I recently had the opportunity to visit Kuching, Sarawak, and I was lucky enough to have my own local guide with me on the trip, showing me all the city’s hidden treasures.
The city has such a positive atmosphere that it instantly took me back to my hometown. One standout highlight of the trip for me was the food. Being a food enthusiast myself, I thoroughly enjoyed discovering new eateries and experiencing different types of cuisine I’ve never tried before.
If you’re thinking about going to Kuching, Sarawak for a short trip, here’s some useful info to make your visit even better.
I flew with Malaysia Airlines (MAS).
It cost me RM1,417.90. The flight lasted around an hour and a half. Despite the short duration, the airline provided a meal and beverage service. I had ‘Nasi Lemak’ (flying there) and rice with garlic fish (return). The food wasn’t great, but the salted peanuts were nice.
The arrival at Kuching International Airport was smooth.
You no longer require an RTK antigen test; it’s no longer mandatory. At the immigration counter, present your IC or passport. For Malaysians, if you present your passport, the officer will stamp it. However, if you show your IC, they will give you a paper that looks like a receipt, containing your information. Please keep this paper safe throughout your trip, as you’ll need to return it at the immigration counter when departing from Kuching, Sarawak. If you happen to lose it, you will need to file a police report.
The city reminded me of my hometown.
Coming from Ipoh, Perak, I couldn’t help but notice how Kuching, Sarawak, looks a lot like my hometown. I kid you not; these two cities share a striking similarity in their appearance and atmosphere.
What pleasantly surprised me was how clean, organized, and culturally rich Kuching is. The city has a laid-back and relaxed feel that made me feel at ease during my visit. It’s truly a place where you can find peace and simply unwind. I would highly recommend that you visit Kuching to experience everything this charming city has to offer for yourself.
I chose to stay at the Hilton, Kuching.
I chose to stay here for its convenient location, which offered easy access to several tourist attractions within walking distance. If you’re interested in learning more about my experience at the hotel, I invite you to read my detailed post here: Hotel Review: Hilton Kuching, Sarawak.
The food was undoubtedly one of the highlights of my trip.
The food here was so good that I’m worried about gaining weight if I had extended my stay any further! The local dishes, particularly the Asam Pedas, surpassed my expectations and even rivaled those found in Peninsular Malaysia. It was fascinating to learn that Sarawak has its own unique version of Asam Pedas. It’s something you don’t want to miss!
Another thing, I’m not really into sugary drinks, but I tried this drink called Teh C Peng, a three-layer tea with Apong sugar, and oh my goodness, it was delicious! I couldn’t get enough of it. In fact, all the tea and coffee I had in Sarawak had this bold and strong flavor. We call it “Kaw,”—it’s a Malay term often used to describe food or drinks that are strong in flavor or taste.
The activities you can do.
1) Take a boat to go across the river to Pengkalan Kpg Boyan.
- The locals operate river taxis, and for a small fee of RM1.00 per trip, you can easily cross the river. During the boat ride, you’ll have the opportunity to see notable landmarks such as Astana, the residence of the governor, and Fort Margherita. Once you arrive on the other side, you can explore attractions like the Brooke Gallery or the DBKU orchid garden.
- When it comes to souvenirs from Sarawak, there are two popular items to consider: ‘Ikan terubuk masin’ and ‘Kek Lapis Sarawak’
- Don’t miss the chance to bring home some of Sarawak’s famous ‘Kek Lapis’, a sweet layered cake with various patterns and colors. Dayang Salhah and Mira Cakehouse are among the oldest establishments and are well-known for their cakes.
- If you wish to visit the Darul Hana Bridge, you can request a river taxi to take you there. The cost for this trip is RM3.00 per person.
2) Stroll by The Waterfront.
- No trip to Kuching would be complete without a visit to The Waterfront. This scenic spot offers a stunning view of the Sarawak River’s north bank. Spanning 900 meters, the esplanade truly comes alive in the evenings with its lively food stalls, restaurants, bistros, and street food hawkers. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere as you enjoy a mix of ethnic and contemporary music, accompanied by the mesmerizing Darul Hana musical fountain.
- For a different perspective, consider taking a Sarawak River Cruise during the daytime. You’ll be treated to breathtaking scenery, and the price is quite reasonable, making it a worthwhile experience.
- Another activity you shouldn’t miss is strolling across the Darul Hana Bridge at night. The bridge is beautifully illuminated with vibrant lights, creating a captivating ambiance. Take your time and enjoy the enchanting views as you explore this illuminated landmark.
3) Plenty of eateries for food hunting.
Here are some of my top picks:
- My Village Barok.
This place has a charming vintage atmosphere with distinctive Borneo elements. The food here is absolutely delicious—I can’t argue with that! I tried their Nasi Ayam Ketok, which reminded me of Nasi Ayam Penyet, and it was simply delightful. I also tasted Mee Kolok special; it was incredibly flavorful. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed with the mouthwatering dishes at My Village Barok.
- Babaganoush Restaurant.
This place is a gem! Whether you’re looking for a satisfying lunch or dinner, this place hits the spot. The best part? It’s a fully Halal-certified Chinese restaurant, so you can enjoy your meal without any worries. The restaurant offered a wide selection of seafood dishes. When you take a look at their menu, get ready to be blown away. The menu is quite long, and you’ll find three different portion sizes to choose from. Talk about variety!
But here’s what really impressed me—the owner. He is incredibly helpful and friendly. In fact, he convinced me to try something I had never tasted before—raw jellyfish. I was a bit hesitant at first, but I decided to give it a go. And you know what? It turned out to be amazing! I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved it. I also had Ikan Kurau Asam Pedas, Midin Umai, butter chicken & beef black pepper. Everything was absolutely delicious.
- Tok Janggut Cafe.
If you’re a fan of Biryani rice, then this is definitely the place for you. I must admit, I found the rice a tad dry, but the flavors were on point. The highlight, though, was the honey chicken dish that accompanied the rice—it was absolutely delicious. The portion size was quite generous, but because it was so tasty, I managed to devour every last bite. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed with the flavors they serve up at this spot.
- Gula Apong Ice Cream.
It’s a small ice cream stall situated at the Kuching waterfront. If you find yourself in Kuching, you absolutely must try this ice cream. Trust me, it’s incredibly delicious.
Read more about my second trip to Kuching here: My second short trip to Kuching, Sarawak.