One Day in Kuching Itinerary – Top things to do in Kuching, Malaysia

The little-known city of Kuching is the riverside capital of Sarawak, a state in the country of Malaysia. Proudly located on Borneo, this alluring city forms an excellent base from which to witness the beauty of the whole island. It also serves as a gateway to several national parks, wild coastal and rainforest destinations. Therefore, one day in Kuching is bound to be exciting.

One day in Kuching itinerary
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What’s the best time to visit Kuching?

Being a truly tropical city, it’s never too hot and always a bit wet in Kuching. The temperature hovers between 20 and 36 degrees Celsius throughout the year, with frequent rain showers. The months from April to October are the driest months of the year in the city, while the wettest months are from November through February.

Tua Pek Kong Chinese Temple, Kuching
Tua Pek Kong Chinese Temple, Author: Marufish, Source: Flickr

Generally, the best time to visit Kuching is during the driest months i.e. from April to October. The temperature remains hot and humid, but pleasant enough for a whole day of sightseeing, although with some scattered and unpredictable rain.

Kuching, Author: Marufish, Source: Flickr

A few facts about Kuching

A few facts about the city or the region should be mentioned here as well as the most interesting sights and events.

– People of Kuching are called ‘Kuchingites’.

– Kuching has a lot of food varieties. The most popular dishes in Kuching include Kolo Mee, Kueh Chap, Laksa, Tomato Noodle, Kek Lapis, and the delicious Chicken Bamboo.

– Kuching is also known by the name of ‘City of Cats’ for no specific reason. In fact, one can find cat statues throughout the city, e.g.. on the sidewalks, on rooftops, inside roundabouts, on signals, in a park, etc. The obsession is believed to have stemmed from the city’s name ‘Kuching’. The word is thought to have derived from the Malay word ‘Kucing’ which means cat.

Cats statue, Kuching
Cats statue, Author: Marufish, Source: Flickr

– There is a specialized cat museum in the city, and it houses around 4000 exhibits, statues, and artifacts about cats from all over the world.

One Day in Kuching Itinerary

Kuching is an interesting city packed with a lot of fun and entertainment for its visitors. If you are planning a trip to Kuching but have limited time to spend in the city, here is the perfect one day Kuching itinerary for you.

Start Your Trip by Visiting Semenggoh National Park

In the morning, after breakfast, start your trip with Semenggoh National Park, which is where the wildlife center lies. It is located around 22 km away from Kuching and takes around 20 minutes to reach by car. Make sure to reach the park by 9 am and get the opportunity to see Orang-utans live during their morning feeding session. Go for a short hike and spend around 45 minutes in the park.

Total Time – 1 hour

Semenggoh Wildlife Centre, Kuching
Semenggoh Wildlife Centre, Author: Julie Edgley, Source: Flickr

Visit Borneo House Museum

While coming back to Kuching for further sightseeing, stop at Borneo House Museum which is an educational and interactive 3-D museum and features heritage and artistic culture of Sarawak.

Total time – 30- 40 minutes.

Grab a delicious lunch

Head to any restaurant of your choice and grab a delicious lunch after the first half of your day of sightseeing. If you don’t know where to go, here is a tip for you – visit Zhun San Yen Vegetarian if you want to explore tasty vegetarian cuisine or head to Life cafe or Borneo Delight for the best experience.

Life Cafe, Kuching
Life Cafe, Kuching, Author: Sasha India, Source: Flickr

Explore Sarawak State Museum

Next, head to Sarawak State Museum which is considered to be one of the best in South East Asia. It exhibits a wide collection of natural history artifacts and objects. 

Total Time – 2 hours

Sarawak State Museum, Kuching
Sarawak State Museum, Author: chipmunk_1, Source: Flickr

Kuching Esplanade and Waterfront

In the evening, take a nice stroll here and relax or hire a boat for a river cruise in the Sarawak River. This place is perfect for relaxing and for photography.

