So, you’ve heard about the treasure that is the Sarawak state capital and all of its wonders. The nature reserves, the galleries, the hipster cafe scene.Credit: GiphyAnd you decide that it’s finally time to book that ticket and check it out for yourself. But all the resources you’ve been reading keep telling you the same things and you want a different perspective. Something fresh. Well, this list we’ve compiled is just that! ?
1. Bako National ParkCredit: @chlomo123 on InstagramBako National Park has such incredible diversity in its landscapes that you can’t help but feel like you’re in 5 different places when you visit it. But don’t just take my word for it, go check out the breathtaking rock formations, rainforests, beaches, and flooded forests for yourself! There are plenty of tour packages to choose from whether you’re interested in trekking, camping, or even bird-watching ?Credit: @melissacristinamarquez on InstagramIf the varied topography is not enough of a reason to visit this park, then the wildlife surely is. The forest has plenty of wild boar, monitor lizards, silver leaf monkeys and bright-colored birds that can be seen if you just quietly follow the trails. If you’re lucky, you’ll also be able to catch a peek of one of the 275 proboscis monkeys just chilling in the tree branches as if they weren’t an incredible sight to see ? Whatever the case, you are sure to leave the park with a greater appreciation for nature.Address: Taman Negara Bako, SarawakOperating Hours: 8AM-5PM daily, including public holidaysFees for standard admission:Adult: 20 MYRChild (ages 6-18 years): 7 MYRSenior (ages 60 and above): 7 MYRFees for MyKad holders:Adult: 10 MYRChild (ages 7-18 years): 4 MYRSenior (ages 60 and above): 4 MYRContact: +6082 610 088Website | Facebook
2. Santubong National ParkCredit: @the_hollitype on InstagramSantubong itself is no secret to tourists and locals alike. It’s well-known for its beach resorts, waterfalls and Mount Santubong—for which there are plenty of trips and tours to trek. But did you know that Santubong estuary is home to the rare irrawaddy dolphin and finless porpoise? Yes, you can take a wildlife-spotting boat tour to look out for these creatures in the wild! ? Just like a safari, however, a sighting isn’t guaranteed but not to worry, because you’ll still spot crocodiles and fireflies.Credit: @photo.by.zull on InstagramSantubong is also home to the Sarawak Cultural Village—an incredible 17-acre living museum that combines Sarawakian architecture, lifestyle, tradition and history with performing arts and expert guides to give you an immersive and complete experience of the rich Sarawakian culture. The displays, shows, and classes are distributed among seven unique traditional houses so there is never a dull moment to be had! ?Address: Santubong National Park, 94050 Kuching, SarawakOperating Hours: 8AM-5PMContact: +92 345 520 8289Website
3. Malay Kampung/Kampung BoyanCredit: @swakgel on InstagramThere are plenty of tours to Malay villages in Kuching but for whatever reason, this colorful little spot remains relatively untouched by tourists. Take a tambang (river taxi) along the Sarawak River for just RM 1 and roam around the village, making sure to hit the hawker center and buy some tasty local treats such as kek lapis. Then enjoy a seafood dinner as you watch the sunset on the Kuching riverbank. ?Credit: @27kaa on InstagramAddress: Kampung Boyan, 93050 Kuching, Sarawak
4. Damai Beach ResortCredit: @dorotkowa on InstagramDubbed ‘Southeast Asia’s best-kept secret’, this hotel is hidden away in a location that really allows you to distance yourself from the city—the location is so remote that the resort’s neighbors are a national park (Santubong, to be precise) and a golf and country club. ?Credit: @melia_ramadhanty on InstagramThough this resort may be some distance away from civilisation, you’ll still get to enjoy the same comforts of any high-end establishment. Its facilities include the usual swimming pool (two of them, in fact!), gym, and even have some extra ones such as mini golf, a tennis court, a spa, and a private beach! ? They even have jungle trekking packages—a perfect example of how this resort is truly nature meets comfort.Address: Teluk Bandung Santubong, 93766 Kuching, SarawakContact: +6 082 846 999 or [email protected]Website | Facebook
