenous groups.

There are so many interesting places in Kuching town that you need to plan appropriately to make sure you hit the ones that are most important to you. There are a lot of great things to do in Kuching, so it’s usually not possible to see them all in one stay.

No list of where to visit in Kuching, Sarawak, would be complete without mentioning the abundant nature on the doorstep of the city. Only an hour outside of Kuching city you have splendid national parks such as the Bako National Park, the best place in Kuching, Sarawak, to discover those cheeky proboscis monkeys.

Kuching at night from the Waterfront hotel
Kuching at night from The Waterfront hotel

And another of the places of interest in Kuching, Malaysia, is the awesome Gunung Gading National Park home to the world’s largest flower – the Rafflesia. 

It’s hard for us to pinpoint the best place in Kuching, Sarawak (and we haven’t even mentioned the orangutans yet!) as there are simply so many spectacular adventures to be enjoyed. You definitely need more than 1 day in Kuching!

Below, you will find our Kuching trip blog guide with everything you need to know about the best places of interest in Kuching, Sarawak, as well as the best places to stay for your ultimate holiday in Kuching! There is also a handy Kuching attraction map of the interesting places in Kuching, Sarawak.

Travelling to Malaysia? Click here to download your free Malaysia Trip Planning checklist. We’ll help you get ready for your trip! 

Have any questions? Join our Malaysia Travel Planning Facebook group here now! It’s the perfect place to ask any questions and to be inspired.

Top 24 Places To Visit In Kuching, Malaysia

Street art in CHinatown Kuching
There’s also a lot of street art in Kuching so keep your eyes open!

Here are the best places to go in Kuching. Read through and select the ones that fit your interests and timeframe.

I have loosely ordered this list starting at the Kuching waterfront and working our way out to places to visit in Kuching surrounds. This means that many of the places in the first part of the list can be visited on a walking tour quite easily. You can see many places in a small area in Kuching.

It also means that this list isn’t in order of what you should prioritise visiting.

There are some absolutely fabulous attractions and day trip options from Kuching in the latter part of the list and you should definitely try to visit some (all!) of them.

Take A Walk Along Kuching’s Waterfront

Kuching riverfront
Kuching riverfront

You don’t need to check your Kuching map; tourists are always naturally drawn to the most iconic Kuching sightseeing spot – the Kuching Waterfront!

A picturesque location from where most of the promotional pictures of the city are taken, this 900-metre esplanade offers an excellent view of the Sarawak River, along with many historical sites such as The Astana and Fort Margherita.

While you are sightseeing here, do not miss the Darul Hana Bridge.  An unusual S-shaped pedestrian suspension bridge with two viewing platforms, this is the best place to admire the magnificent Floating Mosque. In fact, my photo below of the Floating Mosque was taken from this bridge. As was the photo of the Astana.

Time your visit well, as the sunset view is particularly captivating with beautiful sunbeams shimmering across the spectacular golden crown of the mosque. 

There’s a great energy along here especially in the evening as the weather cools down and the locals come out. I try to walk along here as much as I can when I’m in Kuching as I just love it.

The Kuching Waterfront is definitely one of the must-go places in Kuching. The next few Kuching attractions on this list can also be visited or sighted while walking along here.

Address: 37, Jalan Main Bazaar, 93000 Kuching, Sarawak

View The Amazing Floating Mosque

Kuching Floating Mosque
Floating Mosque

Located on the river itself, the Floating Mosque is a relatively new addition to the riverfront that opened in 2019. It’s big enough to fit 1,600 worshippers.

It was built to replace the 186 year old Masjid India. That mosque was built by Indian Muslim traders who work at India Street.

Its design is inspired by the Middle East. It looks quite spectacular on the river especially at the night when it’s lit up and during sunset when the golden sky accentuates the colours of the mosque.

Non-Muslims can visit outside prayer time if dressed appropriately to see the unique internal design.

Check Out The Astana

The Astana Palace In Kuching
Astana Kuching

Astana – a name derived from the Malay word ”Istana” which means Palace – is an interesting Kuching place to visit. This majestic colonial building was constructed in 1870 by the second White Rajah – the dynastic monarchy of the British Brooke family who ruled the Raj of Sarawak from 1841 to 1946. A royal couple, Charles Brooke and Renee Margaret constructed the Astana and used it as their home until the Japanese occupation.

