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Kuching

Kuching riverside esplanade
Kuching Riverside Esplanade
This is the ninth in a series of more in-depth posts on our trip to Borneo.
February 21

Kuching - Cat City - that is the nick name of the city. I read that Kuching means cat in Malay. It is the capital of the Malaysian state of Sawarak, largest city on Borneo and the fourth largest city in Malaysia. We were staying in the city center and it did not feel like the 4th largest city.

Our home for the next few days was the Singgahsana Lodge. It is a very clean and a very well run hostel. We have a single bedroom. The lodge is located just steps from the waterfront and not more than a block from the more upscale Hilton which was our second choice. Our room was on the bottom floor. It doesn't have any windows except for the small windows on the loft above the hall way. We have our own bathroom and it is clean. I am not crazy about having a cement floor in the room but it has air conditioning and is just over 100rm (~33USD) so we are not complaining. We are trying to balance our expenses by taking this hostel after staying at the luxury lodge in Danum Valley.

Singgahsana Lodge
Singgahsana Lodge

View from Singgahsana Lodge Singgahsana Lodge

Singgahsana Lodge


There is something about the city that I really like. It was not destroyed during WWII unlike KK which was heavily bombed. It has a colonial feel to the central business district - a little bit old a little bit modern. We both love the river esplanade. Everyone is very friendly. I also love the diversity of cultures; Muslim, Chinese and Hindu. I feel at home.

Old Courthouse building
Old Courthouse building

Next to Open Air Market
Open Air Market area looking towards Kuching Mosque

We started off late since our morning flight was canceled. We didn't arrive until 1PM. The airport is very efficient and we easily found the taxi window, paid and and are on our way into town. It was 23RM as expected. We whip by the suburbs and soon (15 minutes) we are in the center of Kuching. We check in, drop our bags and head for the tourist office which was about to close at 3PM. We wanted to know how to get to the Orchid and Pitcher plant garden in Padawan and also how to get to Semenggoh Wildlife Center so we can see more Orangutans. We went next door to the National Park office to pay for our room at Bako but they are close to closing and asked us to come back the next day. We headed out and started to explore the city. Our goal - the Sunday Market which starts on Saturday afternoon.

Here are some scenes of Kuching.

Chinese Temples and Streets


Tua Pek Kong Temple

Tua Pek Kong Temple

Tua Pek Kong Temple

Detail on outside wall

Tua Pek Kong Temple

Tua Pek Kong Temple

Harmony Arch
Harmony Arch on Carpenter Road

Detail of the Harmony Arch
Detail on Arch

Hong San Si temple
Hong San Si Temple

Padungan Street
Padungan Street

Padungan Street
Covered walkway on Padungan Street

Chinese cemetery
Chinese cemetery



Muslim


Kuching Mosque
Kuching Mosque

School Girls
School Girls


Indian

Hindu Temple
Hindu Temple

India Street
India Street


Views Around the City

Bus station - Chin Lian Long
Chin Lian Long Bus Station - one of two stations in Kuching

View to Astana
View to Astana from Esplanade

Dewan Undangan Negeri
Dewan Undangan Negeri - New state parliment building to open Summer 2009

Kuching Riverfront at sunset
Sunset on the River


Cats - lots of cat status around the city

Cat statues in Kuching

Cat statues in Kuching

Cat statues in Kuching


Cat statues in Kuching

Even the billboards have cats!

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Comments (9)

Marta,
Wonderful photos, and I like the lodge you guys stayed at, I tend to go for these type of lodgings over the Hilton, money saved can be better spent I feel.

I have to say, the mosque is very interesting looking, I have seen many beautiful mosques, mostly in the Middle East and Egypt, and I've never seem anything that resembles the one in Kuching. Very interesting and beautiful.

I also love the cat statues.

Sounds like a great city.

Barb Cabot:

Marta, sitting here clicking from one photo to the next I'm just saying to myself, Wow, Wow,oh Wow. These photos are just wonderful. What a wonder land you visited. So exotic and different. Just fascinating. Your husband looks so happy too. I bet it was a great trip for both of you.

First visit here and love the photos. So colorful and interesting.

Dear martha,
i had been to kuching many times(more than 10 times) and i still continue to do so as i like the unique atmosphere.another cheaper and comfortable option is the harbourview hotel which located near the temple at the waterfront.http://www.harbourview.com.my/.I would recommend that you go to sibu via boat from kuching which is quite interesting and don't forget to go to SERIKIN near the border of indonesia as there are a lot of interesting places along the way like the wind cave and the native market along the way.

Wondeful photos. Love all the exotic temples. And the cats! Were there lots of "real" cats around too?

Kate G:

Love the pictures of the girls in school uniform. We spent three months in Penang -- Batu Ferringi beach area -- and loved it. One favorite was train from Penang to Bangkok -- 24 hours but fun.

Enjoy:) Kate

sheri:

Marta, I love your description of Kuching and your photos,depicting the diversity of cultures in this city. It is a place so different from anywhere I have visited!

I really enjoyed seeing these photos. What a unique city! I also love the cats! Thanks so much for sharing.

Thanks everyone for the comments.

Candi, the mosques were varied. This mosque was completed in 1968 and was the state mosque until a newer one was built in Petra Jaya a suburb. The new one is very modern. This one was build where an older wooden mosque was located. In the foreground is a Muslim cemetery which we also found very interesting. One of my regrets was I did not go into any of the mosques. We were uncertain of the protocol.

Xplorer: Thanks for the tips. We hope to get to Sibu next time. The Harborview was right across the street from the Singgahsana and looked like a good mid-range valued hotel.

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