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, Malaysia
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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. 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.

View of Kuching
View of Kuching, Author: chipmunk_1, 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.
  • 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.
Cat statue, Kuching
Cat statue, Kuching, Author: Marufish, Source: Flickr

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, Kuching, 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, Kuching, 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.

Chinese History Museum, Kuching
Chinese History Museum, Kuching, Author: chipmunk_1, Source: Flickr

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 Ornaments, Kuching
Tua Pek Kong Ornaments, Kuching, Author: chipmunk_1, 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. **

Exhibit at the Cat museum, Kuching
Exhibit at the Cat museum, Kuching, Author: Thomas Quine, Source: Flickr

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.

Kuching Noodle Dish
Kuching Noodle Dish

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.

BOOK A ROOM HERE

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.

BOOK A ROOM HERE

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

  1. Because of its tropical climate, the climate in Kuching is generally hot and humid, so it is advisable for visitors to wear comfortable clothing.
  2. The city also has unpredictable rain showers; therefore, carrying a raincoat or an umbrella in your bag is a good idea.
  3. Always check the weather forecast for your travel dates while planning your trip to Kuching. It will help you to plan your itinerary.
  4. Pack a good waterproof jacket with a hood for your rainforest and national park trips.
  5. Carry sealable plastic bags to place your phone, money and other essential items to prevent them from getting wet.

Logistical Tips and Tricks

Organize your trip in five easy steps!

BOOK A FLIGHT!

Obviously, if you’re going on a trip somewhere far a way, you’ll need to book a flight. There is absolutely no need to worry about this, though, because with Skyscanner, you will be able to find a cheap flight anywhere in the world. And their website is extremely easy to use, so you will have your seat on a plane in no time at all!

BOOK A ROOM!

To easily find the best possible room in the city you’re visiting, just head to Booking.com. They have quite literally thousands of options, a reliable rating system and will always get you a great deal. On top of that, you can learn a lot from the comments people leave there, too. No matter if you’re looking for an apartment or an elite hotel, you’ll find what you need here.

GET A CAR!

If you want the ultimate sense of freedom while on your trip, a car is a must. Fortunately, there is a simple way to get one – just visit Booking’s Rentalcars and they’ll have your vehicle ready in a jiffy. Now you’ll be able to explore the new city thoroughly and, who knows, maybe even make a trip outside it.

INSURE YOURSELF FOR PEACE OF MIND!

Accidents, mishaps and other troubles happen to everyone. The key is to be prepared. That’s why getting a travel insurance is such a great idea: it can help you deal with any health issues, theft and even cancelled flights. World Nomads know full well about the problems that can arise on a trip because they are passionate travelers themselves. That’s why they can offer you the very best deals.

FIND SOMEONE TO HELP YOU GET AROUND!

Want to have some company as soon as you land? Through Welcomepickups.com, you can find a local to meet you at the airport and help you find your way around the new city. They can also set things up for you, give you some useful tips and be helpful in general. The whole project is a great idea and very well executed, so do go and see how these people can make your trip a more pleasant one.

MAKE SURE YOU HAVE EVERYTHING YOU NEED

Here are some of the top travel items you must bring to your next trip. These items will make your trip a lot more relaxing and you’ll surely get rid of some extra hassle.

Make sure to travel light, safe and stylish following our travel item guide for 2019.

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