The Astana now serves as the official residence of the Governor of Sarawak. Therefore, it is not open to the public except during the annual Hari Raya celebration. However, visitors can appreciate this Kuching famous place from a distance. It’s perhaps best viewed from the Kuching waterfront.

Address: Astana, Kampung Istana, 93050 Kuching, Sarawak

Visit Fort Margherita

Fort Margherita In Kuching
Fort Margherita In Kuching

There are plenty of interesting places in Sarawak Kuching to visit that have historical value, but Fort Margherita is perhaps the most famous one. This English-styled fort was built in 1879 by Charles Brooke during the White Rajah era and was said to protect Kuching from the attack of pirates.  

Named after the Rajah’s beloved wife Renee Margaret, visitors start their exploration of the site by admiring the exterior design of the fort from the waterfront before approaching it by a short sampan ride. 

The fort now serves as “Brooke Gallery” and is a really interesting place to spend an hour at, with heaps of memorabilia helping you understand the influence the family had on Kuching. This is one of the fun things to do in Kuching for history fans!

Address: Petra Jaya, 93050 Kuching, Sarawak

Experience A Traditional Wooden Boat Ride At The Sarawak River

Traditional Boats On Sarawak River

In the old days, a traditional wooden boat was the primary mode of transportation in Kuching. Today, tourists may experience the same journey taking an hour-long boat ride along the Sarawak River.

The traditionally designed boat sails upriver from the Kuching Waterfront and offering you great views of the Astana, Fort Margherita, Sarawak Museum and all the major attractions in Kuching, Sarawak. On the return, sailing downstream will take you along a local stretch of the river, revealing a completely different side of Kuching.

If it fits with your schedule, we highly recommend you do this cruise during sunset. The late afternoon orange glow shimmers across the water and with the Kuching top attractions as the backdrop, you’re sure to grab a few Insta-fabulous pics!

Alternatively, you can also take a cruise in a bigger boat and enjoy a meal or sunset drinks while you enjoy the scenery.

Click here for a sunset cruise option.

Address: 1st Floor, Lot 42, Section 33, 124, Jalan Tabuan, 93100 Kuching, Sarawak

Learn More At The Chinese History Museum

Chinese History Museum Kuching
Chinese History Museum

Looking to understand Chinese history and culture in Sarawak? The Kuching best place to visit for this has to be The Chinese History Museum located at the waterfront, right across the river from Fort Margherita.

This educational landmark was formerly the base of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce but was opened to the public in 1993 to help visitors learn about the critical history of the Chinese community in Sarawak.

At the museum, you will find plenty of memorabilia and artifacts explaining the arrival of first-generation Chinese pioneers, early trading activities, the local political environment and today’s Malay-Chinese. There is a particularly interesting exhibit highlighting the various dialects from regions of China, perhaps particularly relatable to Chinese speakers! 

The Chinese Museum is amongst the most educational places to visit in Kuching, Malaysia.

Address: Chinese History Museum, Jalan Bazar, Sarawak, 93100 Kuching, Sarawak

Explore Chinatown

Chinatown In Kuching
Chinatown In Kuching

During the white Rajah era, an influx of Chinese migrated to Kuching and formed what has become today’s Chinatown. Considered one of the busiest and happening places to visit in Kuching town, the two most notable streets are the Main Bazaar and Carpenter Street.

Both are packed with charming Chinese shophouses, built with intricate architecture, and Chinese Temples that are decorated extravagantly during major Chinese festivals. This is the best place to visit in Kuching, Sarawak to experience the living cultural heritage of the Chinese.

Amongst and within some of the shophouses you will find all types of eateries, including several specialising in mouthwatering local dishes such as Sarawak Laksa and Kolo Mee (Sarawakian dry noodles). A total must-try! 

For all you shopaholics, be prepared to show off your bargaining skills and snatch up Chinese paintings, handicrafts or antiques at a bargain price.

It’s a great place to wander around and take it all in. It’s low level and the pretty shophouses, temples and street art make it one of my favourite places in the city to just soak in Kuching.

Chinatown is also a famous place in Kuching, Sarawak for bars/speakeasies. Picture yourself sipping on an ice-cold beer on an Asian-warm day… Chill, relax and watch the hustle and bustle of chaotic Chinatown!

