Major Attractions in Sarawak, Kucing
o The Sarawak Museum
The two-storey building was completed in 1891 to permanently house and display local native arts and crafts as well as collections of local animals. A famous naturalist Alfred Wallace spearheaded the effort then.
Today, the ground floor of the museum holds the natural history collection and specimens of Sarawak fauna and animals - all expertly prepared and mounted for display. The west wing of the museum houses Shell exhibition - featuring the history of petroleum industry of Sarawak. The first floor displays exhibits of ethnographic artefacts such as models of longhouses of the various ethnic groups in Sarawak, musical instruments, various kinds of fish and animal traps, handicrafts, models of boats and others.
o The Islamic Museum
The building that houses the Islamic Museum, opened in 1992, today was initially a James Brooke Malay College. This Museum consists of seven galleries. Each of the galleries displays items that are related to a particular discipline such as History of Islam in Sarawak; Islamic Architecture; Science, Technology, Economics, Education and Literature; Music, Costumes and Personal Ornaments; Weaponry; Decorative Arts and Domestic Utensils; and the Holy Quran Collection.
o The Chinese History Museum
Officially opened in 1993, the museum building itself is historic and was built in 1912. Situated at the Kuching Waterfront, it was initially used as a court by the Chinese community from 1912 to 1921. The museum portrays the rich and fascinating history of Sarawak's diverse Chinese groups. Visitors will acquire in-depth historical knowledge relating to the origin of each Chinese dialect group, their respective traditional skills and cultural heritage, and progress achieved throughout the years.
o The Cat Museum
The Cat Museum's cat artefacts displayed were previously on show for the first time at the National Museum, Kuala Lumpur, in 1987 as one of its gallery. Later it was brought to Kuching (The Cat City) under the care of Sarawak Museum and was put on display for the first time on 1 August 1988, when Kuching was proclaimed as a Cat City. Today, the collection of the exhibited materials from all over the world is one way of making the Cat Museum as a "Cat Information Centre".
o Sarawak Cultural Village
Famously referred to as a living museum, the Sarawak Cultural Village typifies the heritage of the major ethnic groups in Sarawak and duly showcases and celebrates the respective lifestyle amidst 14 acres of land - about 40 minutes drive from downtown Kuching.
A visit will offer a lifetime chance to see and sample Sarawak's rich culture diversity - namely the Iban, Melanau, Bidayuh, Orang Ulu, Penan, Malays and Chinese - in a day. And at the end of the visit, do attend the 45-minute cultural performance of songs, dances and entertainment. It is something that you will not want to miss out during your visit.
o Main Bazaar
No visitor should miss the old Main Bazaar, Kuching's oldest and most famous shopping street where souvenir-hunters can seek out an assortment of traditional brassware, pottery, ceramics, tribal arts and crafts, bamboo mats, rattan basket and much more.
The handicraft shops here are stacked floor to ceiling with cultural curios and antiques, and are a treasure trove of Iban icons, Bidayuh bric-a-brac and Orang Ulu ornaments. Located near the Kuching Waterfront, shoppers are advised to always bargain for the best deal.
o Santubong Fishing Village
This quaint fishing village is 32 km from Kuching and can be reached by express boat or taxi from downtown Kuching. It has good beaches and is the site of several archaeological findings. Ancient Hindu and Buddhist rock carvings have been found around the Santubong River delta. During the Tang and Sung dynasties from the 9th till the 13th centuries, Santubong was an important trading centre. Santubong today can be reached by road across the Santubong Bridge
o Satok Market
It is recommended that visitors to Kuching should spend a few hours at the Sunday Market at Jalan Satok, which besides selling the usual market produce may have antiques on sale. A place for unusual herbs, fruits, plants and animals, the Sunday market at Kuching's Jalan Satok is a colourful place to which the villagers bring their fresh jungle herbs and fruits not available elsewhere.
o Kuching Waterfront
The Waterfront, now transformed into a landscaped esplanade, was an important place in the founding of Kuching. Its location on the Sarawak River was chosen not only for its strategic and commercial importance, but also for its enchanting natural beauty. In days gone by the river was the city's main highway. Present day life is still concentrated on the waterfront. A meander on the Kuching Waterfront is a walk through time; from Kuching's humble, ancient origins, to its status as a modern city. No visit to Kuching would be complete without a stroll on the modern esplanade, or to sit, relax and experience a Sarawakian sunset.
o Fort Margherita
Completed in 1879, Fort Margherita commands a breathtaking and strategic position along the Sarawak River, with a location chosen to overlook the long stretch of river approaching Kuching. Named after the second Rajah Charles Brooke's wife Ranee Margaret, it was built in the defensive edifice/castle style of the late English renaissance. Today, inside the great castle-like building is a police museum, the most interesting sights of which are the depictions of criminal punishment.
o The Astana
The Astana, a variant of the usual spelling istana or palace, lies in regal splendour across the river. It is a majestic building with romantic history. Built in 1870, also by Rajah Charles Brooke, it is now the official residence of Yang di-Pertua Negeri, the Governor of Sarawak. As it is an official residence, the Astana is not open to the public. Visitors are, however, allowed the pleasure of strolling around the Astana's beautifully landscaped gardens, which are decorated with ethnic artefacts. It is also only open to the public on Hari Raya Aidilfitri.
o Tua Pek Kong Temple
Located at Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, the century-old Chinese temple is the oldest of its kind in Kuching. It is particularly famous for its Wang Kang celebration to commemorate the spirit of the dead. The temple was supposed to have been built as early as 1843. Today, the temple is also a place for the Buddhists to offer prayers during the many Buddhist festivals.