Museums

Kuching maintains a healthy establishment of museums showcasing its rich culture and history. The Sarawak Museum, the oldest of its kind in Borneo, exhibits collections on the natural history of Sarawak. Directly opposite the Sarawak Museum is the Dewan Tun Abdul Razak which serves as an exhibition venue and the office of the Sarawak Museum Department. Located right behind Dewan Tun Abdul Razak is the Sarawak Islamic Museum.

Other museums in Kuching include the Chinese History Museum, the Kuching Cat Museum, the Sarawak Timber Museum and the Sarawak Textile Museum. Kuching is also home to the first ever planetarium in Malaysia, the Sultan Iskandar Planetarium adjacent to the Kuching Civic Centre.

Historical sites

Interesting historical landmarks and sites of Kuching include The Astana (the former palace of the White Rajahs and currently the official residence of the Governor of Sarawak), Fort Margherita, and the Tua Pek Kong temple.

The oldest street of Kuching is the Main Bazaar, a row of 19th century Chinese shophouses located along the Kuching Waterfront overlooking the Sarawak River. It offers the city's best concentration of antique and handicraft shops .[26] The Main Bazaar is part of Kuching's old town, which also includes the Carpenter Street and India Street. The old Courthouse building, which sits in between Carpenter Street and India Street, has undergone restoration and now houses the Sarawak Tourism Board. Some other interesting areas around the CBD include Padungan Street, which is the Chinatown of Kuching.

Other places of interest

The Kuching Waterfront is an approximately 1 kilometer long riverside esplanade stretching from the main hotel and commercial heartland of the city to downtown Kuching. The beautifully-landscaped waterfront is dotted with food stalls, restaurants and benches and offers excellent views of The Astana, Fort Margherita and the New Sarawak State Legislative Assembly Building. The waterfront also features an observation tower, an open-air theater and musical fountains. The Sunday Market at Satok operates during weekends offers a large diversity of items for trade. The Kuching Civic Center offers a panoramic view of the city from a viewing platform during the day.

Attractions near Kuching

Numerous natural attractions including National Parks, notably the Bako National Park and the Kuching Wetlands National Park as well as the Semenggoh Wildlife Center which operates an orang utan orphanage and rehabilitation program are popular attractions near Kuching. Also, available near Kuching are the Gunung Gading National Park and the Kubah National Park.

Located about 40-minutes drive from Kuching is Santubong, a prominent beach resort area home to numerous world-class beach resorts, the Damai beach and the Sarawak Cultural Village. The Sarawak Cultural Village is a primary attraction in the area, which is essentially a living museum that allows visitors a first-hand experience to Sarawak's ethnic diversity. Other beaches accessible nearby Kuching are the Lundu Beach and the Sematan Beach. The Borneo Highlands is also nearby Kuching and offers a fresh and chilly highlands resort experience located 1000-meters above sea level.

Events

Since 1997, Kuching has been host to the Rainforest World Music Festival, an annual music festival which brings performers and spectators to the region from all over the world. Hosted by the Sarawak Cultural Village, the festival is now one of the largest musical events in Malaysia.

The Borneo Convention Centre Kuching or BCCK is the first dedicated convention and exhibition centre in Borneo. It was opened in October 2009 and aims to attract conventions, conferences, events and exhibitions to Kuching.