Address: Padungan Road, Kuching, Sarawak

Check Out The Hiang Thian Siang Ti Temple

Hiang Thian Siang Ti Temple Kuching
Hiang Thian Siang Ti Temple

Located at the centre of Chinatown on Carpenter Street, the Hiang Thian Siang Ti Temple is the best place to go in Kuching to discover the culture of the Teochew community.  Originally built on the Main Bazaar some 150 years ago, the Temple was moved to its present location in 1863 and underwent a major renovation in 1968.

This ancient temple is insignificant in size but architecturally picturesque, with strikingly colourful artworks and various gold-foil covered deity statues.

An annual celebration is held on the fourth day of the twelfth month of the Chinese lunar calendar, bringing the Temple to life.  Lion and dragon dance troupes parade, traditionally dressed singers and dancers perform, along with a wild battering of gongs and drums that heat up the city until midnight!  

Therefore, we feel that the best time to visit Kuching, Sarawak is perhaps to catch this exciting event at the Hiang Thian Siang Ti Temple.

Address: 22, Jalan Carpenter, 93000 Kuching, Sarawak

Visit The Textiles Museum

Sarawak Textiles Museum Kuching
Sarawak Textiles Museum

The Textile Museum is a surprisingly interesting place to visit in Kuching as it celebrates the unique textile-making techniques of the region. It also showcases the intricate designs woven by the Sarakan ethnic groups, taking visitors through the entire textile making process from raw materials to the finished product. 

Also on display are some costumes locally made by ethnic communities, and an exhibit featuring 30 historical garments – including a 100-year-old Kenyah jacket. It is one of the Kuching Malaysia points of interest that offers deep insights into the Sarakan ethnic group.

It’s also housed in a cool building! It was built in “colonial Baroque” style in 1909.

Address: Jalan Tun Abang Haji Openg, 93000 Kuching, Sarawak

Discover Local Culture At The Borneo Cultures Museum

Borneo Cultures Museum
Borneo Cultures Museum

The Borneo Cultures Museum opened in 2021 and is quite the attraction. An awe inspiring building, it was built to reflect “Sarawak’s unique traditional crafts and rich cultural heritage”. But it’s not just the outside that’s worth seeing.

Inside, you’ll find five storeys of exhibits, auditoriums and more to enjoy and learn. The ground floor is home to an auditorium and function rooms for events as well as a restaurant and shop.

Level two has a great area for kids where they can learn about sustainability while studying the state’s rivers. There’s also an Arts and Crafts Gallery where you can learn about traditional crafts, dances and music.

Level three has a massive 2,188 square metres of exhibits about the relationship local communities have in Borneo with their environments. It’s told through a river journey through three different geographical regions.

Level four is home to the “Time Changes” exhibit which is about the history of Sarawak from prehistoric times to today. This includes archaeological discoveries from around Sarawak.

The top level displays Sarawak culture with many top artefacts of skilled craftsmen and more.

This Kuching points of interest is by far the best museum I have been to in Malaysia. Parts are quite immersive and interactive, and it’s done well. It definitely should be on your to-do list.

This is a big museum (the second largest in South East Asia), and you could easily spend the day here. But even if you only have a couple of hours, it’s worth coming here. The only downside is the price. It is expensive for foreigners at RM50 for adults and RM20 for kids up to 12 years old. 13-17 year olds and 61+ year olds are RM25. It is substantially cheaper for Malaysians.

Note that the old Sarawak Museum has closed.

Explore The Natural History Museum

Sarawak History Museum
Sarawak History Museum

Located basically across the road from the Borneo Cultures Museum is the Natural History Museum. It’s home to a collection of zoological exhibits such as hornbills, leopards, and those famous wild cats of Sarawak. 

You can see the skeletons of mammals, reptiles, birds, fish and more. There are also animals that are now extinct.

This museum is free and easy to visit.

Address: Jalan Tun Abang Haji Openg, Taman Budaya, 93400 Kuching, Sarawak

Visit The Sarawak Islamic Museum

Sarawak Islamic Museum
Sarawak Islamic Museum

Also located by the Borneo Cultures Museum, another Kuching interesting place to visit is the Sarawak Islamic Museum. It was originally built as a school offering teaching training to Malays so that in turn, they could provide a high level Malay education. It opened as a museum in 1992.

