Sunday, October 07, 2012

Discovering Kuching: Sarawak’s Sleeping Capital

EASTERN Malaysia’s Kuching, capital of the state of Sarawak on the island of Borneo, is worth a visit if you’re in search of a slower pace of life than you find in the nation’s other sprawling metropolises like Kuala Lumpur. Lying alongside the Sarawak River, it was originally known as Sarawak before becoming the City of Kuching in 1872.

During World War II Kuching was defended for its airfield and access to an important Dutch airfield nearby. While it was ultimately surrendered to the Japanese for the last four years of the war, the city and its buildings escaped widespread damage and have done better out of renovation over the years than other parts of Malaysia.

Today Kuching is famed for its heritage and well worth a visit to discover its impressive architecture as much as anything else.

On the heritage trail, the Sarawak Museum is a must visit for its exhibitions of the state’s history, and other places to hit on the museum circuit include the Sarawak Islamic Museum, the Chinese History Museum, the Kuching Cat Museum (Kuching means ‘cat’ in the Malay language) and the local timber and textile museums

Don’t leave Kuching without stopping by the Astana, the former palace of the White Rajahs who founded the Kingdom of Sarawak which existed from 1841 to 1946. Today the palace serves as the office of the governor of Sarawak and is not normally open to the public, though access to its landscaped gardens is possible.

Continue reading (Incl. Pics) at: Discovering Kuching: Sarawak’s Sleeping Capital