Credit: The Travel Intern
January 2021

Kuching is an underrated treasure trove in Sarawak, East Malaysia. Being close to natural landscapes and laidback charms, it’s the perfect getaway to unwind.

Here are the top 10 things to see, eat, and do in Kuching for a change in environment!


1) Eat Kuching’s iconic Ta Wan Kung kolo mee

Photo credit: The Travel Intern


Before anything, fuel up on Kuching’s most favourite dish — kolo mee.

It’s a dish made of springy egg noodles tossed in a savoury pork and shallot mixture, topped with slices of flavourful char siew. It may sound simple but it’s a classic staple and you’ll find some stalls like Ta Wan Kung full-house whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Cost: RM4/bowl
Opening hours: 7AM – 1PM, closed on Mon
Address: Lot 285, Jalan Datuk Wee Kheng Chiang, 93450 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia


2) Explore the Fairy and Wind Caves

Photo credit: The Travel Intern


An hour away from the city, explore the Bau region for two beautiful and magnificent limestone caves. 

The Fairy Cave (Gua Kapor) derives its name from a stalagmite formation that resembles a Chinese deity. Meanwhile, the Wind Cave (Gua Angin) has a constant, cool breeze that flows through. Bring a torchlight, as certain parts of the Wind Cave are completely dark.


Photo credit: The Travel Intern


For visitors who don’t drive, join a half-day tour to the Caves which includes hotel transfers.


Entrance fee: RM1/pax for Malaysians; RM5 for non-Malaysians
Opening hours: 8:30AM – 4PM
Address: 94000 Bau, Sarawak, Malaysia


3) Hike up Mount Serapi

Photo credit: @jillianlhy


Located within the Kubah National Park, Mount Serapi is Kuching’s highest peak. 

There are six trails here for hikers to explore — ranging between 1.4km to 5km long. The trails lead hikers through the lush national park, with tons of flora and fauna.


Photo credit: Gunung Bagging


Trails are gentle and offer panoramic views of Kuching from various viewpoints. Lodges are also available for rent if you’d like to spend a night in the national park. 

Guided tours are also available for adventurers who’d like to do other activities, such as visit the Matang Wildlife Centre, and take a dip in a waterfall.


Entrance fee: RM10/pax for Malaysians; RM20/pax for non-Malaysians
Opening hours: 8AM–5PM (Last entry at 2PM)
Address: Fort Margherita, Petra Jaya, 93050 Kuching, Sarawak


4) Try Choon Hui Cafe’s laksa — recommended by the late Anthony Bourdain

Photo credit: Aroma Asian


Kuching’s other famous dish is Laksa. Not to be confused with Penang’s laksa, the Kuching’s version comes in a shrimp-based broth thickened with coconut milk for a sweet and mildly spicy kick.


Photo credit: Aroma Asian


If you only have time for one bowl of laksa in Kuching, Choon Hui Cafe is the place to go. It was even visited by the the late Anthony Bourdain who captioned it “Breakfast of the Gods” on Instagram.

This dish is only available in the morning, so get there early if you don’t want to miss out! 

Cost: RM8/bowl
Opening Hours: 6:30AM – 10:30AM, closed on Mon
Address: 149 Jalan Pisang Barat, 93400 Kuching, Sarawak


5) Admire the old English Fort Margherita

Photo credit: The Travel Intern


Kuching is culturally diverse. From Chinese shophouses to local Iban longhouses, it’s easy to find influences from different cultures. One of the most prominent is an old English fort that sits at the city centre.

Constructed in 1879 by Charles Brooke, then-Rajah of Sarawak, Fort Margherita was built in the style of an English castle. It was meant to protect Kuching from pirates. Today, the fort houses the Brooke Gallery that showcases belongings and artefacts from Brooke’s time.


Photo credit: The Travel Intern


Entrance fees: RM10/pax for Malaysians; RM20/pax for non-Malaysians
pening hours: 9AM – 4:45PM​
Address: Fort Margherita, Petra Jaya, 93050 Kuching, Sarawak


6) Visit the native orangutans at Semenggoh Wildlife Reserve

Photo credit: The Travel Intern


Established in 2003, Semmengoh Wildlife Reserve focuses on the rehabilitation and training of young orangutans either orphaned or rescued from captivity. 

You’ll see semi-wild orangutans roaming freely, as well as learn about the great apes at the Orangutan Gallery.