Aimed at presenting the honourable culture of Islam to the people of Sarawak, there are seven galleries displaying artifacts.

Themes range from Islamic history, architecture, science and literature influences, cultural collections, weaponry, arts and a special Quran collection. Each gallery is said to offer a valuable lesson to Islamic culture.

The Sarawak Islamic Museum is an informative, free and interesting place to visit in Kuching, Sarawak.

Address: Jalan P. Ramlee, 93400 Kuching, Sarawak

Leave The Big Smoke Behind At Kampung Boyan

Kampung Boyan Kuching
Kampung Boyan

Just across the river from all the action is Kampung Boyan, a Malay village with low level, colourful houses. It feels a world away from the riverfront area, but it does give you good views of it.

There’s also a hawker centre here and other Malay eateries.

The most fun way to get here is by wooden boat ride across the river for RM1 each way. It only takes a couple of minutes. It’s also right by Fort Margherita so you can visit at the same time if you wish.

Look For Cat Statues

the Cats monument Kuching

Being called the ‘cat city of Malaysia’, cat statues are almost a must-have in the city! The most prominent, also considered the city’s icon, is the mega cat monument: the Family Cat installation.

Located at a roundabout in the city centre and beautifully lit in the evening, it makes for an unusual entry on our list of best places to visit in Kuching at night. 

The location of the family cat statue makes it iconic and hard to miss, but it’s not the only one.

In the south of the city sits a white waving cat built in the 90’s. As the very first cat statue installed in the city, it holds a special place in the heart of the local people and would be the very best place to go in Kuching, Sarawak if you are considering writing a Kuching attractions blog post of your time in the city.

There are many more cat statues all over the city, some strikingly cute and easily spotted around tourist places in Kuching town such as the bronze cats at the waterfront. Others are hard to find, in unusual places such a lamp post or a manhole!  

It’s quite the game trying to spot these pesky cats – keep looking and see how many you can find by the end of your trip!

Address: Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, 93100 Kuching, Sarawak

See Sarawak’s State Flower At The Orchid Garden

Orchid park Kuching

Sarawak’s state flower is Normah Orchid and thus it makes sense to find an Orchid Garden in the centre of the city! One of the top things to do in Kuching, the garden is located near the Astana and Fort Margherita, meaning you can easily combine all three within a day’s exploration.

Housing over 75,000 plants, botanists will find this an interesting place at Kuching. In fact, most are dazzled by the 82 genres of orchids on display in the gardens.

Some of the infamous Borneo native species can be found here, including Bulbophyllum Beccarii – rotten meat stinky orchids – and the rare Lady Slippers that were once thought to have gone extinct.

We highly recommend a visit here to anyone who loves orchids or botany, making the orchid garden among the must-visit places in Kuching.

Address: Kampung Istana, 93050 Kuching, Sarawak

Have A Laugh At The Cat Museum

Cat Museum Kuching
Cat Museum

The name “Kuching” literally means cats, and the Cat Museum is an attraction place in Kuching that amusingly presents the city’s love of cats. It’s the world’s first museum dedicated to our feline friends!

Located only 15 minutes from the Kuching waterfront, there are over 4,000 exhibits. From the conventional display of history between cats and Kuching city, and the introduction of various cat species to the region, to the lighthearted exhibition of all things cat: Maneki-Neko (The Japanese Beckoning Cats), Garfield The Cat, and even Hello Kitty! 

While it is called a museum, I found it more a kitschy collection of cat related memorabilia. Like someone started collecting cat items, and it got out of hand. However, this isn’t to say it isn’t worth visiting. It’s actually one of my favourite things to do in Kuching because it’s just so funny.

In fact, I consider it a must do in Kuching. You only need about half an hour here to have a good look.

Address: Bangunan DBKU, Jalan Semariang, Petra Jaya, 93050 Kuching, Sarawak

See Orangutans Up Close At Semenggoh Nature Reserve

Semenggoh Wildlife Centre ruby
Ruby at Semenggoh Wildlife Centre

Visiting endangered orangutans is perhaps the most popular activity when travelling to Borneo. Semmenggoh Nature Reserve in Kuching offers a fantastic opportunity to view these playful and intelligent primates up close.

