The Kuching town is small enough to walk around in less than a day to 2 depending on how much you want to see. Here are some places we went around the town that took us about half a day.
- Cat Statue
You cannot miss taking pictures with cat statues in Kuching. Kuching or Kucing means cat in Malay. They can be located at a few inter-junctions but the main one is located in front of the Grand Magherita Hotel.
- Chinatown at Carpenter Street
Chinatown, one of the oldest streets in Kuching, welcomes you with an arch facing Jalan Tun Abang Haji Openg. This street continuously connects to Jalan Ewe Hai where you many Chinese owned shops, such as shops that sells furniture, jewelries, pawn shop, café and restaurants. The funny thing to me is that if you see a shop selling jewelries, you will see a few more nearby. How competitive.
- Tua Pek Kong Temple
Siew San Teng Temple, more famously known as Tua Pek Kong Temple, built in 1770 which survived Japanese invasion time in 1941. It is easily spotted at the inter-junction of Jalan Main Bazaar, Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, and Leboh Temple.
If you wish you make light offering or offer incense, walk through the doorway beside the altar to the back to purchase. Also, inside the temple area, there is an old water well that is now beautifully protected.
- Main Bazaar
At the Main Bazaar, you can see many souvenir shops. Sarawak being one of the place that produce birds’ nest and pepper, you can also see many shops along this road selling them as well. The other famous item at this street is the Kuih Lapis (layered cake). The original layered cake is brown in colour but here, they sell them in many different colours, decorations and tastes. You are allowed to try them before buying.
Opposite Main Bazaar shops is the waterfront where there lies a long walkway gives you a chance to stroll by the Santubong River. It’s quite in the morning and a few fruit stalls opens from afternoon. It is the most lively at night when colourful lights light up, restaurants open, and street musicians play. There are also river cruise that give you a short tour to sightsee from the river.
- Square Tower
Physically matches its name, was initially a detention camp built for prisoners but was then converted a fortress and then a dance hall. At the time we were there, it is not open for public.
- Old Courthouse
At the end of Jalan Main Bazaar, after Jalan Tun Abang Haji Openg, sits on old courthouse that was built in 1874. It now houses the tourist information centre, café, and museum.
In front of the clock tower at the old courthouse, you can view in line the Charles Brookes monument, Square Tower and the New Sarawak State Legislative Assembly Building.
- Sarawak Textile Museum
This building being named The Pavilion was previously a General Hospital up to 1947. Now, this two-story building tells the story of textile production in Sarawak with exhibits of old decorative cloths and clothes made using many different types of textile and metal strips. They also show the traditional clothes of different ethnics in Sarawak.
Operating hours: Monday – Friday 9.00am – 4.45pm; Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays 10.00am to 4.00pm
- General Post Office
Being built in 1931 with Corinthian styled columns is now a post office. Its grand outlook stands out to attract from afar with the expectation of it being a museum rather than a post office.
- Wall art by Ernest Zacharevic
Located at Jalan Power near the India Street, a group of wall-painted orang utans welcome you to pose with them. Another beautiful art by Ernest, other than those at Penang and Ipoh.
Some of the recommended places outside of Kuching town that we didn’t have time to go. It would take about 1 day each.
- Sarawak Cultural Village
- Bako National Park
There are many more places to visit. For more information, visit the tourist information centre at the Old courthouse or log on to the Sarawak Tourism website.