Total Time – 1 hour

Kuching Waterfront
Kuching Waterfront, Author: Marufish, Source: Flickr

Chinese Museum

Located next to the Waterfront and Esplanade, the Chinese Museum is easily accessible and worth a visit. It doesn’t take more than 30 minutes to cover it.

Spend Some time in Tua Pek Kong Chinese Temple and Market

In the evening visit Tau Pek Kong Chinese Temple, which is an important place of worship for the Chinese community. Later, hit the local market near the Chinese temple and shop for local artifacts there.

Tua Pek Kong Chinese Temple, Kuching 2
Tua Pek Kong Chinese Temple, Author: Gerry Zambonini, Source: Flickr

**If time permits, you can also visit the old Mosque and the cat museum which is located on the other side of the city. **

Have a great Dinner

There are a myriad of choices in terms of dinner restaurants in Kuching where you can enjoy a great dinner if you have plans to have dinner here. You can head to Zinc Restaurant and Bar for a wonderful dining experience or Bla Bla Bla for its famous Cashew Nut Prawns.

Nearby Lepau offers some of the authentic native cuisines where one should definitely try its Ceylonese Food.

Sarawak Laksa, Kuching
Sarawak Laksa, Author: Lenny K Photography, Source: Flickr

Where to stay in Kuching?

There are plenty of accommodation options in Kuching to choose from, ranging from elegant simplicity to absolute elegance.

Imperial Hotel Kuching

Imperial Hotel Kuching

Jalan Datuk Tawi Sli, 93250 Kuching

For a convenient location and reasonable prices, Imperial Hotel Kuching is a very original place to stay in. With a stellar location next to Boulevard Shopping mall and a few minutes from the airport and Kuching Waterfront, the Imperial features contemporary décor and modern amenities.


Tune Hotel - Waterfront Kuching

Tune Hotel – Waterfront Kuching

Jalan Borneo, Off Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, 93100 Kuching, Sarawak

Just next door is a stunning budget alternative Tune Hotel – Waterfront Kuching. The hotel offers basic neat and clean rooms with attached bathrooms.


Kuching has no shortage of budget backpacker hostels. Singgahsana Lodge is also one of the best options for a budget stay and offers a shared terrace and has a central location. Another option is La Nomade hostel, which is located just half a kilometer from Waterfront bazaar and offers a 24 hours front desk service and shared lounge.

Day trips from Kuching

There are many destinations an hour or so from Kuching which can be visited on a half-day or a day trip from the city. These excursions range from ecological explorations to cultural adventures and are packed with fascinating activities and atmosphere.

Bako National Park

Located 12 miles (20km) away from the city of Kuching, Bako National Park, one of the oldest national parks in the region, features a variety of wildlife, swamps, mangrove forests, lush vegetation and much more. The park also has many short and long well-maintained trails used for walks and hikes.

Damai Beach and Sarawak Cultural Village

Another great day trip from Kuching is the one to Damai Beach located underneath the Gunung Santubong Mountain. The adjoining Sarawak Cultural Village is another highlight of this area featuring illustrations of the houses from the various tribes of the area. The easiest way to reach here is by using a shuttle bus from Kuching.

Semenggoh Wildlife Center

This is one of the most popular day trips from Kuching and it’s pretty to understand the reason for its popularity. The wildlife center provides a rare chance to see orangutans in their natural habitat. Visitors can get to see Orang-utans roaming freely and swinging through the trees especially during their feeding sessions which happen twice a day i.e. morning and evening. Getting here is quite easy as one can take a direct bus to Semenggoh from Kuching.

Extra travel tips for visiting Kuching

– Because of its tropical climate, the climate in Kuching is generally hot and humid, so it is advisable for visitors to wear comfortable clothing.

– The city also has unpredictable rain showers; therefore, carrying a raincoat or an umbrella in your bag is a good idea.

– Always check the weather forecast for your travel dates while planning your trip to Kuching. It will help you to plan your itinerary.

– Pack a good waterproof jacket with a hood for your rainforest and national park trips.

– Carry sealable plastic bags to place your phone, money and other essential items to prevent them from getting wet.

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