Here, you’ll find the Semenggoh Wildlife Centre which is just 40 minutes outside of the city, making it a perfect half day trip in Kuching. 

The Reserve is home to semi-wild orangutans that were orphaned, injured or illegally caged as pets. After they are rescued, they live in this environment, roaming freely within the jungle reserve. 

However, there are too many orangutans in too small a space for the orangutans to be able to completely fend for themselves, so they often return for meals at fixed feeding times (currently 9 am and 3 pm). This makes for a great opportunity for you to see orangutans up close.

The Semenggoh Wildlife Centre is open from 8am-10am and 2-4pm so you can visit these feedings and watch the orangutans. Since these are wild animals, there are no guarantees that they will show up. However, outside the fruiting season, you would be unlucky not to spot some orangutans at this time.

I visited in the fruiting season and there were two orangutans that hang out for awhile. It was amazing. They loved posing for us and were awesome to watch.

While you are here, you can also learn about these amazing creatures at the on-site Semenggoh Orangutan Gallery, and there’s also a Botanical Research Centre within the reserve for flora enthusiasts.  

Overall, the Semenggoh Nature Reserve is an excellent Kuching place to go for an interactive and educational encounter with some of nature’s cutest creations! Visits only take a couple of hours and you won’t regret it.

Address: KM 20, Jalan Puncak Borneo, 93250 Siburan, Sarawak

Click here for discounted tickets or click here here to read my full guide to visiting here.

Learn Local Culture At Sarawak Cultural Village

Sarawak Cultural Village
Sarawak Cultural Village

Looking for one of the best activities in Kuching to learn about Sarawak culture? Head to the Sarawak Cultural Village, a living museum that offers guests an opportunity to experience all the cultures of Sarawak squeezed into just half a day!

On your visit, you’ll find authentic replica houses from each of the major ethnic groups in Sarawak such as Bidayuh, Iban, Orang Ulu, Malay, Penan and Chinese. A representative from each group – dressed in traditional clothing – welcomes you to their respective home and showcases their tribe’s culture through demonstrations of unique cultural activities.

After, be sure to catch the multicultural dance performance – presented twice a day – which highlights the harmonious and peaceful style of living that can be found amongst these Sarawakian groups. 

Performance at Sarawak Cultural Village
Performance at Sarawak Cultural Village

Finally, end your visit by sampling the different foods on offer at the onsite restaurant. We suggest ordering their ethnic set menu which combines signature dishes from each group, giving you a chance to taste them all! 

Just 45 minutes drive from the city centre at Damai Beach, the Sarawak Cultural Village is one of the most interesting locations for day trips from Kuching.

Click here for discounted half-day tour tickets.

Address: Pantai Damai Santubong, Kampung Budaya Sarawak, 93752 Kuching, Sarawak

Splash, Relax Or Hike At Damai Beach

Damai Beach
Damai Beach

Looking for a great beach near Kuching or somewhere to go on a jungle hike while enjoying a swim? Or visiting Sarawak Cultural Village and wondering what else is in the area? Visit Damai Beach!

Located 45 minutes drive north of Kuching, Damai Beach is the place to head for some beach time. It’s home to the Sarawak Cultural Village as well as a great golf course and some nice jungle trekking at Mount Santubong National Park where there is a range of trails from easy to challenging.

The beach itself is lovely, especially at sunset.

You can get a shuttle bus here from Grand Margherita Hotel or take local bus K15 from Saujana Bus Station. Otherwise, you can take a Grab taxi, but note that getting one back again can sometimes be difficult.

Click here to read our full guide to Damai Beach and everything there is to do there.

Address: Pantai Damai Santubong, Kampung Budaya Sarawak, 93752 Kuching, Sarawak

Take A Santubong Wildlife Cruise

Santubong Wildlife Cruise
Santubong Wildlife Cruise

For something quite different, go and experience Sarawak’s wildlife from a special cruise. These wildlife cruises sail along the Santubong River to the rivers and mangroves of the Santubong Peninsula (where Damai Beach is located), the mouth of the Salek Estuary and the Kuching Wetlands National Park to the north and northwest of Kuching.

As you cruise along, your guide will look out for Irrawaddy dolphins, proboscis monkeys, silver-leaf monkeys, crocodiles, long-tailed macaques, monitor lizards and a variety of birds. As the day darkens, there are fireflies to spot as well.

