Tips For A Fun-Filled Trip To Kuching From My October 2017 Experience

When I told some friends before going to Kuching for the short trip last month, they looked bewildered & asked:”What’s there to do in Kuching huh?”, wondering why I would choose to book a vacation there. But just because it’s not the “natural” place to head to for a typical getaway, it doesn’t mean Kuching isn’t worth exploring. I’m glad I took the promo air ticket & made it there for an off-the-beaten-tourist-path break.

Although it was a short 4D3N break, the experience was mind-blowing! Here’s sharing some valuable tips I gathered from the brief experience to ensure a fun filled holiday to the Cat City!

Tip #1: Bring a dash of adventure (actually, loads) to Kuching ^_-

Well, it’s weird if you go to the land where adventure lives, without actually bringing some adventurous spirit over, eh? It’s the most important thing you need (of course, with essentials such as passport & air ticket)! Leave it at home & everything, anything you do when in the Cat City just feels odd.

Tip #2: Bring that sunblock along & pile it on, wherever you go! 😎

Because most activities will be outdoors, you don’t want to be burnt by the sun at the end of the day. Afterall, Kuching is a tropical city that receives plenty of sunshine all year round. Remember to pile it on diligently every few hours, not just for beauty reason, but also to protect your skin from harmful UV rays! It’s also good if you bring along protective gear such as cap or sunglasses to keep cool & also shield yourself from the sun (or raincoat from the occasional rain).

Tip #3: Bring comfortable clothing & footwear

Since you will be mostly involved in outdoor activities in tropical rainforest climate, it’s important that you put on comfortable clothing & footwear. I recommend you to wear clothing of dri-fit/ cotton material, given the weather can get pretty warm & humid. Moreover, since you will be walking quite a lot, flat covered shoes are preferred over those killer high heels. You don’t want to risk getting sore feet while trying to hike to look out for interesting wildlife 🐵🐷🐍🐊🐋🦇, do you? 😉

Tip #4: Be prepared to get dirty 😯

In any outdoor adventure trip, it’s inevitable you may get dirty somehow. Just because Kuching is 1 of the cleanest cities in Malaysia, it doesn’t mean there is no dirt / dust at all. Furthermore, when you are out in the wilderness having fun, you can’t expect to see a washroom everywhere you hike ya? That’s not a natural sight you’d want to see either? So be prepared to rub some dust / dirt when you are immersed in the wonders of nature. Or maybe even bat shit (I hear some “eeekk”…) because you can’t even see clearly when you are groping your way out in the dark caves at Bau. 😖

Of course, I’m not asking you to forget about personal hygiene, it’s still important so it’s good to bring along some wet wipes and/or hand sanitisers. For the same reason, you can probably also ditch that makeup kit & keep it for other trips instead. Imagine all the dirt & sweat mixed with the foundation on your face… 😨 I don’t need to spell it all out, but it’s common knowledge that this can lead to clogging of pores or even a breakout, which I’m sure you don’t want it to happen! Anyway, the best makeup you can ever get is usually after a great workout or hike in nature, so don’t be afraid of getting yourself dirty. 😛

Tip #5: Bring your appetite (& stomach) (*^-^*)

The adventure in Kuching is not just limited to the outdoors or cultural immersion. There is a wide range of mouth-watering cuisines you can sink your teeth into in the Cat City. So forget about dieting, that can wait till you are back home! Move over Penang! You may be the more well-known cousin in the country for the myriad of delectable hawker delights, but Kuching is by no means a pushover in this aspect. The bonus of feasting here is: prices are lower in general compared to in Penang. Yipee! 😍

Make sure you bring a good appetite & stomach, plus adventurous spirit (tip #1) so that you have the room to hold all that yummy food 🍜🍚🍤🍌🍍 ! Anyway, you need to replenish all the energy lost & calories burnt after hiking in the caves/ national park etc. 😉

Tip #6: Bring an open mind 🙂

It’s also critical you bring an open mind when visiting the capital of Sarawak in East Malaysia. It’s human nature to compare wherever you go, whatever you do. But remember, every place has its unique culture, & so does Kuching. East Malaysia is known for its intriguing way of life, & Kuching is charming in its own right. Be fascinated by the unpretentious way of its people, living a relaxed lifestyle that hasn’t changed much in 160 years. In fact, many people likened Kuching to Penang 10 years ago. Maybe that explains why I enjoyed Kuching as much as (or even more than) how I enjoyed Penang (read more about my weekend getaway to Penang back in March 2016 here). 😉 Take some time to walk the streets, visit the traditional longhouse, to immerse in the interesting indigenous culture.

Tip #7: March/April is the time when weather will be most pleasant

Last but not least, bet you must be asking, so when’s the best time to visit Kuching? Avoid rainy season at the end of the year. In fact, October to January is the low season (due to rain), but because we went in early October, the start of rainy season, it wasn’t so bad. The peak season falls during the Europe/US summer holidays in July/August, & that’s the time when weather can get really hot & dry.

But note that July is also the time when 1 of the most significant festivals of the year takes place – the Rainforest World Festival. So it’s entirely up to you whether you’re fine with crowds & hot weather. 😉 Nonetheless, if you prefer a quieter period with more pleasant weather (less rain & not so hot), try March / April. At least that was what the local guide told us! 😅

Follow the above tips & I am sure you will enjoy a fun-filled holiday in Kuching just like us. Here’s a recap of our activity-packed 4D3N trip in Kuching, the land where adventure lives, for some inspiration on the things you can do in the Cat City. 🙂

Day 1: Arrived at Kuching International Airport (KCH) in the morning. Checked into The Waterfront Hotel Kuching in the heart of the city. Headed out for lunch & explored the vicinity a bit, before joining the Santubong Wetland Wildlife Cruise in the late afternoon.

Day 2: Started the day with a tour to the caves in the small gold mining town of Bau in the south. Thereafter, we had an interesting half-day cultural immersion at Sarawak Cultural Village in the north. At night, it was time to hit the open-air market for a good dinner & checked out the popular waterfront by the river.

Day 3: The highlight of the day was to hike in Sarawak’s oldest Bako National park & get up close to the unique wildlife in the park. Fortunately, it only started raining after we left the park & returned to hotel. In the evening, we ventured out to hunt for more hawker delights before retreating back to our comfy beds for a good night’s rest.

Day 4: It was our last day in Kuching but we wasted no time in hunting more delectable local hawker delights & also the yummy snacks in between meals. Thankfully our flight for Singapore only departed in the evening so we could enjoy more of the city before heading home.

Lastly, if you are wondering how to get to your accommodation affordably & conveniently from the airport, you will see the airport taxi counter after you exit the arrival gate. Purchase a coupon at the taxi counter & proceed to the taxi stand just outside the terminal. The cost should not be more than 30 MYR (~S$9.65) for getting to your accommodation in the city centre. You also need not worry about haggling over prices with the cabby in this case.

Look for this airport taxi counter right after you exit the arrival gate

Hope the above will help you in planning for a fun-filled holiday in the capital of Sarawak, Kuching!~

You may also like this Trip101 article:

The Waterfront Hotel: Affordable Luxury In The Heart Of Kuching City
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