5. Talang Satang National ParkCredit: @pejulibrahim on InstagramThere’s something so stunningly nostalgic about watching baby turtles crawl towards the sea. They’re just babies and are off to start their lives in the big wide ocean. As someone who’s had the privilege to witness this before, I think that everyone should do the same at least once in their lives and Talang Satang’s Turtle Conservation Station is a place you can do just that. ?#HHWT Tip: Peak turtle nesting season is May-September, but it’s best to contact the conservation station before you go if you would like to catch a specific stage in the nesting process.Credit: @sarawakyes on InstagramThough this park is open for nature tourism, do note that its primary purpose is conservation. Therefore, some areas are closed off to tourists (unless you’re there for the Sea Turtle Volunteer Programme) and snorkeling and diving is only recommended for advanced snorkelers and divers.Address: Taman Negara Talang-Satang, SarawakOperating Hours: 8AM-5PMContact: +608 224 8088Website
6. Indah House Kuching
Credit: @nihaosingapore on InstagramKuching is home to quite the hipster café scene, so it’s easy to struggle to pick which ones you should hit up while you’re there. The choices are just so vast! Our humble offering for your consideration is Indah House—a trendy cafe which not only serves delicious local and Western dishes, but also offers cooking classes and an art and event space. There is nary a bad review in sight!Credit: @allyxfoodie on InstagramThis restaurant also caters to vegans and vegetarians as well as meat lovers, so no one has to miss out on this cozy experience. You can all sit back, enjoy the food and drinks (their coconut smoothie is highly recommended!), and even join in a batik painting session if you want! ?Address: 38 Upper China Street, off Carpenter Street, 93000, Kuching, SarawakOperating Hours: 8AM-5PM dailyContact: +6012 388 6535 or [email protected]Facebook | Instagram
7. Kubah Ria Sunday MarketCredit: @ksenia.fomy4ova on InstagramA trip to a foreign country wouldn’t be complete without interacting with the locals, and what better way to do so than by going to a Sunday market? Weekly markets are a great place to make small talk with a stranger without it being weird. ?Credit: @shamahim on InstagramNot feeling chatty? No problem. Feast your eyes (and stomach!) on the fruits, souvenirs, plants, pets, and foods that are on sale. And when you need a break, rest your tired feet at an eatery and be entertained by the buskers that perform all afternoon. Sometimes passers-by even join in! Who doesn’t love an impromptu live karaoke session?Address: Kubah Ria Commercial Complex Q309, Petra Jaya, 93050 Kuching, SarawakOperating Hours: Sunday only 7:30AM-10AM
8. Semenggoh Nature ReserveCredit: @pabloangelcolina on Instagram
A trip to Kuching simply isn't complete without going to Semenggoh Nature Reserve. For 20 years, this sanctuary has helped and trained countless endangered species (the most famous among them being orangutans) to live independently in the wild; the surrounding rainforest is now populated by a wild colony of them! The reserve itself still houses orangutans-in-training and is now only open during their morning or afternoon feeding times (9-10 am and 3-4 pm) to limit their exposure to humans and best rehabilitate them into the rainforest. ❤️
Credit: @fallaittourneragauche on Instagram#HHWT Tip
: Umbrellas, tripods and selfie sticks may be alarming to the orangutans so be sure to leave them in your bag! These majestic creatures are naturally shy and quiet so there is a great emphasis on treating them with respect.
93250 Siburan, Sarawak
Fees for standard admission:
Adult: 10 MYR
Child (below 18 years): 5 MYR
Senior Citizen: 10 MYR
Fees for MyKad holders:
Adult: 5 MYR
Child: 2 MYR
Senior Citizen: 3 MYR
+6082 618 325
Bonus: Mulu National Park*
*I couldn't include it in the list because it's on the other side of Sarawak but it's just too good to omit! ?
Credit: @markharrison4 on InstagramI know what you’re thinking. And honestly, same. ?Credit: GiphyMulu National Park may be well-known, but some of its most stunning features (such as Clearwater Cave, pictured above) remain a juicy secret. It’s no wonder that it’s been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.Credit: @yayanja on InstagramThis park has so many caves for you to explore, as well as the breathtaking pinnacles (pictured above), treks and trails for all abilities, flora and fauna unique to Sarawak, and even a resort if you’re feeling like luxury after roughing it out in a campsite.Address: Gunung Mulu National Park, SarawakFees for standard admission:Adult: 30 MYRChild (ages 6-18 years): 10 MYRFees for MyKad holders:Adult: 15 MYRChild (ages 7-18 years): 5 MYRSenior Citizen (ages 60 years and above): 7 MYRContact: +60 85 792 300 or [email protected]Website | FacebookKuching in itself is incredibly underrated, but even within this gem there are so many lesser explored treasures just waiting to be found! So what are you waiting for? ?Credit: GiphyLooking for more things to see and do in Kuching? Check out our guide! ?