It’s a great opportunity to explore the natural side of this area some more. Some cruises also include dinner and will pick you up and drop you off at your hotel in Kuching. These cruises depart late afternoon making it easy to fit into your itinerary.

When I did this cruise, it was simply amazing. Not just the animal spotting, but how beautiful the whole area is as the sun sets. I watched Irrawaddy dolphins glide by for about 30 minutes, saw proboscis monkeys play in a tree, macaques and some great scenery. The fireflies at night are also a highlight.

This is definitely a tour worth doing.

Click here to join this wildlife cruise now or click here to read my full review of this cruise.

Spot Wildlife At Bako National Park

Bako National Park sea stacks
Famous sea stacks. It’s definitely worth taking a boat ride to see these

Established in 1957, Bako National Park is the oldest national park in the region and is among the best places to visit in Sarawak, Kuching. Located at the northern tip of the Muara Tebas peninsula, the park is accessed via a 15 minutes boat ride from Kampung Bako, approximately 35 minutes drive from Kuching.

Arrange your boat transfer to go past Bako’s most pictured attraction, the Sea Stacks. These oddly shaped but handsome sea stacks are natural art, formed by waves eroding cliffs and rocks across centuries. The edges can be seen from the beaches at the park, but for a closer (and much better) look join a dedicated boat ride.

The National Park is particularly famous for its diverse range of ecosystems with seven different types including rainforest, mangroves, swamps, dipterocarp forests and cliff vegetations. All attract a diverse amount of wildlife. 

The star of the show is usually the proboscis monkey, endemic to Borneo, but there is much more wildlife such as wild boar (bearded pig), monitor lizards, macaque monkeys, flying lemurs and more!  Visitors can choose from many track options through the extensive jungle trail-system, the shortest taking only 30 minutes through to serious multi-day treks.  

Bako National Park Telok Paku Trail turn off signs
Bako trails

Trails can be hard work with many lacking shade and involving climbing around tree roots. However, I did it with a bad ankle so you can too!

The more adventurous can even spend a night in one of the modest jungle lodges, giving time to tick off more wildlife viewings especially at night. A visit to Bako National Park is definitely one of the best things to do in Kuching!

You can visit independently, but a tour makes it all so much easier. You won’t have any dramas getting there and back and you’ll have a guide for the best chance of spotting wildlife.

Click here for discounted full-day tour tickets.

Address: Muara Tebas peninsula, Kuching, Sarawak

Click here for our full guide to visiting Bako National Park. It has absolutely everything you need to know about visiting here from how to get here to what trails you can hike.

Experience The Annah Rais Longhouse

Annah Rais Longhouse

Longhouses are traditional homes for most native Sarawakian tribal groups. These are long, narrow houses built from timber and bamboo, mostly elevated off the ground on stilts. 

Many of the traditional longhouses can only be found in remote areas in Sarawak, which can involve lengthy travel. Yet here in Kuching you can easily reach one: the Annah Rias Longhouse. Only an hour’s drive from the city centre, this is a truly exceptional and very popular tourist attraction in Kuching, Malaysia.

The Bidayuh Tribe, who make up 8% of Sarawak’s population, are the key residents at the Annah Rias Longhouse. Believed to be over 100 years old, the Longhouse has been greatly expanded with interconnected walkways forming a proper community village. It is one of the most intriguing places to see in Kuching, Sarawak.

Visitors may roam freely around the area and can see the Biyudah people going about their daily lives. To be fair, the area is relatively developed for tourists, but you can still witness the fascinating Biyudah history and culture through items such as a cylinder made of human skulls – believed to be from caught invaders, wall murals and an old wooden house that is miraculously still standing, and home to families today.

Shops sell local produce and handicrafts with one of the unique products to test being Tuak. This is a local rice wine that’s used in rituals and festivals as an offering to the worshipped spirits. This charming village is unique and pretty making it one of the most attractive places in Kuching, Sarawak.

Address: No. 9, Kupo Saba, Kampung Annah Rais Longhouse, Jln Borneo Height, 93250, Kuching, Sarawak

See The Famous Rafflesia Flower At Gunung Gading National Park

Rafflesia in Sarawak

The world’s largest flower Rafflesia can, when in full bloom, grow as large as a coffee table! It is famed just as much for its smell as its size – emitting an awful smell that it uses to attract insects. Gunung Gading National Park is one of the very few natural habitats for this rarely found flower. Let’s hope that you’re lucky enough to catch one in full bloom, one of the most incredible things to see in Kuching. 

