“I would rather own little and see the world, than own the world and see little of it”. — Alexander Sattler (author, photographer)
Many people can easily relate to that quote, as most of us harbour hope of travelling the world one day. Although setting foot on far and exotic locations still remains the ultimate goal, there are still a lot of exciting places in our own country which are yet to be explored.
For Malaysians, the Island of Borneo offers a unique local experience. The city of Kuching in Sarawak is a place well worth visiting. It is a place which will entice you with its wonderful mixture of rich history and culture, flora and fauna, and exquisite meals.
You can follow our simple 3 Days 2 Nights budget itinerary filled with fun activities if you’re planning to spend an absorbing time in Kuching.
Day 1: Cat Museum, Waterfront Promenade, Dayak dinner
Kuching is known as “the cat city” because the word means “cat” in Malay. The multiple cat statues scattered around the city will remind you of this fact. So, what better way to immerse yourself in your new environment than to visit the Kuching Cat Museum?
After checking into your accommodation, you can head to the world’s first museum devoted to all things feline. Here you will find over 4,000 exhibits, photos, arts, and souvenirs featuring cats. There’s even a section dedicated to cats in movies and in Chinese art. Admission to the Kuching Cat Museum is free, although a fee of RM3 for the use of cameras and RM5 for video cameras is charged.
Next, you can visit the south bank of Sungai Sarawak for a stroll. The paved walkways at Waterfront Promenade provide beautiful scenery while the river blows off a cool breeze. The sunset view creates a romantic atmosphere. After dark, the area is ablaze with colourful lights and lanterns. To maximise your experience here, you can also opt for a Sarawak river cruise.
At night, Kuching has plenty to offer in terms of amazing cuisine. For non-Halal food, be sure to head to the.Dyak to sample some ethnic Dayak dishes. The menu here is prepared with unique jungle vegetables and spices.
For those of you who prefer Halal food, you can stay in the Riverside area as there are plenty of stalls where the food is not only tasty but also easy on the wallet.
Day 2: Bako National Park, Muara Tebas, Lepau Restaurant
Considering that Sarawak is famous for its unique flora and fauna, it is only apt to explore the Bako National Park during the morning. This happens to be Sarawak’s oldest national park; covering an area of 2,742 hectares of rainforest. Despite being relatively small, it contains almost every type of vegetation found in Borneo.
Bako is also great for seeing wildlife as the animals are less wary of humans. Here, you can expect to find long-tailed macaques, silvered leaf-monkeys, common water monitors, plantain squirrels, wild boar, mouse deer, and many more.
After having lunch at the park’s canteen, you can then head to Muara Tebas fishing village which is located nearby. This place is mainly known for two things. The first thing is fresh seafood and the second is a 200-year-old Chinese temple overlooking the village. Perched atop a hill 120-foot above sea level, Buddhist devotees frequent the Ching San Yen temple on festive occasions. This also happens on the first and 15th days of each Lunar Month.
At night, visit the Lepau Restaurant to savour a dinner which is deeply immersed in Sarawak culture. The name “Lepau” was inspired by the Kayan word that means “farm-hut”. The restaurant is built to resemble a wooden hut. It is decorated with traditional Kayan handicrafts, ornaments, and musical instruments. The dishes here are reinventions of recipes from the Kayan community as well as from the various ethnic communities found in Sarawak.
Day 3: Main Bazaar and Carpenter Street
With just one morning left on your stay in Kuching, you can spend your time by shopping and sightseeing. Adjacent to the waterfront, the Main Bazaar and the Carpenter Street are the oldest streets in the city. The entire area is packed with heritage buildings and historic architecture.
Some well-established outlets at Main Bazaar include Native Arts, Nelson’s Gallery, Rainforest, Sarawak House, Atelier Gallery, and Arts of Asia. Here you can find quality antiques and handicrafts at reasonable prices. But the most popular item amongst tourists is the special Sarawak layer cake.
Carpenter Street is also host to plenty of food spots where you can have a quick meal before your flight back home.
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