Visiting Kuching has always been great. For someone who lives in Peninsular Malaysia most of the time, and hearing about tribes like Iban, Melanau, etc existed has always made me fascinated during my school days. Well, enough nonsense and time for some things that Daniel the blogger got to do in Kuching.
If you are thinking of staying in Kuching with an affordable price (you can opt for a maximum 3 star hotel), you may explore the below banner for those cheap hotels. I got mine online too, besides Sarawak Rainforest Music Festival is upcoming so book them fast.
Since I am not a Kuchingnite, let me show you the 10 things you can do in Kuching as a traveler/wanderer! (Rather some 10 self define things one can do)
1. Visit natural wonders
The blue lake is indeed not just any lake. It is highly toxicated and only a few species of fish live in this lake due to its high arsenic content. Well, speaking about blue lake, it really brings back memories of the time I had a chance to visit another blue lake in Tibet. If you have not been following my adventures, Tibet would be one of a kind.
Wait, why is there a highly arsenic lake in the middle of the state? Why? Beats me. Anyway there are local children who do play in the lake even though it is mentioned not to. I guessed they are already used to the contents of the lake.
Fairy Cave is a beautiful cave, not because it has a Fairy in its name, but the view was magnificent. As can be viewed from the photo posted, the cave is big. In order to get to this place, one has to climb up a few stairs (that’s like going up to the 4th floor) and then go into the small tunnel with a stairway leading up.
The Fairy Cave got its name due to some of the structure there looking like fairies guarding over the caves. There are also some carvings and also sculptures and dolls in the cave. It might be eerie to some so I decided not to put those photos here. You can ask me for the photos though the next time you see me.
The cave is a magnificent place to capture cave scenery, with some sun beam shining through the cave. Unlike the last time I visited Fairy Cave, this time one can go a little bit deeper into the cave. The place is quite scary the deeper one goes, but what sort of a wanderer if I did not explore further. Beautiful place, there are bats around there too.
In a natural place, there are bound to be species of the natural habitat roaming around the floors of the cave or around the entrance of the cave. Guessed what we found, a milipede (looks like one), but this is definitely a centipede.
As to what genome or to what species or type of centipede it is, I cannot seem to find out from the Internet. Any expert out there? It was about 15 centimeters in length.
Another viable cave to visit would be Wind Cave which is about 2 to 3 km away from the Fairy Cave. Do visit this place too if you would like some simple caving.
Note: Do bring a torch light and prepare to get a little bit wet in Wind Cave. (Did not get to go to Wind Cave due to heavy rain)
2. Visit the Beach
Damai Beach is indeed a private beach. I still remembered way back in 2009 when I first visited this beach, I was amazed at how beautiful this place is. How far is it from Kuching town? I think it will take about 40 minutes drive. Photographer enthusiast flocked around this place during sunset to capture the sunset scene.
What is different this time is that this is now a private beach, so gaining entry to this beach needs you to be a hotel guest with either the hotel partner or the resort itself. Of course, if you are planning to stay here, this is a great place to be.
Feast your eyes on the scenery and happenings from the beach.
Families, couples and friends go to the beach to enjoy. This photo summarizes what I would like to present. The time was 6:38pm.
Not forgetting the group we were in also would not want to miss this rare opportunity to get some photos of this place. What a great time to go on a holiday after retiring from work.
A group of photography enthusiast patiently waiting for the sunset for their photo shoot. The time was 7:20pm.
As always, going to the beach is always a great time to catch some shots of people, be it solo, group or people having fun. This time around, found a solitary girl walking along the side. Who knows what she was doing? (Maybe she was waiting for my brother to go and greet her.. heehehehe)
If you’re wondering what were the wordings, it is a song titled “Lady in Red” and was released on June 1986 sung by Chris De Burgh. I guessed some readers here were not born during that time too.
Wait…… before we go off to see what else to do in Kuching, Sarawak. I here have something which I did at Damai Beach Resort. Though please do not try this if you’re not used to it.
3. Visit Historical Sites
There are many places in Kuching which are historical. Of course, the crash course is to visit the museums around the town. One such museum is the Chinese Museum.
Sarawak Chinese Museum
The Picture File above was around 2009. Time passes by and now it is already 2013. This photo was taken at the Chinese Museum Kuching. It depicts how the Chinese first came to Sarawak and what each tribe were doing then.
If you are Chinese, can you find your family name in here? Mine is easy, why not tell me how to address you?
Charles Brooke Monument
Another old file of the year 2009. Time passes by so fast. Go ahead and visit the Charles Brooke Monument. Alongside it is the building where it used to be a courthouse. Fast forward to 2013, this is the monument right now.
Yes, the monument is still standing and who is that? That’s my pa… oh historical places.
Other places to note are Fort Margherita, National Museum of Sarawak and other such museums.
4. Photo with Iconic Cat Statue
Actually the town Kuching means CAT in English. Kuching is a malay word for cat. Well, as to how this town got its name, might have to dig up some history. Well, since the town was named CAT, it is also good to find those cats (or rather those cat statue around town).
Here is one of those, frequented mostly among travelers and for visitors to Kuching, Sarawak. This cat statue is one of the biggest with a few cats on the rock. It is only 5 minutes walk from the Kuching Waterfront. If one is hungry, just walk towards McDonald’s (visible at the background) and have your food.