Carefully built raised walkways take you to the area where Rafflesia buds are most commonly found. With only a short flowering time – of only a few days – to avoid disappointment, we encourage you to check with the park ranger before making your trip. 

In addition to Rafflesia, Gunung Gading National Park also offers various trekking trails taking you to numerous picturesque spots including a short trek through seven waterfalls, and a serious summit trail across a large dipterocarp forest to a former British Army Camp. Hiking enthusiasts will note this as one of the top 10 things to do in Kuching.

The easiest way to visit is on a guided tour. Click here to book one now.

Address: 94500 Lundu, Sarawak

Eat Kek Lapis

Kek lapis
Kek lapis

The last thing to do in this list is also the most delicious – trying Sarawak kek lapis! This is basically layer cake. We couldn’t help but try some after admiring how good it looks.

It tastes just as good as it looks too!

It’s easy to find it in stalls along the waterfront in the evening. Or drop into Kek Lapis Mama Su. This shop opposite the river has many options you can try and buy. It’s the perfect way to top off a great day in Kuching.

Kuching Tourist Attraction Map

The following map shows you where all the attractions listed above are in Kuching. It also has our recommended hotel choices (coming up!).

Top Places To Visit In Kuching, Sarawak map
Click the map above to open it in Google Maps.

Best Place To Stay In Kuching, Sarawak

Similar to the wide choice of places to go in Kuching, Sarawak, hotel options are equally vast both in and out of Kuching. 

We have handpicked four properties at different price points and locations from a luxury resort by the coast to a convenient Inn located in the city. This way, we have provided our best recommendations for all types of travellers.

You can find our full guide to the best hotels in Kuching here. If you are looking for a Kuching Airport hotel, read our review of the Raia Hotel here. It’s directly opposite the airport.

BEST RESORT – Cove 55 Hotel Kuching Review

Cove 55 is a luxury boutique resort located at the foot of Mount Santubong, 35 minutes drive from Kuching city not far from Damai Beach. Upon arrival, visitors are dazzled by the 30-metre exquisite turquoise infinity pool that offers a panoramic view of the South China Sea. 

Rooms are aesthetically contemporary with a hint of tribal elements to highlight the hotel’s roots as an Iban family holiday home. All rooms feature either a private garden or a balcony that overlooks the pool and/or the sea. Basic room types are perfect for couples and their two bedroom suite accommodates up to two adults and two children, making an excellent choice for family travellers.

There’s a bar and restaurant on-site which features fresh local produce and Sarawakian cuisine, with the option of indoor or outdoor dining. You’ll find a great pool and gym to work away the kilograms at after!

Winner of Unique Luxury Hotel of the Year Malaysia and Luxury Boutique Retreat for the continent of Asia, Cove 55 offers a wonderful stay and is best suited for people who want a natural and luxurious resort while they are in Kuching.

Click here for the latest prices.

BEST IN KUCHING – The Waterfront Hotel Kuching Sarawak Review

The Waterfront Hotel Kuching Premier Twin Room with View
Premier Twin Room with View

This 5-star hotel in Kuching is a great place to stay to be close to Kuching’s heart and attractions. Located on top of a shopping centre, a short walk from the riverfront, at the entance to Chinatown and close to the Borneo Cultures Museum, this hotel is a very convenient place to stay.

There are many different room options at this hotel which offer different views (try to get a river view room), sizes and extras. Suites come with spacious living areas and club rooms offer access to their private lounge. 

All rooms have free WiFi, flatscreen TVs, tea and coffee facilities, air-conditioning, minifridge, bathrobe and slippers, desk area and a lounge chair so you can’t go wrong. They are all clean and modern. Rooms come in twin, double and family options (with two queen beds).

There’s a great range of facilities including a restaurant that offers stunning river views. It also features an undercover pool with great views, a bar by the pool and a gym. Of course, there is also the shopping centre downstairs for super easy access to shops and more eating options.

I love staying at The Waterfront Kuching and I recommend it for you too.

Click here for the latest prices or click here to read our full review.

