Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Welcome to Kuching: The Cat City of Sarawak, Borneo

After spending a few days enjoying the big city lights of Kuala Lumpur, we took a short flight East to state of Sarawak on the island of Borneo.

The third largest island in the world, Borneo’s sovereignty is split between three countries.

The East Malaysian States of Sarawak and Sabah sandwich the small country of Brunei, whilst the largest chunk of the island in the South called Kalimantan is part of Indonesia.

Indonesia rules over 73% of the island, with the Malaysian States covering 23% and the other tiny 1% representing Brunei.

Before making plans to travel to borneo, I’m ashamed to admit I thought it was a standalone sovereign state. Whoops!

We wanted to explore both Sarawak and Sabah, and so chose to start in Sarawak and then head to Sabah afterwards to meet our friends for a couple of weeks.

Whilst Sabah is the more touristy and beach orientated of the two states, Sarawak has a lot more national parks.

Kuching is the state capital and the largest geographical state of Malaysia though not the most populated and is well known as being a good base from which to explore the south west of Sarawak, as well as being a pleasant city to explore for a few days.

Kuching is home to a large number of free museums, cultural walks, gardens and local craft districts that we decided to spend our first day exploring.

Free maps and books detailing the various tourist attractions around the city are free and widely available from the airport, as well as tourist information, guest houses and coffee shops.

Kuching visitors information centre is located at the old court house (open Monday to Friday, 8am-6pm) which also houses the Kuching national park office where you can obtain permits as well as booking any accommodation in the parks.

There is a smaller tourist information office on the waterfront next to the Sarawak steamship building (Sarawak tourism federation) that has slightly more varied opening times plus the Tourism Malaysia office is easily accessible in the building of the riverbank suites and is open Monday to Friday, 8am-5pm. Lots of places to grab a free map which we found indispensable!

Continue reading (Incl. Pics) at: Welcome to Kuching: The Cat City of Sarawak, Borneo