Sarawak's capital city Kuching, was voted as one of the most liveable cities in Asia in year 2000. With just 1 hour 15 minutes flight to Singapore and an extra 30 minutes to Kuala Lumpur, Kuching is home to approximately 500,000 residents. A modern metropolitan city cloaked with romantic colonial charm, Kuching extends its warm hospitality and captivates guests to enjoy a relaxed and affordable lifestyle. Blessed with abundant natural resources, Sarawak is fortunate to have clean air and ample electricity supply.
Sarawak is also famous for its culture, traditions, arts, crafts, wild life parks and most of all, friendly faces. The rich cultural diversities of more than 20 different indigenous ethnic groups as well as the extensive Malay and Chinese traditions paint a colourful portrait of Sarawak's ethnic and cultural communities. Unique flora and fauna found in wildlife parks describes the serene and true beauty of this "Cat City". Kuching also offers an array of tasty ethnic delicacies, fine dining as well as fusion of international cuisines. Please visit Sarawak Tourism official site which offers news, travel notes and articles about Sarawak. More information about Kuching can be found in Official 2006 Kuching Guide.
Sarawak is a land of colourful cultures boasting 27 ethnic groups, making up a population of 1.8 million. The ethnic groups consist of the Iban (Sea Dayak), Bidayuh (Land Dayak), Melanau, Orang Ulu and many more. They live together in harmony with the Malays and Chinese. The majority of the population live in a few large towns and cities, but a significant percentage still live in longhouses and villages in the remote areas.
Ibans are Sarawak’s major ethnic race consisting of up to 30% of the total population in year 2000 census. They are the most famous of Sarawak’s ethnic groups and were once the legendary headhunters of Borneo. The Ibans still to this very day take great pride in their cultural history although the headhunting days are long gone.
The Chinese community, who generally live in the city areas are the second largest ethnic group in Sarawak, with about 26.7%, followed by the Bidayuhs, the Melanaus and other native tribes of Sarawak. The Malays also constitute around 23% of the state’s population.
Sarawakians practise various religions which include Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism and Animism. In the rural parts of Sarawak, paganism is still practised by the minorities.
Explore Sarawak further by venturing into Borneo’s untouched forest, hosting thousands of different tropical species including the famous largesy flower in the world or known as Goliath flower, the "Rafflesia" with a 1-meter diameter.
Just 45 minutes drive away from Kuching will lead you to 2,230 hectares of Kubah National Park, filled with rolling sandstone hills sprinkled with crystal clear streams and waterfalls, and home to mousedeer, squirrels, the well known state symbol bird – the Hornbill – and many other amphibian and reptile species.
Within 45 minutes via regular Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flights to Miri (town located up north of Sarawak, nearby Brunei boarder), you will be able to witness one of the 10 wonders of the world located at Gunung Mulu National Park. Discover various cave chains including the Great Niah Caves, which can host at least 7 units of 747 aeroplanes in one of its chambers. Take your time to explore deeper in to Borneo, one of the most biologically diverse islands on Earth!
Hotels and Resorts
In Kuching, you can find both affordable and luxurious 5 star hotels. Below are the hotels that you can easily find in Kuching town area.
- Hilton Kuching
- Crowne Plaza Hotel Riverside Kuching
- Holiday Inn Kuching
- Merdeka Palace Hotels and Suites
- Grand Continental Hotel Kuching
Kuching’s nearest get away resorts are located in Damai, Sarawak’s initial and premier beach resort area located just less than an hour drive from Kuching. Enjoy your relaxation trip by spoiling yourselves at our calming sauna and spa, as well as fun time for leisure activities and water sports.
- Holiday Inn Damai Beach Resort
- Damai Puri Resort & Spa
- Santubong Inn Resort
Don’t miss out on Damai’s famous Arnold Palmer-designed golf course and later for a thirst quencher accompanied by lavish and delicious seafood meal at nearby Buntal village.
Education in Kuching is one of the state’s priority concerns in promoting the government’s vision realizing a knowledge-based economy. Various local universities and educational institutions have been established to accommodate for the needs of the community, such as:
- University Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS)
- Institute Teknologi MARA University (UiTM)
- University Tunku Abdul Razak (UNITAR)
- Swinburne Institute of Technology University (parent based in Melbourne, Australia)
Other universities located outside Kuching include:
Other educational institutions within Kuching:
- Stamford College
- International Business Management Systems (IBMS)
- iSystem Institute
- Lim Kok Wing Institute of Creative Arts and Technology Kuching
Technical schools are also one of the merging trends for the State government to foster practical training for electronics, mechanical, manufacturing and industry based training grounds. Few technical schools have been set up within Sarawak to service such needs.
Medical facilities are well-equipped and located within driving distance around the metropolitan area. Besides various local clinics with qualified general practitioners, Kuching also offers first class services at the various public and private hospitals:
- Sarawak General Hospital (SGH)
- Normah Medical Specialist Centre (NMSC)
- Timberland Medical Centre (TMC)
- Kuching Specialist Hospital (KSC)
After 6pm, Kuching will be filled with colorful streetlights, enhancing the natural vigor and charm of this safe and vibrant city. The City Centre will show case Kuching’s rich culture and tradition with beautifully lit up monuments and pre and post-colonial landmarks such as the Fort Margherita, the Sarawak Museum and The Astana. Melodious rhythm from adjoining entertainment outlets, clubs, bistros and nightspots will surely tempt the energetic few, so get ready to explore more!
Other Useful Links
- Sarawak Government Page
- Labour Dept.
- Inland Revenue
- Kuching Festival Web Site