Pullman Kuching Hotel Review

The Pullman Kuching Hotel is a beautiful property located right above a shopping mall and only 5 minutes walk from the Kuching Waterfront.

Reasonably priced for a 4.5 star hotel, this international branded hotel offers everything you would expect including a well-appointed fitness centre, spa and swimming pool.  And guests of the hotel have access to three restaurants and cafes that offer a wide array of Asian and international food. There’s also a bar by the pool and a lounge bar.

All rooms are spacious and well equipped with everything you need, even fitness gear!

Whilst superior rooms offer vibrant city views, deluxe rooms come with a spectacular waterfront view totally worth the additional cost  And for families, a family room comes equipped with one king and one single bed. There are also suites with separate living areas. 

Click here for the latest prices.

BUDGET – Tune Hotel Waterfront Kuching Review

Strategically located, Tunes Hotel is just a stone’s throw away from the Waterfront and is surrounded by major attractions such as both the Chinese and Sarawak Museums. Even though there is no on-site restaurant, you will find some great local Kuching cafes and eateries in the near vicinity.

The rooms are small, but they do have air-conditioning, tea and coffee making facilities and private bathrooms with some toiletries. You can choose between single, twin, double and family rooms which have a bunk bed and bedding for three.

Some rooms do not have windows which can help you save money.

There is a lack of facilities, and rooms are not cleaned during your stay. Otherwise, this is a great option for people looking for a budget hotel in Kuching.

Click here for the latest prices.

How To Get To Kuching

Kuching Airport
Kuching Airport

It’s easy to get to Kuching by flight, bus or car (if you are already in Malaysian Borneo).

If you are coming from peninsular Malaysia, your only choice is to fly here.

To see all the latest flights and prices, click here.

If you need to take a bus from elsewhere in Sarawak, click here for the latest timetables and bus prices.

You can also hire a car to get you there by clicking here.

You can also read our guide to getting to Kuching from Kota Kinabalu (in Sabah) here or our guide to getting to Kuching from Sibu here.

Kuching With Kids

Kuching with kids
Kuching silliness with my kids

There are so many interesting places in Kuching, Malaysia that are excellent to go with kids. Within the city, hunting for cat statues and visiting the Cat Museum are both sure to get your youngsters excited. 

Children also love the experience of taking boats across the river to different places of interest in Kuching city. Be sure to include the various museums, especially the Natural History Museum for its animal exhibits.

Outside of the city, Kuching is surrounded by natural jungle and the nature that Borneo is famous for. Young and old have fun exploring the region’s national parks and trying to spot the vast amount of wildlife and especially seeing the jaw-dropping Rafflesia flower. 

And then there’s the feeding of orangutans at Semenggoh Nature Reserve and all the fun at the Sarawak Cultural Village with the locals dressed in traditional clothing and their old-style, unusual, homes to be discovered. My kids loved the opportunity to get up on stage at the cultural village during the dance performance.

You will not regret bringing your children for a holiday in Kuching, Malaysia.

Final Words

Chinatown In Kuching
Pretty streets in Chinatown

Kuching has the perfect combination of being vibrantly modern with a twist of rich cultural vibe. This is a city where you may casually stroll aimlessly around the streets, taking in the artistic surroundings and admire the diverse cultural harmony. It’s a beautiful place both at its centre and in its surrounds.

Being the capital of Sarawak, it’s a busy city but just drive for half an hour and you’re in a primeval jungle, full of natural wonders. Truly an amazing city, it makes for a perfect starting point to your Borneo journey.

You can check out all the best Kuching day trips here. Find our full travel guide to Kuching here and our full guide to the best places to stay in Kuching here.

Planning a trip to Malaysia? Have any questions? Join our Malaysia Travel Planning Facebook group here now! It’s the perfect place to ask any questions and to be inspired!

By Sharon Gourlay

Sharon is a certified Malaysia travel expert and can't get enough of travelling and talking about Malaysia since she first visited 21 years ago. She travels around Malaysia multiple times a year both alone and with her kids. She used to call Penang home and especially loves this food paradise. Sharon also has a Bachelor of Arts in Asian Studies, a Certificate III in International Travel Sales and has been certified by Tourism Malaysia as a Malaysia Travel Expert. Through this site, she'll help you have the perfect trip to this amazing destination.