Photo credit: The Travel Intern


Semmengoh Wildlife Reserve is less than an hour’s drive away from Kuching. Try to reach at 9AM to watch staff feed the orangutans. Alternatively, arrive around 3PM to spot the friendly apes.


Entrance fees: RM5/pax for Malaysians; RM10/pax for non-Malaysians
Opening hours: 8:30AM – 4:45PM
Address: Jalan Tun Abang Haji Openg, Kuching 93000, Malaysia


7) Feast by the roadside at 333 Charcoal Fried Kway Teow

Photo credit: The Travel Intern


With eight types of fried kway teow on their menu, 333 Charcoal Fried Kway Teow is every foodie’s dream come true. Variations include salted egg, tom yum, mala and even bittergourd!

Funky flavours aside, you can expect that iconic wok hei aroma we all love in a good plate of Kway Teow

Other than Kway Teow, save your stomach for the BBQ pork rice which comes with generous slices of pork with meat that’s juicy and skin that’s crispy — oh so sedap!


Photo credit: The Travel Intern


Cost: RM6/plate
Opening hours: 6PM – 10pm, closed on Sun
Address: 333 Jalan Chawan 13, Taman Supreme, 93300 Kuching, Sarawak.


8) Kayak on Sarawak River

Photo credit: The Travel Intern


Kayaking down the Sarawak River is not only fun, but incredibly therapeutic! At Sungai Sarawak Kiri, you’ll see the lush green mangroves and limestones that line the riverbank. 

*Pro-tip: Wear your bathing suit, as some parts of the river are shallow enough for a swim! 


Photo credit: The Travel Intern


If you’d like to combine this experience with a visit to Semenggoh Wildlife Reserve, go for a guided tour. Transport and kayaking equipment will be provided — perfect for a fuss-free, exciting day!


9) Enjoy home-cooked Thunder Rice Tea (Lui Cha)

Photo credit: The Travel Intern


Nestled within a residential district, Hakka Lui Cha is a family-run eatery that serves Thunder Rice Tea, or lui cha. Expect a homely feel as you’ll be dining in the family’s front yard. 


Photo credit: The Travel Intern


Many locals have claimed this home-cooked lui cha is the “best in the whole of Malaysia”. It’s a bold claim — but one that’s hard to refute! Who knew vegetables could taste delicious?

Cost: RM7/bowl
Opening hours: 10AM – 1:30PM, closed on Sun
Address: 34, Jalan Ban Hock, 93100 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia


10) Buy Kek Lapis as souvenirs

Photo credit: The Travel Intern


For a sweet souvenir, bring home kek lapis, or Sarawak layered cakes. They’re usually served on special occasions like birthdays, weddings, or cultural celebrations. 


Photo credit: The Travel Intern


Mira Cake House offers more than 50 flavours of kek lapis, including unique variations like Michael Jackson, Famous Amos and the nostalgic Horlicks. These make great gifts for even the fussiest eaters back home.

Cost: RM10/loaf
Opening hours: 8AM – 11PM
Address: 44A, Tebingan Permaidani BGS, Kampung Boyan, Petra Jaya, 93050 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia


Kuching is a great destination for foodies, nature-lovers, and adventurers — but even better if you’re a UOB Cardmember who’s all of the above! 

For UOB Malaysia Cardmembers Book your favourite activities on KKday with any UOB cards to enjoy additional savings. Just use the promo code <KKUOB7> if you’re a new user, or <KKUOB5> for existing ones. Promotion runs now till 30 July 2021 for travel period until 31 December 2021.


Pre-trip Essentials


Getting around: Public buses are a cheap way to get around Kuching but the frequency is slow. The most convenient option is to rent a car from Kuching International Airport — UOB Cardmembers enjoy a 10% discount on Hertz car rentals from now till 31 December 2021.

Connectivity: This 3G/4G wifi device, which can connect up to five devices. Fees start from as low as RM16/day.

Accommodation: The Marian Boutique Lodging House for a cosy stay that’s also friendly on the wallet — twin rooms start from RM102/night

*Pro-tip: Book your accommodation on with any UOB Card from now till 18 April 2021 and earn up to 10% cashback.

Medical Travel Assistance: If you’re a UOB Mastercard Cardmember, enjoy 10% off all service packages from Medical Travel Companions.


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