This cat statue was taken during the year 2010. Hair was longer then. This cat statue can be found somewhere around the entrance of China town in Kuching.
Do note that there is 1 or 2 more cats to be found in Kuching town itself.
5. Visit Sarawak Cultural Village
For first time visitors, you might opt to drop by Sarawak Cultural Village to learn more about the many tribes and races in Sarawak. Amongst them are the Iban, Melanau, Penan and many more. For non East Malaysians, the price to visit this place amounts to RM60 (including foreigners and Peninsular Malaysia). If you are a student, remember to bring your student pass/visa to gain a great discount though.
One of the dance being performed in the Cultural Village Sarawak.
Experience first hand how a man from the Penan tribe goes fishing and his original clothing before modernization came into their world.
6. Board the 40 Cents Sampan
This is the one chance of a lifetime. Board the sampan to cross the river from one side of the town to the other side that leads to Fort Margherita. Walk along Kuching Waterfront and you will see sampan(small boats) ferrying people across the river.
The last time I remembered it was only RM0.40 (which also meant 40 cents). This photo was taken during the year 2009, but the price has not changed yet. So experience this ride while you still can. The ride takes about 2-3 minutes to get to across the river.
7. Eating at Chong Choon Cafe in Town
Trying the all time favorite Sarawak Laksa here, try it once then later you can try it elsewhere too. Most people benchmark the quality of Sarawak Laksa from here first.
Maybe you would love to try something else rather than the usual of the famous food in Sarawak (Sarawak Laksa, Kolo Mee), the fried carrot cake also was indeed delicious.
There are many varieties of food over here which include Kolo Mee (I think I mentioned this) and also the special toasted bread.
Do remember to drop by early as they are only open during the morning and could be sold out within a few hours. If you are driving, you may park on the road opposite facing the shop rather than along the road of the shop.
8. Drink the ‘Teh C Special’ (3 Layered Tea)
One should not miss trying the Teh C Special (3 Layered tea) when in Kuching too. For a guy like me, whenever I order a Teh C Special in one of those specialty shops in Kuala Lumpur, the tea taste so different. In Kuching though, the taste is superbly different and better too. Here are some of those places you can go and get your tea.
Teh C Special basically comprises of 3 different layers in a tea.
c) Sugar/ Brown Sugar/ Gula Melaka (Malacca Sugar)
Had the one above in Taman BDC (BDC Park). When you see a row of shop houses, there are few stalls in the middle of the shop houses. The Teh C Special here taste kind of sweet and the sugar level is a bit darker. Good for those with sweet tooth though.
The above is the one found while driving along the road towards Fairy Cave. Stopped to have lunch at Serian and ordered the usual Teh C Special. The same old layer but the sugar used is kind of brown and light. Not that sweet, but good milky taste.
Now this, this is a bit special. If you know where the Hills are located, you will not miss trying to locate this place. Situated opposite the hills and near the 7 Eleven convenience store (the same row with Tune Hotels), this Teh C Special is a bit different. It has a green texture like sugar on the bottom layer. Felt like it was a mixed with some pandan flavored sugar. Tried this while watching the Liverpool match (which somehow Liverpool lost).
See, there are so many different varieties of Teh C Special in Kuching, Sarawak that you have got to try them all (Do remember to not go overboard with this sweet drink or your sugar level is gonna rise).
9. Seafood in Kampung Nelayan (Fisherman Village)
Have you tried the local vegetable, Midin?
A local vegetable delicacy that is way crunchy compared to the usual ‘paku’ plant. It is the same type with the fern species. Delicious and for someone like me who does not really eat vegetables, this… I have appetite for.
Seafood is indeed a must, imagine dishes with prawns, bamboo clams, fish, midin, bean curd, fried eggs with oyster and with a total of 9 people the food only cost RM140 (that is like USD45). Definitely worth paying a visit to this place. Why is this recommended? If you try eating seafood in Kuching town and if you compared the food, you will know the difference. Trust me, we did that and we regretted eating seafood in town and we had our dinner again in Kampung Nelayan two days straight (even if it was like 45 minutes drive away from town).
10. Walk along Kuching Waterfront and get your souvenirs
I have visited Kuching about 5 to 6 times as of day of writing and would hope to visit there once again. Every time I was there, I would buy back some token or souvenirs back to Kuala Lumpur. Few of the things that I have bought are Sarawak Laksa paste, cat keychains, layered cake (kek lapis – comes with assorted flavors), postcards and many more weird and exciting stuffs.
Photographers out there, if you are lucky you would get a perfect day to take your photos. Taking the scenery during the night time would also be great for your shoots too.
You can try shots like the above with the photo of the State Court House at the background of this photo.
Taking photos along the Kuching waterfront usually signified you have visited this small town but quiet and peaceful place. Imagine walking this place at night without having fear of being mugged like it is in Kuala Lumpur.
If you have not visited Kuching yet, I am telling you to do so. If you are from Kuching, I am sure you have lots of other things to recommend to do in this lovely city too.
Writing this piece of material took a lot of my time, and I would appreciate feedback. If this is great for your reading, then I might start writing more articles like this. Until my next travel and adventures, till then signing off.