Kuching is the capital of Sarawak. It is an attractive exotic city with modern buildings that blend in nicely with structures from colonial days and colorful Malay and Chinese shop houses.
The Sarawak River is the the center of Kuching life and the Waterfront, a beautifully landscaped esplanade is the town’s hot spot. Across the river is the Astana, once the home of the White Rajah, now the Governor’s residence. Nearby are Fort Margherita, a reminder of more turbulent days, and the colourful Malay kampung.
Just across the road is the Main Bazaar, once the city’s commercial center, now the place to go hunting for souvenirs, or to find a travel agent or sit down and have a drink.
The restaurant scene in Kuching offers a great variety with a focus on Western, Malay, Chinese, Indian cuisine. For cheap food, try the roadside stalls or the food outlets in the malls.
A major restoration and land reclamation project has become the most popular meeting place in the city. Drab warehouses have been replaced with an almost 900m long esplanade, beautifully landscaped and dotted with wooden benches, food stalls, restaurants and entertainment facilities. A number of old buildings have been preserved and incorporated into the design, including the Chinese History Museum, the Sarawak Steamship Building, an open-air theatre and the Square Tower. Modern additions to the Waterfront include a restored Chinese pavilion, an observation tower, a tea terrace and the spectacular musical fountains, as well as a number of modern sculptures. During the daytime, the Waterfront offers excellent views of the Astana, Fort Margherita and the Malay kampungs which line the north bank of the river, but at night-time the waterfront really comes alive; it seems that half of Kuching is out meeting friends, watching a show or just taking the air.